Understanding basic computer technology is no longer an option for job seekers. It has become the norm. In just the last 10 years, the U.S. workforce has become so technology driven, even blue-collar jobs require tech skills, says the National Journal.
Prepare yourself for your job search by assessing your tech knowledge and updating both your skills and your resume. Here’s how:
Getting the basics down
Start with basic office automation tools. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, email and calendar functions are all skills relied on every day at all different kinds of jobs. How well can you work with these tools? Your proficiencies will determine the types of jobs for which you will be qualified.
For example, if you’re interested in office administration work, you’ll want to know word processing inside and out. In the financial areas, spreadsheets are common and can become quite complex.
To upgrade your skills in these areas, you can find many resources online, such as on YouTube, or in the library … or you can even read through the help section/watch tutorials on the applications that are already on your computer. Sign up for classes in your local community center or college. Classes and tutorials are also available online from sources such as Lynda.com.
Learn about the cloud
Cloud computing is the latest approach to data storage and its use is growing in the small business world. Familiarize yourself with the most popular products such as Box.com, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Google Drive. You’ll be an asset to any small business that’s just getting into cloud computing. Many of these products have free accounts or trial offers making it a no-risk effort to work with all of these tools.
Be more flexible with cloud-based application skills
Within the world of cloud computing, software companies are moving their products from standalone desktop versions to the cloud. One benefit is that this allows you to work with these tools anywhere you can get onto a computer network. This is an advantage for you if you’re seeking a work-at-home type of job.
Upgrade your social media skills
For example, if you are a bookkeeper or an accountant, Intuit now has its most popular products available in a cloud version. Getting familiar with these products makes you valuable as someone who can do their job at an office or remotely from home.
Beyond keeping in touch with friends via Facebook, learn how businesses are using social media to market their products and services. Tech Republic says that social media skills are becoming more of a requirement for employment. LinkedIn is essential for job seekers and the miserably employed as statistics show 94% of hiring companies use it for finding or vetting candidates.
Learn how companies use Facebook and Twitter to increase traffic to their websites. Consider how Pinterest boards and Instagram are being used to promote a company’s brand through images and Infographics? Strong social media skills are needed by businesses learning how to navigate the various platforms.
Tap into your organizational skills
U.S. News says that for the next several years, businesses will have a higher demand for project management and organizational skills so enhance your skills in those areas.
Learn basic project management skills, such as planning and creating timelines. Trello and Asana are two online project management tools that are free to use and experiment with. Get familiar with the terminology and practice some of the basic project management principles with these products.
If you like to think and plan in pictures, then look at tools such as Freemind which guide you through the mind-mapping process. You can accomplish many of the same project management tasks by using these brainstorming tools. Even if your role in a company is not that of a project manager, your organization skills will be a valuable asset.
The bottom line? Companies don’t have to hire people with deficient technology skills, so if you aren’t up to date, get there fast … being technically proficient can help you … Get a Job!