Basic Computer Skills: Definition And Examples

Updated 18 April 2023

With technology becoming more prevalent in the workspace, it is important to have a solid foundation of computer skills. Depending on your work experience, job role and industry, the computer skills you need may vary. Knowing about the different types of computer skills can help you understand what skills you might require in your field. In this article, we define the various types of basic computer skills with examples, understand their importance and learn how to improve them and highlight them on your resume.

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Example

What Are Basic Computer Skills For A Resume?

Basic computer skills refer to the ability to use computers and related technology to perform fundamental tasks. Using these skills, you can make presentations, work with application software, access databases, communicate with team members and create beautiful designs. The type of computer skills you use depends on your job role and industry. For example, marketers are likely to use digital marketing tools, whereas accountants use accounting software.

To find out about the skills an employer in your field might expect, spend some time reading the job description and researching the common computer skills relevant for your career.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Importance Of Computer Skills

As companies are becoming increasingly dependent on digital tools, employers often prefer candidates who can operate those tools. Knowing the fundamentals of computers is important for the following reasons:

  • Fosters efficient ways of working: Knowing the basics helps you streamline your everyday tasks. This allows you more time to focus on other areas of your job role. For example, a graphic designer can create a flyer design using illustration software.

  • Streamlines communication: Being able to use the basic technology required for your job role makes it easier to work with stakeholders, team members and clients. You can easily connect and share information with them using communications tools.

  • Helps in career advancement: Being able to use computer tools relevant to your job allows you to work on more challenging projects and helps you get a job faster than candidates who lack these skills. For example, a graduate with experience in using website analytics is likely to get hired faster than someone with no experience in this tool.

Examples Of Basic Computer Skills

Here are a few examples of these skills:

Digital marketing

In digital marketing, you advertise a company's products and services using digital channels like websites, emails, mobile apps and social media. Companies use these channels to promote their brand and connect with current and prospective customers. This ultimately helps them grow their business. Furthermore, using various tools, companies can easily target and reach their audience. Some essential digital marketing skills that require basic computer literacy are:

  • Email marketing

  • Content management system (CMS)

  • Website analytics

  • Social media management (SMM)

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)

  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

  • Content marketing

When applying for a marketing or sales role, you can mention how these skills helped you excel at your workplace. For example, if you used content marketing, you can describe how your content helped in increasing the website traffic and what value it imparted to your customers. Quantifying the results can help an employer understand that you can use your skills to help their company grow.

Related: 40 Digital Marketing Interview Questions and Example Answers

Graphic design

Creating visually beautiful slides, posters, marketing materials and presentations is one of the most desired skills. With graphic design skills, you can edit photos, design leaflets, create headers and banners for a website. The various graphic design skills that can increase your chances of getting shortlisted for an interview are:

  • Video creation software

  • Design software

  • Photo editing and manipulation software

  • Vector-based graphic software

  • Desktop publishing

On your resume, you can highlight the graphic software tools you used in a previous. Try to give detailed information on your expertise with a particular tool, as it helps an employer gauge your abilities.

Related: How To Become a Graphic Designer: A Complete Guide

Database management

A database is an electronic collection of structured data or information that is accessible on a computer. It can store various information such as payroll, customer and employee information and inventory details. To manage a database, you require the following skills:

  • SQL

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Spreadsheets

  • Data analytics

You can highlight your database management skills by explaining how you structured data in your previous organisation to help streamline business operations.

Related: Database Interview Questions for Freshers and Experienced Professionals (With Sample Answers)

Productivity software

These are application software that helps you become more efficient in your day-to-day activities. For example, using productivity software, you can produce documents, worksheets, graphs and presentations. Some types of productivity software that requires fundamental computer skills are:

  • Word processing software

  • Digital calendars

  • Spreadsheet software

  • File sharing software

  • Video conferencing tools

  • Cloud backup software

  • Instant messaging

When writing your resume, rather than stating your ability to use digital calendars, showcase how the digital calendars helped you become productive in your previous job.

IT troubleshooting

When you use computers, you are likely to encounter problems such as frozen screens, slow Internet, overheating, dropped Internet connection or damaged USB ports. The ability to troubleshoot these problems without seeking professional help is a desirable skill. For example, when your computer shows network issues, you may be required to find your IP address, verify that your computer is connected to the Internet and try reconnecting again. Some of the basic IT troubleshooting skills are:

  • Modem hardware troubleshooting

  • Router troubleshooting

  • Software troubleshooting

To highlight this skill set, try giving real-life examples of how a slow Internet connection was causing issues and how you used your troubleshooting skills to overcome the problem.

Accounting software

If you are applying for an accounting role, it is important to possess strong computer skills related to this field. Some types of accounting software are:

  • Spreadsheets

  • Custom accounting software

  • Accounting information systems

On your resume or profile summary, you can mention the level of proficiency and experience you have using such software. Often, basic knowledge of accounting software is a requirement for many accounting-related jobs.

Email and other communication software

Communication is vital for every company. Good communication fosters collaboration between employees and departments. Also, effective communication increases productivity and makes a company more efficient. In your workplace, some of the most important email and communication software are:

  • Online messaging software

  • Email management application

  • Video conferencing software

When including this skill set in your resume, read the job description to understand which communication and email software your prospective employer is likely to use and list your relevant skills.

How To Improve Your Computer Skills?

Here are a few ways to improve these skills:

1. Understand computer basics

Before sharpening your computer skills, you are required to understand how a computer works. Learning the basics like typing, navigating a computer or browsing the Internet gives you a firm base to build upon.

2. Stay focused

If you are learning or improving your existing computer skill, you are required to remain focused. The more focused you are, the more quickly you can improve and use the skill at your workplace.

3. Get practical experience

To improve your skills, try to apply them. For example, if you are learning a new communication tool, take time to learn the tool and use it in your everyday life to get some practical experience of using it.

What Is Basic Computer Knowledge?

Basic computer knowledge is about how computers work and how to use them. This may include typing, learning keyboard commands, powering a computer on and off, knowing how to connect and disconnect the Internet to a computer. It can help you understand different operating systems and application software. Whether you are a college graduate, salesperson, marketer, copywriter, teacher or working professional, you are required to know the computer basics. Having basic computer knowledge makes it easier to complete everyday tasks and increase workplace productivity.

Related: How To Learn Excel for Office Work: A Complete Guide

How Can I Learn Computer Basic Skills?

To learn these basic skills, you can enroll in a course in the area you wish to learn and improve. You can either enroll in a classroom or online course based on your convenience. For example, if you want to pursue a career in database management, you can take an online course on SQL or data analytics.

How To Highlight Your Computer Skills?

It is important to showcase your relevant skills to your potentials employers. Here are a few ways you can highlight your fundamental computer skills during the hiring process:

1. On your resume

For mentioning this skill set on your resume, refer to the job posting and choose the relevant computer skills for the position you are applying for. This helps in making your resume Applicant Tracking System (ATS) compliant. Also, you can mention them in your resume's skills section and more details in the work experience section.

Related: How To List Your Skills On A Resume (With Examples)

2. During a job interview

Your job interview is a great place to showcase your skills. For example, if you are required to answer questions about using social media marketing during an interview, explain your proficiency level and explain how you helped a previous employer gain followers and increase sales by implementing social media marketing campaigns.

Related: Top Basic Computer Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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