In today’s information and technology age, it’s no surprise that job seekers with strong computer skills land far more jobs than those who don’t. From laptops to POS systems and from RFID scanners to mobile phones, almost every job today requires you to work hand-and-hand with technology.
To make sure you have the computer skills on your resume that hiring managers are looking for, this guide will walk you through how to add the right computer skills, plus 50+ computer skill examples.
This resume writing article will cover:
What Are Computer Skills? And Why Are Computer Skills Important?
Types of Computer Skills
Levels of Computer Skill Proficiency
Where and How to Incorporate Computer Skills On Your Resume
Top 50+ Computer Skills Hiring Managers Look for On Resumes
The Fastest Ways to Acquire New Computer Skills
What Are Computer Skills? Why Are Computer Skills Important?
Computer skills are the ability to utilize computers and technology efficiently.
With the rise of technology, the computer skills you have can set you apart when applying for a new job. When you think about it, there are seldom positions that remain free from technology. Even trades that traditionally didn’t require computers, like farming, landscaping, and handymen, now use technology for marketing, accounting, and reservations.
Every professional position requires the use of certain technology, ranging from hardware to computer applications. Likewise, every professional has a unique set of computer skills with varying levels of proficiency. Finding the perfect fit between what’s needed and what someone has is the sole mission of a hiring managers when looking for a new employee. If the hiring manager is able to find someone that has all of the computer skills necessary, they won’t need to spend so much time and money on training, which means they will get a quicker return on their hiring investment.
But how can hiring managers tell if you have the computer skills needed for their role?
First and foremost, hiring managers will look at your resume. Typically, hiring managers spend no more than 6 seconds reviewing a resume and during that time they are looking to see if the computer skills needed jump out.
As a job seeker, it is your responsibility to know what computer skills are necessary for each role. It is also your responsibility to put those computer skills on your resume in a way that stands out.
Types of Computer Skills (Resume Examples)
Computer skills can be broken down into categories and levels of proficiency. Before we discuss how to incorporate computer skills on your resume, let’s discover the basic computer skills categories and assess your level of proficiency.
Computer skills can be broken down into 13 main categories.
Typing – The process of writing or inputting text, typically using a keyboard
Mouse – Navigating a two-dimensional surface with a pointer, using a standalone mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen
Internet – Using the internet to browse and research
Email – Using text to correspond with other users through the internet using an email application or browser
Hardware – The physical elements of technology, including keyboards, cases, cables, screens, and touchpads
Operating Systems – The critical, low-level software that supports all other applications
Word Processing – Using a text editing application, such as Notepad or Word, to write and modify text
Presentations – Creating engaging, visual presentations using applications like Prezi and PowerPoint
Graphics – Creating and manipulating visual elements
Multimedia – Using sound, images, and video to create multi-faceted elements
Spreadsheets – Using applications, such as Excel, to input, edit, calculate, and manipulate numbers and data
Databases – Storing numbers and data in a central location
Programming – Using programming languages to write, edit, and manipulate software applications
Levels of Proficiency
There are many assessments used in the job market to assess a candidate’s level of computer skill proficiency. One of the most widely used is the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools, also knows as ICAS. The ICAS Digital Technologies assessment assesses skills and knowledge in the above technology categories and then grades your level of proficiency using a letter rating between A and H.
The rating system most hiring managers are familiar with though is simply rating your computer skills as either fundamental, basic, intermediate, or advanced. We will go through each of these categories and will give examples of your expected knowledge for each.
Fundamental Computer Skills
Fundamental computer skills include typing and using a mouse. Possessing fundamental computer skills mean you have no to little computer experience or training. At a fundamental level of computer proficiency, you should be able to:
Identify the basic components of a computer (keyboard, mouse, screen, etc.)
Understand menu bars
Create, save and delete documents
Operate the print function
Recognize icons (sound, internet, video, etc.)
Basic Computer Skills
One level up from fundamental proficiency is basic computer skills. Possessing basic computer skills requires a small amount of computer experience, including a basic understanding of email, word processing, graphics, and spreadsheets. At a basic level of computer proficiency, you should be able to:
Write, modify, and edit text using a word processing application
Create and format simple spreadsheets
Create basic presentations
Know how to forward and cc emails
Understand how to search, assess search results, and download information from the internet
Intermediate Computer Skills
Intermediate computer skills build upon the basic level of proficiency. Intermediate computer skills require a moderate amount of previous computer experience, including a moderate understanding of operating systems, word processing, graphics, spreadsheets, and databases. At an intermediate level of computer proficiency, you should be able to:
Understand operating systems
Understand how to use flash drives and memory cards
Know how to insert hyperlinks and tables on word processing applications
Understand how to insert links and videos into presentations
Know how to use CD, DVD, and mp3 players
Modify your signature, recognize and sort spam, and recognize file formats when using email
Conduct complex sorting, applying filters, and using different views on spreadsheets and databases
Advanced Computer Skills
The final level of proficiency is advanced computer skills. At this stage, you will be able to use word processing, email, the internet, and spreadsheets to their fullest capacity. You will also start to understand basic software development and programming principles. At an advanced level of computer proficiency, you should be able to:
Understand computer hardware and software components
Execute complex operations, formatting, and tables in word processing applications
Integrate multimedia elements into presentations
Create distribution lists and complete advanced file transfers using email
Create ‘if’ statements, create complex graphs/charts, and use complex functions like macros and VLOOKUP in spreadsheets
Have a fundamental understanding of programming principles and concepts
Where and How To Include Computer Skills On Your Resume
Your computer skills must be incorporated throughout your entire resume, rather than being stuck in one area. When hiring managers review a resume, they scan over each section, from top to bottom, which is why it is important to include your computer skills in these 3 main areas: The professional summary, the key skills, and the experience sections.
If writing your resume from scratch, we suggest using this free and easy-to-use resume builder. When using a resume template, all sections and formatting is done for you, all you need to do is fill in rich, engaging content.
Professional Summary Section
At the top of your resume, below the header and contact information, comes a professional summary section. This section could be titled ‘Professional Summary’ or ‘Summary’ but avoid calling it an ‘Objective’. An objective statement is an old-school resume writing approach and is seldom used in today’s job market.
Your professional summary section will be 1-3 sentences in length. This should include your title, years of experience, and the top skills that set you apart.
If using the resume builder, the ‘True Red’, ‘Doppio’, and ‘Large; resume templates have professional summary sections that are sure to stand out.
Professional summary resume example:
Summary of Skills Section
Following your professional summary comes a ‘summary of skills’ section. Alternative titles for this section could be ‘technical skills’, ‘key skills’, or ‘core competencies’.
Your skills section should be written in list form. Depending on the amount of skills you want to include, you can either list them out separately or arrange them into categories. A good rule of thumb is 10 skills or less should be separate, while more than 10 skills should be categorized.
Summary of skills resume example:
After your summary of skills comes an experience section. Alternative titles for this section include ‘professional experience’, ‘work experience’, and ‘relevant experience’.
The experience section should be written listing your most recent employer first. For each professional position, include the company name, your title, the dates of employment, and 3-5 bullet points detailing your daily responsibilities.
When writing your responsibilities, sprinkle as many computer skills in as you can. This will validate the computer skills you have listed in your skills section by explaining how and where you used each of them.
Experience section resume example:
What Computer Skills Should You Include on Your Resume?
There are three easy-to-follow steps to figure out what computer skills you should include on your resume. The computer skills you include depend on both your background and the types of positions you are applying to.
Step #1: Create a master list of your computer skills
Go through each category and create a master list of each and every computer skill you have in your toolbox. When creating your master list, write every skill, no matter how obvious it may seem. Although some computer skills might seem obvious given your profession, many hiring managers still want to see these skills listed.
The important thing is to never write a computer skill that you aren’t comfortable with. If you include it, hiring managers will expect you can deliver. If you are ever worried about a hiring manager over or underestimating your level of proficiency, add ‘fundamental’, ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’, or ‘advanced’ in parentheses next to the skill listed.
Job post example (with highlighted skills):
Step #2: Figure out the computer skills required for the job
When applying for a new position, you must first identify the computer skills needed. To figure this out, go through each job description and highlight each thing that relates to a technology, software, or application.
Then create a list with the computer skills described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job description.
Step #3: Match your master list with the computer skills required for each position
The computer skills you include on your resume should be the items that overlap between your master list and the list of computer skills needed.
A general rule of thumb is to never include skills that aren’t relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a landscaping position, there is no need to include that you know computer programming.
50+ Computer Skills Hiring Managers Want In Resumes
To make sure your resume has the computer skills hiring managers look for, go through this list to check out the top computer skills needed for each type of category and position.
Basic Computer Skills
Electronic File Management
Graphic Design & Word Processing
Spreadsheets & Databases
Client Server Management
Social Media Marketing
How To Learn New Computer Skills
Are you worried about not having the computer skills needed for a position? If so, there are plenty of tools to help you get up to speed quickly.
The first option is to enroll in a course at a local school or library. For beginners, many public libraries teach basic computer skills, so ask your neighborhood branch when the next lesson is. If you are more advanced, consider enrolling in a technology certification course at a local community college. They are cheaper and require less time than a full-out degree program.
The second option is to use an online platform. There are so many free and cheap computer skills courses available, ranging from YouTube videos to eLearning platforms like Lynda, Udemy, and Skillshare. But of course, you will need to have mastered fundamental computer proficiency, like internet browsing and typing, before you can get there.