What Computer Skills Should I Put On My Resume?

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 04/11/20 •  9 min read

If you are looking for a new job, but don’t know what computer skills you should put on your resume, you are going to want to read this article. Is there anything other than you computer skills that you should put on your resume?

The reason for listing computer skills on your resume is to land the interview, where you can demonstrate your ability to use your knowledge of hardware and software to provide real-world solutions.  In addition to hardware and software computer skills, be certain to list your networking and business skills as well.

Listing your hardware, software and your people skills on your resume provides more information for the hiring manager to draw from.  During the interview, you just need to elaborate on your ability to serve as an asset to the company, by showing how you can combine your hardware and software skills with your people skills.  If you do, you will clearly have the advantage over every other candidate who is applying for the same job.

There are numerous software skill sets you can list on your resume, depending on the industry you are in.  What follows are several skill sets you may want to to use on your resume.  Keep in mind, however, that just listing these hardware or software skills is not enough.  Not nearly enough.  I’ll elaborate more in the section below, titled, “Be Certain to List Your People Skills on Your Resume”

Provide Your Key Software Skill Sets

Here are some key software skill sets you might want to use.

Accounting and Enterprise Systems

Data Science and Analysis Skills

Design and Creative Computer Skills

Web Development and Programming Skills

Listing Key Operating Systems on Your Resume

What operating systems are you fluent in?  By “fluent”, I don’t mean operating systems that you have used before, but rather, how intimately do you know them?  Below is a list of some of them, but there are others as well, of course.

Do not list, for example, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10.  Simply list Windows.  Though it may be tempting to list all of the Linux distributions you are intimately familiar with, simply list “Linux”, if appropriate.  There will be time to elaborate during the interview.

The more operating systems you have experience with, the more valuable you are to the employer, even if the hardware in question has long since become extinct.  Listing it, will let the employer know the depth of your understanding and experience in dealing with different types of hardware and software.

Listing Your Computer Hardware Skills on Your Resume

If you have professional experience in supporting and troubleshooting specific type of hardware, you will want to include this in your resume as well.  Below are a few core computer skills that you could list if appropriate.

Be Certain to List Your People Skills on Your Resume

It can not be overstated just how important it is for you to list your people skills on your resume.  What do I mean by ‘people skills’?  People skills refers to your ability to effectively communicate with people in a caring compassionate way.  Why is caring and compassion so important?  Because people who are experiencing computer related issues respond well to a technician who genuinely cares and shows compassion.  That is ultimately what your employer wants.  Remember, the end user is frustrated (and sometimes angry), that the issue is affecting their productivity, so showing genuine concern coupled with compassion goes a long way, and your employer knows that.

Tech Support and Troubleshooting Skills

If your core competency is in supporting either Hardware or Software, (or a combination of both), when interviewing, make it a point to share all of the hardware and software that you have supported professionally in the past.

For example, be sure to provide a true scenario where you once helped a user who had a hardware / software issue that you helped resolve.  If the end user was difficult to deal with, share how you implemented your people skills while resolving the computer related issue that they came to you with.  This will convey that you are not only competent in computer skills, but that you can also manage people.

Regardless of the job that you are applying for, people are involved.  Even if you are only maintaining computer equipment.  At some point, you will need to interact with people.  What hiring managers are really looking for is someone who not only knows how to deal with software or hardware, but who can also communicate well with people.  Remember, it is the person on the other end of the phone that is having an issue with their computer.  Managing that entire situation is what the job is all about, regardless of the computer industry that you are interviewing for.

Networking Skills

Do you have the ability to network with people?  Unless you are only looking for a data entry job where you never interact with other people, you are going to need networking skills.  What does that mean?Networking is letting others know that you are available to serve their needs, should a need arise.  It’s more than just knowing who you can go to as a resource. 

Networking is ensuring that others know that they can go to you as a resource.  It is not self-centered, (what can I get from other people), but rather, selfless, (does everybody know that I am available as a resource?).  It’s a different way of thinking.  This mindset will go a long way, and will certainly get the attention of your employer well after you have been hired.

Business Skills

What experience do you have in your industry that you can capitalize on?  Remember, the employer does not just want a robot.  They want someone who can provide solutions, someone who can think for themselves, one who can work with other people to figure out how to accomplish a given task. 

Do you have the ability to negotiate with others?  Put that skill set down on your resume.  Do you have a knack for bringing people together to accomplish a given task?  Put that skill set down on your resume.

By now, I hope you are beginning to see that it is not just computer skills that hiring managers are looking for, but rather the people skills you bring to the table too.  I would argue that they are just as important.  Ideally, the employer is looking for someone who can use both skillfully.

How Do I List Computer Skills on My Resume?

When putting a resume together, most people find it difficult knowing where to start, or how to convey who they are in a resume.  All too often, people way too much information on their resume.

The point of the resume is to stand out so that you can get the interview.  Once you land the interview, you can then elaborate on the depth of your knowledge and how you might implement that knowledge in the role that you are being hired for.

Also, don’t try to reinvent the wheel.  Use one of the free resume templates offered by Microsoft Word.  You may think that your resume wont “stand out” if you do, but trust me, those that spend a lot of time making their resume look “pretty”, do so because they don’t have anything worthwhile to offer!  What makes matters worse, is that hiring managers see this all the time.  Don’t be overly concerned with the look and layout of your resume, focus on the content.  That’s what the hiring manager focuses on.

Focus on Simplicity

Speaking of focus, I can’t over-emphasize just how important it is to simplify your resume.  In other words, you want your resume to stand out by simply glancing at it.  Hiring managers hate reading paragraph after paragraph.  Don’t use fluff, just get to the point, and quickly.

Below is a sample resume I have “prepared” for you.  Actually, I opened up Microsoft Word, and this resume template stood out to me, so after comparing the available resume templates for 20 seconds, I chose this one.  By the way, keep in mind that hiring managers approach resume’s the same way!

Below are some key items that you want on your resume.

  1. Put your Name and Position you are applying for.
  2. Fill in your CONTACT INFORMATION.
  3. In ONE PARAGRAPH, convince them why they need to call you in for an interview.  If you can’t convince them in the first paragraph, they won’t read the rest of your resume.  Focus your attention here, as this is the most important part of the resume.
  4. Place a FEW software / hardware skills and a FEW People skills here.  Don’t forget to emphasize your people skills!
  5. Enter your last three places of employment.  In ONE paragraph, write why your prior employer needed your skill sets.
  6. List your education here.

Finally, keep this to ONE PAGE.  Again, I know you will be tempted to add a second page.  Don’t do it.  With a resume, less is more.  It speaks louder.

Closing Thoughts

I’m convinced that your people skills are just as valuable as the computer skill sets you have to offer, if not more valuable.  The reason for this, regardless of your computer skill set, you will have to interact with people.  Employers want to hire people who can resolve issues, and all issues involve people.  As a result, if you place an emphasis on your people skills in your resume (and during the interview), you will find that there is a higher probability of being hired.  Additionally, you will clearly have the advantage over every other candidate who is applying for the job.

Tim Chesonis

Tim has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.