Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents

The HR-XML Format
The HR-XSL Stylesheets

Keeping one's CV current is a tedious, never-ending process. One common problem is that several different versions of the same document have to be maintained. For example, job hunters these days typically have to maintain at least three separate forms of their CV or résumé:

With all of these different versions, making changes to your CV or résumé can be tiresome and prone to error. Cutting and pasting can help, but a typo in one version will still propagate to all the others, and then you must correct each separate version. And, when deadlines are approaching, you might quickly make an important change to one version and forget to make that same change in all of the others.

A better approach is to put all of your CV or résumé content into a single “master” copy, then let your computer automatically generate and format different versions of the document from this master. The HR-XSL project provides the tools for exactly this purpose. All you need to do is create a CV in a special XML format. HR-XSL can then take this XML file as input and create a PDF, HTML, or plain text version as output.

The HR-XML Format

HR-XSL can't work with just any XML data; it has to use a specific XML format so that it can understand the content of a CV or résumé. The question is: Which format should it use? Over the years, a variety of custom XML formats have been developed for CVs and résumés, but none of them has grown popular enough to become an industry standard. Meanwhile, the human resources industry saw the benefits of XML and formed an independent, non-profit group called The HR-XML Consortium. Its key mission is to promote and standardize the use of XML in human resources.

One of the XML vocabularies published by HR-XML is the Resume specification. This specification defines a CV or résumé document in pure XML, allowing the content to be processed by machines and exchanged easily on the Internet. Like all of the HR-XML specifications, it is fully documented and freely available. The latest version can be downloaded by visiting the File Releases section of the HR-XSL project website.

Of course, no résumé specification can meet everyone's needs, and the HR-XML Resume spec is no exception. It does not allow tagging résumé content for a specific kind of job, for instance. Nevertheless, it is quite comprehensive and, more importantly, it is an industry standard. The more people use it, the easier it will be to look for a job. For example, instead of tediously re-entering all of your résumé data into a website form, you could simply upload an HR-XML Resume file.

For these reasons, HR-XSL is designed exclusively for the HR-XML Resume specification. You will therefore need to convert your CV or résumé to the HR-XML format in order to use HR-XSL.