Thursday, 27 August 2009

Why I Write My CV in LaTeX

For many people, even technical people, LaTeX is a relic. I recently had a chat with some colleagues who were looking to write documentation in a format that could be easily converted into other formats (PDF, HTML, etc.), which could maintain its own indexing and cross-referencing easily, and which would, of course, look good. I mentioned LaTeX and got some amused eye-rolling and comments about how no-one uses that anymore.

Even if that were true, I maintain my CV in LaTeX. Why? Simple:

  • It enables absolute control over what gets rendered, and where, on the page.

  • There's MiKTeX for Windows, TeXShop for Mac and TeX Live for Linux. In other words, it's available for your favourite platform.

  • The source files are plain text. This makes for easy versioning using your favourite version control system, and thereafter, comparing the differences between any two versions.

  • Producing good looking PDFs is simple with pdflatex.

Sure, it takes more time than knocking something together in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer, but there's a distinct satisfaction to be enjoyed from tweaking and crafting something until it's exactly how you want it to be.

Definitely not for everyone, but if you've gone to all the trouble to develop a skill-set that you're proud of, you may as well take the effort to show it off in the best way possible!

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