Microsoft Office was once the skillset to have.
People spent hundreds of dollars and many hours on training and mastering the programs in the Microsoft Office Suite, and they were rightfully rewarded with various certifications and mastery skills that could be put on any resume or CV to increase their likelihood of getting hired.
This, however, was years ago.
At the turn of the 21st century, Microsoft Office was crucial to the success of many office-based professionals, including HR employees and upper management.
The program suite was relatively new and it was the way that many companies were doing business, so having skills in this area was a must.
Today, it has become
just another basic computer skill that, quite frankly, you should just have
because you’ve spent the last 20 years working on computers for business and
No Need to State the Obvious: Other Basic Skills to Skip
When compiling your CV and trying to create a list of skills and proficiencies, stick to one basic rule of thumb: if it’s an obvious skill, don’t bother giving it much mention.
In today’s technology-heavy society, listing these basic skills and abilities would be like saying that you know how to use a pen and paper– it’s expected at this point.
Other irrelevant skills you should take off of your CV to save space for the things that matter:
- Email: Everyone should be capable of using email at this point in their lives.
- Typing: Unless WPM is relevant to the job posting, such as for data entry.
- Outdated Technology: If the software or platform is no longer relevant, leave it behind.
Companies want to invest in employees who can learn quickly, adapt to changes, and who understand that their current skills are far more valuable than how quickly they mastered AOL back in 1997.
If you’re attempting to get a job in today’s market, it’s assumed that you are computer literate. Stating as much is a waste of time, and can make you look like you don’t have much else to offer.
The exception to this rule, of course, is in the event that you have any special certifications in daily-use software that would make you better than the next candidate.
Keep reading for a list of skills and tools that will look much better on your resume as we head into the next decade of technology-fueled business operations.
Industry-Specific Tech Expertise
Herein lies the exception to the Microsoft Office rule when it comes to resumes.
If your industry requires certain proficiencies, such as expert-level Excel skills, you do need to provide those for the employer to see.
Instead of doing it in a basic list or bullet point format, however, you should incorporate the skills into various actions and accomplishments so that you can show the employer how you acquired and used these skills throughout your career.
Some examples of industry-specific tech include:
- HTML and coding
- WordPress and other blogging or CMS (Content Management System) Tools
- InDesign and Illustrator
Remember, you can list your relevant “basic” skills if they are industry-specific, including your proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others.
Just don’t throw them on there unless it has a reason or you have an expert-level understanding or some type of special certification.
Most prospective employers don’t care how many Instagram followers you have or whether your account is trending on Twitter.
They do, however, often want to know how much personal experience and professional experience potential employees have with social media platforms.
This is because of the growing focus on leveraging social media for marketing and other business needs.
Whether or not you actually use social media for your job may vary from one position to another, but if it comes up in the listing, showcase what you know.
Again, however, it’s going to be better to integrate the “how” with the sharing of these skills.
No matter how strong your selfie game might be, employers want to know how you are using social media to make a professional difference or how you have used it personally, and what that translates to in terms of professional skills.
Anyone working in digital marketing, content writing, and related fields will need to provide work-related social media experience in almost every application that they submit.
Beyond Facebook and Twitter, companies are cashing in on social media platforms like:
- Facebook Messenger
Slack and Dropbox
Today’s office environment is taking a turn towards the collaborative approach.
As more companies use virtual tools to stay connected and invest in remote office teams, having skills in tech tools that help with workplace communication is a must.
Businesses are migrating to the cloud for data safety and organization, better collaborative tools, and simplified daily operations.
Show them that you can help in those areas.
After all, if an employer doesn’t have to teach you how to use Dropbox for file sharing or to add a co-worker on Slack for inter-office communications, they’ll put you one step ahead of the next candidate that doesn’t already have these skills.
Slack and Dropbox aren’t the only tools out there, but they are among the most popular and effective tools for communication and collaboration.
Although primarily designed for remote teams, these platforms have a lot of tools to offer any office environment.
Ask any HR manager how much merit a resume gets when it shows up with Salesforce CRM as one of the top skills and abilities.
Salesforce is one of the leading CRM and marketing tools available on the market today and every company that works in sales or service wants employees that are proficient, at the very least.
Expert-level skills and experience are even more highly desired.
As technology takes over customer relationship monitoring and management, these types of platforms are being integrated in almost every business in one form or another.
Delete those three bullet points detailing your PowerPoint skills and instead show off what CRM platforms you have experience with.
Don’t Be Basic
The bottom line is simple: if any of the skills listed on your CV are obvious and not specifically listed on the job posting (such as basic typing or MS Office skills), leave them out.
These are assumed, and often hiring managers look more critically at resumes that do list these skills than those that forego them in an attempt to shed light on their more useful skills and abilities.
If you really want to land the job, highlight your skills with tools like those listed here instead.
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.