It's time to think about your resume. What was proper 5 years ago, is now obsolete when it comes to how you present yourself. Where you worked is not as important as what you can do.

The first thing you need to know is you need a different resume for each type of job you go after. One will not cut it. Why would you have secretarial skills listed for a graphic design job? Focus on the exact skills needed and build your resume from there. I have 5!

Your resume should be set up this way:

Name/contact information
Work experience

Note that there is no "objective". That should be dealt with in your cover letter.

As far as how you determine the skills to list,  like I said above, you have to know what skills you need for the job you want. You will take those from the master list you need to draw up of all skills you have. And this list should be fairly long.

Take every skill, from what you do at home to every job you ever worked at, and put them to paper. Have you used Microsoft Office programs? Put it down! Answered phones? Ditto. Created videos on your pc? That's a skill. Know how to file or do book keeping?

When your master list is complete, you will be surprised at how skilled you are. If you need help, ask those around you about what you have done. I'll give you an example of my master list. I have prepared appetizers, delivered mail, filed documents with the courts, filled prescriptions with supervision and written blogs.

When listing skills on your resume, use the present tense. It looks smoother.

Job experience should be listed with newest first. If you have a long list of previous work, knock out some that don't fit with the resume you are writing for. Too many jobs makes it looks like you are restless and not focused. Also, if you are going for a job that is a lower position than you had, dumb down your experience a bit or you will be deemed over qualified.

Now to the final piece: the cover letter. It is very important to know who you are writing to. You need to do homework for this. Research the companies you apply to. If it's a conservative company, keep it toned down, if a fast paced work place make it pop with excitement.

There was a kid who wanted to intern with Wall Street companies and he wrote a cover letter that caused a positive buzz all over the financial world. Take a look at his work:

Yahoo! Business Insider

This kid used his personality and blunt honesty. It worked! His form is good. He conveyed what he wanted to do, what he can do that is of value and showed passion. Now it's your turn!

Coming in part 3 of this series: Thinking outside of the box.