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I know some LaTeX and plan on learning more to write papers and the like but is it something I should list on my resume when applying to the business world? I've heard tale that one should look as un-academic as possible. Would LaTeX be too much?

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I'd be extremely wary of the advice one gives when they tell a Computer Science graduate to "look un-academic" –  Rarity Apr 18 '12 at 20:01
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What are you applying for? I think that information is essential to make this question actually answerable. No need to be overly generic, otherwise there won't be a single correct answer. –  NickC Apr 18 '12 at 20:34

5 Answers 5

up vote 15 down vote accepted

This depends on what exactly you're applying for.

If you're applying to a company that produces textbooks and they use LaTeX for their typesetting it would definitely be a plus.

If you're applying to a college/university or a shop with lots of *NIX systems/people around they'll probably know what LaTeX is, and it can't hurt to list it (I consider it a plus personally).

If you're applying to be a grocery store cashier or some other field so far removed from publishing/typesetting/academia and other areas where LaTeX shows up the folks interviewing you probably won't even know what LaTeX is - at best you'll have to explain, and at worst they'll probably think you have some strange fetishes.

Bottom line: Tailor your resume to the job you're applying for when you send it directly to an employer. If you're putting something up on Stack Overflow Careers or Dice/Monster/Etc. go ahead and list it, as it's one more thing someone can search by.

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It is probably not applicable to a position doing Windows development either. –  ReallyTiredOfThisGame Apr 18 '12 at 19:08

If it will be used in your job, then heck yeah.

Never even think about not putting something useful (within your job) on your resume. But, if you don't want to look to academic, there are ways to prevent that.

For example:

Known Technologies Include:

  • Java
  • C
  • LaTeX
  • Python
  • ...

Is like saying to look academic. It's like saying, "Look I went to school and I know all of these cool things because I'm awesome."

On the other hand:

  • Have [fill number here] years experience in Java and C.
  • Work comfortably with Python and LaTeX.
  • ...

Is more like saying "Well, I went to school, and I'm proud of it, but I don't like to brag." ;-)

So, yeah, put it on your Resume, just be careful how you word it.

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My question to you is what benefit would you gain from putting LaTex on there? I try hard not to put a single word on my resume that won't help me get the actual positions I want. If I don't intend to work in a technology, for instance, I won't put it on there even if I have experience with it. If you are applying for jobs where this technology would be helpful, add it, If not, then something else might be a better use for the space.

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If there is no sign of there being any usage or requirement of LaTeX at the job you're applying for, then I would say it falls under general rules of keeping your resume focused and to-the-point. If you're needing to trim in order to keep it brief, then trim out less relevant skills like LaTeX.

But I honestly can't think of any situation where it would be a negative just to have it there. Sure there are some technologies which do attract a degree of prejudice from some people in hiring positions (e.g. Visual Basic), but I'd be amazed if LaTeX was one of them. Frankly, I suspect that anyone who would be prejudiced against it on the grounds of it being "too academic" wouldn't actually be familiar with the name.

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It does not make you look too academic.

'Too academic' sounds like there was a downside to being academic, which I don't feel there is.

Having "C#" as a skill in my "CV" does not make me look too much of a "software developer", does it?

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In Finland, there's a saying: "People with vocational degrees know. People with Bachelor's degrees think. People with academic degrees think they know" :) –  Juha Untinen Feb 7 '13 at 12:46

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