Here in the States we make a distinction between a resume and a curriculum vitae. In the formal sense, a "cv" is used for specific, professional positions such as academia or law. In those cases, you'll need to follow a style guide specific to the profession. If you were applying for a teaching position at a university, for example, you would probably follow the M.L.A. style guide.
If you are applying for a business position you would create a resume. Resumes have become quite loosey-goosey in terms of structure and style.
Assuming that you need to create a resume, here are a few guidelines that will help:
- Resumes should be one page only; most human resources people regard a two-page resume as pretentious, or at least overkill.
- Include your name and contact information where it is easily accessible, preferably at the top of the page.
- A typical resume starts with a Summary or a Objective section first. This gives the reader a thumbnail description your qualifications and your goals. Here's an example: "Professional Web Designer with 6 years of experience seeking responsibilities developing security infrastructure for an e-commerce company."
- You also need to establish a section for your Education history and your job history (Experience). Again, you want to be brief. You do not need to include very detail - you'll do that on a job application form. If you graduated Magnu Cum Laude or won a professional award, then mention it. List dates, but don't get too detailed.
- One of the best pieces of advice that I have read is to use action verbs. Instead of saying "responsibilities included...", turn it around to sound proactive. Use words such as "spear-headed", "managed", "organized", etc.
- Do not include information on marital status, age, and number of children. Avoid sending photos (unless you're applying for a beauty pageant). Such references are also considered out of bounds.
As far as how it looks, the rules are pretty loose. Make it readable. Make it succint. A resume is a "brief" description of your history and aspirations. Most human resource people that I deal with complain about long-winded, overly detailed resumes. They want to get to the point quickly.
I'll try to find some examples for you.
Hope that helps.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke