The HR-XSL Stylesheets

HR-XML is only part of the solution. XML is easy for computers to understand, but most humans would rather not have to read raw XML data. More importantly, recruiters who have not yet adopted the HR-XML standard would probably reject your job application if you sent them a CV or résumé in XML form.

The purpose of the HR-XSL project, then, is to convert an HR-XML Resume file into a more attractive, human-readable form. It does this by providing a library of XSLT stylesheets that can convert any valid HR-XML Resume file into DocBook XML format. DocBook was chosen because it is a generic format that can then be transformed into various presentation formats: HTML, PDF, plain text, and more.[1]

Of course, there is no single right way when it comes to formatting a CV or résumé. Some want their names formatted with bold text while others want their names in italics. It is therefore not the goal of this project to define a standard look and feel of a resume. Rather, the goal is to provide a reasonable starting point for end-users who write their CVs or résumés according to the HR-XML standard and want to present it in a human-readable format.

Another benefit of HR-XSL is that it simplifies the writing process. By allowing the computer to handle the presentation of the data, you can focus on the specific content of your CV or résumé and avoid worrying about line spacing, indentation, and other formatting concerns. Updating the content is also easier because you can defer (or entirely ignore) decisions such as what font to use[2] or how to display a date (e.g., September 7, Sep. 7, or 9/7). The automation provided by the stylesheets also ensures consistency: When and if you decide to specify a font or date format, it will be used consistently throughout the document.

[1] You need not learn DocBook in order to use HR-XSL; it is only an intermediate representation. HR-XSL provides scripts for the full HTML/PDF/text conversion, allowing you to ignore DocBook completely if you wish.

[2] HR-XSL itself does not provide explicit customization of appearance, such as font family or size. Instead, the output appearance can be changed through HTML stylesheets and DocBook XSL parameters, as described in the section called “DocBook XSL Customization”.