Top computer skills to list on your resume

Last updated: April 25, 2024
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Jennifer Young
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Top computer skills to list on your resume
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In today’s job market, most positions 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 basic 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.

This article will look at the top computer skills for your resume and how they can help you land your dream job.

What are computer skills?

Computer skills refer to the ability to effectively use computers and technology to execute tasks, solve problems, and improve productivity. They can be divided into two categories: basic computer skills, such as using a word processing or spreadsheet program, and specific computer-related knowledge, such as coding or graphic design.

Basic computer skills are important for many jobs, as they enable employees to effectively use technology to complete tasks. These might include word processing and managing spreadsheets. Intermediate computer skills allow people to be comfortable with the basics of technology so that they can learn more advanced topics when needed.

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Before you can develop your computer skills, however, you must have some digital skills. A 2020 National Skills Coalition report concluded that almost 1 in 3 workers lack foundational digital skills, which include basic tasks like using a mouse to highlight a section of text on their screens. In our post-pandemic world of increased technology, more and more employers are looking for applicants who know the basics of technology and can put them to use. Different career paths require different digital and computer skills.

Specific computer-related technical knowledge is important for certain jobs, such as software engineering and web development. This type of computer knowledge requires an understanding of coding languages, such as HTML, Python, JavaScript, and C++. Graphic design also falls into this category, as employers often look for applicants who have experience with software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Proper computer skills are necessary for success in today’s digital world. Employers are looking for candidates with a comprehensive understanding of computers, technology, and the software accompanies them.

What computer skills can help you get a job?

Some computer skills are essential, while others may only be relevant to certain positions.

Every workplace will have its own procedures in place, and if you’re flexible, tech-savvy, and a quick learner, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job.

Always read the job description if you’re a job seeker because the recruiter may have specific computing requirements. If you have dedicated skills matching 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 web design will backfire if your boss asks you to complete a task requiring those skills.

Read on as we walk you through the top computer skills you may need in this digital world.

1. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a suite of computer programs, including MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Publisher.

Most employers expect candidates to have basic Microsoft Word knowledge, which might not be in the job description.

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Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with this word-processing software. There are short courses and videos 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 used for presentations.

Once you are competent in these programs, you can add them to your resume.

2. Email

Every day, we send 306.4 billion emails. As one of the most well-known forms of communication, knowing how to read, write, and send emails is often an essential skill for any job seeker.

Hiring managers often assume you can 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.

3. Google Workspace

Google Workspace, also known as G Suite, is Google’s selection of cloud computing apps. It includes Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, 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 tech skills that may use these programs to your resume, such as word processing, online collaboration, data processing, market research, or scheduling.

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4. Social media

Social media is a computer skill 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. This could be advantageous if you know how to use management and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite.

Alternatively, you may have experience answering customer queries on Facebook Messenger, creating witty Twitter posts, or making YouTube tutorials. You should list these skills if they are relevant to the job.

5. Accounting

Accounting software 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 finance or business administration jobs.

For other jobs, these skills can be highly desirable. For example, you may apply for a job in an office or at a small family business.

You can bring something extra to the company if you can input bills, create invoices, and reconcile accounts with these systems.

6. Operating systems

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 technical 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. Because of this, consider learning how to use both Android and Apple iOS.

Depending on the job, the recruiter may mention the computer system in the requirements. If they do, you can address these criteria directly in your resume.

Alternatively, you can mention your competency in your cover letter if it's an office job.

For example, you could say, “I have five years of experience using both macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems.”

7. Web design

Web development and design are advanced computer skills and require some programming skills, not just a basic level of proficiency. 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.

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If you aren’t applying for a position in a digital industry, web design skills may still be useful.

For example, you may 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.

8. Graphic design

Graphic design skills may be essential or desirable in different industries, including marketing, web design, and promotions. Businesses of all sizes 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.

You may also have a portfolio showcasing examples of your work on logos, email newsletters, brochures, and other projects.

9. Virtual collaboration

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 must 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. So having software skills in that field is important.

If you have experience using virtual collaboration tools relevant to the job, add them to your resume skills list.

10. Analytics

Analytics is an important computer science skill used to collect and analyze data to find patterns. There are various 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 the key skill employers are looking for. This is most relevant for jobs in the tech space.

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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.

11. Cybersecurity

Don’t let the word ‘cybersecurity’ intimidate you. Cybersecurity isn’t only for IT professionals and software engineers.

In short, cybersecurity (or computer security) protects computer systems and networks from damage, theft, or information leaks. Suppose you’re applying for an office job where you’ll be using a computer. In that case, basic cybersecurity is an important skill since employees who understand these basics may need to take fewer resources from an IT department.

So, what type of cybersecurity skills are important to know?

First, knowing how to install and use virus protection software is crucial. Viruses can slow down your work computer, leak files, and even damage the hardware if it’s serious enough.

It’s also important to understand how to be proactive when avoiding viruses. For example, you should learn how to detect a fraudulent email or a fake popup containing a virus.

But cybersecurity goes way beyond virus protection. Password management is another important cybersecurity skill that is quite simple to learn.

Instead of using an identical password for everything (or writing them down in a notepad, virtual or physical), consider learning how to use password management software if you haven’t already. Password management allows you to create unique, hard-to-guess passwords for every login you have.

This matters because all of your other accounts will remain safe if there’s a security breach or password link in one of your accounts.

12. Online research

With the Internet, everyone has virtually unlimited access to find out about anything in a single Google search.

But this unlimited sea of information is a double-edged sword. While online research is useful for finding truthful, trustworthy information, you’ll also find many untrustworthy sources.

And knowing how to tell the difference is a valuable skill.

If you know how to verify sources, search beyond the first page of Google’s search engine results, and cross-examine different sources, you’re already ahead of many others who use the Internet for their research. So consider adding it to your computer skills list.

13. Problem-solving

At first glance, problem-solving may not seem part of your relevant computer skills. Knowing specific computer software and hard skills is important. But it’s also important to know how to solve problems with technology as they come up.

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This doesn’t mean you should know how to fix every single computer problem or have tons of hardware skills. However, the more problem-solving skills you have, the more information you can gather about your problem to inform the IT department adequately. Even having basic skills in this regard can help you stand out.

IT professionals frequently ask this question if you are having computer issues: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” This may sound silly, but simply having the problem-solving skills required to think of trying this yourself is a highly valuable skill.

For example, let’s say your computer is running ridiculously slowly. To start solving the problem, you could see what programs are running in the background. If this doesn’t solve this issue, you’ll be able to tell the IT department that you have already verified this.

14. Project management software

In some cases, your potential employer will use project management software like Trello, Asana, monday.com, and others to manage a plethora of tasks. These types of computer applications can do much more than managing projects.

For instance, you can use a Trello board to store standard operating procedures — the repeatable procedures used in the company to perform numerous tasks.

If you’re brand new to project management software, start with a simple one like Trello, which is free to use. Asana is also free to use and more powerful, but it has a steeper learning curve.

15. Time management

In the same vein as project management, it’s vital to manage your time when working from a computer.

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Endless distractions can pop up at you when you’re working at your computer. Knowing how to use project management software matters, but it won’t be much use without time management skills.

Some companies will block certain websites like Facebook or Youtube so that you can’t access them on your own, but some won’t. While accessing these websites during your breaks is fun, they’re also a huge distraction.

Benefits of learning new computer skills

Whether you have years of computer experience or you’re learning the basics, there are many benefits to learning new computer skills. When it comes to the job market, having up-to-date computer skills can make a big difference in your success.

Stay competitive in the job market.

If you're struggling to find a job, having the latest computer skills can help you stand out from other applicants. With more and more employers relying on technology to run their operations, having up-to-date computer skills is essential to staying competitive. Employers are looking for applicants who can use the latest technologies to help them increase their productivity and efficiency.

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Increase efficiency

No matter what job you're applying for, having strong computer skills will make it easier for you to get tasks accomplished in a timely manner. You'll be able to use the right software and tools to work quickly and accurately, which can help you become more productive and efficient.

Improve communication

Having strong computer skills will also help you communicate better with colleagues, supervisors, and customers. You'll be able to send messages, join video meetings, and collaborate online without any trouble. This will make it easier to stay connected with your team.

Create more professional documents

Using technology effectively will allow you to create more professional-looking documents, such as presentations, reports, and newsletters. Whether you're creating a presentation for your boss or writing an article for a client, having strong computer skills will help you create attractive, engaging, professional documents.

Learn new software programs and stay up to date with technology

The world of technology is always changing, so it's important to stay up to date on the newest tools and software. Taking courses or watching tutorials can help you learn how to use new programs and understand the latest trends in the tech world. This will make you more valuable to employers and help you stand out from other applicants.

Expand your career options

Understanding computers can open up many different career options for you. It's now possible to find jobs in a variety of fields, as nearly every industry uses technology in some way. Having a comprehensive knowledge of computers and software will help you find the right job for your skill set.

No matter what type of career you're looking for, having strong computer skills will give you an advantage in today's digital world. As a job seeker, you can use technology to your advantage and stay ahead of the competition. With the right soft skills, you can maximize your chances of success in the job market.

What if you don’t have these computer skills?

Take online courses

Many educational institutions offer basic computing and software classes. If you’re looking for more advanced training, many online universities have programs dedicated to software engineering and data science. Check with your local community college or university for available courses.

Online tutorials

There are many free online tutorials, videos, and even interactive tools to help you get up to speed with new technologies. YouTube is perhaps one of the best resources for learning how to use software like Excel and Photoshop, as there are hundreds of video tutorials dedicated to helping you understand the basics.

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Practice

One way to practice your computer skills is by constructing a portfolio of projects you have worked on or created. You can also create simple applications using coding languages like HTML and CSS or use a platform like WordPress to create a website. Doing this will help you build your skills and make you more adept at using various software programs.

Connect with other professionals

By connecting with people who work in the same field as you, you can gain valuable insights into the skills that employers look for. You can also ask other professionals questions and learn from their experiences. You’ll find that many professionals are willing to offer advice or guidance when it comes to learning new skills.

Don't let costs stand in the way

Don't let costs stop you from learning a new skill. Many of these computer programs and classes are available for free or at a very low cost. You can also apply for scholarships or grants to help with tuition. Whatever you do, don't let costs stand in the way of improving your skills and expanding your career options.

Willingness to learn is key

Regardless of your skill level, willingness to learn is key. It’s important to stay open-minded when it comes to learning common computer skills and technologies. With the right attitude, you can learn the basics and work your way up to more advanced skills. So don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone and start learning today.

Want even more free online resources where you can expand your skill set? Discover five free online resources to take courses, or check out our list of free online certifications that you can add to your resume.

Improve your computer skills today

Fundamental computer skills are essential for most jobs. Most employers expect you 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 on your resume that are relevant to the job posting.

View our resume examples for more suggestions. When you’re ready to enter the job market, check out the Jobcase job search for the latest job opportunities.

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Andrew Beburishvili
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When applying for a job in the tech industry, it's essential to showcase your computer skills on your resume. Here are some of the top computer skills to list on your resume:

Programming languages: proficiency in one or more programming languages such as Java, Python, or C++ is highly sought after in the tech industry.

Data analysis: the ability to manipulate and analyze large datasets using tools like Excel, SQL, or R can be a valuable asset.

Cloud computing: experience with cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud is increasingly important as more companies move their infrastructure to the cloud.

Cybersecurity: knowledge of cybersecurity concepts and tools can make you a valuable addition to any tech team.

Speaking of cybersecurity, if you're interested in finding vulnerabilities in computer systems, the Vulners Search Engine for Security Intelligence is a useful tool to have in your arsenal. With Vulners (https://vulners.com/search), you can search for vulnerabilities in software, hardware, and web applications, as well as exploit code and security advisories. Adding a link to your Vulners profile or showcasing your experience with the tool on your resume could help you stand out to potential employers.

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