I've recently used a LaTeX template to make both a resume and cover letter using res.cls and letter.sty respectively. However, I would like to have both documents display my name, a horizontal line and my address, all centered, and in the same place place on both documents. The code which does this in res.cls is:

% LaTeX resume using res.cls
%\usepackage{helvetica} % uses helvetica postscript font (download helvetica.sty)
%\usepackage{newcent}   % uses new century schoolbook postscript font 
\setlength{\textwidth}{5.1in} % set width of text portion


% Center the name over the entire width of resume:
 \moveleft.5\hoffset\centerline{\large\bf NAME}
% Draw a horizontal line the whole width of resume:
 \moveleft\hoffset\vbox{\hrule width\resumewidth height 1pt}\smallskip
% address begins here
% Again, the address lines must be centered over entire width of resume:
 \moveleft.5\hoffset\centerline{1 ABC Street}
 \moveleft.5\hoffset\centerline{AUSTRALIA 2000}
 \moveleft.5\hoffset\centerline{5555 555 555}


But I'm unsure how to do this in letter.sty. Currently the code is:

% Cover letter using letter.sty
\documentclass{letter} % Uses 10pt
%Use \documentstyle[newcent]{letter} for New Century Schoolbook postscript font
% the following commands control the margins:
\topmargin=-1in    % Make letterhead start about 1 inch from top of page 
\textheight=8in  % text height can be bigger for a longer letter
\oddsidemargin=0pt % leftmargin is 1 inch
\textwidth=6.5in   % textwidth of 6.5in leaves 1 inch for right margin


\signature{NAME}                           % name for signature 
\longindentation=0pt                       % needed to get closing flush left
\let\raggedleft\raggedright                % needed to get date flush left

{\large\bf NAME}
\medskip\hrule height 1pt
\hfill 1 ABC Street \\
\hfill AUSTRALIA 2000 \\
\hfill 5555 555 555 
\vfill % forces letterhead to top of page


Can anyone with more experience than I have, suggest a fix that will work identically for both documents?

  • Please provide a reference (hyperlink) to res.cls. Is letter the default LaTeX document class?
    – Werner
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


res.cls is really old. Originally it was a LaTeX 2.09 document style, it has been modified to work with LaTeX2e, the last update was 2001, i.e. nearly 12 years ago. Today there are more choices, have a look at: LaTeX template for resume/curriculum vitae. Old doesn't mean bad, but generally development goes on.

letter is a standard class, but also here be aware that there are very flexible alternative letter classes, such as scrlttr2.

No matter which classes you will finally combine, I would not try to match the design of one with means of the other.

You could use absolute positioning on the page in both classes using textpos, eso-pic, atbegshi, everyshi, or TikZ.

My preferred way was using scrlttr2, with a nicely designed header and footer, creating also an empty letter with it (just header and footer), and using eso-pic or one of the other packages above to include it as "background" for my resume and included certicficates, to have a consistent header/footer layout with different classes.

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