15 Basic Computer Skills Every Job Seeker Should Have
In today’s digital world, having basic computer skills is essential for job seekers. We asked 15 professionals, including CEOs, founders, and career experts, to share their insights on the most important computer skills to master. From mastering cybersecurity skills to utilizing LinkedIn for job hunting, discover the top 15 essential computer skills every job seeker should have.
- Master Cybersecurity Skills
- Use Google Search Effectively
- Learn Coding Skills, Like Python
- Excel in Email Communication
- Acquire Photo and Video Editing Expertise
- Prioritize Document Formatting
- Gain Cloud Storage and File-Sharing Skills
- Become Proficient in Video Conferencing
- Develop Basic Troubleshooting Skills
- Grasp Basic VPN Usage
- Pick Up Microsoft Excel
- Understand Spreadsheet Formulas and Functions
- Study File Management
- Comprehend Basic Networking
- Utilize LinkedIn for Job Hunting
Master Cybersecurity Skills
In today’s digital era, where virtually every industry is transitioning to digital platforms, possessing cybersecurity skills has become essential for job seekers.
Job seekers knowledgeable about cybersecurity will effectively safeguard their data and contribute to protecting their employer’s confidential information. They understand the importance of creating strong passwords, identifying phishing attempts, and minimizing risk and potential financial loss.
Cybersecurity threats are in a perpetual state of evolution as hackers continually discover novel methods and exploit vulnerabilities. These skills empower job seekers to stay abreast of the latest threats and security measures.
Overall, this awareness is an indispensable computer skill that every job seeker should possess. It serves as a shield for personal and company data and enables adaptation to evolving threats.
Use Google Search Effectively
This is the type of skill that contributes to the person being an independent problem-solver while also demonstrating initiative, ownership, and determination. Always try to solve an issue you encounter during your job through Google’s knowledge (along with the company’s learnings). If that’s not enough, then you ask for help from your coworkers, etc.
It may seem obvious, but it’s common for people to ask questions they could have easily searched up instead. So first, make sure that that instinct is there. Google has also less obvious, yet simple, ways to formulate your search queries, which will result in a more effective search.
If you want an exact match, put the word or sentence inside quotation marks (e.g., “latest marketing trends”). Moreover, if you wish to search for a specific term on a website, type in site:www.website.com and put the word you want right after the space (e.g., site:www.bloomberg.com AI—you’ll receive search results within that website that talk about AI).
Learn Coding Skills, Like Python
Every job seeker should have basic computer skills, as they are required for almost any job nowadays. One such skill that is often overlooked is the ability to write computer code; coding is increasingly relevant in many industries, both to manage and program computers and to process data.
While uncommon, mastering a language like Python can give job seekers a unique advantage when applying for positions where computational knowledge or automation is important. With an understanding of how computers function at their core, job seekers will demonstrate mastery over increasingly powerful tools and workflows used both in business as well as research fields.
Excel in Email Communication
One fundamental computer skill that every job seeker should possess is proficiency in handling emails. In today’s digital world, this is non-negotiable. For my small business alone, we receive around 60-70 inquiries daily, and almost 85% of those come via email.
Now, managing such a volume of emails requires not just sending and receiving messages, but also organizing them, attaching files, and responding in a timely manner. Moreover, with the increasing use of emails for professional communication, understanding email etiquette has become paramount.
Poor email management can lead to missed opportunities, late responses, and a chaotic inbox. Therefore, mastering the art of email communication is a must for anyone looking to navigate the professional landscape successfully.
Acquire Photo and Video Editing Expertise
I believe that a unique computer skill that every job seeker should have is basic photo and video editing.
In today’s digital age, visual content is an important aspect of many jobs, from social media management to marketing and advertising. Having basic photo and video editing skills can give job seekers a competitive edge by allowing them to create and edit high-quality visual content for their employers.
Prioritize Document Formatting
It may seem insignificant, but job seekers should know how to format the documents they are sending out properly. This includes knowing how to use appropriate headings and font sizes for the job posting.
Formatting is an important part of conveying professionalism and showing the applicant has taken the time to present their resume, cover letter, and other documents professionally.
Gain Cloud Storage and File-Sharing Skills
One basic computer skill that every job seeker should have is the ability to use cloud storage and file-sharing services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. This skill is essential as it allows individuals to manage, share, and access files remotely, enabling seamless collaboration with colleagues and team members.
Proficiency in cloud storage and file-sharing also helps improve productivity, ensures data backup, and provides the flexibility to work from different locations or devices. By mastering this skill, job seekers can show their adaptability and familiarity with modern workplace tools, making them more competitive in the job market.
Become Proficient in Video Conferencing
One basic computer skill that every job seeker should have is proficiency in using video conferencing software. With remote work and virtual interviews becoming more common, knowing how to use video conferencing software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet is essential.
Proficiency in using video conferencing software includes understanding how to set up and join video calls, adjust audio and video settings, and share screens or files during a call. It is also important to understand proper video conferencing etiquettes, such as being on time for meetings, dressing professionally, and minimizing background noise and distractions.
Video conferencing software is also used for remote collaboration and communication in the workplace, so job seekers who are proficient in using it will be better positioned to work effectively with colleagues and clients.
Develop Basic Troubleshooting Skills
Basic troubleshooting is a valuable skill. You don’t need to be an IT specialist, but it’s a huge plus for job seekers to perform their own minor troubleshooting in the workplace.
Things like software glitches or printer issues can become a major source of frustration in the workplace. If you have enough know-how to resolve basic technical issues, you’ll be three steps ahead at any job.
Grasp Basic VPN Usage
Every job seeker should know how to use a VPN; this technology helps protect confidential information and can enhance remote work opportunities by allowing access to secure networks and applications from anywhere.
Having experience with VPNs allows job seekers to operate virtually more safely, further emphasizing the importance of having advanced knowledge of various computer systems and software.
Pick Up Microsoft Excel
Most job seekers can benefit from a basic proficiency with Microsoft Excel. Many people think of Excel as a tool for financial analysts and accountants, but it’s beneficial in almost every role that requires a computer.
For instance, freelance writers generally need to create content in Word documents or a content management system like WordPress. Even so, I create content briefs for writers I work with in Excel—I find Excel is much better than Word for executing my unique content writing process. Writers I work with need to understand some basic Excel shortcuts to complete the brief accurately.
Excel’s power lies in its ability to organize and interpret data. Regardless of the role, understanding Excel can equip candidates with a valuable tool to analyze and present data, helping them stand out to potential employers.
Understand Spreadsheet Formulas and Functions
Being able to use basic formulas and functions in Excel or Google Sheets is a must-have skill for many jobs. Employees are often required to collect, organize, and analyze data to make informed decisions, and spreadsheets are a critical tool for doing so.
Furthermore, having a basic understanding of spreadsheet software shows that a job seeker is tech-savvy and adaptable to new technologies, which is increasingly important in today’s digital age. It also demonstrates attention to detail and organization, which are highly valued skills in many industries.
Martin Potocki, CEO, Jobera
Study File Management
File management is a fundamental computer skill that every job seeker should have. In any job, there is likely to be a significant amount of information and documentation that needs to be managed effectively.
Proper file management skills ensure files are organized, easily retrievable, and accessible when required. It is a critical skill that helps individuals be more productive, efficient, and successful in their job roles.
A job seeker’s proficiency in file management shows their ability to prioritize tasks, pay attention to details, and follow processes and procedures. In today’s fast-paced and deadline-driven work environment, employers value individuals who can manage files efficiently, reducing errors, and increasing productivity.
Moreover, with the rapid shift towards digital file management, job seekers should be familiar with various file management tools and techniques.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded
Comprehend Basic Networking
With businesses becoming increasingly reliant on technology, knowing how to network computers has become a fundamental skill for job seekers.
Basic networking involves understanding how to set up and connect to your router, set up printers, and share files and folders with others on the same network. Job seekers in tech-related fields, such as IT support or software development, must possess advanced networking skills.
However, non-tech positions, such as administrative or customer service roles, may benefit greatly from having a basic understanding of networking.
Utilize LinkedIn for Job Hunting
Job seekers should definitely know how to use LinkedIn. Without knowing how to navigate this platform, job seekers will have a much more challenging time as they search for work.
Even if employers do not post their job ads on LinkedIn, they may still request a link to your LinkedIn profile. For job hunting, LinkedIn is an absolute must.