11 Most Useless Job Skills Companies Don’t Want Today

If you’re looking for a new job, refresh your resume by removing these job skills that appear useless today.

woman's hand presses a finger on the buttons of an old typewriter
Updated May 28, 2024
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U.S. workers have been switching jobs more often than in the past as part of a post-pandemic realigning of the workforce. In the beginning, it even had a name: The Great Resignation.

The shift means more Americans are updating their resumes as they pursue opportunities that allow them to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck.

But refreshing your resume might require you to remove obsolete job skills. Listing these skills might actually reduce your chances of landing a potential new job.

So if you’re hoping to find a position that could help you boost your bank account, purge some of these job skills from your resume.

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Microsoft Word

PhotoGranary/Adobe notebook with Microsoft Word logo

Microsoft Word has been around for a while. The first version of Microsoft Word came out in the early 1980s, and there have been several major changes to the software since then.

Word has become so prevalent in the workforce that employers assume you already know it. Adding it to your resume might be seen as unnecessary bloat.

And remember that Word isn’t the only Microsoft program that has become ubiquitous. So apply this advice to other programs, such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft PowerPoint.

Data entry

ronstik/Adobe annual business report with using laptop at office desk

Some understanding of basic data entry is expected for many jobs, thanks to the increase in the use of technology in offices, on shop floors, and anywhere else you may work.

Skip mentioning proficiency in data entry unless the job requires you to add large amounts of information to a database. In that case, mention a specific database entry program you understand thoroughly.

Packaging and shipping

Monkey Business/Adobe workers in distribution warehouse

Mailrooms used to be busy hubs for offices. In the past, you might have been able to use your packing and shipping knowledge to get items moving through the system as quickly as possible.

But packing and shipping skills have become more common and easier to master, thanks to the use of email and the availability of online programs that can print labels or track packages.

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Phone support

Monkey Business/Adobe customer service agent wearing telephone headset talking to caller

Offices once were filled with big black phones sitting on the desks of every employee. Phone support technicians were required to run phone lines or service newer phones with digital screens.

Company phones aren’t used as often as they used to be, and some companies have even ditched landlines for smartphones in the hands of each of their workers. So, mentioning phone support skills on your resume might make you look outdated.

Typing

DragonImages/Adobe businesswoman working on laptop and typing on keyboard

In the past, typing proficiency was reserved for people who held positions where typing was regularly needed.

Now, most employees have computers on their desks, meaning typing has become a universal skill for all workers. Many students also are exposed to typing at a young age in their schools.

Online research

tippapatt/Adobe student learning online at home

Finding a specific database or knowing where to get hard-to-find data in a corner of the internet used to be a vital skill. Now, most workers know how to use online search engines to retrieve the information they need.

These days, there is nothing special about mastering online research skills.

Filing

mnirat/Adobe Important documents in files placed in the filing cabinet

Your computer is likely packed with folders that hold all your files. The idea is based on paper filing systems that once were the standard way to organize office papers.

Understanding filing systems and filing folders is a job for the technology department now that virtual files have physical files. Those who work in other departments no longer need to boast of this skill.

Computer languages

oatawa/Adobe coding on screen

Computer languages are constantly evolving as programmers try to develop new technology to keep pace with changes in the market.

You might have experience with multiple computer languages, but it’s probably better to limit your resume to mentioning languages specific to the job opening.

Some computer languages are outdated now, so adding them to your resume might make you appear out of touch with today’s technology.

Email

fizkes/Adobe woman typing e-mail on laptop

Understanding how to write, send, or receive emails was once a new concept, but that’s obviously not the case anymore.

Ditch any references to your work with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or other email platforms.

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College degree

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe diploma with beautiful bow and graduation cap with tassel

While not a particular skill, employers might not be as interested in your college degree as they once were.

Perhaps you majored in a field that is irrelevant to your current position. Or maybe you graduated a few decades ago, meaning anything you learned to earn your degree might be outdated.

So don’t overemphasize your degree. On the other hand, it’s fine to highlight recent certification programs or continuing education classes that are relevant to your position.

Pro tip: If you’re an older worker and want to keep your college degree on your resume, another option might be to remove your graduation date.

Web browser use

wachiwit/Adobe computer user touching on Microsoft Edge

Unless you are applying for a job to design websites, your understanding of web browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or Google Chrome probably is not useful to mention.

It‘s especially crucial to delete references to outdated browsers, like Netscape.

Bottom line

Mariia Korneeva/Adobe manager looking at many different cv resume and choosing perfect person

The employment market has become more competitive as people change jobs to find better positions or to get a raise that will help them get ahead financially.

If you want your resume to stand out, consider giving it a good refresh or even overhauling it to give it a more modern feel. You will stand out more by focusing on current job skills instead of those that are no longer quite so relevant.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.