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Show HN: Open-sourcing my CV template [Helvetica, XeTeX, TikZ & Biblatex] (github.com)
166 points by friggeri on Apr 30, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 67 comments

There's a problem with this CV: the publications are not numbered.

That's not just a nitpick. It's important. CVs grow to many pages of publications and when you apply for a job people will refer to your publication by number when discussing your CV with one another.

I do publication numbering like this:


    %% cventry facility.  Use \begin{cventries} and \end{cventries},
    %% and in between you do \cventry[note]{bibkey}.
    %% Numbering will go across cventry values
    \newcommand\cventry[2][]{\item\bibentry{#2}.  {\bf #1}}

> when you apply for a job people will refer to your publication by number when discussing your CV

Err, really? Seems to me like they would just say "the paper on wireless networks" or "the one about spreading stuff on blogs" like normal people.

It’s pretty common to have several papers on the same topic.

I'm surprised you say that. We tend to say "The paper from XXXX-YYYY" where XXXX is a year, and YYYY is a conference or journal.

Sure. But it's my experience in grant panels or promotion and tenure committees that someone says "yeah but what about the paper on X?" and someone else says "which one?" and the response is "publication number seventeen".

At any rate, numbering is de rigeur.

Well, that explains it. I'm far too junior to have been on any of those. And all of the hiring processes I've been involved with have come right out of grad school, or from a post-doc.

BTW, I forgot to mention that the model you proposed would work except that it's very common for someone up for a job to have multiple papers in the same conference. So you see it in citation but not in CVs.

>That's not just a nitpick. It's important. CVs grow to many pages of publications and when you apply for a job people will refer to your publication by number when discussing your CV with one another.

You'll be lucky if they give them a quick glance.

"Discuss them by number"? Only in academia or fantasy-land IMHO.

Link to PDF preview: https://raw.github.com/afriggeri/cv/master/cv.pdf

Thanks for sharing.

I wonder how it would look if the name and title in the header were left aligned with the left side of the primary column content column? My eye kinda wants it that way.

I toyed with that idea but ultimately I wanted something in the same vein that my website (http://friggeri.net) so I centered the header. But then, feel free to fork and experiment ;)

Very pretty. If I had a criticism, it would be that the application of colour to the first three letters of headings seems random and a little annoying (e.g. INTerests, EDUcation and -- especially -- ONLine).

I was really hoping after seeing the first (INTerests) that the rest would somehow work in STR, CON, CHA, WIS, and DEX.

Since when is black-and-white "ugly"? What if the person looking at it first prints it on paper and then reads it offline? If I were ever to make a color CV, I'd make sure that it looks ok printed on a laser, BW printer. Or I'd make another version for BW only.

Just trying to be witty, I've renamed the option "print". But basically the idea is exactly what you suggested: have a version which can render OK on print and where you can specify exactly what shades of gray are used in print (or plain black).

Designer here. I'd add more leading (line-spacing). More spacing between sections, too. It needs to breathe.

I'd drop the exclusive use of grey and use black for the body text, at least. Grey might look nice on your screen because it's very bright, but not everyone's is, and when printed, can look washed out and like a mistake. Contrast in body text is good.

If would be great if there was a small comparison with the standard packages (currvita, moderncv). What's similar? What's different? Why writing an own package instead of building upon the existing ones? Just for fun, or are there technical or organizatorial reasons?

The benefits of writing your own package is that you can post it on HN as a 'news' article and have thousands of potential employers look at it without applying to any specific jobs... :)

Here's my resume: http://www.ideaember.com/resume

It's important to stick to the constraints of the medium. Lots of whitespace and visuals for online and one page for print. Also important to stay consistent with the rest of the site. Still looking for a clever way to integrate my portfolio directly into the resume without making the resume too cluttered.

P.S. In the market for a product management opportunity

As an aside, I would drop the very informal use of "thru" and use "through". I almost said "Thru is not a word" - but some searching says it's made it's way into dictionaries, to my surprise (and probably to many others my age, you run the risk of having that word jump off the page as a mis-spell that is only used in online text messaging or as a shorthand, not formal writing. Or maybe I'm just getting old...

Thru is used on highway signage quite a bit, "Thru traffic must stay left" etc. No doubt it began as a necessity: fitting a long word on a constrained sign. But its use by officialdom must have been hard for dictionaries to resist.

I believe the -ough construct was one Noah Webster tried to purge from American English, along with ph- and the extra 'u' in au and ou. He succeeded on the last points but not on the former.

Valid point. I'll definitely change that. Thanks for the feedback!

Looks great! Do you generate all the versions of your resume from the same data, but with different presentation layers? Or do you keep each of them up to date manually?

I keep them up to date manually. Honestly, I update the resume page every 3-4 months so it's not too necessary to automate it yet. As they say, fake it till you make it.

If interested in checking out password-protected items in my portfolio, shoot me an email and I can give you access. (Email is on my HN profile.)

Not a chance to make an academic resume one page long, even for print. There are too many publications to list, and they should all be there.

I completely agree. However for purely professional resumes, one page is more than enough, especially when it is complemented by an informative portfolio/blog.

I think you should put journal publications before conference publications, as they are generally regarded as more important.

That depends on field. In most areas of computer science, conferences are more important than journals (journals generally just publish extended conference papers).

I am not aware of any CS field where conferences are in general more important than journals. Though there are a few conferences whose rigor approaches journal publication.

I think the standard ordering is: books, chapters, journal articles, strongly refereed conferences, lightly refereed workshops, unrefereed works, dissertation. And numbered! Good grief.

Bookmarked. I like yours better than the one above because of its simplicity. I have also have a plain Latex CV, but you chose better font types, sizes and widths for columns so it reads better than mine. Next time I do my CV, I'll probably use your template.

Wouldn't it look better if you right aligned your phone, mobile and email?

You did an internship while being a PhD student? Just wondering if I'm seeing this right. Didn't know that was possible. Sounds very interesting though.

I'd be tempted to move your contact information to the end, so the reader gets straight into content.

Since we're all sharing our LaTex resumes:


My resume and source code are both on there.

i really like that you have both a regular and short version of your resume.

this is awesome, thanks!

Very nice, I like the phrasing of: "Since 2009" instead of 2009 to present, and the fb://username instead of long URL.

Mine is on GitHub as well, though in the form of a web service serving JSON objects instead of XeTeX.


I jumped on GitHub for resume hosting as well, although in the form of GitHub pages instead [1]. Mine is different again in turn in that it's straight up HTML. I had toyed with presenting it as JSON but decided that would be deleterious to callbacks at job fairs and the like. No non-startup is going to

`curl -H 'Accept: application/json' http://#{mysite}

[1] http://nickbarnwell.github.com/

I hate fb://. It's not a real url and thus it's just as silly as me://firstname.lastname as if it were a valid URL for people to type in their browser.

Further, who wants employers to see their Facebook? I understand that not everyone has pictures of them drinking on it, but I can't say I've ever seen a personal profile be used as anything that would be relevant to random members of the public, let alone an employer.

That having been said, I just noticed Preview behind Chrome here and the words "social network analyst", so I suppose it makes a bit more sense for this particular persons' CV.

It looks from other comments that CVs are slightly different than resumes (I really had no idea, I just thought "resume" was a wording preference in the US), but I'll question your mention of your high school and "classes prépa"… M.Sc. from ENS Lyon >>> whatever high school/prep school you went to.

I have recently revamped my resume with one goal of removing unnecessary or irrelevant information. E.g. I removed my street address (why would companies need that before a job offer? Not sure, but it's a custom). Granted I then went overboard design-wise and probably added a lot of graphically irrelevant things. :)

That being said, yours looks great.

> I'll question your mention of your high school and "classes prépa"… M.Sc. from ENS Lyon >>> whatever high school/prep school you went to.

It's France, showing off the elitist school you went to is important, even years after graduating.

The school (i.e. ENS Lyon), honestly I understand that it's there, but the high school and prep school? Probably not necessary. (even if it's Louis Legrand… :) )

To be fair with France, I would be surprised if Stanford grads don't mention it on their resumes even years after their graduated.

And to be fair with French schools, it seems to me that they're overall less elitists than US colleges, especially by the simple fact that they don't cost $20-50k a year. (thinking of colleges like Stanford, not State universities) The job market after graduation is certainly elitist in the sense that grads from the better schools will often be preferred just because of their diploma, but the schools themselves are for the most part open to anybody who can rank well at the exams. (disclosure: I'm from one of these "elite schools", but I certainly don't get to "enjoy" it as much because I live in the US. Meaning I doubt employers have any idea what school this is)

What do you mean France?

For an old-fashioned academic CV, you have to include every publication, leaving nothing out. (So, you can pay a price for that brief dabbling in fuzzy logic -- it hangs around forever.) By mid-career, the CV can run to many pages.

Once you reach that point, you have to also maintain a short version (maybe 2-3 pages), and a short-short version (1 page), usually for proposal submissions, brief bios, etc.

What are the colors for? Do they really serve a relevant purpose?

Has anyone managed to compile this on Windows (with MikTeX)? I tried but gave up after the great error:

    xelatex.exe: The operation failed for some reason.

The readability can be improved a lot: * The grey text has very low contrast. * The color coding seems arbitrary * I would indicate links use a blue text, and remove the turquoise box.

You don't want the CV to take the reader's attention from the content and answering the question - "do I want to hire this person?"

For the header: don't you feel it's somewhat awkward when the background shows where printable surface ends? Or is it possible, to find a printer that can print up to the border of the page?

Yes it might, I usually print it up to the border, but in case I can't, I have implemented a printer friendly option. When compiled with the `print` option, this is the output: https://raw.github.com/afriggeri/cv/master/cv_print.pdf

Yeah, that's real nice. I think I'll use your class as base for my next CV. Thanks for sharing :)

Hey, Liked the template, has a unique design while keeping all the relevant information in the right places. Thanks. Reading on your work, you have developed some interesting stuff.

Thanks for this!

Here's my resume using this template. With the PDF and LaTeX source-code. 'https://github.com/jjuliano/resume

"Lycée Louis le Grand" => nice.

Thanks! This is great.

3 pages is too many!

It's a CV, not a resume.

In the US, CVs are used largely by academics and researchers in lieu of resumes. In addition to the standard resume stuff (but usually omitting things like "objectives" and "skills"), CVs include your publications, presentations, professional service, products and patents etc., and in some cases grants and teaching experience. All of it. Unlike resumes, CVs can go on as long as needed.

I understand that the length is standard for a CV, but I can't imagine a situation where the third page of any document would change someone's mind about you in consideration for a job, grant, or other opportunity. Wouldn't it still make more sense to distribute a single page with a curated subset of your work, perhaps with a URL to a more exhaustive CV?

A CV is like a Viking chest-pounding saga about your Great Deeds. The currency of research and academia is publications, presentations, and service. You want to show that you have this in spades. Essentially, a CV is a portfolio, not a resume.

For researchers it's a fairly common number, though it depends on what kind of place you're applying to. If it's an academic position, it can be much longer than 3 pages since you'd list all your publications/projects/service/etc.; if it's a place that doesn't care at all about publications, you can cut them down to a selected two or three and get the CV into 1-2 pages. But three pages seems to be a common compromise when you aren't sure how much the place you're applying to cares about research.

For academics there seems to be a slow move towards the website-CV, though. You still send in a "proper" CV on paper or in a big PDF, but what people will actually do is pull up your website, where they can navigate more interactively (click on "Publications" or "Projects", click on a specific project page or the PDF of a paper to browse it, etc.).

Nope, it's perfectly expected to see an academic CV with multiple pages of publications.

There's nothing wrong with three pages per se - if there is something relevant to put on them. In this case, it just barely overflows into the third page, so IMO it would make good sense, and look a bit more professional, to tighten it slightly to fit on two.

Alternatively, make it a bit longer, so the third page is less empty. English titles of the French papers would make good sense. Also, I'd write a narrative for the intro instead of the "keyword list" (interests).

For a US resume, yes - not for an European CV of a researcher.

CV's in general imply a research/academic role--its the same in the US, CV's should be multi-page.

In Canada, CV == Resumé. I think it can depend based on country. Of course, for researchers, no matter what, you make it as long as it needs to be.

I don't understand this sentiment. What am I supposed to do? Even coming into college, my list of significant (and/or self-launched) projects and work experiences were too many to list on a single page alongside my education and list of "skills" (languages mostly). I spent a loooot of time making it look great and utilize space efficiency and I feel like a Chinese foot-binder whenever I get a new job or publish a new project and want to put it on my resume.

Are we finally to the age where I can put "Please check out http://mypersonalwebsite.com for a detailed list of skills and projects"? I feel like my Resume would be a fluffy arbitrary list of skills with no ummph to back it up and frankly I don't trust the recruiters at high profile tech companies anywhere near enough to do something like this. I've had recruiters doing phone screenings that didn't know what "Windows" vs "Windows Live Services" meant.

i'd suggest having one copy for when you apply to large companies where your resume may have to go through HR, and one copy for when you're applying to startups. for the latter, just submit something that is legible and has a good signal-to-noise ratio.

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