Résumé tips.

I read a lot of résumés and the way people lay them out varies greatly. For me, the most important thing is what they say, and not how they are laid out, but I am only human; a badly typeset résumé does influence my initial impression of a candidate. The best advice I can give with regard to layout is to make things as simple as possible. Don't make the layout overly elaborate. It is better if you spend time thinking carefully about what to write than how to typeset it.

I stumbled across a blog posting that describes how to do your resume in LaTeX. I think the result looks more than good enough. In fact, this looks a lot better than most résumés I get. If you use this template you can focus on the content rather than fiddling with the way it looks.

If you are not familiar with LaTeX, a neatly laid out text file with about the same paragraphs will do. Seriously, I do like text files. Nicely formatted text is about as portable and easy to read as it gets.

Another tip: my preferred formats are PDF and plain text files. Word files are fiddly because then I have to fire up OpenOffice or NeoOffice to view it, and I still just end up converting the file to PDF for convenient viewing. Try to avoid Word files if you can.


  1. I concur with the use of LaTeX for CV and résumés. I've used the CurVe package http://www.lrde.epita.fr/~didier/software/latex.php to good effect. LaTeX is particularly nice if you have publications, because you can use BibTeX to typeset references directly in your CV. The biggest problem with TeX is that the PDF output doesn't really work for online content.

    I'd really like to see one of the XML-based approaches really take off. Nicely marked-up content styled with a CSS stylesheet would be ideal for online viewing.

    I was really frustrated using LaTeX for my thesis. I could produce beautiful printed output, but when I wanted to put a version online for viewing, the whole process was... painful.

  2. robothor: Did you try pdflatex? Or did you try to convert it to HTML? The latter always ends in tears.