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Four Basic Tech Skills Every Job Seeker Should Have

Tech Skills

It’s important to brush up and keep up on basic technology and computer skills. This knowledge will save time, files and maybe even your chances of getting a job. Computers, tablets, smartphones and electronics integrate into your daily work and personal life.

Here are four basic technology skills you should master, whether you’re looking for a new job or just want to be more effective at your current one!

1. Email

You could call email the contact hub for the workplace as it’s a main way of contacting clients, connecting with customers and communicating with co-workers. It’s important to know the basic features of composing, formatting, sending and organizing your email. If all else fails, thank goodness for search bars!

2. Microsoft Office Suite

Microsoft Office skills aren’t always a “must” for jobs, but Word, PowerPoint and Excel can benefit you in the office. You’ve probably already used these for school projects, presentations or calculations. Other programs and apps on Mac, Gmail (and other operating systems) reflect Microsoft Office functions, so you’ll have no problem using them if you master the software. This is always a bonus for employers and saves them a lot of training time.

3. Keyboard shortcuts

Typing should be second nature. Keyboard shortcuts save a lot of time, if you know how to use them. Shortcuts exist for copying, pasting, quitting, printing, switching windows, you name it. Here are a few basic ones to get you started:

Microsoft PC:

  • Copy: CTRL + C
  • Paste: CTRL + V
  • Cut: CTRL + X
  • Undo: CTRL + Z
  • Redo: CTRL + Y
  • Print Screen: Print Screen, CTRL + C
  • Menu: Windows icon

 Formatting:

  • Bold: CTRL + B
  • Italic: CTRL + I
  • Underline: CTRL + Z

Apple:

  • Copy: Command + C
  • Paste: Command + V
  • Cut: Command + X
  • Undo: Command + Z
  • Redo: Command + Shift + Z
  • Quit: Command + Q
  • Print Screen: Command + Shift + 4

Formatting:

  • Bold: Command + B
  • Italic: Command + I
  • Underline: Command + U

If you’re really ambitious or have a great memory, here are some resources that have all the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft PC and Apple computers. Try them out!

4. Storage tools

USBs and Cloud storage

Not all companies use USBs, in fact, some companies ban them. If you keep losing USBs like myself, take advantage of cloud storage apps like Gmail, Dropbox, and SkyDrive.

Backing up your work

External hard drives will save your whole system. Memory expands to terabytes, more memory than you’ll likely ever need. Start with your home computer. Backing up your system may take extra time, but saves you a few tears in the long run!

Extras:

Social media

Getting into the groove of social media can take a while. At this point, all companies use Facebook or Twitter. Even if you don’t use social media in your job, knowing how to use it can open up opportunities in marketing, PR and many other industries. If you’re adept at social media, those skills could come in handy managing the social media profiles of your current or future employer.

Basic HTML and linking

Most companies have a website. They won’t expect you to code a whole website, but basic HTML functions and formatting always help when posting content. Having these skills has come in handy for me at a few summer jobs.

Final Tips

  1. Network: Use your devices and social media to your advantage. It can help with your job search, networking and maintaining contacts.
  2. Never stop learning: Brush up on your tech skills and knowledge. Technology updates faster than you can blink!
  3. Ask for help: If you don’t know, ask! Google is your best friend. Most likely you’ll find tutorials, forums and videos that will answer your questions.

Have we covered all of the basic tech skills? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: SPazzø

Written by

Jessica Cruz 's scattered thoughts, ideas and quirky comics travel from her mind to paper. She enjoys narrative writing, graphic design, outdoor sports, and occasionally defeating virtual zombies. Her final year at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College (joint program) lands a double major in Communication, Culture & Information Technology (CCIT) and Professional Writing. She faces a career quest in the realm of marketing, design, writing, and web. Find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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