résumé.tex 2020-06-12

Today I decided to remake my résumé. Or, last night, rather.

I'm a self-taught developer. I have yet to hold a software developer position. Nearly everything on my résumé with any relevance to the positions I'm applying to now is a personal project. So most résumés fit me badly. They almost always require work experience and give it way more emphasis than I want. I need to leverage my projects, because why the hell would anyone care about my work experience when it's completely irrelevant to the job at hand?

(I'm fluent in French and recently learned how to use both ctrl-k in Vim and the Compose key and so if you have a problem with me writing résumé with the accents so often you should just stop reading 😝.)

I had been using for a while a crappy docx rendered to pdf. It consisted of a single main column body with the following:

  1. a statement
  2. a double column list of skills (which was extensive)
  3. a list of 4 projects
  4. my education (I never completed my degree so I can't list it, but I only have a handful of credits missing so I pretty much just list the years at which school I attended)
  5. my "Experience," which was a joke because none of the jobs listed were relevant.

I recently built this blog and the accompanying site and they're both, in my opinion, gorgeous. I love them. I love writing for this blog. (I love this blog more than I love the main site, mostly because I built it from scratch.) I have my LinkedIn set up, my StackOverflow Developer Story, and my GitHub curated. Why am I still using this crappy Word résumé?

So last night I decided I'd start working on a new one. My buddy told me he uses creddle.io, so I tried that. Their selection of résumé templates was very limited, so I gave up on that after building it out. I know the hell out of Photoshop (it's not included on my résumé because I'm not going for frontend dev but I've been using PS for almost 20 years now), so I started trying that out (actually, I started in Gimp and was reminded why I can't use that program for any but the simplest tasks). I tried making one from scratch using my headshot and my favorite picture from the Osceola National Forest Wikipedia article. That was crap. I found some templates online, downloaded one, and started to rewrite it. Turns out PS can't handle links in PSD's. I literally cannot generate a PDF with links in it using PS. And that seems like an essential function of a résumé to me, so I scratched that option.

Next I looked into alternative ways to make a résumé. I googled tools (there are a ton of WYSIWYG tools but they all cost), sites (I tried resume.io and discovered it, too, sucks like creddle.io). Next, I remembered LaTeX. I'd googled for latex résumé templates a few weeks ago and turned up nothing great, but I wanted something that (a) was pretty and (b) I could manipulate fairly well. I much prefer to manipulate words than pictures, anyway, because they seem more precise to me (that is to say, I prefer words to WYSIWYG). This time I struck gold. I found latextemplates.com, and all of his gorgeous CV résumés.

I went with the Developer CV and rewrote the Experience portion as Projects and the Non Profit section as Strengths and it was good to go. I'm in love with it. You can see it here.

Best of all, I feel like I've gotten a good taste of LaTeX and now I want to learn way, waaaay more. My buddy, Ethan, was ragging on the bars and circles and I have to say as well I'm not sure if I'm a fan. I think they're eye catching, and that might be all they need to be, but I can fit way more skills in there if I eliminated them. If I learn more LaTeX I can do a lot more manipulation on this sucker.

I actually emailed the author, Vel, to thank him because I was so appreciative of the template and experience. But more to express my admiration, not at the CV I chose, but at this incredible work of art. It is simply gorgeous. I cannot believe how brilliantly laid out it is. Just look at it. The way it's concentrated on one side of the page, only barely reaching past the half way point on one line. The spacing, the room to breathe. I don't know what it is, like, I'm not even a typography fanboy or anything, but I absolutely love this sheet of paper. It's like hearing DeBussy's Claire de Lune for the first time.

I'm gushing. I'll leave you here. I just want to say, LaTeX is awesome and I can't wait to learn more. I'm incredibly grateful to Vel at latextemplates.com for creating these gorgeous templates that serve as an inspiration to learn more LaTeX. And I'm excited to start sending this guy out.

Oh, before I finish, anothing thing I'm excited about: if you look at the email on my new résumé you'll see m@stdwtr.io. I started finding during this process that malan88@standingwater.io was a little cumbersome, too long for the lines. So I decided, why not buy a domain name that's short, like youtu.be or bit.ly, for my own sites? I'm using it now for a redirect for my servers, too.

m@stdwtr.io is not active yet (I'm still waiting for the MX records to propagate, or for FastMail to get it's crap together), but once it's done propagating I'm going to be migrating *@standingwater.io to FastMail as well, and then I'll add m@standingwater.io as an alias, too. In my experience, malan88@standingwater.io is too long to type and too complicated to say. The first part is too complicated to say, the second part too long to write. So I'll be giving m@standingwater.io out over the phone, and m@stdwtr.io when I write. So there we have it.

Finally, I just wanted to also mention, I'm a little reticent about using 88 in all my usernames/emails. It's my birth year, and I like it, but it's also used by Neo-Nazi's to say "Heil Hitler" because H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. I'll probably be changing my usernames in the near future, migrating to mas or something. (malan was Michael Alan.)

Update 7/10/21: I changed it. It's mostly my initials everywhere, mas. Github became mas-4, stackoverflow mas, my email m@standingwater.io. I like the number 4 a lot, and it's my birthday, so I guess it'll do.