2

I am using the code-review tag.

I would like to get feedback on my Resume. I started out with another's CV, but I pared it back to almost nothing and expanded it in a totally different style. I would like advice on my LaTeX style, (as well as to show off a bit, if you'll permit). Thanks in advance!

My specific question(s):

Can my LaTeX be improved? Am I violating any best practices? Should I do anything differently?

Here's the header:

\documentclass[letterpaper,10pt]{article}
\usepackage{ucs}
\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{fontenc}
\usepackage[margin=.5in,includehead]{geometry}
\usepackage{fancyhdr,lastpage}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\lhead{Street Address placeholder\\Brooklyn, NY  11201}
\chead{\Huge \textbf{Aaron Hall, MBA}}
\rhead{email@placeholder.com\\+001 (555) 867 5309}
\fancyfoot{}
\headsep = 5mm
\usepackage{parskip} %should remove indenting
\usepackage[dvips]{hyperref}
\date{08/22/11}
%\newenvironment{blockindentone}{\quote\YOURCOMMANDSHERE}{\endquote}
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0pt}

\usepackage{color,hyperref}
\definecolor{darkblue}{rgb}{0.0,0.0,0.5}
\hypersetup{colorlinks,breaklinks,
            linkcolor=darkblue,urlcolor=darkblue,
            anchorcolor=darkblue,citecolor=darkblue}

Here's a little bullet:

(I use this throughout as a separator)

%the following makes small bullets, since $\bullet$ was too large,
%credit goes to Jeremy Osterhouse's home page, http://www.josterpi.com/latex-notes.html 
%downside is tilde, ~, doesn't create non-breaking space
\newcommand{\sbullet}{\,\begin{picture}(1,1)(0,-3)\circle*{3}\end{picture}\ } 

Here's my base template:

%%%%%%%%%%%TEMPLATE%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%Heading%%%%%
% \textsc{e.g.Professional Experience} 
% \vspace{.5mm} %Space required else text will touch the line below
% \hline
%%%%%Items%%%%%%%
% {\addtolength{\leftskip}{5mm}  %creates an indent for the whole text contained here
% \textbf{Org} \emph{Title} 
% \sbullet City, ST \hfill{} Month, YEAR - Month, YEAR %\hfill moves everything on the line after it flush right
% 
% \vspace{-2mm} %removes a bit of extra white space to tighten up usage
%  {\addtolength{\leftskip}{5mm} %creates a further indent for the whole paragraph contained here
% \begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} % 
% % \addtolength{\itemsep}{-0.5\baselineskip} %these options would have the same effect, apparently, but I don't fully understand them
%     \item Item     %This block creates a bulleted list of items 
%     \item Item
%     \item Item
%     \item Item
% \end{itemize}
% }}

Here's the main document:

I deleted commented parts. I may have deleted an important blank line. Including this for completeness as well as for the benefit of anyone trying to create a LaTeX resume.

\begin{document}
\textsc{Relevant Domain Knowledge}
\vspace{.5mm}
\hline
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\textbf{Programming Languages}

\vspace{-2mm} 

{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}

\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
    \item Languages: Python (Active Tutor and Speaker), Quartz, Ruby, Rails, SQL, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, and BASH
    \item Typesetting \& Markup Packages: reST (rst), Sphinx, HTML5, \LaTeX, HAML, CSS, SCSS, Emacs Org-mode
    \item Statistics Languages \& Packages: R Statistics (on Linux) and SAS, SPSS, and Stata (Windows)

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\textbf{Investments, Financial Products, and Accounting Knowledge}

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
    \item Securities Licensed on Packaged Products, Stocks \& Bonds, Options, and Investment Advisor Regulations
    \item Passed State of Florida Insurance and Real Estate Licensure Courses and Tests
    \item Answered over 150 Accounting and Tax Questions on Investments Pro-bono for All-Experts.com

}
\end{itemize}

}}


\vspace{-1mm} %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%       Professional Experience
\textsc{Professional Experience}
\vspace{.5mm}
\hline
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} \textbf{Bank of America Merrill Lynch} \emph{Source Code Manager \& Software Engineer} 
\sbullet New York, NY \hfill{} October, 2012 - Present

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Developed Portal for Delivering Documentation, Information, Statistics, and Reports
  \item Led Team to use Core Technology, Idiomatic Python, Maintainable Style, Proper Unittesting, and Proper SDLC
  \item Contributed to Documentation and Training on Quack, Sandra, Python, QzDev, Sphinx, Bob and SpongeBob
  \item Developed Tool to Document Filesets, Provide Actionable Statistics, Push to Environments, and Raise Review Requests
  \item Reviewed Projects for Best Practices \& Edited Scripts for Performance, Maintainability, and Readability
  \item Instructed Developers in Best Practices with Weekly Webinars and Led Code Review

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} \textbf{Bramson ORT/Professional Business College} \emph{Business Professor} 
\sbullet New York, NY \hfill{} February, 2012 - October, 2012

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Bramson ORT: Econ, Mktg, Bus Comm, RE Law \sbullet PBC: Org Behavior, Small Bus Man, Intro Bus
  \item Created Course Syllabi, Lectured, Wrote Quizzes, and Designed Exams

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} \textbf{Simplify IT} \emph{Computer Technician} 
\sbullet New York, NY \hfill{} March, 2012 - May, 2012

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Troubleshot Computers and Networks, Audited and Installed Software
  \item Uploaded and Managed Inventory in an Amazon Web Store, Working With CSV and Flat Files

}
\end{itemize}

}}

\vspace{-1mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} \textbf{Thornhill Community Supportive Services Inc.} \emph{Assistant Director} 
\sbullet New York, NY \hfill{} August, 2011 - February, 2012

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Operation Planning, Risk Management, and Network, Computer, Accounting, and Electronic Document Administration
  \item Led Team of 17 in Providing Computer Literacy and Coat, Toy, Book, and Media Community Distribution Programs

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} \textbf{Pvt. Invest. Advisor/Sol Strategies} \emph{%CFO and 
Investment/Strategic Planning} 
\sbullet New York, NY \hfill{} April, 2007 - October, 2012

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Advised Sol Strategies on Firm Strategy, Business Development, Cash-Flow Management, and Billing Policy
  \item Consulted on Strategy and Wrote Financial, Investment, and Business Plans and Grant Applications

}
\end{itemize}

}}

\vspace{-1mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm} 
\textbf{Florida State University} \emph{Research Assistant} 
\sbullet Tallahassee, FL \hfill{} August, 2007 - April, 2008

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{5mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Teaching Fellow, Graded for Mergers and Acquisitions, Assisted in Data Collection, Research, and Proctoring Exams
  \item Programmed in SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R and Performed Regressions on Econometric Data

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\textbf{Merrill Lynch} \emph{Financial Advisor} 
\sbullet Pensacola, FL \hfill{} May, 2006 - April, 2007

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{5mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Hosted Speakers, Brought in \$3 Million in Accounts, and Serviced More Than 100 House Accounts
  \item Executed Trades and Limit Orders on Exchange Traded Funds, Stocks, Options, and Auction Rate Securities

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
\textbf{Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.} \emph{Financial Advisor} 
\sbullet Pensacola, FL \hfill{} January, 2004 - August, 2005

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{5mm}
\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
  \item Gave Seminars, Sold Financial Plans, Met Sales Goals, and % and average production per client was twice that of other firm advisors
Applied Monte Carlo Simulation \& Modern Portfolio Theory % to asset management
  \item Series 7 Securities, Series 66 Investment Advisor, Life Insurance, Health Insurance, and Variable Annuity Licensed

}
\end{itemize}

}}


\vspace{-1mm} %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%        Education
\textsc{Education}
\vspace{.5mm}
\hline
{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\textbf{University Of West Florida}, \emph{Master of Business Administration} \sbullet Pensacola, FL \hfill August, 2010

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}

\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
    \item 730 GMAT, 3.6 GPA, 486 Item Bibliographic Database, and \href{http://bit.ly/aaronmba}{International Business Strategy Championship winner}
    \item Notable Papers: Predictors of Stock Market Values (Time Series) and Marketing Financial Services (Best in Class)  
    \item Statistics Courses: Econometrics \sbullet Applied Regression \sbullet Probability and 
Statistics \sbullet Special Topics \sbullet Quantitative Methods
    \item Finance: Financial Management \sbullet Accounting Aspects \sbullet Advanced 
Managerial Economics \sbullet Static Optimization

}
\end{itemize}

}}
\vspace{-1mm}{\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}
\textbf{Florida State University}, \emph{Bachelor of Science, Political Science \& Real Estate} \sbullet Tallahassee, FL \hfill April, 2002

\vspace{-2mm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{0mm}

\begin{itemize}\setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}\setlength{\parskip}{0cm} {\addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
    \item National Merit Scholar, Dean's List, and Graduated with 169 credit hours, 3.4 GPA, Served on Boards, Volunteered
    \item Real Estate Courses: Real Estate \sbullet Real Estate Finance \sbullet Appraisal I \& II  \sbullet Feasibility \sbullet Legal Environment
    \item Relevant: Game Theory \sbullet Financial Accounting \sbullet Managerial Accounting \sbullet Corporate Finance
\sbullet Calculus \sbullet International Relations \sbullet Macroeconomics \sbullet Microeconomics \sbullet Comparative Government 
\sbullet Quantitative Methods \sbullet Research Methods

}
\end{itemize}

}}


\vspace{-1mm}
\textsc{Interests, \& Miscellany}
\vspace{.5mm}
\hline
Big Data, Databases (Hadoop, MongoDB, etc), Attended Strata 2011, Statistics, Finance, Economics, Machine Learning
Extensive Bibliographies: User Experience, Software Design, Finance Classics, Knowledge, and Management

\end{document}
  • 2
    First thing right off the bat, you should she advantage of LaTeX as a semantic markup language. You're formatting sections manually, which is a little gross. I can take a closer look tomorrow. And if this is your first time in the site, welcome! (I'm on mobile, and you am have exactly 101 reputation.) – Sean Allred Jan 15 '14 at 5:45
  • That's the sort of advice I'm looking for! Can you provide an example? – Aaron Hall Jan 15 '14 at 5:47
  • If you really want to have fine-grained control like this (which isn't uncommon for this highly customized application), I might just use plain TeX. – Sean Allred Jan 15 '14 at 5:48
  • Look into \newenvironment and titlesec for starters. I can post more tomorrow; it's getting very late here. – Sean Allred Jan 15 '14 at 5:50
  • Alright. Logically, your document has the same structure as my own resume. I'll post the LaTeX structure definitions and try to adapt them to look like yours, but it will be on two pages. (Right now, it's a little hard to read for the sheer words.) – Sean Allred Jan 15 '14 at 13:40
5

Typographically

I've hardly a leg to stand on here, but this is just a comparison to other documents I've seen.

Your resume is, in my honest opinion, an impenetrable wall of text. Your skills are completely hidden by ink. I would suggest you go with a more spread-out style, but that is of course your design choice and hardly anyone will say say 'Man, the character density on this page is extremely high.'

The rules beneath your titles are placed haphazardly and the spacing is noticeably uneven. (Compare 'Education' with 'Interests'.) This can easily be fixed by using techniques to maintain consistency.

LaTeXnically

As I said, the code is inconsistently structured. You're giving typesetting commands when you should be giving structure commands—leaving the typesetting to the class and packages. LaTeX documents are designed to separate the typesetting rules from structure from content. When reading the main text, you should hardly ever come across an \hfill, \vspace, \addtolength, or similar. (There are exceptions, but these are few and far between.)

  • Your definition of \sbullet is clever, but paralist already provides intra-paragraph list options.
  • The sections of your document aren't clearly marked as such. You can use the titlesec package to customize how text marked with \section looks. (There's even the pre-cooked ability to add title rules!)
  • When you are describing your abilities (i.e. Blah blah: blah, blahlet, blahsophet, …), you really should (logically speaking) be using a description list.
  • Each time you begin an itemize environment, you are setting several lengths. It would be more appropriate to create your own environment that has these lengths pre-defined or, better yet, use the enumitem package to do so globally.
  • The -- ligature was designed for ranges; you'll find it looks more pleasing to the eye, too.
  • Minor point: don't use \emph when you really mean to italicize. \emph is design to switch back and forth depending on context, whereas \textit will always be italicized. In this case, you know exactly how you want it typeset all the time, so IMO you can be specific. (But not here! This should be defined in your structure definitions.)
  • Point that should be absorbed but ignored in favor of a package based solution:
    When you begin any group—as you do when you start a new environment like itemize—changes you make to lengths and such are local to the group unless explicitly stated otherwise. So, you could rather have said

    \begin{itemize}
      \setlength{\itemsep}{0cm}
      \setlength{\parskip}{0cm}
      \addtolength{\leftskip}{-5mm}
        \item Languages: Python (Active Tutor and Speaker), …
        \item Typesetting \& Markup Packages: reST (rst), …
        \item Statistics Languages \& Packages: R Statistics …
    \end{itemize}
    

    Of course, it would be better to represent this specific example as a proper description list and modify its appearance with enumitem.

Personal Thingies

Feel free to ignore any and all of these.

  • I would maintain some sort of typographical marker when you're talking about a program. (I use \textsl in my own resume, but this of course is wrapped by a more descriptive \program macro.)
  • I wouldn't be so quick to capitalize (as in 'Troubleshot Computers and Networks')

A complete example implementation is available as a gist. It includes the very class I use for my resume and modifies your preamble and example content to be more 'LaTeXy'.

If you'd like to see what it looks like, you can download the PDF directly from the gist.

  • This looks like you've put a lot of thought into it, +1 for that. I really appreciate the critical eye. I'll give it another read when I have a chance to address, until then, thanks!! It's actually much uglier in my source, I deleted a ton of commented code. I'm really trying to squeeze an awful lot into a single page, which is part of why I'm not using environments, I just couldn't make the environments work (I really tried) and get it all consistent, look good, and fit on one page. It could be my abilities, but I did put a lot of work into it. Can you give examples, using my code? – Aaron Hall Jan 15 '14 at 15:19
  • 1
    Must your cv be just one page? I recommend that for beginners, but folks with your amount of experience will need more space. If one page is required for a particular job search, decide which skills are most important and omit the others rather than create an undreadable document. – Ethan Bolker Jan 15 '14 at 15:36
  • @AaronHall Take a look at the gist again. It has been updated. There is a PDF available to download as a preview there, as well. – Sean Allred Jan 16 '14 at 2:21

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