Extending FOAF with Resume
University of Latvia, IMCS
29 Raina boulevard, Riga, Latvia
uldis.bojars at gmx.net
This paper describes extending FOAF profiles to describe the
information contained in resume documents using the Resume ontology .
A resume or Curriculum Vitae (abbr. CV) is a written record
of person's education and employment, that is sent when applying for a
job. It also means a record of a
education and employment, also including a list of books and articles
have published and courses that they have taught, used when they are
for a job. In the scope of this paper we are using this term in a broad
sense of this word, including both academic and business resumes.
FOAF (Friend-Of-A-Friend)  is an RDFS/OWL ontology
information about persons and
their relationships. It is a collaborative project that has evolved
into a flexible and
practically used ontology. We believe that person's FOAF profile can be
extended with additional
information to express person's resume in a machine-readable form
the Semantic Web applications.
2. Resume information
Resume ontology  has been created to express the
business and academic experience, skills, publications, etc. contained
in a resume.
This information is expressed using 2 namespaces:
The cv namespace is used to
express the Resume ontology.
- http://purl.org/captsolo/resume-rdf/0.2/cv - Resume ontology
- http://purl.org/captsolo/resume-rdf/0.2/base - Property value
The base namespace is used as
a taxonomy of property value for this ontology.
The taxonomy contains a list of property values that can be controlled
within a Resume ontology.
There are other objects outside the ontology that need to be identified
in the scope of a resume document.
These include the identifiers for persons, companies, skills and other
Resume consists of the information about the person, its work and
academic experience (education), skills, courses and certification,
publications, references and other information.
2.1. Information About a Person
Resume starts with the information about a person - name, surname,
address, e-mail addresses, etc.
There are 2 main candidates for describing this information:
Resume ontology relies on existing schemas to describe the information
about a person. Both of these schemas are useful for describing
personal information. FOAF ontology has been widely accepted and used
while vCard is not. We propose to use the FOAF profile as a basis for
resume, extending it with the additional information contained in a
- FOAF ontology 
- vCard 3.0 RDF schema 
However, FOAF ontology is not sufficient for resumes - it needs to be
extended with the missing fields and designators 
or some fields
from vCard RDF schema need to be used.
2.2. Work and Academic Experience
Work experience and education history both have similar properties -
the organization, start date and end date. Both types of experience
also have specific properties of their own:
The property values for cv:carrerLevel, cv:jobType and cv:degreeType
are defined in the base taxonomy. The property cv:isCurrent is used to
indicate if the given work history record describes a position
currently held by a person. This information could be inferred
automatically based on the absence of the end date for work history
entry, but stating it explicitly enables easy selection of the current
work place by applications which are not able to infer this information
from the end date and also to distinguish current work entry from the
work entry where end date is unknown.
- Work experience - cv:jobTitle; cv:jobDescription; cv:carrerLevel;
cv:numSubordinates; cv:jobType; cv:isCurrent
- Education history - cv:degreeType; cv:eduMajor; cv:eduMinor;
Skills in are described with cv:skillName, cv:skillLevel (0-5),
cv:skillLastUsed and cv:skillYearsExperience.
Although initial design of the Resume ontology has cv:skillName
property as a literal, using URIs to identify skills is suggested for
avoiding ambiguity of skill identification and enabling automatical
skill matching. FOAF profiles already provide a similar property
foaf:interest to express person's interest in a certain subject area.
However, the most important question is about the taxonomy for values
for skill identification. Current practice is using a distributed list
of URLs of actual web sites describing theses skills or programming
languages. This approach is not practical if we look at the
implementation of the resume information system - to provide a list of
all possible property values developers would need to search whole
World Wide Web and identify all possible URLs which might be used to
describe skills. We propose to create a hierarchical skill taxonomy
similar to WordNet  used for describing nouns.
2.4. Courses and Certification
Courses, similar to work history, also have start and end date, a
company (cv:organizedBy), cv:courseTitle, cv:courseDescription,
cv:courseURL and an indicator cv:isCertification indicating if the
current record indicates that a person has received a certificate.
Publications may be described using foaf:publications and Dublin Core
References are divided into 2 subclasses by the reference type -
cv:ProfessionalReference and cv:PersonalReference. Both reference types
have a property cv:referenceBy pointing to the information about a
person who has provided a reference.
2.7. Other information
may be designed for a specific purpose and contain some information not
described above - like information about a target job profile (mostly
used in online resume database rather than in job applications),
specific conditions (cv:conditionWillRelocate, cv:conditionWillTravel,
cv:weeksNoticePeriod) and other information (described by class
cv:OtherInfo and properties cv:otherInfoType and
cv:otherInfoDescription) as well as special information about this
resume – date of update, title, description, copyrights, etc.
3. Use cases
Resume ontology may be used in all
applications where it is necessary to record and locate information
about persons' work experience, skills and abilities. Some of these use
cases are listed below.
3.1. Resume data base
A resume data base or portal may use FOAF along with Resume ontology to
collect information about persons and use skill matching to find best
matches of personal profiles and potential vacancies. Benefits of using
Semantic Web and the Resume ontology become clear if we consider that
syntactical matching of skill titles may not be enough. If the skills
are described using URIs from a skill taxonomy and this taxonomy has a
hierarchical structure (i.e., skill in HTML markup language infers some
knowledge in web page design), the application may make inferences on
generic skills up the skill hierarchy, based on the knowledge of
specific skills further down this hierarchy.
In order to implement a resume data base, new taxonomies and URI
assignment schemes are needed for skills and real-world objects used in
resumes. Real-world objects concerned are persons and organizations
which may act as employers for work history or educational institutions
for academic history. The question of identifying these real-world
objects is open because it is unlikely that a centralized registry will
be created for this kind of information.
3.2. Exporting Resume Information
The purpose of a resume is to act as a description of a person when
applying for a job. However, resumes and job applications are usually
tailored for a specific company and job type. Therefore, for resume
information described in FOAF and Resume ontologies to be useful,
another layer of information is required specifying what parts of the
resume information should be used to create a specific type of resume.
Types of resumes may differ by their application areas (academic vs.
business), region (Europe / USA) and other criteria. Another ontology
on top of the Resume ontology may be necessary for customizing the
resume information to a specific purpose.
3.3. Social Networks
The emergence of social networking sites creates a question about
personal profile information. Many sites require person to enter some
basic information (covered with a FOAF profile) along with interest,
work history, etc. (covered with Resume ontology). Describing this
information in a machine-readable form would allow to describe this
information once and re-use it as many times as necessary. A
prerequisite for this use case is the adoption of the FOAF and Resume
ontologies by the social network sites like Orkut and LinkedIn.
FOAF ontology is useable for describing the basic information about
persons and their relations. Resume ontology allows to amend this
profile with the information contained in person's resume. This
information may be useable to many businesses, including human
resources management and social networks. Next steps in the evolution
of ontologies for representing resume information on the Semantic Web
will be determined by the practical usage of these ontologies and
implementation the resume information systems using these ontologies.
- Uldis Bojars. Resume
ontology. Available at: http://purl.org/captsolo/semweb
- Dan Brickley, Libby Miller. FOAF
Vocabulary Specification. Available
- Renato Ianella. Representing vCard Objects
in RDF/XML. W3C Note 22 February 2001. Available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/vcard-rdf
- B.K. DeLong. [rdfweb-dev]
FOAF fleshing out - phone, email, vcard, trust, spam and beyond. Available
Vocabulary. Available at: http://xmlns.com/2001/08/wordnet/
Core in RDF / XML. A DCMI Proposed Recommendation. Available