I think of that show about once every week when a resume crosses my desk that looks like it could be really good, if I could dig underneath all the extras and get to the important stuff. When looking at resumes like these, there are a couple easy ways to mine for gold and to make sure employers easily see where your strengths are. Common areas for improving are in the objective, the specifics and the dates.
On most resumes, the objective can probably come off. Unless the objective names one very specific job title, it is not going to reveal anything the rest of the resume doesn't show me. Clear the clutter; eliminate the objective.
List your skills and knowledge in specifics. If you are applying for a position with a requirement such as "must know MS Word" then, by all means, if you know it, put MS Word on your resume. Experience in "MS Office Products" is not the same as listing specific programs.
Many people are self-employed these days. Is it possible to give your company a name? And once you have, it is not necessary to state that you are self-employed, anymore than you might state that during your time with McDonald's you were employed by a publicly held global conglomerate. Save explanations for the interview and let your resume focus on the gold, the skills and responsibilities you developed while you were there, wherever there is.
Dates are a good thing. If they are missing from a resume, I will dig until I find them, taking time away from digging for the real treasure, which is your talents and abilities. If your dates are missing from your resume, put them back on. I'm going to find out, anyway.
As much as prospectors find gold by asking people what works for them, so you will find work if you figure out what works for job seekers around you. A clean, concise resume with lots of specifics will get you hired – and earning your own gold – in no time.