20+ Key Computer Skills to List on Your Resume in 2021 (With Examples)

20+ Key Computer Skills to List on Your Resume in 2021 (With Examples)

With the world becoming more digitally focused, having strong computer skills is more important than ever. In this guide, we will cover what computer skills are and which ones are best to include on your resume.

Written by Ed Moss • Last updated on Aug 27, 2021

What are Computer Skills?

Computer skills refer to the abilities a person has to operate and use computers.

The possibilities of what computers can do are endless.

As a result, there is a wide range of different skills that can fall into this category.

When thinking about skills in general, they can fall into one of two categories:

  • Hard Skills: Quantifiable skills that involve a person’s physical and mental abilities.
  • Soft Skills: More abstract skills that deal with social interactions and emotions.

Most computer skills fall into the hard skills category.

This is because computer skills are technical abilities that a person has to learn.

Whereas soft skills such as empathy may come naturally to a person, hard skills must be earned through training and education.

When and Why Should I Include Computer Skills on My Resume?     

Almost all jobs nowadays involve computers and digital services of some kind.

This has made employers’ demand for computer skills all the more prevalent.

This is especially true for jobs in the realm of administration and management!

In general, you should include computer skills on any resume used to apply for a job that uses technology.

If you are unsure whether the job you are applying for wants computer skills, look to the description of the job posting.

If the requirements call for specific computer skills, then be sure to add the ones that you have to your resume.

To learn more about all the best elements to include on a resume, read our guide on What to Put on a Resume in 2021 (with Examples and Tips)!

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What Are the Best Computer Skills I Should Add to My Resume?

There are a few different categories of computer skills to consider adding to your resume:

  1. Specific Program Proficiencies: Most companies will expect you to be proficient in commonly used programs that allow collaboration and team sharing. Including these on your resume can increase your chances of impressing employers.
  2. Basic Computer Skills: The basic computer skills most employers expect are often beginner-friendly. This means you can easily learn about these skills and add them to your resume.
  3. Advanced Computers Skills: Advanced computer skills begin to deal with programming and back-end processes. These skills typically require education or training of some kind to become proficient.

Typically, applicants will include a combination of all three categories of skills.

For entry-level jobs or jobs involving only basic use of computers, advanced computer skills may not be necessary.

Let’s now examine the best program proficiencies, basic computer skills, and advanced computer skills to include on your resume.

5 Essential Programs for Computer Skills

  1. Microsoft Office: Office is Microsoft’s suite of productivity programs. They include apps such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneDrive. This set of programs is compatible with Windows operating systems.
  2. iWork: The Apple equivalent to Microsoft Office is iWork. It includes apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iCloud. Naturally, this set of programs is compatible with Apple’s MacOS operating system
  3. Google Workspace: For a cloud-based set of productivity apps, Google Workspace is the way to go. This includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Gmail. Google Workspace is advantageous because it can be accessed from anywhere at any time so long as there is working internet.
  4. Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe programs are primarily used for design and development. Commonly used programs include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat. If you are entering into a job that requires design, knowing these programs will be key.  
  5. Quickbooks: Accounting is a crucial component of any business. The most commonly used accounting software is Quickbooks. Earning a Quickbooks certification can give you a competitive edge, especially in administrative or accounting jobs.
Top 5 computer programs to include on your resume
Account Executive

8 Basic Computer Skills

  1. Typing: Typing refers to your ability to use a keyboard. A person’s type speed is often used to indicate their level of ability, with 70 words per minute and above preferred for writing professionals.  
  2. Spreadsheets: A crucial skill when working with data and computers is the ability to create spreadsheets. These spreadsheets should be intuitive and well-organized. As part of this skill, you should understand how to input data and use formulas.  
  3. Multi-Media: These days, documents, presentations, and more can be enhanced with videos and other media. Having a strong understanding of how to create and use multi-media on a computer is essential.
  4. Operating Systems: A computer will have significantly different navigational elements and shortcuts depending on the operating system used. There are two main operating systems to know – Apple’s MacOS and Microsoft’s Windows.
  5. Web Browsers: Like operating systems, the navigations and shortcuts can differ between web browsers. The main browsers are Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Each can also come with different apps and extensions to familiarize yourself with.
  6. Email Organization: Email has become a fundamental form of communication. There are many email skills to know including how to write and send emails, create folders, organize files, and share documents and threads.
  7. Graphics: Graphics have to do with the visual elements on a computer. Understanding how to arrange graphics to be effective is key when creating documents, ebooks, or other business-related materials.
  8. Social Media: Social media platforms have taken the world by storm. As a result, knowing how to use the platforms has been coupled with computer skills in what some call digital literacy.  Popular platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Basic Computer Skills for your Resume
Top 8 Basic Computer Skills to include on your resume

8 Advanced Computer Skills

  1. Enterprise Applications: Enterprise applications are expansive software systems designed for use by large corporate or governmental entities. Common examples include Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
  2. Hardware Management: Working with onsite computer equipment means having to manage a lot of hardware. Tasks within this skill can include system administration, installation, and configuration.
  3. Tech Maintenance: Along with managing hardware, working with large systems also requires a fair amount of maintenance. Repair, support, backup, and recovery are essential components of this skill.
  4. Programming Languages: Coding has become a highly valued skill by employers who work heavily with computers. There are many, many programming languages to learn to use. Popular examples include Python, Java, and Ruby.  
  5. Web Development: Coupled with coding and programming languages is web development. Web development uses coding for the specific purpose of building and maintaining websites. HTML, CSS, JavaScript are common programming languages used for this.
  6. Data Science: The closer you work with computers and digital services, the more data you will have to deal with. Understanding how to gather and interpret data is a sought-after skill. Data mining, modeling, and management are essential components of data science.
  7. Data Visualization: Data visualization is simply the ability to take data science and visual and understandable representations of the data. This can include charts and graphs. Companies seek this skill as it helps with presentations, asking for funding, and more.  
  8. Artificial Intelligence: AI has taken over the digital industry. Knowing how to work with and modify AI is a crucial skill to have moving forward into a more digital world.
For more ideas on other skills to include on a resume, check out our list of 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 (with Examples for Any Job).
Account Executive

How Do I List My Computer Skills on a Resume?

There are two main formatting options for listing your computer skills on a resume:

  1. Including computer skills in your work experience section
  2. Creating a separate section for computer skills

Oftentimes, applicants will you a combination of these two methods.

Soft skills can be more beneficial to include in the work experience section so that you can provide greater detail.

Hard skills, comparatively, don’t always need much explanation and can be listed more plainly in a skills section.

1) Including Computer Skills in Your Work Experience Section

Incorrect:

Work Experience

Office Assistant,
Gatlinburg Visitor Center
November 2016 – December 2020

• Typing Speed: 85 words per minute
• Certified in Microsoft Office
• Can create Data Visualizations

Why It’s Wrong: In the work experience section, you want to highlight your greatest strengths and most quantifiable accomplishments.

Things such as typing speed and certifications can be left for the skills section.

As for the data visualization, more information and detail should be given.

Correct:

Work Experience

Office Assistant,
Gatlinburg Visitor Center
November 2016 – December 2020

• Typed daily morning briefings on upcoming events with entire office staff
• Created operational expense spreadsheets that help reduce operational costs by 15 percent
• Generated a monthly overview of visitor data and spending using charts, statistics, and graphics

In this corrected example, the original skills are still touched upon but in a much more direct way.

The skills are proven through evidence and examples.

Account Executive

2) Create a Separate Computer Skills Section

Incorrect:

Computer Skills
• Google Workspace
• Programming Languages
• Graphics

Why It’s Wrong: Though computer skills can be kept short and sweet, they should still provide a certain level of specificity.

In this example, the applicant has listed programming languages but not which specific ones they are proficient in.

They have also listed Google Workspace without indicating proficiency.

As for graphics, they provide no insight into what kinds of graphics.

Correct:

Computer Skills
• Google Workspace Certification
• Python, HTML, Ruby
• Informational Graphics (Adobe Creative Cloud)

In this corrected example, the applicant indicates they have earned a certification and lists specific programming languages they are proficient in.

Plus, they offer more specific information about their graphics abilities, including what programs they use.

Hint: Want to earn that Google Workspace certification? Check it out here!

For more help crafting your ideal resume, take a look at our guide on How to Write the Perfect Resume in 2021 (with Examples).

Final Takeaways

Having a strong set of computer skills has become highly important to employers.

Here are our top 5 takeaways for including computer skills on a resume:

  1. Divide your skills into program proficiencies, basic skills, and advanced skills. Try to include some from all categories.
  2. Computer skills are hard skills. It is important to remember to include both hard and soft skills on your resume.
  3. Be specific in your language – for instance, state the specific programming languages you can use.
  4. When using computer skills in your work experience section, provide quantifiable evidence of that skill.
  5. If you lack many computer skills, seek out certification programs to enhance your skills.

Don’t miss out on any of our great resume content. Here are Easy Resume we offer a wide selection of free resume guides and career advice articles.

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the last decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge around how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching, and helping others reach their career goals. When he's not writing about career-related advice, he's playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long hikes in upstate New York.

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