Resume Examples of Obsolete Skills

Writing your resume may be a daunting task as you want to make sure you include all your skills to show a potential employer. As a college student, you may have had only summer jobs or worked at your parents’ company, and not have much real world experience. You might want to list all your experience because it shows that you are a responsible worker, can hold down a job, and are a team player.

Yet your career or vocational counselor might advise you leave off your resume and cover letter skills that are obsolete in today’s market, especially technology skills, or show that you are out of touch with how a business office runs. Rather, you want to focus on marketable and pertinent skills, and unique knowledge in the field you will work in. Here are some resume examples of obsolete skills.

Be up-to-day on computer software

The programming field and even basic office workers need to be up-to-date on the latest software. In “25 Job Skills to Leave Off Your Resume” posted on’s Money blog May 16, 2016, Megan Leonhardt reported: “Nobody in this day and age should be listing Microsoft Office on their résumé if they’re going for any job where you have to use a computer,” Lydia Frank, PayScale’s editorial director says. “Instead, you really want to call out things that the employer is looking for or things that differentiate you.” Other software you don’t have to list includes Dreamweaver, Delphi, WordPress, QuickBooks, AS/400, MS Paint, and Lotus. You don’t want to sound like you’ve fallen behind the times in any field that thrives on the latest platforms, discoveries, science, or information.

HuffingtonPost in “The #ObsoleteJobSkills Best Left Off Your Resume,” by Ann Brenoff on May 17, 2016, lists some of the more outdated job skills—which may even make your mom or dad cringe.

Don’t be too general on your resume

In the job market, you want to set yourself apart, not be one of the sheep. If you list having basic office skills, such as answering phones, filing, data entry, and being a team player, you sound like a cog in the giant corporate wheel. Instead, be specific, and it helps if you have unique skills. List skills that make you qualified for the position, applicable skills, your value to the company, certain projects that you participated in and their direct benefits, and how you can make the company better. It’s okay to name drop if you’ve worked with a person or organization of some prestige, and provide precise numbers related to things like money you helped raise, units you sold, people you served, etc.

How to update your old skill set

If you’re afraid your skills are obsolete now or are very soon to be obsolete, you can retrain or relearn skills. Look at several job postings and see what a majority of companies are looking for. Relearning skills is a lifetime responsibility and you have to plan long term. Your up-to-date software, procedure, or science knowledge today will likely be obsolete in five to ten years’ time.

Jeff Ronne said in “Career Advice: What are examples of recently obsolete skill sets and how did people ‘convert’ those skill sets to become once again relevant in the workplace?” posted in Quora December 23, 2014: “Too many people follow the path of least resistance and end up in dead end careers because they are not forward looking. That is the danger of blindly maximally leveraging your prior skillset. This is especially critical when one is young because this process only gets more difficult with age for a countless variety of reasons (ageism, motivation, personal / family responsibilities).”

What skills do you have that you think are obsolete today? Let us know in the comments.

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