Recently, I have been editing my CV, which is typeset with XeLaTeX. I realize that besides those trite TeX advantages, such as being neat and clean (and the TeX symbolic font of course), I am not displaying any TeX "guruness". My CV looks just the same as some others', who just picked up TeX yesterday and create their CV today!

So I am thinking, what are the ways of showing off my TeX skills (if any). Since CV is usually required to be professional and clean, those fancy skills, such as drawing a Christmas tree, cannot be applied in the CV case.

Suppose I have very rightful reasons and necessity to show off my TeX skills in my CV. What should I do?

By the way, I am applying for graduate programs.

  • 20
    If you are applying to Boeing, you could use this: tex.stackexchange.com/a/114847/1090 Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:18
  • 7
    Show off if you are applying to graduate programs on graphic design. Otherwise stick to your boring template.
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:26
  • 5
    If I were the one responsible of picking people for job interviews, a CV typeset in Computer Modern (which I assume is what you mean by the »TeX symbolic font«) would go straight to the garbage bin. For it would make me think of exactly the kind of person you're describing: someone trying to »show off« some »guruness« ...as opposed to someone who takes a minute to think about what a poor typeface choice that might be in this context.
    – Nils L
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:27
  • 7
    @NilsL You need a very big garbage bin. Type choice is a taste not a crime. You would waste a lot of good candidates as such.
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:40
  • 5
    @FarticlePilter I don't understand your question. If somebody answers here then it will be his/her TeX skills no yours.
    – wipet
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 19:49

4 Answers 4


I liked the idea of a CV being, literally, a chronological order of events / experiences. So I spent some time modifying https://github.com/raphink/moderntimeline to do what I wanted; provide a Gantt chart-like narrative to the CV showing time and sequence in a single entity.

TimeLine CV

This just builds on moderntimeline, adding tick marks for years, adjusting placements etc. All in tikz.

But I've had more than one person ask me how I did this in Word...

I'm planning on issuing a pull request to moderntimeline to bring in some of my changes.

  • 5
    This looks really good. Would be great if the code is available!
    – John
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 20:20
  • Agree w John. The above could/should set a new standard for CVs. HR can see immediately entire period covered by CV & how it is broken down. Really nice. Suggestion to clean up appearance: place start and end dates "MMM YYYY" in standard positions at opposite ends of timelines, ie don't marry them to event bar.
    – commonhare
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 13:58
  • Eh...bad suggestion above. Confusing. But still feel those floating dates must be cleaned up somehow.
    – commonhare
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 15:17
  • 2
    This certainly looks great. However, I'm not sure that copy/pasting the code made by others is a good way to show off you skills !
    – Clément
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 12:29
  • 2
    @john and anyone else interested in the future, I've put a MWE of this here: github.com/tristancollins/TCmoderntimelineCV
    – Tristan
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 11:27

I would say :

  • Add hyperlinks, mailto links, etc. This brings some interactivity in your cv.
  • Use utf8-symbols for the phone, the mail, the webpage, etc. Chose them wisely and be consistent.
  • Display a nice bibliography, if you have any publication. It is not that obvious : be consistent regarding the abbreviations, the chosen language, the name of the journals / conferences, add doi (with hyperlinks). This shows a rigor in the treatment of your .bib file.
  • If you are bold enough and have some free space, add a nice figure that synthesizes some information hard to express with words. An attempt I recently made to describe the subjects of my talks : An example of a figure
  • Be consistent and elegant with your margins. It is a typographic skill that is hard to transfer to LaTeX, and testify for your TeX skills.
  • Use few colors and few fonts, and be confident with them.
  • Maybe the most important : make a .tex file that is easy to update and portable. Do not re-do your CV every time you want to add/remove some information.

The best TeX skill is in my opinion to be able to produce an elegant and sober document that do not show off, and that is easy to update and translate.

  • 2
    At least in my field, it is unlikely that most CVs are viewed electronically except, perhaps, by HR (for jobs) or the admin (for potential students). Hyperlinks are meaningless in that case and colour is extremely problematic. (Nothing is printed in colour and then it is photocopied.)
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 2:41
  • 3
    Well, in my field, it is extremely unlikely that anyone print a CV. You can always add hyperlinks (without any visual difference), in the worst case they won't be noticed. "Nothing is printed in colour" : if you chose your colours wisely, they will nicely degrade (Graceful Degradation) and provide a way to give a hierarchy in the information you want to display.
    – Clément
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 14:43

State your revolutionary skills in TeX or otherwise in words and have a nicely photoshopped photo. Use a nice blend of colours to match the photo. Wear a tie in the photo. Get a bit of humour in the text if you can..."was bored with the class and spend the evenings contributing to Open Source Projects..."

enter image description here

  • Do you mind giving some hints about what we can see above?
    – s__C
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 18:20
  • 3
    @s__C This is mostly advise to keep things simpler, use a limited number of colours (including the photo) and say things in words rather than diagrams. A date range is as good as a TikZ timeline. Overusing a tool to show off IMHO is a negative. For example Tristan's CV, shows excellent TikZ skills but poor typography. Since the user wants to "show off TeX skills" these can be demonstrated perhaps better by a bit of good typography.
    – yannisl
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 18:55

Write {\LaTeX} for LaTeX where you state that you know it. This should should assure readers that this CV was written in this language.

  • 1
    Down-voters, could you please tell me what is wrong with my answer? Preferably before you down-vote so that maybe I can fix it. In case you think it is too short and should be a comment, I cannot comment yet because my reputation is too low.
    – geras
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 8:15
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    Could you propose why one must write \LaTeX in their CV without proper motivation? Since this question revolves around showing off one's TeX skills with a CV, imo, your proposal is not much relevant. Moreover, anybody can write \LaTeXin their CV :) (PS: I did not downvote your post). Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 9:14

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