As time and technology both march forward, you need to be sure that both your soft skills* AND your software skills** are at a sought-after level by potential employers—that when employers review your capabilities and experience, they find both skill sets highly desirable!
In a recent article in which Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam, was interviewed by Certiport, she emphasized certain trends that administrative professionals need to keep in mind both for current and future career prospects.
Overwhelmingly, managers are aware that administrative professionals are important to the success of the managers of these companies. Consequently, and as Britton summarized this point, she noted that, “Employers are looking for support staff who are adaptable and can help with projects beyond their traditional job descriptions.”
Administrative professionals must be able to demonstrate their ability to save their bosses time without compensating quality. The old adage “time is money, and money is time” has never been truer!
Administrative professionals also must demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and professionally with internal and external groups. Highly-developed verbal and written communication skills are essential to progressing up the career ladder.
Britton also indicated that it is essential for administrative professionals who want to emphasize their proficiency with the most widely-used office productivity software—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access—to demonstrate they are proficient by showing proof—by passing the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams and thus earning the accompanying certifications!
She also pointed out that job advancement as well as the possibility of salary increases are two good reasons to work towards the goal(s) of passing one or more of these MOS certification exams. They are your proof that you are indeed knowledgeable and proficient in the given software application(s).
Brandi Britton closes her Certiport interview by leaving readers with some great advice for administrative professionals who are looking for employment in today’s job market. You can click on this link and then scroll down to watch that video.
If you are interested in getting more information on how you can get your Microsoft Office skills to a proficient level; or if you want to know how you can get your MOS Certification in one or more MS software applications, let Richland College’s BOSS program help you get the answers to these and other questions.
Question 1: I use Word and Excel on a daily basis at work, but how can I determine if I already know enough about the software to just go ahead and take one of the MOS exams without having to take any classes or training?
Answer 1: Because Richland College is an authorized MOS testing center, you can contact us at 972-238-6215 for more information on purchasing a testing voucher and then scheduling and taking the specific MOS exam here at Richland.
It is, however, strongly suggested that you click on your chosen software application link below and then analyze whether you feel you are proficient in all of these objectives for the application AND that you can complete the scenario tasks in a timed situation.
These objectives are the official Microsoft objectives for which individuals are expected to demonstrate their proficiency when taking the timed MOS certification exams.
Question 2: How involved are the BOSS Microsoft Office classes?
Answer 2a: The software specific BOSS classes are designed to provide you with comprehensive knowledge and skills development in basic, intermediate, and some advanced software features. The software is learned via presentation, hands-on assignments, tests, and software simulation training/testing of the MOS testing environment.
Answer 2b: The BOSS program offers specific software classes that are dedicated to students learning the software applications at a proficient level and incorporating all of the official Microsoft objectives through textbook tutorials and assignments, hands-on tests, and simulated software that provides further reinforcement through training and timed testing.
Question 3: Are these classes offered in more than one format, and how many times a week must I come to Richland’s campus?
Answer 3: These are great questions; and, yes, there are three learning formats available to you, as well as a special option:
(A) If you feel you need to have an instructor present the material and explain certain concepts and features to you on a face-to-face basis, we offer these courses on an “on campus” basis. Typically, the on-campus courses meet twice a week. Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.
(B) If you feel comfortable taking the classes remotely (you still have full access to your instructor) and your work/personal schedule make it difficult for you to physically attend on campus, then online is the format you want. The online sections include the same content, and you have electronic access to your instructor to answer questions that you may have about features, content, etc. You don’t have to come to campus. Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.
(C) If time or transportation to campus is a big issue for you, but you still feel you need to interact face-to-face with your instructor, you might want to consider the hybrid format. You meet once a week on campus for the presentation of material, and your assignments are submitted electronically.
(D) Special Option: If, at any time, during the course you feel confident enough to take the MOS exam early and you do indeed pass the exam, you will receive an automatic B in the class without having to complete any remaining assignments, tests, etc. This option rewards you with earning college credit AND MOS certification early!
Question 4: If I decide to take more than one of these BOSS software classes, can I apply these credits towards some type of certificate?
Answer 4: Absolutely, there are three academic entry points that may interest you: the BOSS program’s (1) Software Application Specialist certificate, (2) Administrative Specialist certificate, or (3) Executive Assistant associate degree.
Question 5: I’m not sure I have the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Office on my home computer. Will I need to purchase the latest version?
Question 5: If you are already a student (or planning to become a student) at any of the Dallas County Community College District’s colleges (Richland is one of the seven colleges), then you will be able to download the latest version of Office 365 for free! Office 365 includes the software applications listed above and as well as others (such as OneNote, Skype, and Publisher).
In conclusion, let Richland’s BOSS program help you to maximize your potential in terms of your soft skills, your software skills, and your future career goals–enhance/acquire these skills at an affordable price!
You can get more details by visiting our website at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/boss
Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers online, on‑campus, and hybrid courses in flex-term and full semester formats. For more information email RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu or call 972‑238-6215.
**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.
*Soft skills have been defined as those behaviors and qualities that lead to satisfactory or above-satisfactory interaction with others such as communication (listening, writing, speaking), collaboration and teamwork, critical and creative thinking, leadership, self-management and initiative, social responsibility, etc.
** Software skills demonstrate an individual’s knowledge of and proficiency in computer technology software. Proficiency with such technology greatly assists with the management and successful completion of office tasks and managing data effectively and efficiently on a time and output basis.
We all have our favorite Microsoft Word tips and shortcuts! My favorite shortcut is that pressing the F12 key opens the Word Save As dialog box.
In this article, Susan Harkins shares five easy-to-implement tips that will simplify your Microsoft Word tasks. Another of my favorites, which she discusses in her first tip, explains how to quickly select a sentence. This tip is especially handy when the sentence begins and ends in the middle of a line.
Please click the link below to read all of the tips from Susan on the Tech Republic Web site; save time and have fun using your newly acquired knowledge!
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org 972-238-6215.
When we think about jobs and their various requirements, the tendency may be to focus on the specialized skill such as accounting, marketing, IT, nursing, HR, etc., but blogger Sharlyn Lauby suggests that there needs to be a closer look taken of basic skills. She has put a lot of emphasis on the fact that every employee should have these skills—regardless of the job position.
The list below may sound simple and basic; but according to Lauby, employees and applicants who lack one or more of these items is the reason why job recruiters and employers are becoming more and more frustrated!
So even if you are currently employed or if you are looking for a job, take a look at this list and make sure you are proficient in all of these areas:
|Good Communication Skills||Both your verbal and written skills need to be proficient. A review of grammar can help you with the spoken and written word.|
|Computer||Many of the job descriptions have the expectation that you are already competent in widely-used software such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.|
|Customer Service||Companies expect their employees to know how to interact with their customers in a professional, respectful manner.|
|Diversity Awareness||While this item was not a part of Lauby’s original list, the decision was made to include it because we work in environments today that are made up of people from many different backgrounds and cultures.|
|Empathy||There may be a number of times throughout your career when you will need to “put yourself in the other person’s position” to understand your customers or co-workers better, and having empathy will help you tremendously in the communication process.|
|Learning||This may appear to be a “no brainer,” but you should be prepared to be a lifelong learner. Whether you take formal classes or workplace training, new knowledge is the order of the day.|
|Math||Unless your job requires a higher order of math, you should be familiar with business math concepts such as percentages, decimals, etc., These concepts can help you apply, interpret, and understand some of those spreadsheet functions better. Remember, most decisions are data driven today.|
|Organization||Getting your work completed accurately and on time requires you to manage your time and tasks in an systematic fashion. Use time management software tools to help you organize your work life.|
|Problem-Solving||When confronted with a problem, it is very important for you to (1) understand the problem, (2) develop a workable plan for solving the problem, (3) carry out the plan, and (4) evaluate the plan—did it work? Don’t expect others to solve all of your problems. You will be expected to find logical solutions to issues.|
|Research and Information Gathering||If you need more information in order to get a task completed or to solve a problem, you must be ready to research the area and look for workable solutions. Employers don’t have much time for people who throw their hands up every time they are confronted with a new situation.|
|Teamwork||You’ve got to be able to work with others! In today’s world most jobs require us to spend time working with others on projects—both real world and virtual. Having a respect for others, being able to communicate your thoughts effectively, and having a sense of empathy all play a part in successful, productive team outcomes.|
For more information on the BOSS program and how BOSS courses can help you with your career and enhance your skills, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.
Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/
Shifting or rearranging paragraphs in Microsoft Word can be tedious. If using drag and drop you may go too far or not far enough. Then you must start the process again. When copying and pasting, formatting is often changed erroneously. Is there another way? Of course!
Instead of copying and pasting paragraphs, which can wreak havoc on your formatting and is generally a bit clunky, try using a keyboard shortcut.
Highlight the paragraph to be moved and click ALT-SHIFT. While holding down the ALT & SHIFT keys, use the up or down arrows to move the paragraph around the document. The entire section will move as if it’s a single block.
Could it be any easier?
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org 972-238-6215.
Many Microsoft Word users change the font for every new document they create simply because they do not know how to change the default font used for all new documents.
Let’s assume that you want to use Times New Roman, 12 point type for all new documents.
It is very simple to do; just follow the steps listed below:
- Open Microsoft Word (2007 or 2010)
- Launch the Font Dialog Box by clicking the diagonal arrow at the right end of the Font Group name on the Home tab of the Ribbon
- Select to font and font size that you wish to use for all new word documents
- At the bottom of the Font Dialog Box, click Set AS Default
- When the question, “Do you want to set the default font to Times New Roman, 12 pt for: This document only? or All documents based on the Normal.dotm template?” Click to select All documents based on the Normal.dotm template
Each time you create a new Word document the font will be set to Times New Roman, 12 point type. How easy is that?
For more information about the Business Office Systems and Support program, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.
Ever experienced this problem? In Word if you type 1 at the beginning of a sentence, pressing the Enter key will take you to the next line and the number 2 will automatically appear.
Word’s insistence on automatically creating a list if a number or symbol is typed at the beginning of a sentence can be frustrating. As you may have noticed, Word automatically makes changes once it senses a pattern in your list. This auto-formatted text can become tedious to change when you want to begin a sentence with a number or bullet point without beginning a new list. Here is a simple solution.
If you wish to turn off Auto Formatting in Word 2007, click the Office button (if using Word 2010, click the File tab), Word Options, and Proofing; click the AutoCorrect Options button; select the AutoFormat As You Type button; remove the checkmarks from the Automatic Bulleted Lists and Automatic Numbered Lists, click OK, and click OK again.
If you are using Word 2003, click the Tools menu, select AutoCorrect Options, choose the AutoFormat As You Type tab; remove the checkmarks from the Automatic Bulleted Lists and Automatic Numbered Lists, and click Apply.
The feature can easily be turned back on if needed by following the steps above and clicking to replace the checkmarks that were removed.
No more automatic lists in Word!
For additional information about the BOSS Program, contact Becky Jones at 972-238-6215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.