In today’s technologically oriented economy, it’s no surprise that employees with strong computer skills fare better in the job market than their tech challenged counterparts. This trend influences hiring for virtually all jobs, not just technology-centered positions.
What Skills Do You Need?
If you are in the market for a new job or formulating your professional development plan to position yourself for future career growth, then you should assess the technology preferences of employers in your field.
Review job postings for your target position on major job sites like Indeed.com and niche job sites for your industry. Make a list of the tech related qualifications that are cited most often. Also review workshop and seminar topics offered through your professional association to identify cutting edge skills.
Consult colleagues in your field and ask them which skills are the most highly valued in their environment. Check LinkedIn to see what skills your connections in similar jobs have on their profiles. Review this list of the top skills to list on LinkedIn for more ideas of the top skills employers look for.
Upgrade Your Skills
If your skills need refreshing or you need to acquire a new skillset, there are many free courses online you can take to upgrade your skills. Be sure to include all the new skills you learn on your resume.
Computer Skills That Will Help You Get Hired
Here are some computer skills that are prized by employers in a wide variety of sectors.
Virtually all workers have some familiarity with Microsoft Word. However, individuals who can carry out mail merges, modify macro scripts, format documents expertly, and execute other complex functions are most highly recruited.
Facility with spreadsheet programs, especially Microsoft Excel, is referenced in many job announcements. Candidates who can create complex macros to organize spreadsheet information are in particularly high demand.
A solid grasp of PowerPoint for workers who wish to conduct dynamic presentations or prepare materials for bosses and colleagues is essential. Job candidates who can show employers some attractive examples of presentation slides will often have a leg up in the hiring process.
Job seekers who can organize and manipulate data through programs like Microsoft Access have an advantage in today’s information-intensive economy.
Many small businesses (and some larger ones) use QuickBooks for accounting, payroll, invoicing, reporting and more. If you’re working in an accounting or administrative role, a working knowledge of QuickBooks is definitely an asset.
We all use email as part of our personal and professional lives, but those individuals who can perform advanced functions with email programs like Microsoft Outlook can increase office productivity.
Web and Social Skills
Most organizations are looking to enhance their footprint on the web and within social media. Workers who can maintain and upgrade websites using tools like content management systems, HTML, Dreamweaver, WordPress and Java are very attractive to employers. Candidates who understand how to leverage social media to convey messages about their organization are in high demand.
Graphic and Writing Skills
Knowledge of Photoshop and graphics programs like InDesign and Illustrator enable employees to optimize the look and feel of websites and other communications. Writing skills are also important for many different jobs.
Most larger employers utilize enterprise systems like Oracle and PeopleSoft as platforms for their operations. Mastering applications within these systems can enhance your appeal to these types of organizations.
Job Specific Skills
There are many skills that are job dependent. Check out this list of employment skills listed by job to ensure you have the top skills employers are seeking in candidates. Highlight those skills in your job applications to show hiring organizations you have the right stuff to get hired.
Match Your Skills to the Job Requirements
When you’re working on your resume and cover letters, take the time to mention the skills you have that are listed in the job posting. Show the employer that you have the skills the company needs. Here’s how to match your qualifications to a job description.