Here are some example résumés.

Is a plain or "attention grabbing" resume more effective? Or perhaps in between?

  • Hi User, I edited your post to be less about a review of two specific resumes (which would not be on topic here) but to generalize the question. If this changes your intent too much feel free to edit your question further. Hope this helps!
    – enderland
    Oct 11, 2014 at 15:48
  • @enderland NP, thanks for the edit, it reads better now.
    – User
    Oct 11, 2014 at 15:54
  • 1
    The 404 on Example 3 (most standard) definitely grabbed my attention
    – xDaizu
    Dec 19, 2017 at 17:08

4 Answers 4


on average which of these two LaTeX Résumés is going to be more effective for a technical job application?

In my personal opinion, these are both rather poor choices.

Depending on what you mean by "technical job", you may want to go to a more traditional style. Let your accomplishments grab the reader's attention, rather than the style, formatting, and color in your resume.

If by "technical job" you mean something software development related, unusual styles in your resume are unlikely to make a difference - substance matters far more. In my career, I've interviewed candidates for many, many of these positions. A stylistically-unusual resume never helped. Substantial accomplishments always helped.

On the other hand if the "technical job" is far more creative, perhaps attention-grabbing might be more worthwhile. I've only interviewed candidates for a few of these positions. Even here, substance matters more than style - although unusuals styles are more common for this sort of creative position.

In my experience, you are far more likely to put off a reader by unusual formatting choices for your resume than you are likely to gain. There's more downside than there is upside.

To directly answer your question, of these two templates the second (Classicthesis-Styled) is more appealing to my eyes.

  • Ok thanks I might make mine more conservative. I actully thought the second would be standard enough for any job. Would you point to any of these as better choices?latextemplates.com/cat/curricula-vitae
    – User
    Oct 11, 2014 at 12:37

Recruiters go through 100s of resumes at a time and they scan it for keywords and accomplishments that are relevant to the position.

The first one would be a distraction, probably an annoyance (depending on the recruiter).

The second one looks cleaner, easier to scan for. However, the font should be at least 10 point so the recruiter doesn't have to squint for 5 seconds before deciding whether to forward your resume.


I didn't click on either link.

The use of LaTex is immaterial because the ultimate result was a PDF.

Some hiring sites do allow you to attach a pdf file or word document. Other sites don't. If they don't allow attachments they expect the resume to be a text document that you paste into a box. Therefore you will need a text only version of the document that is still readable.

Some sites expect you to copy all the relevant info into multiple boxes. Five or six fields per job in your history. Again having a text version of the document handy is key.

The only time some people at the hiring company will see that fancy looking document is when you hand it to them on interview day. By then you have already made it past several rounds of the process; and they will be scanning it for relevant information.

  • I didn't mean to suggest LaTeX was relevant to the recruiters. It was more to suggest these are two common templates which look a bit different to a standard word document. I have had places ask me to provide it as plain text in forms which makes this a moot point. However where they don't I still want to leave the best impression even though these details are secondary to content.
    – User
    Oct 11, 2014 at 10:47

My first reaction to the two was "wth?", because they look like some advertisement or the latest assignment of an arts student. Especially the big black area costs lots of ink if you wanna print it. ;p

From your suggested ones, this one looks cleanest to me (without the witty quote): http://www.latextemplates.com/template/moderncv-cv-and-cover-letter

But that's only my personal opinion, you could browse the companies online documents (stuff like letters, not ad material) and check what their preferred style is.

The important part is that you can find information quickly, so it shows your ability to present data, which is needed on almost any job and like Joe says, that it is information that matters to the job you apply for.

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