By Nick Williams
There are always more software programs to learn; every year thousands of releases appear and disappear from the software radar. It’s no secret that having a broad knowledge of ‘core’ software programs will leverage your CV from mediocre to ‘worth another read’. But how do you know which ones to spend your time on, which ones will get the most real-world use and which ones you could learn at home? Fear and worry not. As we have done the legwork for you and listed below what we consider to be the 5 most important (from a quality of CV perspective) software programs that you could learn from the comfort of your home. Mastering each will not only set your CV apart from others but will actually benefit you should you get the position you are applying for.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Photoshop Elements is a photo editing program that provides you with tools to create and enhance your photos. Photoshop is the industry standard image editing software, so getting to grips with the stripped-down version will immediately put you at an advantage should you need to use the full version. There are many ways to learn Photoshop; either sign-up to a local Photoshop course or wade slowly through the thousands of tutorials available via YouTube or on dedicated websites. Learning Adobe Photoshop from home can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. But once you begin with the basics, you will soon be pleased with your progress and employers will be pleased to see it on your CV.
We wouldn’t think there are many computer owners who haven’t stumble across the behemoth that is MS word. But in actual fact there are still a large number of us who use different document creation programs... Microsoft Word is the most widely used software program in the office. It runs in homes, offices, small businesses and dorms all around the globe. Microsoft Office comes equipped with an intuitive interface that’s been reorganised and made useful with tools that create specific document styles like letters, academic papers and blogs. Learning Word from home is easy. Microsoft releases new tutorials and documents with each new version and these are free and allow for easy following for new users. These tutorials and guides teach users how to work with the vast archive of templates available in Word. Mastering Word is a must for the majority of office roles, and anyone seriously considering a position where letter writing, producing documents and so on are required tasks
MS project is a brilliant program for pretty much anyone, particularly those of you trying to get into a specific project management role or whose potential position could involve being a cog in a particularly large project. It's essentially the tool of choice for keeping teams (and individuals) focused and on track. Being able to read the Gantt charts and complete basic updates will put you in a very positive position. The basics can very easily be picked up from YouTube and you can hone your skills for free on a number of free online project tools. Having a good working knowledge of MS project can mean the difference between leaving the office and not. Get reading.
Part of Adobe’s creative suite, Dreamweaver is a brilliant starting point for anyone looking to get into any marketing, digital, publishing job. In actual fact, having a working knowledge of HTML will put you in a favourable position in most businesses these days. There are thousands of supporting tutorials which can easily guide you from the basics right up to HTML5. Knowing how to code transfers into hundreds of other programs and tools too, making your skill-set even more valuable.
PowerPoint (as with Word & Excel) is part of the family of Microsoft Office programs. It consists of a large number of individual pages or slides. These slides may contain text, graphics, movies, sounds and other objects which may be freely arranged. In most sales and senior management roles applicants will be required to have an above average working knowledge of PowerPoint. In actual fact; more and more interviews include a presentation phase, which makes knowing PowerPoint less of a luxury and more of a necessity. In our opinion learning PowerPoint should be less about the technical side of the program and more about slide structuring and maintaining attention/interest.
This article was written by Nick Williams, who is a marketing assistant at Acuity Training. Acuity is a hands-on training company based in Guildford, UK. Acuity has a large number of design and development focused courses, including SPSS, Excel training courses, Photoshop training and much more.