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SkillsBase Help

This SkillsBase is a searchable repository of the resumes (CVs) of OpenSkills account holders. Use the SkillsBase to search for skilled people, or to enter your own resume that others can find. For full details of the system see the SkillsBase documentaion home page here on the wiki.

Main functionality

Back to Main - Index or SkillsBase

Public pages

Anyone can use the SkillsBase public pages, there is no charge. The public pages allow you to search the SkillsBase and view resume information, and all public pages are completely free to use. We make these pages freely available in order to best promote the skills of the people who have accounts with us.

Search by Skill Name

Enter the names (or parts of names) of skills you are interested in, press the search button and the SkillsBase will look through the SkillsTree for skills with matching names. You will be presented with a search results page (see below).

Search by Skills Tree

You will be see the entire searchable Skills Tree. Select the skills you are interested in and press the search button. You will be presented with a search results page.

Search by Account Number

Enter the number of a persons OpenSkills account, and you will be presented with their public resume page.

Search Results Page

Following a search by skill name, or search by Skills Tree, you will see the search results page. You can immediately see what resumes match your search, and you can refine and re-run your search.

Private pages

Private pages are only accessible to people with OpenSkills subscriber or membership accounts. You can descide what data will be shown for each seperate item of your resume.

Edit My Resume

To get started, login and press the "New Engagement" button.

The structure of a resume in the SkillsBase is compatible with the HR-XML resume definition. A resume is made up of essential information about a person, and a series of engagements. The essential information includes contact details and location.

An engagement can be a job, a project or any other unit of work during which skills were used. An engagement record contains information about when the work was being done, and for whom. The engagement also contains the list of the skills applied during the engagement.

Skills are defined in the Skills Tree. If a particular skill is not represented in the SkillsTree, a member can add it. Note that each skill needs to be linked to an engagement which means that you have to insert the engagement first.

References (not implemented yet) note the contact information of individuals that have agreed to be contacted for a reference. References form part of a resume.

Commendations (not implemented yet) are a specific note by one member that another member is particularly good with respect to a specific skill. Commendations will be reflected in search results.

User Guide Details

Now that you know that the OpenSkills SkillsBase is a flexible resume repository which is freely searchable and the SkillsBase is a key part of helping members to make the most of their skills, you might want to know how it works in detail. Resume information can be imported and exported in HR-XML format, and members have precise control over what elements of their resumes are visible to people searching the SkillsBase.

Public Pages

The Home Page

The home page of the SkillsBase is just a place to be able to link to at the moment, with a brief textual introduction to what the SkillsBase is.


You do not need to be logged in to search the SkillsBase. The search page shows all the skills with a description and the number of people with that skill. Select the skills you are interested in and click the search button.

Note that some skills can not be selected to search. These are the ones that make no sense to search against. For example searching on the generic root of the skill tree: "Skill" would return everyone with publicly visible information.

Clicking the "Search" button will either present you with summary details of the people who have all the skills you specified, or give a reason why that can not be done.

Search Results

Only people who have explicitly made their information public will be listed in the results. For this reason, the number of results listed may be less than expected.

The search results pages can be bookmarked. You will be presented with the most recent search results when you later return to the page.

From the search results screen you can see the details of individual members by clicking on the handle/membership number link. The Public Summary pages can be linked to as the URL for each person is permanent.

Member Only Pages


Requests for the Member Home page will be met with a dialog request for a username and password. The username is the one you specified on your membership application. The password must be agreed with the SkillsBase administrator for the time being.

Once logged in, you will have access to your member information until you end your browser session - i.e. until you completely close the browser. This behavior is per the HTTP security, RFC 2617.

My Resume

You will be able to see your MemberSummary once you are authenticated.

The member summary page shows all your engagements, a summary of your skills and information about what information you have made public.

At the top of the page is the current overall visibility status. You have the option of making all your information private with one button press. Note that your information is private by default. Also note that you must explicitly mark your skills and engagements as public if you wish them to be seen in search results.

The skills summary section shows what skills you have, and how much experience you have with those skills. Note that a skill appears only once in this list, no matter how many engagements specify that skill. This is also where you can control which of your skills are visible to people searching the SkillsBase.

The engagements section lists your current engagements, gives you the option to create new engagements, edit existing engagements and also lets you control which engagements are visible to people searching the SkillsBase.

Pressing the "New" button, or an "Edit" button will present you with an Engagement Editor page. Here you can modify an engagement.

Edit the Skills Tree

Click on the "Skills Tree" link in the side menu to view the Skills Tree page.

Only logged in members may edit the skills tree. If you are not logged in, there is no "Skills Tree" link, although you will still be able to see the skills tree on the search page.

The Skills Tree lists the skills together with a single "New" button to create new skills, and an "Edit" button against any existing skills that are still unstable. Skills become stable after a short, prespecified timeframe (two weeks).

Pressing the "New" button, or an "Edit" button will present you with a Skill Editor page. Here you can, as appropriate, modify or delete a skill.

When editing a skill, you can specify:

  • The name of the skill
  • A description of the skill
  • The parent of the skill
  • Whether the skill is "abstract". Abstract skills are ones which exist to group other skills and which it makes no sense to associate with an engagement. For example, "Technical Skill" is too vague to have any meaning as a claimed skill, but is very useful for grouping other skills.
  • Whether a skill is "searchable". Skills may be marked as being non-searchable. Searching for skills such as "Skill" makes no sense, as this would include all members.
  • You can only delete a skill if it has no sub skills, and no member engagements are associated with it.
  • You can not make a skill a sub-skill of itself.
For everything else, just modify the contents of the fields and select "Save" to commit the changes. "Cancel" will abandon the edit and leave the skill unchanged.

If someone else saves a skill you are working on, you will be presented with the edit screen containing their data when you press save. You can get back to the data you entered using the browser back button - you need lose nothing.

Edit Your Engagements

How to edit Your Engagements is easy but for the first time think about the following requirements. Dates must be entered in ISO 8610 format (yyyy-mm-dd). Any other format, and any invalid date, will simply be ignored. The start and end dates are used to calculate the length of experience you have with skills. If you want to distinguish the time spent on skills, use distinct engagements.

Import and Export HR-XML

You can save your resume details to a file on your local machine. Just press the "Export HRXML" button at the bottom of the Member Summary page. Your browser should prompt you for a file name, and save the file. The file is a valid HR-XML file. Open it in FireFox to see it nicely laid out. Note that this lay out is not the same as you see it in a nice format on your screen. To get a formatted resume you need additional tools e.g. the following to make a PDF.

An HR-XML file can be transformed into a formatted resume using XSLT and FO (formatting objects). The resulting resume can be made into a PDF file. Also, there is a tool to translate the resume into a format suitable for Microsoft Word 2003.

Note that importing an HR-XML file will cause all existing data to be lost. Save your existing data first, make an export, if you don't want to lose it. To import a saved HR-XML file (and the older style files too, for now) either type in the full path name of the file into the text box, or press the "Browse ..." button to use the file browser for your web browser. Once the file name you want is in the text box, press the "Import HRXML" button to load the file.

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