Woot LaTeX Resumes!

Today was the Discipline of Engineering Career Fair (DECaF) at UCSD, and I was fortunate enough to go early and talk to recruiters about the stuff I’ve been doing recently. The line was atrociously long, but the whole experience ended up being pretty satisfactory for me because I spent a lot of time preparing before the fair started.

One thing I’m especially proud of this time around is my resume. I wrote it using LaTeX, and I must say, it looks much better after you actually print it out. I was actually in awe with how clean it looks.

In case for those of you who don’t know, LaTeX is a “document preparation system and document markup language” that is used widely in academia. If you’ve ever done problem sets in a mathematics class or read an article from an academic journal, you’ve probably seen a LaTeX document before. The quality and easy readability of these documents are noticeable, but often overlooked if you aren’t really aware of what LaTeX is.

My first stab at LaTeX. Could use some improvement

The cleanliness of the formatting and the academic vibe one gets from a LaTex document is a huge reason why anyone – or everyone - should write their resumes in LaTeX. There are also a couple of other reasons why I would recommend writing a resume in LaTeX:

  1. It’s actually a pretty good way to learn basic LaTeX. LaTeX becomes pretty important in upper-division courses here at UCSD, so I feel like taking the time to really learn what the language is like is important before you start using it. Also, I know a lot of graduate students use LaTeX to write their scholarly articles, so I guess if you plan on pursuing a graduate career, learning now wouldn’t be a bad start.
  2. The resume looks extremely professional. I cannot emphasize this enough. I don’t know if it’s just the LaTeX default font or if it’s the awesome formatting, but a resume created with LaTeX is clean, organized, and most importantly, easy to read. I got a comment on my resume today for how clean it looked, and I have no doubt in my mind that I got that comment because of LaTeX.
  3. With that in mind, some recruiters actually will point out if they realize your resume is written in LaTeX. A friend of mine told me he actually got an interview because the recruiter was greatly impressed with the fact he used LaTeX rather than a modern-day word processor to generate his resume.
  4. All the resources for leaning / creating a LaTeX document are free! I would highly recommend reading this if you want to get started, and then googling all of your individual needs for your resume afterwards. There are also a lot of templates you can check out too, in case you don’t want to make one from scratch.

Trust me, once you see your resume in all of it’s TeXy glory, you won’t want to go back Microsoft Word or Google Docs. I’ll probably be working on mine a bit more and make the source a little easier to read, once I figure out how.