Guest Post: Popular Software that Companies Look for in a Resume

In today’s job market, it would be easy to assume that you don’t need to list computer skills on your resume. Doesn’t everyone know how to use Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint? The surprising answer is ‘no’. Many job applicants don’t know how to use these basic applications, or may not be proficient in them. In addition, many programs that employers use to automatically scan resumes will check for keywords related to software. Most especially, if a job listing has a software requirement, make sure you know the software and list it on your resume.

So what software should you focus on? There are several key programs that applicants should know. If you lack knowledge in one of these applications, it would definitely strengthen your resume to take advantage of free online training options to brush up your skills. 

  • Microsoft Excel. Proficiency with Excel does not mean simply being able to list data and add numbers, although that’s part of it. Excel has a variety of important features that businesses use often. Make sure you can create and manipulate pivot tables, charts, and use look-up functions to reference material from other worksheets.
  • Microsoft Word. As with Excel, what seems to be a very basic program has some very important additional capabilities. If you can make brochures, templates, or easily incorporate graphic effects into documents, make sure that’s part of your resume.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint. Whether you’re looking to be an office assistant or a professional, PowerPoint will be part of your daily work. As an assistant you are likely to be editing and creating PowerPoint presentations for your boss, and as a professional you will need to know how to make your own slideshows as well as how to use the program to present them.
  • Microsoft Outlook. It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to use this email program, and if you really want to make a splash, learn how to use plug-ins and arrange group meetings using the calendar function to make sure everyone is available.
  • Microsoft Publisher. While Publisher is similar to Word, it has additional features that make newsletters, banners, invitations, and other presentation documents much easier. Proficiency with this software is less common, so if you know how to use it, be sure to mention it!
  • Microsoft Project. An excellent project management tool, this program allows you to specify goals, set timelines, analyze costs, and manage all the other steps of a project from start to finish. If you are looking for a position involving project management, be sure to be familiar with this software.
  • Microsoft FrontPage. No matter what type of position you have, the internet is here to stay. Knowing how to create and publish webpages is a key part of technical capability, and FrontPage makes it easy. Knowing this program or its most recent incarnation, Microsoft Expression Web, is a great resume builder.

Of course, if you have additional proficiencies in Microsoft Access or specific industry software, you should definitely list that also. Whether you list your software skills separately at the bottom of your resume or as part of your work experience, specific listing of software applications will help ensure that your resume stands out to keyword scanners or human resource personnel alike.  

Author Bio: Capterra helps you find and compare different software for your business. They have over 300 business software directories from church management software to applicant tracking software resources. Capterra lets you search based on your needs as well as view ratings and reviews written by your peers. If you are interested and want further assistance, you may register for a software consultation to get matched with the software that best fits your needs.

About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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