Just because you know how to type a letter in Microsoft word or click stuff on a computer screen doesn’t mean you have “computer skills.” If you are in the market for a new job or implementing a professional development plan to position yourself for future career growth, then you should assess the computer skill preferences of employers in your field of choice.
In today’s technologically oriented business environment, it’s no surprise that employees with strong computer skills have a much bigger advantage in the job market. Unfortunately, every day we receive Cvs and job applications from job seekers who claim to have computer skills when in truth what they have or claim to have is not strong enough for us to label them skilled for example almost everyone with a bachelor’s degree is somewhat familiar with Microsoft Word. However, professionals who can carry out sophisticated functions like mail merges, modify macro scripts, format documents expertly, and execute other complex functions are most highly recruited.
This means that before you list Microsoft office under the “computer skills” on your CV, you should be sure you can in fact use it with the proficiency that demands a good salary. Let’s look at it closer, under Microsoft office, there is Microsoft word—specific skills under Microsoft word can include; formatting & page setup, smart art & textboxes etc. These may sound like very basic functions until you look at most of the reports and other draft documents drawn by most employees be it at interviews or even on the job.
So, what should the “computer skills” section look like on your CV?
You are probably wondering why there should be a “computer skills” section on your CV but keep in mind that organizations are now digital, computer skills are compulsory & when it comes to job hunting, the more compelling & detailed your presentation is, the easier it is for recruitment managers and agencies to pick, screen and select you. An easy way to show employers the computer skills you have is to include them in a separate section with a focus on the skills you have that are mentioned in the job position you are applying for. Here’s an example:
• Word: page set up, smart art
• Excel: pivot tables, fill function, formatting
• Power point: animations, custom slides
We have dwelt a lot on Microsoft office and that’s because it is the most popular work place computer application package and because many job seekers love to paste it on their CVs including those who are not as “skilled” at it as they claim. There is however a whole batch of computer skills which are more marketable & better paying than just Microsoft office. For example, you are reading this article because someone put in the time & effort to develop writing skills—computer based writing skills. Every organization’s marketing communications depend on the quality of their messaging—a service that only a skilled writer can provide. You are also viewing this website because people developed the skills in graphics design, web programming, copy writing e.t.c. these are very specific skills, high value computer skills which cannot be lost in translation.
As you continue to pursue your career of choice, keep in mind that we are now living in an economy of skills, not just knowledge. If your skills need refreshing or you need to acquire a new skill set, there are many free courses you can take to upgrade your skills along with free resources online to learn from. Remember to include all the new skills you learn on your CV.