cv as markdown

For a while I’ve had a Bootstrap based cv on this site. While it showed that I am capable of writing HTML, it was a pain to edit. As most people will attest to, keeping your cv up to date is one of their least favourite tasks. Adding HTML doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.

I wanted to switch to having the source of my cv in Markdown for a number of reasons:

  • It’s as easy as writing an email
  • It’s familiar, I use it every day for
  • I can paste the source document into a plain text email, and everyone can immediately read it
  • I can easily generate binary formats for recruiters that prefer that
  • It’s easy to read diffs in git

It took me a bit to do all the editing from HTML to Markdown, but now my cv is available as Markdown. From now on, updating it will be as easy as all the other editing I do on a daily basis.

Converting Markdown to PDF

Some recruiters request a PDF (or other binary) version, so I’ll have to generate one, and Jekyll (which I use for building this site) isn’t going to do it for me.

Enter pandoc, “a universal document converter”.

On OSX, installing it is fairly easy with Homebrew

$ brew install pandoc

Before you pat yourself on the shoulder for a job well done, you’ll still need a working TeX distribution on your machine so pandoc can create PDFs. I ended up using the BasicTeX distribution of MacTeX.

Installation was as easy as installing any regular application on OSX, and now I can generate the PDF in a single command

$ pandoc cv/ -o cv/cv.pdf

The PDF version of my cv is now available :-)

Sure, it’s not the sexiest PDF the world has seen, but I am optimising for authoring pleasure and for making it easy to read.

Build on deploy

In the normal Jekyll workflow, Jekyll builds your site out of the source files and pours them into a _site folder (removing anything that was already there). Jekyll does not convert Markdown to PDF, so that’ll have to happen after the site is generated and before deploy.

I use a Rakefile to build and deploy this site, so with a few updates, rake can now be used for generating a PDF version of the cv.

The Rakefile now looks like this

desc 'Build CV to PDF with pandoc'
task :cv  => [:build] do
	sh 'pandoc _site/cv/ -o _site/cv/cv.pdf'

desc 'Build site with Jekyll'
task :build do
  sh 'jekyll build'

desc 'Build and deploy'
task :deploy => [:build, :cv] do
  sh 'rsync -a --delete --delay-updates --progress -e ssh _site/'

def jekyll(opts = '')
  sh 'rm -rf _site'
  sh 'jekyll ' + opts

The source of this website is available on GitHub, some of it has an MIT license.