In today’s technology-centric world, almost all companies depend on technology to help run their businesses. So, it comes to no surprise that employers look for some level of computer literacy when hiring.

Computer literacy does not mean you need to know how to write programs or master every software that exists. You just need to know the basics—like sending and receiving emails, opening and saving a file, and using a word processing program. A computer literate person is comfortable enough around computers, rather than feeling fearful or anxious.

Below are some of the most essential computer skills that every employee should have.

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1. Navigate search engines

There is more to Google (and other major search engines) than typing in a few words and picking the first handful of results.

When you need to find out information quickly, it’s important to know the tricks that can make your search more specific and time efficient. Learn how to use Advanced Search options and filters to finetune your results. In addition, doing a Boolean search will help you produce more accurate and relevant results.

2. Word processing applications

Of all computer applications, word processing like Microsoft Word is the most common. Employees should know how to open and create documents, how to use spell check, create tables, insert graphics, and how to use basic formatting like bold, italics, and underline.

3. Work with Spreadsheets

Thankfully, you don’t have to know how to create advanced graphs or charts if it isn’t part of your job. However, it’s still good to know how to work with spreadsheets and how to use formulas, references, and macros.

4. Email usage with different software programs.

Communication in the business world largely revolves around the use of emails. While you may already have your own personal web-based email address (like Gmail or Hotmail), many companies use software programs like Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird, or Mailbird. Take the time to learn the basics (send, open, attach) of your chosen software and discover other features that might be useful to you.

What other computer skills do you find necessary in the workplace?

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