1 - Make a first draft
Write down your current job title and list down all the things you do and are responsible for on a day to day basis. Re-read what you've written and try to prioritize your responsibilities. Think about what skills you need to do what you do. What have you done in your current role that has made you most proud? Asking yourself these questions will not only get you in a CV/resume frame of mind, it will provide you with all the information you need.
2 - Choose a format
Now you've got the knowledge you need - it's time to decide how to package it. There are three standard types of CV/resume, and each has its uses.
The Chronological CV/resume - This is almost an industry standard. Use it if your work history is stable and each move has seen you climb steadily up the career ladder. Not for frequent job changes or those who have had a case of the responsibility hiccups.
The Functional CV/resume - For those who have experienced spates of unemployment or sporadic job jumps. This CV/resume does not list employment dates or company names, preferring skills and responsibilities.
The Prioritized CV/resume - A format for those about to undertake a career change, or whose current skills are not directly relevant to the job applied for. This CV/resume is written prioritizing the work experience which is most relevant to the job you want.
3 - Don't make it too long
Work to the maximum length of two-pages. No-one reads long CV/resumes, they just reach the waste bin first.
4 - Or too clever
Choose your content and your words carefully. Treat your CV/resume as an outline sketch of your job history - highlight your strengths and abilities to problem solve using active verbs such as "responsible" and "achieved", which have universal appeal.
5 - Type it, don't write it
Handwriting analysis may be a great fairground attraction - but potential employers will not take time to interpret your scrawl. Type your CV/resume, no fancy fonts or flourishes - this is a case of emphasizing substance over style.
6 - Tailor the content
Do you have friends who send you 'Round Robins' at Christmas? Cute, but admit it, you'd prefer something a bit more personal. For employers, the same applies, try a bit of tailoring, it doesn't have to be too much, but the occasional skills tweak can work wonders.
7 - Exaggerators beware
So you weren't principal boy - then say so. Don't exaggerate your achievements, if
your success was because of teamwork, identify it as such. It will make your claims more believable.
8 - Spelling?
Your skills may win you the battle - but bad typing and grammatical mistakes will lose you the war. Run the spell checker, read your CV/resume more than once or better still enroll a friend as a second pair of eyes.
9 - Alert your referees
Check your referees before you use their name. It's a courtesy, and a good fail safe - they may have moved.
10 - And don't mention the money
Keep your current salary to yourself for now, unless you're asked directly of course. Otherwise, if you earn too little or too much you'll have ruled yourself out before you even reach the door.