Computer Skills That Can Help You Get Hired
You may be surprised at the computer skills you have that can help you get hired. There are basic computer skills that almost every worker needs to have. There are also many employable skills that you may be using at work that can boost your resume, help you get an interview, and secure a job offer.
Some job seekers have next to no computer skills. And if you’re one of those people, review the basic computer and mobile skills you should have, and consider checking out the resources provided by your local unemployment office, public library, or community college, or sign up for some online free classes or tutoring to improve your computer skills quickly and cost-effectively. The more skills you have, the easier it will be to get hired for your next new job.
It’s also important to note that it is not enough anymore to merely know how to use Microsoft Office programs. Employers may be looking for technology skills that are more unique, specific, and technical.
That being said, if you’ve worked with computers at any previous job (which you undoubtedly have), then you may have computer or software skills that you didn’t know you had. And if you know Microsoft Office, consider taking a couple hours to get certified. That certainly looks good on a resume.
But more than that, thousands of employees are working with software programs managing data, communicating virtually with team members, organizing schedules, and more. So if this is true for you, take a moment to remember the names of these programs, identify the category of software it represents, and then add it on your resume with pride.
Top Computer Skills Employers Look For
Here is a list of the top computer skills that most employers are looking for. It’s likely that you have more experience with these programs than you initially thought. This guide is rather long, so feel free to choose the category below to skip to it.
- Database, Spreadsheet, and Query Software
- Productivity Software
- Accounting Software
- Presentation Software
- Graphic Design Software
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) & Marketing Automation Software
- Social Media Management Software
- Content Management Systems (CMS) Software
High-level business analysts, finance specialists, and database administrators naturally use database software programs and SQL languages on a regular basis, but if you’ve worked for one of these managers, chances are that you have extensive knowledge of these programs, as well.
Many quality assurance employees also work with database software. If you are recording data, pulling it later, comparing that data to other data, and/or presenting data to peers and superiors, you are using database software.
Advanced database management systems require SQL programming knowledge to use. And if you know SQL, that is a must to show off on your resume. However, many database programs do not require that you master, or even know SQL at all.
Perhaps the most common database software is Microsoft Office Excel. While most people use Excel merely to input data, it has amazing database and query potential. Even secretaries make frequent use of filters, pivot tables, and formulas. Knowing some of the “hidden” database powers within Excel are worth noting on your resume.
Here is a list of some of the most common database software programs that employers look for in resumes:
- MS Excel & Access (specifically functions, formulas, filters, queries, and pivot tables)
- MS SQL Server
- Oracle RDBMS
- Amazon RDS
- Amazon SimpleDB
- Informix Dynamic Servers
- Hadoop HDFS
- Sequel PRO
- SQL Developer
- IBM DB2
- SAP Sybase ASE
Most people consider Microsoft Office programs to be the main source of productivity software. On the one hand this is true, but technology has come a long way. There now exist hundreds of top-notch productivity software programs that serve more nuanced office needs.
Many offices need more by way of protecting and storing sensitive information entrusted them by their clients. Others want to eliminate waste, such as massive paper files or chasing down a client for a signature. Everything, it seems, is going digital.
More than anything else, email inboxes and calendars simply get overwhelmed as office members try to collaborate on tasks and events. Simple email providers have some features to help, but sometimes one productivity tool can solve several problems at once.
And as offices streamline their productivity, software serving these needs gets sleeker, easier to use, and more powerful.
Here are some of the top productivity software skills that you may have used in the past and employers are eager to use in their offices today:
- Google Suite (G Suite)
- Help Scout
- Teamwork Desk
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Acrobat Pro
- Creative Cloud Assets
- WordPerfect Office
- PDF Fusion
- Document Writer
- I Done This 2.0
Have you ever performed data entry work pertaining to costs, expenses, taxes, etc.? If so, then you’ve used accounting software.
On occasion, some office assistants or bookkeepers track financials, budgets, and expenses on Microsoft Excel. And if that is the case for you, taking an hour to become acquainted with some mainstream accounting software will actually make your life a million times easier.
Accounting software has developed to the place where both high school graduates and finance experts with PhDs can use the same program easily. That being said, it is significant if you have experience using these programs. Just because they can be simple to learn and use doesn’t mean that most people are experienced with bookkeeping software.
While QuickBooks happens to be the most common and well-known accounting software, there are many that employers might look for in your resume:
- FinancialForce Accounting
- Patriot Accounting
- Adaptive Insights
- Certify Travel & Expense
- Budget Maestro
- Fusebill Subscription Billing
- Zoho Books & Expense
- Deltek Costpoint
- Account Ability
- SAP S/4HANA
- Receipt Bank
- Workday Financial Management
- Forecast 5
- NetSuite ERP
When most people think about presentation software, they usually only think about MS PowerPoint. It is unfortunate that many employees experienced in a myriad of presentation software forget to include that software on their resume.
For example, if you are leading an online seminar or meeting, you are likely using video conferencing software, such as GoToMeeting, Skype, or Google Hangouts. You are probably using your screen to demonstrate concepts to the team. These are skills that employers are looking for in a new hire.
Those working with presentations are increasingly incorporating audio, video, graphics, data, and more in their presentations. This takes a unique set of skills, both relating to quality training and public speaking. Thinking critically while officiating a meeting and managing multimedia is impressive and definitely worth showing off on your resume.
Here is a list of the most popular presentation software, some with which you might be familiar:
- Apply Keynote
- Camtasia Studio
- Haiku Deck
- Google Slides
- Zoho Show
- Articulate Presenter
- Prezi Next
- Instant Demo
- Skype for Business
Graphic design is very broad, and only a select few artists actually fully embody the title “graphic designer.” As it happens, if you’ve ever edited photos, thrown together a small design for the company, or even modified page templates, you may have fairly extensive experience with graphic design software.
Employees working in a variety of marketing positions have frequently tried their hand at an Adobe program to “clean up” a graphic for an advertisement. Even assistants that are entrusted to maintain a company website learn how to use graphic design software.
Photographers that edit their photos likely have moderate to expert knowledge of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Those that design flyers for their boss often work with Quark or Adobe Illustrator. All of these programs are highly technical and worth noting on your resume.
By far the most popular graphic design software is Adobe, particularly Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Chances are that if you are more familiar with a different platform, many of the technical knowledge would transfer quickly. You might try a few free tutorials by Adobe to solidify your graphic design skills before adding them to your resume.
Here is a list of the top graphic design software used by professionals:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Illustrator Draw
- Particle Shop
- Xara Xtreme
- ACDSee Photo Studio
- ACDSee Canvas
- Affinity Designer
- Cinema 4D
If you’ve ever worked in sales or any kind of client management role, chances are that you were working extensively with a CRM program.
CRM software keeps track of all details related to a client, from personal information to purchase history and more. While many CRMs require programming skills to customize for the company, most CRMs are setup and ready to use after only a few minutes of becoming familiar with “where things go.”
If you are taking information down during a cold call or follow-up, you would have recorded this information in your CRM to retrieve for later reference.
Many that use CRMs also take advantage of marketing automation software options. For example, sales staff often setup automatic emails or text messages through the CRM for each client. Some marketing automation software will even connect to your company’s social media profile, and authorized staff members can use these features to publicize noteworthy information to further brand the company.
While not all CRMs come with marketing automation software, all marketing automation software programs are able to function well as a CRM. A key skill in using marketing automation effectively is being able to employ “conditional logic” features for each client. As a client moves through the sales process, any action the client takes can be met with a preset message that you’ve setup ahead of time.
Perhaps you have experience with some or all of these software features. Either way, it is important to note your experience in your resume. Here are the top CRM and marketing automation software programs that are popular with employers:
- Marketing Hub
- Sales Hub
- Service Hub
- Base CRM
- Zoho CRM
- Pipedrive CRM
- Freshsales CRM
- Less Annoying CRM
- Apptivo CRM
- Insightly CRM
- Mail Chimp
Any number of employees might be tasked with launching or maintaining a company’s social media profiles. This is especially true of smaller businesses, where there are fewer than 10 employees and most of them wear multiple hats.
As it happens, the best social media “managers” are power users. A power user, as the name suggests, uses social media all the time. They get how it works, and they enjoy connecting and branding themselves over digital channels.
If this is true for you, you may be able to note this experience on your resume. However, it is ideal that you have managed social media on an enterprise level, rather than merely on an individual level. With today’s tendency to go overboard with thoughts and feeling over social media, businesses want to see that you know how to be thoughtful while you employ your technical expertise.
Closely resembling social media, but slightly different (and no less important for a company’s digital marketing) are directory listings. Many social media management skills transfer easily into managing directory listings.
Here are the social media channels and directories that employers most often want maintained:
- Google My Business
- Yellow Pages
- Super Pages
- Apple Maps
- Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
- Angies List
- Yellow Book
- Moz Local
More and more, administrative and virtual assistants are tasked with maintaining company websites and planning social media posts. As a result, even lower-level employers are picking up valuable skills in content management systems.
These systems often allow users to manage content on multiple virtual locations. For example, you can use the software to schedule a blog post, while also making sure that a quote from the post simultaneously goes to all the business social media pages.
Sometimes, marketing automation software also provides a content management system, along with a CRM. These all-encompassing software programs are vital to employers. Those that want to stay efficient and competitive look for these skills in new hires.
To help you identify which CMS programs you may be already familiar with, here is full list:
- HubSpot Marketing Hub
- Agility CMS
- Kentico CMS
- Pulse CMS
- SEOToaster CRM
- Solodev CMS
- Hippo CMS
Hopefully this guide will help you update your resume. Another way to use this guide is to focus on software you might want to learn. Most software companies offer free user training and demos, and being “up” on the top software in your industry only makes you more attractive to employers. It’s one of the best ways to upskill your career.