What basic computer skills should be taught to job seekers?

What basic computer skills should be taught to job seekers?Those of us who live on computers and the Internet take a lot for granted. We do things so automatically that we don’t think about it. But there are basic computer skills that job seekers and non-traditional students struggle with that are critical in the job search and also in the workplace which has been increasingly computerized.

Here’s a sampling of basic computer skills questions I get regularly:

How do you attach a file to an email?

Most e-mail programs use either the paper clip or the word attach. But if you were never instructed in how to use your e-mail program, you may not know this. Ehow instructions here.  Next you need to know:

How do I know where my resume is on my computer?

Basic computer management means you need a system for storing your resume. My instructions are in this post. 1. Create a file folder within Documents, label it Resumes – Your Name (in case you share the computer with other family members, they should have their own folder.)

How do I copy and paste into my online applications?

Copy and pasting seems to scare many people. I addressed it here. Remember these three key shortcut keys on a PC to make your online applications go smoother:

  1. Control (ctrl) plus A is select all. It will select all the text in the document you have open.
  2. Control (ctrl) plus C is Copy. You can then copy all of your resume or cover letter.
  3. Now go to the open online application and in the space that asks you to paste your resume, use Control (ctrl) plus V which is Paste, to paste the content from step 2 into the application.

These are just a few of the basic computer skillsthat I think should be taught in classes and practiced by every job seeker and returning student. By assuming that everyone is techno-savvy, we leave some people in the dust wondering how they will ever get a new job.

A funny story about my early computer days

We all have to start somewhere and without a foundation in the things that we assume everyone knows, you leave otherwise qualified people behind. When I started with computers way back in 1983, no one taught me that the file extensions belonged to programs so I labeled my WordPerfectfiles with my own extensions. Instead of .doc or whatever the right extension was for a WordPerfect file, if I was writing a resume, I put .res and if I was working on a Kiwanis project, I put .kiw. WordPerfect and Windows at the time didn’t stop me or give me a warning. This is the kind of faulty understanding that creates confusion.

I have come a long way from those days but I have had a lot of help. If you are a job seeker missing those basic computer skills, find someone who has them and learn. Practice until you get it right!

To get your job search working for you, simply click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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