Technology has taken over the modern workplace. Whether you are an aspiring administrative assistant, a sales manager, or an HR manager, technology will be a part of your day-to-day work. As a result, employers want to see that job candidates have at least basic software skills. But what are the best computer skills for your resume? And how should you list them?
In this article, we’re going to discuss what software skills are and why they are useful. We’ll also walk through a few examples of computer skills for your resume and demonstrate how to list software skills on your resume.
What Are Software Skills?
Software skills are a specific subset of computer skills. Whereas “computer skills” refers to everything that involves using computers, software skills specifically refer to how to use computer programs.
Software skills allow you to make use of applications on a computer. For instance, if you are an executive assistant, you may need to use a digital calendar application to track your boss’s schedule. Or, you may have to use Microsoft Word to prepare professional correspondence on behalf of your manager.
The software skills that you use on the job will depend on the nature of your position. Some jobs, like being a quality assurance engineer, involve working with specific technologies such as Python, HTML, or Git. Other jobs, like an assistant or office manager, will be more focused on using software like the Microsoft Office Suite or the Atlassian Suite.
Why Do I Need Computer Skills on a Resume?
There is no escaping technology in the modern workforce. As technology has become more advanced, the number of areas in which technology can be used within a business has grown.
Using technology allows a business to become more efficient, as technology can automate repetitive tasks and speed up common processes. In addition, software products allow many workers to finish their jobs quicker, which increases company output.
Most employers look for some degree of computer skills when hiring candidates. If you want to demonstrate your computer skills, you should mention them on your resume, with examples of when you used those skills. This will help you clearly show your value to an employer, and help them better understand the technologies with which you are familiar.
Examples of Software and Computer Skills for a Resume
So far, we’ve discussed what software skills are and why they are useful. But to convey that you have skills using software, you may want to say more than just “software skills” on your resume. How can you communicate your software skills more specifically?
Here is a list of software skills that are valued across industries and jobs:
- Communication tools
- Social Media
- Word Processing and Desktop Publishing Tools
- Presentation Tools
- Computer Programming
- Graphic Design
#1: Communication tools
Communication tools allow companies to share information more effectively among their workforce. If you are applying for a job that involves a high degree of digital communication, you should mention tools that you have used.
In addition, if you are applying for a remote job, you may want to highlight your experience with communication tools.
Here are a few tools you could mention on your resume:
- Google Hangouts
- Microsoft Teams
#2: Social Media
Social media has become a good way for companies to build their brand identity. If you are working in a job related to marketing or personal assisting, having experience using social media tools can be useful. Also, if you are applying for a social media management position, you will want to mention your social media skills.
Here are a few social media tools you can list on your resume:
Spreadsheets allow you to collect data in tables. When data is stored in a spreadsheet, you can use formulas to perform basic and advanced calculations.
If you are applying for a position that involves numbers, you may be expected to know how to use spreadsheet software. For instance, if you are going to work in HR, you may need to use spreadsheets to review and track diversity statistics.
Here are a few examples of how you can list knowledge of spreadsheets on your resume:
- Knowledge of spreadsheets
- Google Sheets
#4: Word Processing and Desktop Publishing Tools
Knowledge of word processing and desktop publishing tools is essential in many jobs. If you’re an assistant, you may have to write memos using a tool like Microsoft Word. If you are an accountant, you will have to prepare formal reports using word processing tools.
Here are a few ways you can communicate experience with these types of tools on your resume:
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Microsoft Publisher
- Google Docs
- Experience using desktop publishing tools
#5: Presentation Tools
Being able to present information to others effectively is a core part of many jobs. This is true whether you’re a business manager, a digital marketer, or an HR manager.
If you have experience using tools such as PowerPoint, you should mention them on your resume. You can mention that you have experience using presentation tools. Or, you can note a specific tool that you have used, such as Google Slides or PowerPoint.
#6: Computer Programming
Depending on the position for which you are applying, you may also want to list experience with computer programming.
Most jobs that require computer programming as a skill are directly related to technology, like web development or quality assurance engineering. However, if you possess programming skills that you think are relevant to your job, you should still mention them in your resume.
Knowing a programming skill may allow you to do a job more effectively. For instance, suppose you are an accountant who knows how to code. You could perhaps use your programming skills to automate common processes in your work.
If you decide to mention computer programming as a skill on your resume, you should cite specific examples of technologies that you know. For instance, you could mention that you know how to code in C++, or HTML, or Python, or PHP.
While spreadsheets are more common in most jobs than databases, there are some roles where you’ll need a basic knowledge of databases. For instance, if you’re working in sales, you may be asked to keep track of certain sales in a database tool.
If you have experience using databases, you may want to mention it on your resume. You can mention a specific database you have used. Or you can talk about a type of database architecture you’re familiar with, like graphical or relational databases.
Here are a few database skills you could mention on your resume:
- Microsoft Access
- XML Databases
#8: Graphic Design
Although you may not need to use graphic design skills every day, these skills can go a long way in the workplace. By using your graphic design skills, you can turn a simple document or presentation into something that is more visually appealing and engaging.
Here are a few graphic design skills you can mention on your resume:
- Familiarity with the Adobe Suite
- Desktop Publishing
How to List Computer Skills on Your Resume
There are two places you can mention software skills on your resume: in the skills or employment history section.
Here is an example of software skills being listed in the “skills” section of a resume:
Technical administrative assistant skills: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Asana, Slack, G Suite.
Here is an example of software skills listed in the “employment history” resume section:
September 2017 – Present
– Coordinated the office manager’s schedule using Google Calendar
– Wrote professional correspondence on behalf of the office manager using Microsoft Word
– Answered the phone on behalf of the office manager, took memos and maintained the filing system
If you are working in a job that requires software skills, you’ll want to explicitly mention a few such skills on your resume. You might also want to discuss them in your cover letter.
Do you know how to use Basecamp? You may want to add it to your resume. Did you use Zoom to communicate in your last job? That is something you may want to add to your resume. Also, as remote working rises in popularity, having software skills is becoming even more valuable.
There are countless examples of valuable computer skills for your resume. So do some research to find out which are the most relevant for the job you’re pursuing.