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ahow
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Posts: 45
Joined: October 6th, 2008, 1:24 am

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 8:02 am

Generally speaking, when people say they're "good" or proficient at Excel on their CVs, what kinds of skill-sets do they imply they have?What Excel and VB skill sets come in very handy in Analyst / FM positions?Thanks
 
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jomni
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Joined: January 26th, 2005, 11:36 pm

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 8:40 am

QuoteWhat Excel and VB skill sets come in very handy in Analyst / FM positions?Being able to create your own custom functions.
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 8:49 am

Generally speaking, when people say they're "good" or proficient at Excel on their CVs, what kinds of skill-sets do they imply they have?In my experience as a recruiter it means they can start Excel, type numbers into cells, and occasionally draw graphs. Actually I'm lying, when I've asked people about the graph drawing they can't answer anything but the simplest questions.As Jomni says, you need to be able to create function, understand ranges, debug broken sheets, not look like a sheep being buggered when asked about named ranges.You need DDE, and to be able to understand relative references, R1C1 notation, inter-sheet references, and inter-workbook references.You should be able to handle the object model, the lookup functions, and be able to deal with broken sheets.You must understand IF() functions and conditional formatting.Few people who put "excellent" Excel on their CVs demonstrate > arts graduate comprehension.
 
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twofish
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Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 10:36 am

ahow: Generally speaking, when people say they're "good" or proficient at Excel on their CVs, what kinds of skill-sets do they imply they have?That statement seems to mean very different things to the resume writer and resume reader.ahow: What Excel and VB skill sets come in very handy in Analyst / FM positions?Having been on the development team at Microsoft for Excel and VB.
 
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gjlipman
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Joined: May 20th, 2002, 9:13 pm

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 11:21 am

I would want someone who had "good" Excel skills to be able to type numbers into cells, use a range of Excel formulas (and certainly understand the if and vlookup function), do charts, and maybe record a macro. I wouldn't count on them being able to do conditional formatting, pivot tables, VBA or array formulas.I would want someone who had "excellet" Excel skills to be able to do conditional formatting, array formulas, properly understand functions like index() and match(), and some VBA. DDE and pivot tables are very usage specific - I know people with advanced Excel skills who just happen to have never used those (though I'm sure they could pick them up quite easily).To be honest, I wouldn't count on someone with excellent Excel skills also having excellet VBA skills (eg object model) because I know that some companies actively discourage use of complicated VBA. If you can do this sort of thing very well, I'd put it down explicitly on the CV.
 
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StatGuy
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Joined: November 20th, 2007, 9:03 am

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 1:42 pm

Being good at Excel should be disjoint from VBA. A good way to learn programming is to start with VBA and, once mastered, move on to harder languages like C++. The use of Excel is ubiquitous. Good is relative here and dependent on who is interviewing you. Simple VBA questions may involve questions like do you know the difference between Nothing, Null, Empty,when and why you should use static variables etc. For excel questions on the pros and cons of using index/match as opposed to the various lookup functions, pros and cons of using the R1C1, etc.SG
Last edited by StatGuy on November 19th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Excel and VB skills

November 20th, 2008, 2:13 pm

That's roughly what we do on the CQF.Finance / Numerical Methods are mostly taught in VBA, because trying to do C++ on top of those would be pretty tough.StatGuy implies a deeper skill...My view is that you understand something when you can make good choices in that space.It's possible to fill a range with data by VBA, C++, C#, RTD, DDE, or dragging a mouse. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Although I was quite cynical in my earlier post, part of my standard advice in my latest guide is to grow Excel as a "defensive" skill.There is always a shortage of people who can do things with Excel. The work is sometimes horrible drudgery, sometimes remarkably well paid, and sometimes both That counsel applies to those who are despairng that work is not going to come their way any time soon, especially newbies.According to our research that is a far lower % of Quants than you might think, but if you are one of the % it's not nice.
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