crossposted from LinkedIn
TL;DR: Why isn't there a universal data-format for résumés?
So, here's a thing.
A lot of job application sites will ask you to upload a résumé (henceforth "CV") and then attempt to parse it out into something more like a set of database entries, presumably with the idea of making it easier for prospective employers to search for people with particular types of experience.
The problem is, the parsing software they all seem to use is hot garbage.
I thought at first it was something to do with my CV's decorative layout, so I tried creating a new one from scratch that's laid out with the intention of being minimally confusing for a parsing algorithm. My name and contact info is at the top, then an "Experience" header, followed by sub-headers with the name of each job, with labeled bullet-items under each one which include things like dates worked, tech used, tasks performed, etc.
The algorithm doesn't seem to do any better with this. It picked two work-experience items seemingly at random (including the oldest one, down at the end of the list), and it got the dates completely wrong for the first one (it showed dates which are not given anywhere on my CV; it seems to have completely invented them, for no apparent reason).
Yes, I can go in and manually enter all my work experience -- but I have to do this for every new site where I apply for work, AND -- this is the key thing -- there's no way to SAVE THAT WORK in a format which I can reload elsewhere.
The larger employers and job-hosting web sites need to get their acts together and work this out. Some kind of XML microformat seems like a good idea to me, though JSON would probably work fine too (though I prefer XML because JSON doesn't support comments).