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Demonstrating "proficiency" to a prospective employer....

Career Exploration The Hiring Process Job Training Success on the Job

Question: I found a job lead that sounds like me, but it says the successful candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Word 2007. What do they mean by “proficient”? Answer: “Proficient” is such a fluid term. Obviously to be proficient, you have to have considerable knowledge of Word. But what parts? Some things that are essential to one employer are totally useless with another. Good news! Frederick County Workforce Services has a new tool that will tell you where you stand. It’s called Prove It!. Prove It! has assessments (tests) for an amazing array of skills. It has been proven to effectively measure and verify skills and experience. It’s not limited to computer or software skills; it includes tests for specific career fields, like call centers and health care. There are even behavioral tests that measure your expertise in such qualities as adaptability, follow-through, teamwork, dependability, problem solving, creativity and emotional control. Other tests predict how well you would probably do in various careers. There are many variations and levels of these tests. To see a list, go to For MS Word and other programs, there are two levels:  “Normal User” and “Power User.”  The Normal User level assesses your ability to format documents, create tables, perform mail merges, etc. The Power User test includes advanced formatting, charts, themes, styles and more. You can use Prove It! to demonstrate your proficiency in a wide variety of clerical, industrial, financial and/or technical job skills. Taking these online assessments will not only add credibility to your candidacy; it will also show you any areas where you may want to upgrade your skills. When you take the test, you get a report. It tells you how long you took to complete the test, how many questions you got right out the total number, and your rank among all the people who have taken the test so far. If you need some clarification, the test administrator can answer your questions. You can report these numbers to the employer. To take any of the Prove It! assessments, talk to your Career Specialist at FCWS. �