Is it possible to get a job when you have certification in only Microsoft Word?

Is it possible to get a job when you have certification in Microsoft Word, and only Microsoft Word (without certification in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint)?

What kind of job are you looking for? There are plenty of burgers that need to be flipped and they don’t require Microsoft certifications.

I think you’re asking (here and in your other thread) the wrong questions. What goal do you have in mind? If you establish that, people will be far better equipped to point you in the right direction.

Sure. I have a job, and I don’t even have certification in Word.

Sure as long as you have some other skills because a certification in MS Word isn’t going to be what does it. I am not trying to be flip. Virtually everyone that does any type of desk work is supposed to know how to use MS Word. The certification shows that you took a course in it but not much else. Most people don’t have a certification in it because they learned it some other way.

There aren’t (m)any jobs that involve just word processing these days. Even the most basic admin jobs require proficiency in lots of different types of software packages. The entire MS Office suite (especially Excel) is the bare minimum for most of those even at the entry level but some other skills are almost always necessary as well.

Get Open Office and use a free Excel tutorial to learn enough Excel to bluff your way through the interview. That should take a weekend. It will help if you have some concept of why you are doing the steps in the tutorial, but basic business spreadsheeting is easy to pick up.

On the job you can use the help screens without embarrassment because management probably knows less about it than you, but if someone comments you just say, “I used to use Excel 20XX (exact version doesn’t matter as long as it’s not the one you’re using now) and you know Microsoft. I think they make changes just to make changes, ha-ha-ha.” That’s believable because it’s true. And you can always ask questions, “We didn’t do this at my last job.”

Powerpoint is so easy chimps can use it, and third-graders are taught it in school. You’ll be up to speed in a couple hours. There it will help if you are a bit artistic, but don’t waste time learning animations and other flourishes early on because they just annoy your audience. Learn how to effectively use white space and plan around a part of your audience being colorblind or unwilling to wear their glasses during the presentation. When you start aim for “simply beautiful and beautifully simple,” and steal ideas from other presentations you find while digging around on the company’s network. Most bosses like seeing stuff they’ve seen before.

What I’d like you to take from this is that, while employers want “proficiency,” few of their workers are anywhere close to reaching an objective definition of “proficient.” You will be amazed just how inept most of your co-workers are! But you’re starting at the bottom and anybody who expects you to perform like a vet out of the gate you don’t want to work for. Instead, do your homework before and after you are hired, ask questions, take criticism cheerfully and understand what they are asking for (and ask questions if you don’t–bosses eat that shit up), and, most of all, be somebody people wouldn’t mind being around for a third of their life. Skills can be learned, usually on the job. Your first “big boy” job is like an apprenticeship, and treat it seriously.

And if your email address is anything like “” get a new one just for business communications and job hunting.

That’s because it was designed by chimps. Brain-damaged ones shot into space one too many times.

I’ve never really been sure where MS Office “certifications” fit into the employment matrix. Do companies hire people to “run” Word and Excel and ChimpFinger, exclusive of other job requirements? Or have these tools become a background element?

I mean, typists used to be hired specifically because they could park their (hopefully shapely) butts in a chair and “run” a typewriter 8 hours a day; they didn’t need to know anything about the content of what they were typing except general English skills.

If applying for a job that says they want “certified Office users” and little else, I’m not sure all the fan-dancing and double-talk suggested above will work. If the job is to some other purpose that’s defined, and they want “certified,” it to me says they are pulling their hiring requirements from some company list or employment seminar checklist and again, faking it may not have any success.

If the OP is qualified for the job as it’s stated and is skilled enough to have been certified in Word, then yes, I think that expertise can be used to slop over a little on Excel and… other things.

Moderator Action

While the question as asked is factual, I think this thread will do a lot better in IMHO where folks can give job and career advice as well.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

I only have certification in Microsoft Office 2007 upwards and not the crappy by comparison older versions of Microsoft Office! :cool:

I’m got certified on Notepad and started getting job offers immediately.

Then you will never work for me. .DOCX sucks! .DOC forever!

How does .docx suck? :confused: The .docx file format is much more effiecent and easy to recover from corruption than .doc!

To be honest, most of the job applicants I see who make a big deal about Office certifications are utterly lacking in general computer know-how. In other words, they seem to get the certification because they couldn’t learn how to use a computer without a classroom and an instructor helping them.

You can mostly see that in their resumes if you get them to send a .doc file. Despite their certification in Word, they’re still making rookie choices like using the space bar for centering and indenting text.

So… I consider the certification neutral overall. I don’t see it as a positive, but I’m willing to give people the benefit of the doubt before assuming it’s a negative.

If you apply for a job that requires word and only word, surprised if there is one, then having the cert will probably allow you to take their Word Test. I don’t know anyone that actually trusts that being certified means much these days.

There’s another side to that coin, though - employers who are too lazy or stupid themselves to be able to evaluate new hires without relying on a nearly meaningless “certification.” This is increasingly true. While I am long out of the hiring pool, I have reason to look at a lot of hiring ads and many of them are appalling. Having never mastered hiring skills, even companies with HR departments try to use every shortcut and every meaningless “test” to simplify the job down to 1960s-era card-sorting.

Stick an applicant in front of a workstation for 15 minutes with a simple task that would demonstrate Wurd skilz… too hard. Look for a nearly meaningless “certification”? Much easier.

Because it’s NEW! Well, newish, but the other day a co-worker caught me writing on a Tandy Model 100 that’s older than he is, because what do I know. ASCII is where it’s really at. But let’s compare that file in .TXT, .DOC, .DOCX, and, for the hell of it, .RTF. Plain text, no formatting beyond what the word/text processor adds automatically:

.TXT (saved with Notepad): 2076 bytes
.DOC (saved with Open Office): 13312 bytes
.DOC (saved with Word 2007): 24576 bytes :eek:
.DOCX (saved with Word 2007): 11773 bytes
.RTF (saved with Wordpad): 2260 bytes

But that’s a different rant.

I get jobs all the time that specify experience with MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and I have no certification. Heck, I don’t even really have much experience with Powerpoint; I just figure two outta three is close enough, and in most cases, I never end up using Powerpoint anyway.

I took an AutoCAD “skills” test that asked, without looking at the menus, the exact menu commands to change the background color on the screen. I told the tester that, while I knew roughly how to do it because I have my picky preferences (goes with the job), I would fire anyone who had that memorized because they wasted too much time fiddling with irrelevant shit. It was like some HR clerk went through AutoCAD for Dummies and picked things they understood to ask questions about because they sure didn’t know how to be productive in it.

There’s a certification for MS Word? Who knew? Is there a certification for water boiling?

I work with people who literally write the operating systems you use every day. These are people who can debug kernel interrupt timing issues caused by variable transmission due to variations in silicon manufacturing in their sleep. Many of them have twenty or thirty years of computing experience.

A stunningly large number of them indent with the tab or space key in Word. In a room full of them recently, only one knew what a “style” was. The default templates provided to us are full of badly designed and inconsistently applied formatting. Almost all of them turn off list and bullet handling and format each one, individually, by hand. A few don’t know how to center text. Several were stunned when I performed the advanced task of turning off reading view and got an outline of the document in a side pane (and then discovered it didn’t work for their documents because they aren’t using header/title styles).

In my experience, most folks don’t even know the basics of Word (how to set paragraph spaces and indents, how to create or apply a paragraph style, how to modify the defaults or create a template, or even how to, say, create a footnote or a section header.)

I’ve found the same. When people talk about “knowing” Office you have to listen a bit to find out if they actually know it or really have this token knowledge that gets them by. It’s not like actually knowing its features is difficult, but somehow people don’t but assume they do.

I had to take some awful information systems class for my engineering degree that involved looking at Office applications. After we finished Excel and Access, we had a class discussion about the difference between Excel and Access. People kept saying things like “Access is better because it has advanced database features like sorting or filtering data by column…”