How to Demonstrate Basic Computer & Word Processing Skills
By Cari Haus
Basic computer and word processing skills are required for almost every job. Most people should be able to achieve basic computer skills with a little practice. Displaying decent typing skills while efficiently navigating the operating system will help demonstrate computer skills. Another requirement for most jobs is a general knowledge of how to use Microsoft Office. Visit a local bookstore or Amazon.com and purchase a couple of computer books to review basic computing and word processing.
Study the computer basics, such as how to plug all the cables into the back of a computer, what to do if the computer crashes, and how to add and remove programs. There are a lot of things that can go wrong while using a computer. Download a couple of free programs and install them to learn more about how the computer works. The VLC video player at VideoLan.org is a great choice. Right-click different options on the desktop and start menu to see what's available.
Improve typing skills. This is the most important basic computer skill because it makes everything else so much easier, especially word processing. Visit Staples or Amazon.com and purchase a typing program such as Mavis Beacon. The software will feature a series of lessons that can be completed over a period of several months. The key is to never miss a lesson. Always practice typing every day, even if you don't feel like it, until you are able to demonstrate a speed of 40 words per minute or faster.
Learn to use Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Familiarity with these popular Web browsers will be very helpful in demonstrating basic computer skills. First go through all the options in the menu bar and learn what they are used for. Learn how to install plugins such as Adobe Flash or Sun Java. Study the different tool bars, and practice adding and removing favorites and bookmarks.
Review browser and software email programs. For browsers, Yahoo Mail and Gmail are popular choices. Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook are software programs used to send emails. Learn to write emails that sound professional without a lot of emotion. Write a clear subject line, and proofread the email before sending it. Learning how to write email using a professional voice can be helpful in demonstrating word processing skills.
Purchase the latest version of Microsoft Office from Staples or an on-line computer store. Also buy a couple of computer books explaining how to use the programs. Demonstrating a knowledge of word processing with Microsoft Word will be very helpful during a review of basic computer skills. Develop a basic knowledge of all the programs in the Office suite, and pay special attention to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Cari Haus has authored or co-authored a score of books on topics ranging from business and health to parenting, faith, and life. After earning a B.B.A. from Andrews University in 1982, Haus became a C.P.A. in 1985. Lately she has been writing business articles for the newsletter Real Estate Advisor.