29. October 2009 10:44
An article by msnbc earlier this month highlighted
that there may be a growing number of people impaired in their job hunt
due to their limited knowledge of computers. The article suggested
that: "However deeply computers may have embedded themselves into modern life,
there are still millions of people for whom they remain a challenge."
Do you feel inhibited by your computer knowledge, or lack thereof? And if so... what can you do about it?
Not having a computer/ the Internet at home
jobseekers, computers and the Internet have opened up a world of
possibilities for the job hunt. Gone are the days when you need to rely
purely on the job ads in your local paper; instead you can go to one of
the many online jobs websites, and search through hundreds of vacancies
in your area. Not only that but you can refine your search with
keywords and filters to get really relevant results. CV distribution
sites like ours allow you to upload and send your CV to other jobs
websites and further increase your exposure within the job market.
because you do not have a computer or the Internet at home does not
mean that you have to resort to Stone Age job seeking. Your local
library will have public computers that you can use for free- usually
for one hour a day, you will just need a free library membership card.
This will allow you to search for jobs online, brush up on your
computer knowledge and apply for vacancies. If you're having any
trouble, then the library staff will probably be able to impart some
pearls of wisdom of their very own, about any problems you are having.
Most libraries will also have facilities for you to scan and print
Typing tests and improving your keyboard skills
For admin jobs, an agency may ask you to perform a
typing test- which is usually to determine the speed at which you can
type. This is calculated in words per minute, so the more you can type
in a minute, the better your score.
order to be a proficient typist, you should be using both hands on the
keyboard and also be able to type without looking at the keys.
Practicing your keyboard skills is easy; all you need is some text to
write and then you can just focus on becoming quicker and more accurate
at typing the text. Once you get a feel for where the keys are you will
be able to improve your skill in no time. There is also a variety of
free online typing tests you can do to practice speed and accuracy,
just search Google for 'typing tests' and see what comes up.
Uploading your CV to a jobs website or CV distribution service
things first, for you to be able to upload your CV to a website or send
in an email- you need to 1) have your CV saved on the computer you are
using. and 2) Know where you have saved it (For example, my CV is saved
in 'My Documents' and is entitled 'CV.doc'
When you click the
'browse' button on sites like FreeMyCV to upload your CV, a little
window will appear, which allows you to browse through files on your
computer. This does not mean that anyone apart from you has access to
your files- as this window only shows files on the computer you are
using. You simply need to find the folder/location where your CV is
saved, select it, and click 'open'
It really is that simple.
Some websites will have requirements for what format your CV will need
to be in. A lot of sites may not take pdfs, for example. On any
document, you will be able to select 'Save As' and choose a different
file type to save your document as. So it doesn't mean that you have to
be running Microsoft Word in order to upload your CV. If you don't know
the format of your CV, this is determined by the programme you used to
write your CV up on your computer. Looking at the file name will tell
you- the dot and letters after the file name is the format, such as
.pdf .rtf .doc etc.
Think you've got the basics down?
Here's a checklist to help you on your way. Can you do the following:
-Confidently type with speed and accuracy, and locate keys on the keyboard.
-Navigate easily around Microsoft Windows, and use software such as Word, Excel etc (or an equivalent operating system).
-Understand and use computer terminology appropriately.
-Connect to the Internet, browse, type in URLs, save bookmarks and open and use multiple tabs.
-Use electronic mail (email) to compose, retrieve, read, and respond to emails.
-Open, save and create documents using word processing software, spreadsheet software etc.
-Attach documents to emails and upload files from your computer to elsewhere.
Still feel like using a computer is as alien to you as launching a rocket into space?
reading around the basics, or just messing about with a computer
doesn't turn you into an overnight computer whizz, then why not attend
a computer course? The Direct Gov website has a handy search tool that
allows you to type in what you wish to learn, and find all courses in
your local area. You can check it out here.
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