I am planning to apply for a few undergraduate research internships and I recently learned LaTeX, so I am thinking of transferring my resume from Word to LaTeX. I came across LaTeX templates for a "Deedy CV" and a "Deedy Cover Letter" which apparently went viral in 2014. Admittedly, the "Deedy" templates look very attractive; in fact, they were the most attractive-looking CV/cover letter templates in the entire Overleaf gallery. Is it recommended that an undergraduate applying for undergraduate research internships uses the Deedy templates? What about a template for a somewhat infographic colored CV? Do these formats of CVs convey unprofessionalism in academia?

P.S. If this is relevant, I am in the US and am also planning to cold email some professors on the US to ask if they would be willing to take me on for a research position.

  • 3
    It might help you to look at how academics present their CVs (a lot of academics, myself included, have their CV on their website or university page). Both presentation and content differ hugely from what is the norm in industry.
    – astronat
    Aug 29 '20 at 17:01
  • The deedy template looks fine - What about a template for a somewhat infographic colored CV? <- I'd be careful with this Aug 29 '20 at 17:16
  • 2
    From a quick search, I disagree that this is a very attractive template. I think the two-column layout with two very different columns makes it very hard to access. I've seen far nicer looking and better to read latex templates.
    – user151413
    Aug 29 '20 at 20:37
  • 1
    It doesn't look standard.
    – henning
    Aug 30 '20 at 12:19

I'm sure that the recipient won't really be concerned with which template you use for your CV or cover letter. Most probably they are not familiar with what templates are available. What they will be concerned about is the contents, and do you offer what experience and qualifications they are looking for.

The documents just have to look respectable, that is all. You are overthinking this.

  • 1
    I don't think this is entirely overthinking - a badly formatted CV, which is hard to parse with a quick look, is certainly not helping the case.
    – user151413
    Aug 29 '20 at 20:38
  • This is usually good advice, but certain disciplines and locations have more strict CV standards. Aug 30 '20 at 2:24

A CV should allow to access the relevant information to judge if someone is (at least potentially) a suitable candidate quickly and easily.

This is true even more so if you are going to cold-email people. Professors get lots of such emails. They will first have a very quick look at your CV, and only if it looks like it might be a reasonable candidate to look at, they will give further consideration.

Thus, you want to have a CV where the relevant information is quickly to find and which is easily accessible.

The template you mention seems to me, at least in the two-column version with two completely independent columns which seems to be the standard one, impossible to parse quickly - one never knows which column to look at. So people might not find the information they are looking for or, worse, overloop it, since they don't know where to look for it and parse the right column only.

So I think it is important how you format your CV, especially if you are going to cold-email people. It should be formatted such that it is very easy to find relevant information - publications, education, and so forth. To this end, I think a single-column layout with clearly visibe captions is suited best. Beyond that, the "fanciness" of the actual layout is indeed not relevant.

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