an employer will be looking for computer skills on your resume, and that means you need to be able to know how to use a computer when you’re on the job. networking is another great way to discover what technical skills other people in your field have, or what software and apps they use on a day-to-day basis. the specific skills you need are highly dependent on your position and your field, but you can familiarize yourself with this list of top computer skills to start out. while this goes without saying, before you learn any specialized technical skills, at the very least you need a fundamental understanding of how to use a computer—ideally, both a windows or mac. if you’re working in an office role, consider getting certified in microsoft office to improve your skills and add value to your resume. while this goes without saying, before you learn any specialized technical skills, at the very least you need a fundamental understanding of what a computer it is and how it works.
here is a list of some free online computer skills lessons that you can start with: there are many free resources available, both offline and online. if you’re looking for a more formal learning experience, you can find tons of free college-level courses online on sites like coursera, edx and class-central. for example, say a position requires that you know how to use trello, a project management tool. if this is not possible, perhaps there’s a case where you could use it in your personal life—like for planning a trip. create an account and use it to make a video call with someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. if you’re lacking a skill that is listed in the job description, you can always mention that it is something you are currently learning (or intend to learn), and emphasize your ability to pick up new skills quickly.
referencing and research that used to be done in a library is now largely undertaken via online searches of the worldwide web and academic databases. some users may even decide to take a typing course to improve their keyboarding skills and make it easier and faster to write on the computer. do they have their own device or have access to a shared computer on which to learn? in some cases computer skills are just the first step in opening up access to home education software that can be used to improve language and literacy skills or enrolling in a distance education program. encourage adult learners to keep a journal in which they write down any words they are uncertain about and remember to think twice about the language you use when you provide definitions.
have the person practice using the mouse or touchpad, selecting various objects on the desktop and dragging and dropping. have them take a closer look at the blinking cursor and practice moving it to different places. the more comfortable a learner feels, the more likely they are to take risks and explore the computer environment. computers are one thing but learning about the internet and how to use a computer to get online and navigate the web is another challenge entirely. lastly, be sure to explain logging in, logging out and passwords – especially the importance of writing them down somewhere in case they are forgotten!
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