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Professionalize Your GitHub

ajrom profile image A.J. Romaniello ・3 min read

Having a professional looking GitHub profile is great in this age of online resumes, recruiters, and job search programs.

Although some people who aren't familiar with GitHub may not know where to look to find the best information on your profile.

In this guide I am going to give you a couple of good tips on how to professionalize your GitHub profile and even organize it for yourself.

What We Are Covering

Setting Up Your GitHub ReadMe

If you have ever used GitHub before and created a repostiory, you should be familiar with the README.md standard. This is usually a file that gives a brief overview of a project or directory withing a repository.

A little while back GitHub allowed users to create a special "README" repository. Which gets featured on the users profile page before anything else!

Creating The ReadMe

GitHub has made this very easy, you just simply name a repository after your account name. For example mine would be aj-rom/aj-rom and then you add a README.md file.

GitHub will automatically detect this as a special file and your ready to start! More information can be found on the GitHub documentation here.

You might be thinking:

Why is this better than a normal GitHub profile? It shows our pinned repositories and contribution history already.

Take a look at this random users profile and compare it to for example mine. With this readme someone viewing your profile will have to read this first as well as it looks a lot better than the normal layout.

If you have already begun making your own readme at this point hold on one second and keep reading!

Making It Prettier

There are a ton of ways to make a README better. You can use HTML and CSS within markdown files, embed videos, links, images, or anything you could on a static website within this.

For example on my README, I am using a little extension called github-readme-stats which helps display your entire GitHub profile statistics in an awesome way. As well as mixing in some simply html code to hold .svg files for my special links.

This includes a variety of themes, implementation with Wakatime to let you even display the time you spent on each repository and language as you develop them.

Choosing The Right Name

Having a name that mimics your actual name or is somewhat professional is a must. Many more people are likely to clone and contribute to projects that are under john-smith/some-project rather than L33tCoder123xX/some-project.

As well as recruiters trying to find you, having something that resembles your names or initials is usually the best way to go.

Inviting Collaboration

One way to increase traffic to your GitHub profile and repositories is by opening issues and creating projects.

If you have a repository that is open-sourced, I highly recommend creating an auto-mated kanban style project. This will automatically move new issues into the todo column and allow you to label and assign new issues quickly and orderly.

The Importance of Labeling

Another way to increase traffic and even direct this flow is through the use of labeling.

Have a small feature that needs to be added or fixed but are gone for the weekend? Open up a new issue describe it and pointing to the correct location of what needs to be fixed. Then make sure to assign it correctly associated labels.

(Some of the best for newcomers are 'good-first-issue')

There are websites that will direct users to GitHub repositories based off the language of your repository and the issues you have open. So setting these up could lead to massive amounts of collaboration very quickly.

This also can help you yourself stay organized by opening and closing issues automatically as well as getting used to the way that professionals use GitHub in large settings.

Conclusion

Thank you for your time reading, if you found this helpful you may also like one of my other articles:

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