The Scary Computer And Your Job SearchNOTE: If you are reading this blog, this probably doesn’t pertain to you. But, maybe you would like to share it with someone it would benefit.

It’s an occupational hazard that people initiate scary conversations with resume writers and career counselors. Scary conversations don’t bother me. In fact, I’m used to it.  Though, some conversations are scary than others.

“I’ve been out of work for two years and the resume my brother helped me put together on his computer needs to be updated, but I don’t know how to open the Word file or print it out so a resume writer can help me fix it.” I ask a few questions and find out the person I’m talking to grudgingly just got an e-mail address.

“It looks like these places I want to work make you fill out their stupid on-line application before they’ll even talk to you.” On-line applications are a pain in the *&^* and take a lot of time. But, filling them out is easier if you have basic computer skills.

I’ll spare you countless examples of similar stories from clients of all ages and backgrounds who have computer phobia.

“It’s not my thing,” is the excuse I most often hear. Unfortunately, there’s no debating the fact that we’ve left the industrial age and are now firmly planted in the Information Age. Computer literacy is no longer just important, it’s required. (The implications of that, especially with social media thrown into the mix, could be the topic of several blogs or discussions.)

Knowing how to conduct an effective job search in these challenging times is tricky enough without the added barrier of being unable to demonstrate your value to an employer because you don’t know how to use one of the most common tools used in daily business. For the last half of the 20th Century, nobody would consider telling an employer, “I didn’t learn how to read or write, because it’s not really my thing.” Demonstrating computer literacy is essential. Employers want to talk to candidates they won’t have to train in this basic.

Never fear! There are inexpensive and free community resources available to build computer, software and even typing skills – which will help anyone become more employable.  Listed below are just a few:

  1. Many staffing agencies and temporary agencies offer free computer training, even if you haven’t been given a temporary assignment.
  2. Unemployment and workforce offices offer many training classes, including computer and software training.
  3. Check out the very reasonable continuing education courses at local community colleges.
  4. Or, use Google to search for online computer training & “name of software”. There are many free and low cost online training programs for most common software, such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

– Written by Doug Anders
Professional Resume Writer & Career Counselor