I'm finding it progressively more difficult to maintain my Google Docs resume, and I'd like to redo it with the separation of content and presentation in mind. I thought LaTeX would be the best tool for the job, but it seems to be more tailored to specific types of documents, such as books and articles. In order to make it look more like what I have in mind (2 column layout, narrow marigins), I have to use all sorts of arcane code intermingled with the text, effectively putting me right back where I started.

Now I'm thinking HTML and CSS might be the way to go. XML also sounds like an elegant tool for the job, but I'm not sure how to go about transforming it into an actual document — I'm a complete novice when it comes to markup languages.

Should I continue with LaTeX or switch over to HTML/CSS/XML? What are some other approaches I could take?

  • I have a pretty rudimentary understanding of Latex, but I think you separate content from presentation by creating a .cls file for you layout and a .tex file for your content. Check out dev.entidi.com/p/tccv for an example. Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 23:13

4 Answers 4


I'd stick to LaTeX if I were you, or more specifically, Xe(La)TeX. With a classy font and a decent template, you'll have a hard time getting as good a look with other software.

Here are a couple of links to get you started:

Hopefully you can get something out of these. I started using XeLaTeX for my CV a couple of years ago, and while I don't remember what half of the code in the document does, it's still really easy to edit.

Update: With Markdown gaining traction for just about anything, you might consider that as an alternative. Markdown Resume Builder looks good.

  • LaTeX will also produce better looking typography than your other options: pair kerning, ligatures, etc. If you know what you're doing you can use decorative variants, and so on. A CV is one of the few places where this stuff is arguably very important.
    – frabjous
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 16:41

You could try a plain text tool that converts plain text into either HTML or PDF via LaTeX.

This can be a good way of separating content from style.


Well, it depends of your own needs. I admit Google Docs is far from being the best tool for this job. But Latex was never intended as doing such a thing as you admit as well.

Why don't you simply use OpenOffice for this task? It works like a charm and has more features than Google Docs. By the way you will then be able to export your resume in famous formats such as Microsoft Office and PDF.

Google docs is perfect when you're in a team working on the same document; otherwise it's a waste of time as you'll have to deal with problems already solved in office suites.

Hoping this helps.

EDIT By the way, make sure to use Styles, it's pretty handy.


If you're just learning the previous answers are valid. I already had substantial experience tweaking html/CSS and using ruby/rails. I drop my resume into my own little sqlite database and render with views. This way, I can generate a dozen different views to get the format the employer wants(1 page, 3 page, cover page with list of certifications, whatever)

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