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The Solution: Identify which skill each and every statement is addressing and write that information directly on a copy of your résumé. Then review skills listed next to all of your statements. Are you seeing one or more skills listed over and over? Consolidate this information. Also, don't fall into trap of repeating information from one section to another; if you mention an accomplishment in your Professional Summary, do not mention it again in your Professional Experience.
4. Writing job descriptions.
The Problem: Committing this error is what can make difference between getting an interview and losing opportunity to someone else. Employers are not interested in what activities you performed on a daily basis - they are interested in how well you performed those activities. Stating that you "processed paperwork" gives no indication of what type of employee you are... this same statement could apply accurately to person who doodles on desk and misses deadlines as well as person who exceeds deadlines and quotas and has 100% accuracy.
The Solution: Focus on accomplishments. Many job-seekers disregard this advice with mistaken notion that they do not have any accomplishments. Most of time these people do have quantifiable achievements; they just don't realize that they do. It can be difficult to look objectively at our own experiences. Review employee evaluations. What positives are noted? Think about special projects or busy times; were there any instances in which you were praised, or were very proud of job you did? Any times in which you improved processes, made or saved money, or lifted some of burden off your supervisor's shoulders?
If you truly have no accomplishments, then focus on results. What are results of your work? For example, "processed paperwork." What paperwork and why? What does this paperwork do for your company? "Facilitate ongoing litigation by processing complex legal documents" is much more effective than simply "Processed paperwork," although both would technically be correct.
5. Using Objective statements.
The Problem: This is often result of a job-seeker who has either been out of market for a long time, or someone who is using a dated résumé-writing manual. Objective statements have, thankfully, gone out of style on résumés. Why thankfully? Objective statements are counter-productive. By definition, an Objective states what you, job-seeker, want. The problem with this is that hiring manager does not care what you want; hiring manager cares about what you can do for company. Additionally, what you want should be clear from your cover letter and by simple fact that you sent your résumé in first place - it does not need to be repeated (see #3, above). Since this is often positioned at very top of résumé, it is a regretful waste of highly visible space that should be used to appeal to interests of hiring managers, not to address information that hiring manager isn't interested in.
The Solution: Professional Summary, Profile, Summary Statement... whatever you want to call it, a summary section at top of your résumé that reviews your strongest, most relevant skills and abilities is a surefire way to capture attention of your reader and encourage him or her to read on. This is also a highly effective strategy to position notable achievements that occurred early in your career in a visible location.
Jaimie Marzullo is a professional résumé writer and career counselor, and owner of http://www.leadingcareers.com. With additional expertise in U.S. employment and labor, family medical leave, disability rights, and human rights laws, she has served as a consultant to small businesses, educational systems, healthcare organizations, and government offices.