[uf-discuss] Employment end dates in hResume - outstanding issue

Ciaran McNulty mail at ciaranmcnulty.com
Fri Aug 29 04:24:37 PDT 2008

As there's been some discussion about moving drafts into specification
status lately, I'd like to address one of the outstanding issues in

The problem that has arisen quite a few times, is that a lot of people
with a resume are currently employed and don't know what to provide as
the DTEND in their markup for their current job.  The problem is not
as apparent with educational events, as they tend to have a defined
end point even if it's in the future (PhD students may argue, mind

The solutions in the wild tend to be either:

1. Set the DTEND to the date the resume was generated.
The problem with this approach is that if I save your resume and come
back and look at it in a year's time, I might think your employment
period ended on that date.

2. Set the DTEND to some far-future date.
This could be confusing and could be taken to indicate that your
contract ends at some specified date in the future.

3. Set the DTEND to the same as DTSTART.
This makes the event be either instantaneous or 1 day long in
hCalendar, which could be confusing.

4. Omit the DTEND.
This is actually equivalent to option 3 (see

Personally I don't think this problem is going to be solvable within
hCalendar, and 'ongoing' events may be somewhat out of spec for that
particular format.  I would lean towards choosing one of the above
approaches and defining some optional additional semantic within
hResume that indicates that an experience event is 'ongoing'.

My particular preference would be to recommend option 4 and add a
@class="ongoing" that can be added to an event in hResume:

<!-- an event with a definite end point -->
<div class="vevent experience">
  <span class="summary">Managing Director</span>
  <span class="location">Example PLC</span>
  <abbr class="dtstart" title="2002-12-02">2002</abbr>
  <abbr class="dtend" title="2005-01-23">2005</abbr>

<!-- an event that is ongoing -->
<div class="vevent experience">
  <span class="summary">CEO</span>
  <span class="location">Another PLC</span>
  <abbr class="dtstart" title="2005-01-23">2005</abbr>
  <span class="ongoing">Present</span>

When viewed by an hCalendar parser, the second event would be
considered to be an all-day event occuring on 23rd Jan 2005.  An
hResume parser would however note the presence of @class="ongoing"
within the event and be able to

I'd welcome any feedback about:

A. Whether this is a problem that needs solving, or if there's an
obvious way of representing these events in hCalendar that we've all
B. Whether it needs to be solved by adding a concept of 'now' to
hCalendar or whether it needs to be solved in hResume as I've
C. What people think of my example markup.


-Ciaran McNulty

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