12 Useless Computer Skills That No Longer Help You Get a Job

NEWS & TRENDING - JOBS & CAREER NEWS
Consider changing your resume and dropping these outdated or unimpressive computer skills.
Updated April 11, 2024
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When you’re looking for a job that will help you build wealth, it’s important to update your resume from top to bottom. That means adding your most recent position and duties, but it should also mean updating your skills.

But some of those skills that have been on your resume for years are no longer relevant to today’s workforce. Having skills employers deem useless—or pointless to mention—won’t help you get a job. In fact, it might end up costing you an interview or two instead.

Following are the most useless computer skills people list on your resumes, but you're better off cutting them if they want a job to boost your bank account.

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Microsoft Office

Angelov/Adobe man typing on laptop with microsoft logo

Microsoft programs like Word, Excel, or Outlook have been around for decades and are a normal part of everyday work life. So while you may be proficient in these programs, it is a skill that is either expected or required in most cases.

There may be some exceptions, such as financial jobs that require specific Excel training and understanding. For those types of positions, you might want to take the additional step of getting certified for the more advanced skills that are required.

But for most people, you might be better off learning Google Docs or Google Sheets instead.

Email

Feng Yu/Adobe email inbox on computer with six notifications

Most employers assume you understand the basics of email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Gmail. It’s become such a normal part of your work life that listing it as a skill may actually be looked at as a negative thing.

It is a good idea to mention your depth of knowledge if the potential job is focused on email, but it is likely you’ll include that in your previous experience if that is the case.

Adobe Flash

momius/Adobe laptop with adobe flash player sign

Flash used to be a great program that seamlessly worked with websites to enhance user experiences. Unfortunately, Adobe Flash is becoming less useful, and web developers are moving away from it.

In fact, Adobe announced it would no longer update or support Flash in 2020. So unless the job asks for it, consider leaving this skill off your resume.

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Data entry

momius/Adobe finger clicking data entry key on keyboard

Data entry is considered a basic computer skill that most potential employees already know how to do.

Employers expect you to know how to add information to a spreadsheet or work with an online database or data form to get pieces of data collected for the company.

The only exception to this would be if you’re applying for a data-centered role but in that case, you’ll want to list much more relevant skills than just “data entry” when submitting your resume. Data analysis skills are likely to be much more appealing to employers these days.

Typing

Syda Productions/Adobe hands typing on keyboard at wooden table

One of the most basic skills you may have while working at a computer is the ability to type. Unfortunately, everyone pretty much has that skill these days.

Companies are not interested in your ability to type, including how quickly you type. Spellcheckers and auto-correct programs also have cut back on the need to hire someone who types accurately for a specific number of words per minute.

Web browsers

jamdesign/Adobe globe sign in address bar

There are plenty of web browsers out there like Chrome, Edge, or Firefox. Companies assume you have a basic ability to understand how to use browsers for research or other potential needs for your job.

It’s also a good idea to clean out any mentions of your proficiency in outdated web browsers like Netscape, for example. Adding names of outdated technologies to your resume may actually be a negative to any potential employer.

Outdated computer languages

MICHAEL ZECH/Adobe code on screen

Computer languages can change over time. New languages often crop up to create web browsers, databases, or other computer user experiences.

It’s important to clear out any outdated languages that you may be proficient in but aren’t used much anymore. If it isn’t required for the role, it’s probably best to leave it off.

If it is required for the role, still make sure you're up on the latest and most relevant language.

Social media

Aleksei/Adobe social media apps with unread notifications on iphone home screen

You may want to leave off your social media skills if they consist of posting on your personal Twitter account or Instagram page. Posting for yourself is different than posting with a business purpose.

If it’s required for the position, you’ll want to mention examples of your work in the work experience section of your resume and go beyond a basic mention of your proficiency with a particular platform.

Operating systems

wachiwit/Adobe pressing window key on laptop

When you turn on your computer, you’ll likely be working within an operating system like Windows 11 or macOS.

This is another basic skill that employers assume you already know, so you won’t get a step ahead of having that kind of experience when applying for a potential job.

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Phone systems

New Africa/Adobe stationary telephone with desktop computer on wooden table

You may work in an office with a connected phone system and a phone with a digital display on each desk. The complexity of using these systems has greatly declined over the years.

This is just another technology skill that isn’t really useful anymore, especially as more employees use smartphones to communicate instead of a traditional office system.

Shipping

Mego-studio/Adobe tape dispenser on moving boxes

Mailrooms used to be bustling spaces in offices, but some of those positions have been taken over by shipping software.

You should be able to use commercial shippers as well as the U.S. Postal Service to ship any packages that need to go out from your office.

Being able to understand shipping websites isn’t a skill that will get you far with potential employers, as it’s a skill that can easily be learned.

Skills not related to the job listing

plumber274/Adobe wooden pen on role and responsibilities paper at table

It’s a good idea to check the job listing for a particular position to understand what is required of job candidates and what isn’t.

Try to tailor your resume to the specific employer or the specific position by dropping any useless information that could be junking up your resume. Take out anything you haven’t done recently or anything that the employer probably doesn’t care about.

Bottom line

insta_photos/Adobe handsome man sitting at table smiling while using laptop at home

If you’re thinking about getting a new job, figure out how much more you may want in pay and benefits to give your budget a lift.

You also might want to consider taking classes or getting certified in computer skills that can actually help you get the job you want.

Before sending your resume out, make sure you clean it up and make it as up-to-date as you can. Display your new skills!

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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.

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