"Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford."--Cindy Crawford

A good vita or résumé is a valuable record of yourself, and is you at your best, most accomplished, and most organized.  It may be the best fiction you write.  But the trick is on you, because it is you after all.

"Much madness is divinest Sense--
To a discerning Eye . . ."--Emily Dickinson

These guidelines are not the only way to think about or write a vita or résumé.  But they are a good way, and very much reflect current practice.  Begin this work early, and take good care of it.  It will then take care of you soon enough.  A good vita or résumé may even single-handedly get you a job.  It has happened.  Nobody can remember all these details, and trying to piece them together even a few months after the fact is always a painful exercise, and often inaccurate.  Let this considered record be part of your memory, and keep copies of it in more than one place.  When you need this information--and you will--you'll be amazed and pleased you thought ahead and did this enormously useful thing for yourself.