Updating resumes and writing cover letters aren’t anyone’s first choice of “things to do during your free time.” But if you want to change jobs or just get a new one after being laid off, you need to put in your time reading job listings, networking with colleagues, and perfecting your resume. These three TechRepublic articles will help you with the last item on that list: creating an informative and engaging resume that highlights your skills and snags the attention of hiring managers.

Go for a complete revamp
If you’ve changed jobs a lot or worked as a consultant, a chronological resume may hurt your application for a new job. Listing jobs in this way gives potential employers an opportunity to question the dates on your resume and may give the wrong impression of your job history. A skills-based resume can put your accomplishments in a better light and provide a more accurate description of your abilities.

This article will help you decide if a skills-based format is the best choice for your resume and this template will help get you started with your rewriting.

Use these tips to tweak a traditional resume
If your career path has been more traditional, you may want to stick with a more standard format for your resume. If you’re happy with the basic listings on your resume—objective, experience, skill sets—you should focus on rewording and rearranging. This article explains how to emphasize your most important accomplishments and describe your work history in clear terms that stand out. Some of the advice is designed for managers, but all job seekers can learn from these tips.

Help getting started
If writing isn’t one of your strengths, this article can help you overhaul your resume. It includes before and after examples of objectives from a TechRepublic member’s resume. A resume expert shows the changes he made to these basic elements of the resume and explains why the after versions are better and more compelling. His ideas should help if you get writer’s block.

Once you’ve tweaked your resume so that it jumps out at managers and boasts of all the reasons to hire you, it’s time to find some job opportunities. Check out the online job boards at Dice.com and Monster.com to start showing off your experience.