Computer Software Skills That Will Help You Get Hired

Computer Software Skills That Will Help You Get Hired

If you’re starting to get serious about learning to use computers and are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of learning about new technology, remember that learning how to use a computer program is the same as learning any new skill. However, the benefit of learning how to use computer software is that you will be able to get more things done in half the time.

In addition, the more computer skills you have, the easier it will be to get hired and promoted. You may even have some of the skills you need to boost your employment, without even realizing that you’re competent in at least the basics.

Types of Basic Software Skills 

Some of these computer software programs are powerful, but you will typically only need to know how to perform a few key functions on each. The more complex software tasks are done by either the programmers or the software experts. If you find that you easily get the hang of the basics, becoming experts in some of these software programs can significantly increase your earning potential.

Productivity Software

Productivity software helps you manage three things: handling digital documents, presenting information, and managing digital calendars. Using these programs will significantly cut down on the volume of paper flying around the office. Also, instantly sharing documents, information, and calendars via these programs saves everyone time and postage.

Almost everyone working in an office will be using productivity software. The most basic batch of productivity software programs is Microsoft Office (MS) Suite. Since MS is the most common and well-known productivity software, we will use this as a main point of reference in this section.

Digital Documents & Files

Microsoft (MS) Word is the primary program you are likely to use when “creating a document.” It is a word processor and can be used for anything from typing letters to building flyers, and more. These documents can be saved on your computer or on a file-sharing system such as Dropbox.

Additional word processing and digital document/file storage can occur simultaneously in “cloud” programs, such as Google Docs. Software programs that use the cloud store digital files over the internet, rather than on your computer’s hard drive.

If the company you work for (or hope to work for) requires signatures from clients, they are likely using digital signature programs, which allow signees to sign important documents over their computer or mobile device. Programs like DocuSign and PandaDoc allow you to send contracts or legally binding documents, and after signatures are collected, these programs help you keep track of these documents for later review.

To sum up, here are the most popular digital document/file software programs to become familiar with:

  • MS Word
  • Dropbox
  • Google Docs
  • DocuSign
  • PandaDoc

Presentation Software

Often, a supervisor will hand you (or email you) information and ask you to convert it into a presentable format. Sometimes, this might require you to arrange the information in an MS Word document, or do something a little more artistic in MS PowerPoint. PowerPoint presentations allow you to create aesthetically pleasing slides so that you or your supervisor can deliver a presentation to superiors or clients.

While MS PowerPoint is the dominant presentation software program, Apple’s Keynote software is also fairly popular for those workplaces that prefer to use Macintosh (“Mac”) computers. Using this program’s key features is very similar to using PowerPoint. It usually comes complete with color schemes and templates to choose from so that all you need to do is drop content into each slide.

In review, here are the most popular presentation software programs to familiarize yourself with:

  • MS PowerPoint
  • Keynote

Email & Digital Calendars

Microsoft Office’s email and calendar software is known as MS Outlook. Your email account and digital calendar can be synced with each other. You also have the ability to share events or entire calendars with colleagues. Often, office assistants are given access to their boss’s digital calendar to manage it on their behalf.

When using an email provider’s software, there are a number of techniques you might employ to organize your inbox (the place where all emails arrive). You can create folders (just as you do on your computer desktop) and manually sort all emails in your inbox. Or, you can create rules within the email software so that certain emails relating to specific tasks or from specific people are automatically dumped into the appropriate folder. MS Outlook and other email/calendar programs allow you to switch back and forth from your email to your calendar, or to view them on the same window/screen.

Another popular alternative to MS Outlook is Google Suite or G Suite. Google’s email and calendar program runs in the cloud, just like Dropbox and Google Docs. Additionally, more and more software services are creating supplements to your email/calendar software by providing you and your customers/colleagues with a link to schedule appointments with you whenever they need to. You set up your calendar with your availability, and the scheduling software automatically keeps your availability updated as new appointments show up on your calendar. The most popular self-scheduling programs are Calendly and

In a simple list, here are the most popular email/calendar software programs to familiarize yourself with:

  • MS Outlook
  • G Suite
  • Calendly

Social Media

Another set of software skills that you should familiarize yourself with are social media profiles. The best way to learn these programs is to try them out yourself. Create a profile, make a post occasionally, connect with friends and family, and more. Many jobs require you to have a basic understanding of how social media works so that you can manage a company profile for your employer or a client. 

Here is a list of the most popular social media platforms with links to set up a profile:

Data Entry

One of the best uses of computers is to organize, sort, and calculate data. If you work for a company that tracks data, you will likely be required to record or transcribe data from paper to computer, or from one computer program to another.

The most common data entry software is MS Excel. After inputting data into the appropriate spots (known as cells), you may also want to learn how to sort and filter data. For more in-depth data management, employers often incorporate MS Access. MS Access is handy for cross-referencing a number of data sets and logging queries.

Another common form of data entry applies to bookkeeping and accounting. You might be called upon to simply copy numbers off receipts and invoices and enter them into an accounting program like QuickBooks or Xero

Here are the most popular data entry software programs to familiarize yourself with:

  • MS Excel
  • MS Access
  • QuickBooks
  • Xero

Computer Coding

It’s best not to attempt to learn the basics of computer coding until you feel comfortable using computers and computer programs in general. However, if you find that you’re picking up how to use software quickly and you’re enjoying it, you should seriously consider taking up some classes in coding.

Having a basic understanding of coding can further develop your understanding of computers overall. Moreover, becoming an expert at computer coding can open up high-demand, lucrative careers in computer programming and website development. Here is a rundown of the most popular computer programming languages and a link to some free training in each:

Learning New Skills

Hopefully by now, you’ve selected a few programs to focus on and learn for your job or resume. Thankfully, there are a great deal of free, quality tutorials to take advantage of in order to improve your employability prospects. Here are just a few of the easy ways you can improve your computer skills

As you learn new skills, don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed at first: this happens to everyone. Just stick with it, and before you know it, you will feel at ease working with many of these programs and will be fully equipped to take on any job that requires you to exercise such skills.

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  • January 2, 2023