In the digital economy, technology is constantly changing how we live, work and consume, and there’s barely a job in existence that doesn’t require a basic understanding of computers, and many involve intermediate to advanced computer skills. For some positions, the required skills may be as basic as sending emails or posting tweets. For others, it will be necessary to include specific, more technical programs such as Microsoft Excel or QuickBooks when considering which computer skills to put on your resume. Still more positions will require you to list even more advanced skills such as coding languages, data management or machine learning – though these will of course only be required for those applying for specialized IT positions.
Even so, job seekers, in general, are under increasing pressure to keep themselves up to date with a growing number of applications and new software, and the more computer skills you can put on your resume, the better. We’re living in the digital age, and so it should come as no surprise to learn that candidates with strong computer skills fare far better in the job market than their technologically-challenged counterparts. Employers are seeking an increasingly tech-savvy workforce, and your resume is your chance to show precisely which computer skills you have.
Though some employers will require prior knowledge or experience of working with specific applications (in which case the computer skills to put on your resume must match up precisely with the job description), others will offer on-the-job training. In this case, by showing you have a working knowledge of commonly-used software, you also show that you are computer literate and therefore able to learn how to use new programs easily.
So, without any further ado, let’s consider the most important computer skills to put on your resume. We’ll start off with the basics, getting more and more advanced/specialized the further down the list we go.
Computer Skills to Put on Your Resume
Though there are many different operating systems a business might use, the two most common are Windows and MacOS. As a consumer, you will no doubt have your own preference – but so will your employer. A critical computer skill to put on your resume, therefore, is your ability to use both with equal proficiency – and if you don’t have this skill already, it’s high time you acquired it, for you will quickly find your application in the waste paper basket if all you’re able to use is Windows when your potential employer’s office is kitted out with Macs.
Practically all employers will expect you to have at least some familiarity with common office suites – namely, Microsoft Office and Google’s G Suite. For Microsoft, the computer skills to put on your resume should at the very least include Word, Excel, and Outlook (as well as PowerPoint and OneNote if you have them). For G Suite, you’re looking at Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Gmail.
What you will be showing here is your ability to use the most common office tools that all employers rely upon in some way or another. Word processing tools – Microsoft Word and Google Docs – are essential for producing digital documents. An ability to use email programs is, of course, paramount to written communications. If your role will require you to conduct presentations, then PowerPoint is an absolutely vital computer skill to put on your resume. Of them all, however, spreadsheet tools – Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets – require the most skill, and as such may prove to be the most valuable. Spreadsheets are used to organize data and other information into tables and conduct quick calculations of numbers. Depending on the role you’re applying for, your potential employer may require that you are skilled in advanced spreadsheet features to manipulate data. Refer to the job posting to make sure you list the right spreadsheet computer skills on your resume.
Communication and Collaboration Tools
Beyond email, many organizations use an advanced array of communication and collaboration tools to aid with productivity. This is especially true today as more and more organizations give employees the option to telecommute – 66% of companies now allow for remote work, in fact, and 16% are fully remote.
Common collaboration tools include Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Skype (and Skype for Business) Dropbox and Flowdock. There are many, many others – so be sure to carefully review the job description, educate yourself on any communication and collaboration tools specified (and sign up to free trial versions of the software if necessary), and list the relevant computer skills on your resume. Even if no mention of such tools is specified in the job description, showing that you’re fluent in videoconferencing tools and workflow programs will help your application stand out to employers.
Practically all companies today are looking to expand their reach and grow their audiences on social media. Though these skills will be essential if you’re applying for a role in marketing, advertising or PR, they are nonetheless desirable for all positions – the more a company can promote itself through its workforce, the better.
The most important platforms to mention on your resume are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – and if you have any advanced skills with any of these platforms (such as campaign building or targeting), be sure to list them. In addition, any knowledge of social media management and scheduling software such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sendible will be a huge bonus – maybe even a necessity, especially for those marketing and PR positions.
As companies today focus more and more on growing their online presence, working knowledge of and experience with web tools are increasingly in demand. Important web tools are content management systems (CMSs) – such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – and metrics tools such as Google Analytics. Another important computer skill to put on your resume in this regard is search engine optimization (SEO) – i.e. the practice of optimizing web pages to make them rank highly in the search results of Google and other search engines.
Though of course, the precise software skills you’ll need to list on your resume will vary by each position you’re applying for, there are nonetheless a number of enterprise software applications – from accounting software to customer relationship management (CMS) systems – that are in common use across many businesses today, and you need to put them on your resume if you have them.
- Accounting software skills: QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero, etc.
- CRM skills: HubSpot, Salesforce CRM, Freshsales, etc.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) skills: Odoo, Dynamics, Sage 100, etc.
- Helpdesk customer service software skills: Freshdesk, Zendesk, HappyFox, etc.
Design Skills and Creative Computer Skills
Visual communication is becoming more and more important for employers and their marketing teams. Companies are always on the lookout for talented individuals who can bring their branding to life and give them a visual edge in the marketplace. Whether it’s creating original images for blog posts, designing infographics, touching up photographs, or designing pages for online eBooks and brochures, graphic design and creative computer skills are extremely useful and in high demand. As such, if you have proficiency with design software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud suite – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, etc. – or competing products (CorelDRAW, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, etc.), then these are highly-valuable computer skills to put on your resume.
As companies rely more and more on their digital assets, the need to keep pace with rising cybersecurity threats grows in kind. Even if you’re not applying for a job as a cybersecurity professional, any cybersecurity skills or experience you do have will be most welcome at any company, so be sure to list them on your resume. Among the most important cybersecurity skills are:
- Intrusion detection
- Virus protection software
- Malware analysis
- Risk management
- Information management
- Data encryption
Data Science, Analysis and Visualization
Data is the new gold rush for businesses. As companies around the globe increasingly turn to big data to unleash big business opportunities, the demand for professionals who can sift through it all and unearth those big nugget insights is growing in kind, making data science and analysis skills outstanding computer skills to put on your resume.
These may include:
- XML Database Management Systems
In addition, skills with data visualization tools are also in high demand. Certain data visualization tools are built into spreadsheet programs like Excel, but others – such as Tableau, Qlik, and Looker – allow you to take data from spreadsheets and other sources for more advanced visualization and analysis. List computer skills with any of these tools or similar on your resume if you have them.
Computer skills are becoming more and more important. Employers want their workforce to have an increasingly wide range of computer skills for the simple reason that their businesses are becoming ever more dependent on computers. Naturally, each job you apply for will require different skills and experiences, so be sure to read the job description carefully and match the computer skills you put on your resume to those required by the employer. However, any additional computer skills you have will not be overlooked, so be sure to list these, too, as they could make your application leap out from the pack and secure your interview for your next career move.