These days, most jobs require some computer skills. With technology at our fingertips, we can send emails from our phones, participate in video meetings, and collaborate online.
The question is, do you know what computer skills employers are looking for?
Not all jobs are the same, but basic computer skills such as word processing are often expected. More advanced computer skills, such as graphic design, are often desirable.
If you're wondering which computer skills to list on your resume, we’ve created this guide to get you started.
Let’s take a look at the top computer skills you should have and how they can help you land your dream job.
When you have computer skills, it means you are confident using computer hardware and software.
The basics such as turning on the device, typing, and saving files are standard and don’t usually need to be in your resume.
Advanced skills that are relevant to a workplace can be appealing to a hiring manager. These can include web design, interactive spreadsheet creation, or social media management.
Some computer skills are often essential, while others may only be relevant to certain positions.
Every workplace will have its own systems in place, and if you’re flexible, tech-savvy, and a quick learner, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job.
If you’re a job seeker, always read the job description because the recruiter may have specific computing requirements. If you have any skills that match their wish list, you should feature them in your resume or cover letter.
And don’t forget to be honest when writing your resume. Pretending you have experience in something like web design will backfire if they ask you to complete a task.
Read on as we take you through the top computer skills you may need in this digital world:
Microsoft Office is a suite of computer programs, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Publisher.
Most employers will expect candidates to have basic Microsoft Word knowledge, so this might not be in the job description.
If you aren't familiar with this word processing software, there are short courses that can help you practice formatting and improve your writing skills.
If you’re looking for an office job, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Powerpoint skills are often recommended. Excel is used to create spreadsheets and databases, and Powerpoint is for presentations.
If you are competent in these programs, you can add them to your resume.
Every day, we send 306.4 billion emails. As one of the most popular forms of communication, knowing how to read, write, and send emails is often an essential skill for any job seeker.
Hiring managers often assume that you are able to navigate popular email tools such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail. You may even apply for jobs via email.
You may also have experience creating and sending email newsletters. Or you may have spent time in tech support and troubleshooting, responding to customer queries online.
You can list these advanced email skills on your resume. For example, you could mention you were part of an online customer support team or responsible for inbound customer service.
Google Workspace, also known as G Suite, is Google’s selection of cloud computing apps. It includes Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Calendar, and Forms.
Docs is comparable to Microsoft Word, and Sheets is like Microsoft Excel. Drive is for storage and sharing, Calendar is for planning, and Forms is for surveys. These apps are free, and you should have some knowledge of how they work.
You don’t need to list them specifically on your resume unless they are on the desirable skills list.
If you have them, you can add related skills that may use these programs to your resume, such as word processing, online collaboration, data processing, market research, or scheduling.
Social media is something many of us use in our everyday lives. Hiring managers are probably less interested in your personal profiles and how many friends you have. But most will be interested in business-related skills you’ve gained using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Remember, most companies have a presence on social media. If you know how to use management and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, this could be an advantage.
Alternatively, you may have experience answering customer queries on Facebook Messenger, creating witty posts for Twitter, or making tutorials for YouTube. You should list these skills if they are relevant to the job.
Accounting computer skills can be beneficial in a range of industries. Knowing how to use popular software programs such as Quickbooks, Xero, and MYOB will most likely be essential for jobs in finance or business administration.
For other jobs, these skills can be highly desirable. For example, you may be applying for a job in an office or at a small family business.
If you can input bills, create invoices, and reconcile accounts with these systems, you can bring something extra to the company.
Are you a Microsoft person? Or an Apple person?
Most companies will have a preferred operating system, and it will be helpful if you have the skills to navigate it. Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS are the most common in business, and you should try to become familiar with the basics.
Some companies use mobile devices, and you should learn how to use both Android and Apple iOS.
Depending on the job, the recruiter may mention the operating system in the requirements. If they do, you can address these criteria directly in your resume.
Alternatively, if it’s an office job, you can mention your competency in your cover letter.
For example, you could say, “I have five years of experience using both macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems.”
Web development and design are advanced computer skills. If you have experience in CSS, HTML, Python, PHP, Dreamweaver, C++, or Java, it could help you get a job in programming or other related fields.
If you aren’t applying for a position in a digital industry, web design skills may still be useful.
For example, you may be able to manage the company blog using content management systems such as WordPress, Wix, or Blogger. Or you can make changes and upgrades to their website.
If you have any qualifications or formal training in this field, be sure to add them to your resume.
Graphic design skills may be essential or desirable in different industries, including marketing, web design, and promotions. Businesses of all sizes and types can benefit from having someone on their team with graphic design skills.
If you have experience in any Adobe Creative Cloud suite programs, you can list them on your resume. For example, you may be competent in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.
For those applying for graphic design jobs, you may have a portfolio showcasing examples of your work on logos, email newsletters, brochures, and other projects.
The world has turned digital, and the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed traditional workplaces into more virtual ones.
To be competitive in a modern workplace, you need to be comfortable using online collaboration tools. For example, you should be able to connect to Zoom or Skype for video chat.
You may even need to use video chat for an online interview.
Other collaboration tools, such as the workplace chat platform Zoom or the file-sharing app Dropbox, may be part of the job.
If you have experience using virtual collaboration tools and it’s relevant to the job, add them to your resume skills list.
Analytics is used to collect and analyze data to find patterns. There is a range of different platforms available, and the information can be useful for targeted marketing, trend prediction, and goal setting.
If you have experience interpreting data using analytics software, it could be a key skill employers are looking for. This is most relevant for jobs in the tech space.
One of the most common applications is Google Analytics for websites. Understanding this data can help increase web traffic and give you insights into SEO.
Not every job will require all of the computer skills on this list.
However, you should have a basic understanding of word processing software, email, and operating systems.
Think about your career goals to determine if you have the right computer skills. If not, there are online tutorials and courses available. It’s never too late to learn new skills, and all you need is a computer to practice on.
Your local community center, council, or school may also offer training in essential computer skills.
Basic computer skills are essential for most jobs. Most employers will expect you to be able to send emails, open Word documents, and upload files.
But what computer programs look good on your resume, and what should you list in your skills section?
Microsoft Office, social media, Google Workspace, Quickbooks, and Photoshop are just a few software skills on our list.
Don't forget to include computer skills in your resume that are relevant to the job posting.