I'm updating my resume. As you advance in your career, resumes get more complicated. In addition to jobs and education there are many other things you may want to include, such as awards, publications, committees, patents, etc. For any and all of these, you may want some information, or a lot of information. Hyperlinks may be useful when viewed on line, so the viewer can click through to more info, but printed copies have no need for this, or may want to explicitly state the URL. You may even want to link to at home projects on your web site. There are also different views of a resume. You can look at quantifyable info, e.g. how many year exp doing Java. You can look at a basic resume. Or you can look at detailed info for each job, maybe a few paragraphs per job. Maybe the reviewer just wants to quickly see only the management expereince of a candidate, and the programming experience. Finally, alhtough most resumes contain the same information, they vary in the level of detail. 1 paragraph of 4 on a particular job? Do I need to include background info on my company's product? How much? This, of course, is what XML is for. I'm envisioning a DTD for resumes. It will have the following requirements (this is a sketch) R0. It gives me experience coding XML projects. R1. It will be used for software resumes. R2. It should BE USEFUL for entry level through advanced programmers and managers. R3. It should make life easier, not harder, for users of the system. R4. It should allow for different views of the resume, such views might include HR, engineers, managers, on-line, printed, summary, detailed. R5. Eventually, different users can customize their own views (e.g. I want education section to appear at the end of the resume, not the start). R6. The project should not prohibit a way of doing advanced parsing of resumes using the benefits of XML. This project would involve the creation of a DTD, and then a viewer. I'm thinking an early version will be a stand-alone Java viewer. Then an applet. Finally (here's my pipe dream), a web site where XML resumes can be parsed not as plan text, but rather using XML (hence R6).
This leads me to the following questions: Q1. Is this really needed? Looking at requirement 3, I'm wondering if this will make life too complex. What if there are standard formats? Q2. What do you consider "standard" for a resume? How much information is there for this particular item? Should there be multiple views of the item? Q3. Is this something people would use? Q4. Is this something people woud want to help build? Q5. Does somehting like this exist, and I just don't know about it yet? --Mark email@example.com
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
Mark - First off, I have to say that I really like your idea. I am in the process of trying to update my resume and have come across some of the same questions that you have. Although I have only been programming for about two years, that time has been spent at a consulting firm. Therefore, I have multiple projects and clients that I have worked for that I could highlight. I am currently trying to find the best way to explain everything without going overboard. Also, in thinking about the future, I realize I will need to start picking and choosing projects and other activities to highlight. Otherwise, I will have a huge resume, which no one, including me, would want to read. On to your questions - Q1 - I don't think you are making things more complex. It might appear that way initially, but I think that the availabilty of different views will actually simplify things. I don't know how many times that recruiters or HR people have asked for things in different formats (or asked you to fill out their own online forms). By providing them with a URL to generate their own personalized view, you might actually be reducing your level of effort when applying for a new job. If they didn't want to go to your site, you could easily query the info for them. Q2 - I don't really think there is a standard resume format. As for what I shoot for, I like to stay under two pages and highlight my work experiences, followed by languages/platforms, with education near the bottom. Q3 - I think people would be interested in using such a system, as it provides flexibility and the ability for people to tailor it to their own needs. Q4 - I would definitely be interested in working on this with you. Just send me an e-mail and let me know when you want to get started. Q5 - Nothing like this exists that I am aware of. Chris
Hi Mark This is a great idea. Having 8 years to show on my resume I had always problems in managing it in a short format. I strongly agree that the magic of XML will work here too. If you need any help in putting this together please let me know. [ July 11, 2005: Message edited by: ARS Kumar ]
ARS Kumar, Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
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