Computer Skills Checklist

Job seekers, return-to-work parents, promotion hopefuls:
Want to know which specific computer skills you'll need to qualify for more of the jobs you want?

What Nobody Tells You About
Soft Skills & Hard Skills

What Do Employers Really Look For and
What Questions Might They Ask in an Interview? 

Job Seeker Espresso Package

So you're in the market for a new job. Lots of candidates applying for the same positions. Lots of competition. What can you do to stand apart from the crowd?

Employers will always be looking for a combination of SOFT skills and HARD skills.

But what are soft skills?  How do you define a 'soft' skill?

And what is the difference between a hard skill and a soft skill?

There's lots of conflicting information and fluff out there.

So, with respect for your time, I've provided useful answers below as well as examples of questions that you may be asked in an interview. 

Plus my personal recommendations on what to focus on so you can prepare for your next interview in the quickest time. Not the usual guff.

Nobody else is talking about this approach, but it works beautifully.

Soft Skills

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are mostly about the type of person you are. Your character, your personality and your people skills. Things like ...

  • Strong work ethic
  • Respectfulness and empathy
  • Communication and active listening
  • Self-confidence and positivity
  • Teamwork and working with other people
  • Time management

Some of these skills can be improved, but generally, you either possess them or you don't. 

Just about every resume received by an employer will list the same soft skills, so it's hard to differentiate yourself. For example:

  • "I'm hard-working, diligent and manage my time to ensure I meet deadlines"
  • "I work well without supervision and as part of a team"

So, how do I prove I have a particular soft skill?

SAYING you have a soft skill and PROVING you have a skill are poles apart.

At many interviews, you will be asked to describe a situation where you exhibited certain people-skills, empathy, teamwork etc. For example:

  • Have you ever worked with someone who was difficult? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever gotten into trouble for being honest?

But an interviewer will often quickly form an impression of the level of your soft skills just by the way you express yourself in conversation.

Writers will always tell you:

And that's the key. So, instead of a last-ditch attempt to improve your soft skills before your next interview ... 

... be ready with lots of little stories or anecdotes

The best way to prepare for the soft skills component of an interview is to be ready with an internal library of stories or anecdotes that you can drop into the conversation at a moment's notice to illustrate how or when you applied a soft skill in particular situation. 

Story-telling is the most effective form of communication. When done well, it draws people in, it gains their trust and they grow to like you.

Think about when you share a great story with your friends or family. The joy or amazement in their reaction. And how that made you feel.

Try to get into that zone. Be conversational like that. 

Think about the best presentation or event you ever attended. The best presenters are remembered by the stories they tell, not the facts and figures they shared.

Be that guy or gal. 

Practice telling stories about yourself as if you were with a good friend.


And in the words of the great philosopher, Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that!"

Hard Skills

What are hard skills?

'Hard' in this context does not mean 'difficult' but rather 'concrete'. Industry-specific skills developed throughout your career and acquired through experience.

For example, if you were applying for a job in a factory, a forklift licence is a good hard skill to have.

The hard skills that employers look for in potential candidates will vary greatly depending on the type of job you are looking for.

What hard skills are in-demand right now?

The following are the most sought-after hard skills in today's market ...

  • Computer technology
  • Data analysis and analytics
  • Marketing, copywriting, CRM and CMS
  • Project management and team management
  • Visual design skills (CAD etc.)

You'll notice most of these skills involve computers at some level.

At the top of most 'desirable hard skills' lists you'll find Computer Technology

And while that's covers a huge number of areas including web design, database management, social media, network security and many others ...

The most sought-after hard skill is Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Project and OneNote.

That's a lot of programs. And some of them are BIG!

At this point you might be starting to sweat a little. 

You may be thinking, I'm so far off the mark it's not even worth continuing.

May I share a secret with you?

It's not about learning more

It's not about learning everything.

It's about elimination.

Multiplication by subtraction.

Removing all the things that you COULD learn but DON'T NEED TO.

Which frees up lots of extra time to spend on the things you MUST learn.

Which in turn multiplies the effectiveness of your time.

But what should you eliminate?

Let me give you a heads up.

Outlook, Word and Excel are the big gorillas - the must-haves.

Everything else is a bonus. But you need these three at some level.

What areas specifically? And to what level?

Well, to give you a huge head start, I've created a free checklist that spells it all out for you.

Different skills required for different jobs.

Essential skills vs nice-to-have-skills.

Get your free copy below.

Microsoft Office Skills Checklist

Pinpoint the exact Microsoft Office skills you must possess to confidently apply for the jobs on your wishlist

Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for. I've been looking everywhere for a list like this! Super helpful!

Vanessa Rae

Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for. I've been looking everywhere for a list like this! Super helpful!

Vanessa Rae