Suppose that I have scheduled a lot of things and devoted a lot time to preparing a resume for a company , but they didn't accept it. How should I express this? "All the scheduling is wasted" "All the scheduling has become vain" I think both sentences I wrote are incorrect.

I want it to be in a very formal form. (I'm writing this in an article) Thanks!

  • 2
    You've got plenty to go off of in the answers below, but I thought it might help to see some alternatives you could use: (1) “These preparations were in vain.”, (2) “My labors did not bear fruit.”, (3) “I did not see returns on my investment of time.”, (4) “My efforts were all for nothing in the end.” Sep 10, 2013 at 18:07

4 Answers 4


the phrase you are looking for is "in vain", but I'm not sure that it is exactly what you are looking for. If you are, then I would say something like "as it turned out, all my scheduling work was in vain". Things don't become in vain, and it's unusual to use the phrase with the present tense.

You might also want to consult a thesaurus and have a look at words like "pointless", "unproductive", "useless", and so on: http://thesaurus.com/browse/in%20vain.

  • ThankYou Bob! But What I'm looking for is not just an appropriate word , but also the correct way to say that. I mean that "has become" , I think that's wrong . What should it be replaced with ? Sep 10, 2013 at 15:22
  • I will reference sentence two of my answer. :)
    – BobRodes
    Sep 10, 2013 at 15:24
  • Yeah! Sorry! But this sentence doesn't seem formal !am I right? I want this sentence for a formal article. Thansk! Sep 10, 2013 at 15:38
  • 1
    Yes, it is a bit informal, although entirely appropriate for a formal article. To make it more formal, I will refer you to the second paragraph of my answer. :) Study a few of those words, and post back with your ideas if you still feel uncertain.
    – BobRodes
    Sep 10, 2013 at 15:40

One other way you could say this would be:

All that effort was for nothing.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines for nothing as an idiom:

for nothing (idiom) with no good result or for no purpose

There are plenty of other ways to say it, though. You were on the right track:

  • The time I spent scheduling was a waste.
  • All that time I spent scheduling proved to be unnecessary.

If you want to quote Shakespeare, you could say:

All that time arranging interviews turned out to be much ado about nothing.

Much Ado about Nothing is the name of a Shakespearean play, although many use that phrase to indicate roughly what you're trying to convey. In that context, though, the ado seems to include not only a lot of expended effort, but a lot of fretting or arguing as well. So, if you were only trying to focus on the time lost, I'd use one of your other options. However, if you wanted to highlight not only the time you lost, but also how the whole experience drained you emotionally (scurrying to meet deadlines, fretting about your qualifications, high hopes for new employment, etc.), then it might be a rather good fit after all.


To add to some of the great answers posted here already, here's another couple of choices:

All of that effort holding interviews was all for nothing!

All of that effort holding interviews was for naught!

Think of all the time we spent holding interviews! It was all in vain!

Holding those interviews was a waste of time!

All of that effort holding interviews is now completely wasted!

Everything we've done up 'til now is utterly pointless!

What was the point in doing all of that work?


Side note on your main question: "Scheduling" means arranging or setting times. Like, "I would like to schedule an appointment for next Thursday" or "We are scheduling the delivery dates for the next phase of the project." You seem to be trying to use it here to mean any sort of activity. Writing a resume is not "scheduling".

It would be appropriate to say, "All my efforts were in vain" or "All my work turned out to be fruitless" or "Everything I did was pointless".

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