Because of the weight we as a society place on efficiency, many tasks, as you know, are handled via electronic means. If you don’t believe me, call your bank and try to get a human being on the line. It takes me at least 5 minutes!

Because of this, hiring managers have an expectation for their employees to provide a minimum of software proficiency, whether you are the medical, legal, finance, or governmental sectors. There is a variety of industry-specific software relating to your line of work. It is in your best interest to have a strong working knowledge of all areas of Microsoft Word as well as industry specific software (such as QuickBooks, Great Plains, SAP, or JD Edwards in accounting). Many managers hire preferentially on the basis of software knowledge, since companies are limited in the amount of time available to train.

How can I get additional software experience? Go online and look for tutorials. Volunteer with a company. Work as a temp employee, and you get exposed to a nice variety of software in a limited amount of time.

Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself as “Old School, like the paper and pencil kind of person”. And don’t forget to list all software you know in its own section on your resume!