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A LaTeX Resume Template that fits everything AND looks good (github.com)
56 points by bombohead on Apr 30, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 71 comments

I don't want to be rude, and I'm certainly neither a designer nor a real typographer, but IMO this looks awful.

First decide on a good page area. The margins are much too small.

Regarding whitespace: you need more. Much more. Especially between the two columns. Everything is flowing into each other. Look at "Over 1000 lines" and the next line, for example.

You probably need to cut quite some of the information presented. That's okay.

I don't understand which criteria underlie the categories' sorting. "Education" and "Coursework" is interrupted by "Links". I think those category headers should stand out more, but the problem may well be too few whitespace. Again.

Basically you really have to go looking for information, nothing is really standing out and guiding you to what you'd like to see.

Is "%ile" common? It looks a bit gimmicky, but I'm not sure about English microtypographic usage there.

But it is probably still way better than most CVs.

As someone who actually conducts interviews i must agree with you. I recently interviewed a girl who was actually very talented but her resume looked very much like the one in the link (maybe she actually got it off of there). I looked at her resume and thought in my head this is one the worst looking resumes i have ever seen. I did recommend hiring the girl because she was a talented developer, but the resume looked hideous.

A lot of people are criticising the condensed nature, lack of whitespace, etc.

A significant part of my job is to review CV's for a living and if I received a CV/Resume in this format, I'd be quite pleased as all the relevant info is easily spotted.

A good resume (with design related roles being an obvious exception) doesn't need to be 'pretty'. It needs to be easy to read and easy to find relevant info at an initial scan. Your template ticks both of those boxes.

I'm sure it could be prettier but when I'm reviewing resumes for engineering positions, I couldn't care less about aesthetics. I care about attention to detail and relevancy.

Yes, and this CV fails at being "easy to read" and "easy to find".

Typography is not primarily about "being pretty". It's about supporting the act of reading.

I guess it's a matter of opinion then as I found it very easy to read.

Well, typography at least has the claim to being somewhat objective, but as I said: you've probably seen much worse.

Honestly, this hurts my eyes. I'm not a designer, but one very smart designer friend once advised: "never underestimate the value of white space."

Resumes really don't have to be confined to one page. The one page convention was really only applicable when you're using it in print as opposed to digitally. For templates that look great, I'd strongly advise looking at some inDesign templates that cost between $5-$10.

Whitespace should be your best friend. There's way too much info on that template.

Undergraduate/Graduate coursework? That's not necessary at all. You listed that you received a Masters in Computer Eng. and a BS in Computer Science. No more info is needed there.

If you have a Masters degree, listing your high school on the resume is a waste of space.

I may be alone here, but I think actually listing skills/languages on a resume is overkill but I know that some automatic filters work based off of keywords and I'm sure programming languages work their way into that too.

Print vs. digital makes no difference. When we interview people in the office, the first thing people will do is print the stack of resumes and take them to the conference room. People aren't going to spend long poring over every detail. One page imposes some discipline. This one has about as much as I would put onto one page. Sometimes two pages might be OK, but longer is not better.

In this case I find the single page much too busy, and I'm likely to miss important information simply because it is drowned in detail. I'm happy reading a couple of pages of a select few resumes. Which ones? The ones with a good first page. The first page should be all I need to begin with.

If using several pages, it shouldn't be half the info on the first page, other half on the second. Just put the important bits first and keep the details on subsequent pages. Anything that is too much detail goes on the second.

For example, you could outline previous work experiences on the first page, while going into detail on the second. You could specify programming languages you master on the first, while listing specific experiences/frameworks/systems built on the second.

Basically, just the headlines from this resume should go on the first page, while the lists of info beneath each headline could go on anotherpage. That lets it be scanned in seconds, lets it look good with good use of whitespace.

Obviously when applying for a job, the resume should be tweaked for the specific job. A very relevant experience from a previous job can be lifted to the first page and so on.

> one very smart designer friend once advised: "never underestimate the value of white space."

The Japanese have understood this for centuries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_(negative_space)

I can only assume that this is meant to be printed, hence the single-page layout.

I'm not sure that I would look to this for a template. From its layout, the resume is highly dependent on the amount of particular categories of experience and content that the candidate has to add.

Clever attempt to get a lot of eyes on a resume, though.

Nice template indeed, used it for my resume as well. Had to alter it to fit German application standards, though (e.g. added a portrait in the side bar, different fonts, etc).

Very handsome. I would suggest not having the boxes around the links, but that's my personal aesthetic judgement.

> I would suggest not having the boxes around the links

That's something added by your PDF viewer. It's not part of the document.

I'm not so sure the borders are due to the PDF viewer. For example, I've used the hyperref package in the past. If IIRC, the borders could be hidden using the "hidelinks" option.

I checked yours. Looks good too. I will use your format and create one more in addition to moderncv.

I like it!

At some point I also created my own template, it is very different as it tries to be "classic" instead of "modern".

Find it here, and let me know what you think.


It's also on ShareLatex for those who want to use it straight from a great and free-for-personal-use web application.


Any particular reason Education section comes towards the end. Almost all profiles I have seen it is at the top.

PS: What a coincidence I was born on jun 12 too.

You want the most important thing first. For new graduates education will (almost always) be first. For those with experience it typically comes last, where it's also distinctive but less prominent.

So I'm guessing you've mostly seen resumes for students and recent graduates.

Hmm. I am from India, and most resumes I have seen here, even for people with lot of experience, education section is at the top. I just stuck with that format.

I appreciate the 'classic' look. One issue... You talk about yourself in the third person.

I saw it (3rd person talking) once in a CV and liked it. Do you consider it wrong?

"Hi. Thanks for applying. Sorry I can't seem to open your CV. Could you please resend it to me in MS Word?"

Almost everyone except for shitty recruiters take it in PDF. And that's because the recruiters want to fix things and add their own letter-head to it. Don't do that.

When I interviewed at my current employer, I had sent them a PDF of my TeX resume, but the monstrosity they were carrying around looked as if they'd OCR'd the PDF and copy/pasted that into Word. The only line breaks that survived were between the major headings.

Lesson: always bring lots of copies of your resume to the interview: I thought ten was sufficient, and I was almost wrong. Also: the tech skill of HR has nothing to do with the tech skill of engineers in a medium-to-large business.

Qualcomm takes .doc, .docx, and .txt only. ARM and National Instruments are the same, though they also take .rtf. It depends on what software the company uses; ARM and NI use the same software, so I presume any other company that uses it has the same restrictions.

In Europe 90% of all companies and recruiters will demand a .doc file. You either accept this and do your CV in Gdoc or remain unemployed. Your choice.

As a general rule of thumb can we all just agree that 90% of all human organizations -- at the very least -- are mediocre? A good resume should be part of escaping these types of places and living a more successful happy life! :-)

You sure about that? PDFs were never a problem for me, to the point of being explicitly encouraged.

Europe is not on homogenous region.

When applying for jobs in Sweden I have not had any problems using a PDF.

Well I'm Swedish and have also worked in Ireland and the UK, and have had more or less the same experience everywhere.

That is funny. I once had someone tell me that. I told them I didn't want to work for a software company that couldn't figure out how to open a PDF document. They called me for an interview anyway, which I declined. It seemed like a really bad sign to me.

I feel like the whole job search dance is about finding the right fit, not just doing whatever it takes to shoehorn oneself through the door. MS Word only is a huge red flag. I feel like it sends a strong message as to what the culture is like at the company. On the other hand, troff only and I would be curious. I'd at least want to look at the people who made that request.

"You couldn't open PDF file?"

PDF is a filter to keep away all the clueless employers (or the ones that let HR go too far).

I have learned the hard way that clueless employers should be avoided.

I've heard that some contingency-fee outside recruiters want resumes in an editable MS Word document: They want to shop the resume around, sans the candidate's name, to potential employers. Don't know how true that is.

Who would want to work at a company that can't open a PDF file?

I don't get it. In my opinion LaTeX is very good to use iff:

- your document is large (paper sized) or

- your document requires the use of LaTeX's math typesetting

Why else would you go through the pain of using LaTeX when:

- with only very few exceptions all templates 'suck', i.e. they show some lack of sophistication even to the untrained eye (including this one)

- customizability is hard to get, which makes it hard to stand out (want to use a special font? good luck!)

- controlling you document layout is a pain (want to have your picture appear in a fixed place? good luck!)

I'm genuinely curious why people choose to use LaTeX as a tool for this. If your word processor doesn't suit you, HTML+CSS, Scribus or InDesign appear to me as far superior. For the same reason, I'm curious why people continue to use LaTeX for presentations that don't require special LaTeX features like math or tikz. Can someone explain this to me?

LaTeX is good if you want something typeset well, and either you want to use free software or you want to version-control the document.

Customizability and control are really not hard to achieve in LaTeX. That's not to say that it's easy to wield the control you have; it may not be intuitively obvious which abstractions to use or disable, but you can in principle accomplish anything, and your results will be stable. Unlike with a word processor. InDesign admittedly is a great typesetter and an intuitive GUI.

Sure, LaTeX is good at dealing with various paper sizes and it has great math syntax. But fundamentally it's just a superb typesetting system that takes plaintext input and that you can use, learn from, modify, and share.

After using LaTeX (and similar tools) for some projects for which it is very well suited, I have come to prefer the LaTeX workflow over a GUI word processor, and I personally like the appearance of many of the defaults.

HTML+CSS is fine also, if your goal is to have an HTML document. I write more HTML than LaTeX.

I think it's a great start. I agree with most of the comments here: you have a lot of stuff nobody wants to read about, and not nearly enough white space!

Here's an updated version that cuts some of the junk (somewhat arbitrarily, but the point is you don't need 15 awards and nobody gives a shit about your society memberships), and notably increases the margins and space between the columns. Some of the text needs to be reflowed, of course.


Am I wrong to prefer a .txt file?

Mine is out of date (and I'm not looking for a job), but it's this: http://buro9.com/cv.txt

When hiring, I found I didn't care for specifics, I just wanted an overview of someone's experience. Then during the interview I wanted to be able to quickly search for talking points.

So when I updated mine, I leaned towards throwing out far more than I kept in.

I think moderncv has a very pleasing format.

My own based on modern cv:


PDF: https://github.com/zhaphod/Profile/blob/master/cv_ksrini.pdf...

Looks nice. I know you weren't asking for a review, but check the last line of the second page: "Led a team of 6 engineers"

I'm curious, what does νε παβoρ mean?

Thanks for reviewing. I appreciate it. I will check the suggestion you gave.

Also, looking at my nick name here "zhaphod" you can guess I am a bit of Hitch Hikers nerd. So the most famous quote from DNA is "Don't Panic" which translates to "Ne pavor" in latin. Now write that in greek alphabet you get "νε παβoρ". I usually remove it before I send out my profile to companies.

Please excuse the following pedantry:

"pavor" in Latin is a noun, not a verb. If you want to say "don't panic" you either need some form of the verb pavere (or pavescere, which is to begin to be afraid rather than to carry on being afraid) or to use some circumlocution along the lines of "panic, go away!". There's a discussion at http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/dont-panic-or-cease-t... with a number of decent suggestions.

Just out of curiosity, (1) why transliterate into Greek? and (2) is the extra "h" in zhaphod just because someone else registered zaphod 7 years ago and then hardly used it?

Regarding the correct form of don't panic, I am with you. I have absolutely no clue when it comes to Latin {on the other hand I can talk my way out of any situation in more than a few south Indian languages}. I was fooling around with Google translate and wanted a short form and settled on "ne pavor".

I used the Greek transliteration because I absolutely love how Greek letters look in latex.

Regarding the "h" : When I was choosing the nick name I thought there was an "h" in zaphod and realized the mistake way too late to change it in so many different places.

To add a little more Latin pedantry, "ne" is a defensible choice for a negative imperative (you'd use it with a subjunctive verb, I believe: "ne pavescas" or "ne pavescatis"), but not the only choice; the standard I learned was noli +inf ("noli pavescere" or "nolite pavescere").

Finally, the vowel of ne is long, and so if you want to write it in greek letters you should use an eta, not an epsilon (then again, you seem to be rendering vulgar latin into modern greek rather than classical latin into classical greek; I'm not even sure how to deal with a classical letter 'v' in greek).

And who can miss Brett Victors CV:

PDF : http://worrydream.com/#!/cv/bret_victor_resume.pdf

FYI: He is the iPod/iPhone UI designer.

It looks a bit too busy. I guess in a real case example, you would probably leave out most of that information?

Ten years ago I probably could write a whole doc direct in LaTeX, and would have ripped this apart to find the cool hack used halfway down, but today I find it hard to bother with - a CSS/HTML5 template I would love, but I cannot see the LaTeX pipeline providing as much value.

Its a cool project, and more power to your elbow, but ... have we moved on?

edit: That said I loooove the "5000 lines of Java written" / "10000 lines of Python". Expect that to appear in job ads this year, replacing "3-5 years of"

Nice template! Here it is on writeLaTeX, in case you'd like to customise it online:


I've made a few minor mods to get it compile on Linux --- mainly using Liberation Sans instead of Helvetica Neue, and a few other minor fixes.

It's "asymmetric" not "assymetric", and I don't think it looks good (too crowded, irregular column edges).

Moderncv is a great alternative :


I made my own resume in LaTeX from scratch. I realized that no one else's template could fit my needs/wants just right.


Nice one! Needs some color may be.

We have a website that takes in user data & gives out pdf made out of LaTeX. Mind if we use this template?


I actually redid my resume yesterday. Am I crazy for doing it in Pages and not [La]TeX?


looks good, but my only complaint is the same of the submission - that it's a bit cramped, select the very core things you cannot leave out and use the rest as white space

Also as a fellow CMU student, welcome!

You can find some great templates on www.latextemplates.com

The lack of spacing between the two columns makes it look odd. I would say, the words India, LaTeX and MySQL should have wrapped around to the next line.

I suspect that the spacing is meant to be there, but the TeX badness was huge no matter what, so it tried to do the "least bad" thing. I've run into this so many times when trying to make visually appealing layouts in TeX.

Another option for the "India" line is to abbreviate "Graduated".

It really does hurt eyes. Came back immediately looking at that design. Could have used a little more white space, grouping relevant things together.

Definitely going to use this from now on -- will make my life so much easier.

I think it's great. I'll be using it.

I realize that doing this way, LaTeX becomes a dependency stack to build my resume.

I used to have my our LaTeX resume with fancy and flufs and etc... One day I was in a emergency without my laptop or any privilege to install/compile LaTeX to update to apply to a job.

Today I am glad to use my google account and driver/docs to keep my resume easily available and editable within reach of my hands :-)

That's a rather weird use case, tbh. I doubt many people edit their resume on a daily/weekly basis. Everyone I know update theirs rarely and they take their time to make it properly to not have any errors in it. So setting up LaTeX is part of the process, while keeping the actual CV code in a repo.

A contractor would actually update their resume pretty frequently, to tailor it to a particular client.

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