The 21st century business world demands that you have at least basic computer skills for jobs to advance in your career. Whether you are employed by a Fortune 500 company, a mom and pop, or self-employed, having proficient computer skills can make or break your career.

Also, whether you are a writer, work in retail, or are a customer service specialist, you will need computer skills to stay employed. Also, many employers require computer skills tests before awarding positions. Do you have the right computer skills to land and keep a job? Read on to find out.

1. Typing Skills Are A Must

Employers want to know how fast you can type while maintaining accuracy. The faster that you can type; the better your chances are of being a productive employee. Those who can type more than 40 words per minute without making more than one error stand the best chance of obtaining a job where typing skills are required.

2. Are You Familiar With The Internet? (and lolz)

If you can type, it is probable that you can send and receive emails and appear professional while doing so (keep out the lolz). However, do you know how to navigate the internet to research subjects quickly, use social media, run a website, and/or create content that will be easy for online consumption? If not, you run the risk of being passed over for someone who is familiar with social media and basic website creation.

3. What Type Of Computer Software Are You Familiar With?

At a minimum, it is important that you have used Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, and other Windows programs. This is because everything from the company computer that you use to access your projects at work, to the laptop you take home is typically going to run this software or similar types of software.

4. You Should Expect To Be Tested When You Apply For A Job

Many employers will test your ability to use a computer and the software associated with the job that you will be asked to do. Some tests will be conducted during the interview while other tests will be completed from home as part of the application process. What types of tests will you be asked to take?

A. Typing Test For Speed And Accuracy

An applicant will be asked to look at a text and copy it as fast as possible. Applicants can expect to be given a specified amount of time to complete the test to determine the speed and accuracy of the applicant. If you don’t finish the test, you may not be able to take it again.

B. A Microsoft Word and Excel Test

Potential employees are often tested on their Microsoft Office suite skills. Sites such as provide these tests for employers and many fortune 500 companies use them. Can you reformat a document to certain specifications? Do you know the most common shortcuts? A few online classes on these functions can help you keep up to date on the best way to use these essential pieces of software.

C. SEO Writing Test

Applicants who are looking to find work as a writer or a social media specialist may be asked to take a SEO test. The applicant will be asked in this test to create a document that has certain keywords in it. A meta description as well as other search engine friendly components may also have to be provided.

D. Numeral Key Test

Jobs that require a lot of numbers to be entered through a computer program may require that you show proficiency in numeric typing. In other words, you should know how to use a numeric pad, the 1-9 keys on the right of your keyboard. For many applicants, this will be the hardest test as the typical computer user doesn’t use the numeral keys as much as the rest of the keyboard.

If you don’t have the basic computer skills that employers need and want, it will be hard to find work. The good news is that many of these skills can be learned in a matter of days or weeks through cheap courses offered at community colleges or community centers. Once you have mastered the basics of typing, how to use the Internet and how to use common software such as Word and Excel, you will have an increased list of marketable skills that any employer will find useful.