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Sarit Chaet Hudis
Sarit Chaet Hudis

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Make Your Github Profile Stand Out

Github is awesome, that's known.
But, did you ever think how to make yours more attractive for potential employers or other visitors? Even non-tech ones like recruiters!

So take a couple of hours and show your best side as a person - and a programmer.

This article is based on a talk I gave in our fullstack course.

Your profile image

Not everyone likes to put a photo of themselves. However, if you are looking for a job- get over yourself and do it.
The best advice I can give to you, apart from getting a professional photo, is to ask a close person to take your photo.

  1. Find a well-lit room with an uncluttered background. Outdoors is also great, but avoid being in direct sunlight.
  2. Have fun with it! Laugh about how embarrassing it is, make faces, whatever gets you to look more like you and less staged - will do the trick.
  3. Ask them to take many photos in some variations- close or far, smiling/serious etc.
  4. Later, choose the ones you both think are the most flattering. Ask honest people that you know to choose The One.

Yes, it's embarrassing and awkward, I know. But hey, after you start your new job you can always delete it.. :)

Profile Readme

Github has a special readme feature - use it.

It is your place to say hello and present yourself.
You can make do with a short paragraph about yourself, or completely kill it- but have one.
It's almost rude not to 😉

Pinned Repos

You can pin upto 6 repos. Use them wisely.
Remember that github is like inviting strangers to your study- It's ok to have lots of stuff lying around, but make it easier for them to know what is the work you consider your finest.

Contributions and the Big Green

contributions visualization in github
Github automatically generates a visual representation of your contributions. It's shallow and does not distinguish between removing a comment and reinventing google, yes. But it's easily readable by tech and non-tech people alike.
I'm not saying you should make commits just to make the green greener, but.. I'm a bit saying that, yeah.

Commit messages

Commit messages are a window into your soul. They help you -and others- see your thought and work process.
Short and descriptive comments are best, and give a sense that you are able to focus on tasks and easily explain what have you been working on.

I use the built-in diff tree in VSCode before every push to make sure I can describe what is the major change in the commit.
But read wiser people than me about it.

Project Readme: Window Dress your Code

Whether it's a weekend project or something it took you weeks to built, increase the odds that others will appreciate it by adding a descriptive readme file.

Use the readme markdown to have nice titles, bullets etc.

In the projects I choose to showcase, I try to at least have 4-5 out of these:

  1. A simple description of the project- what is it about? Why did you do it?
  2. 1-3 screenshots
  3. Link to live version if you deployed it to netlify/ heroku
  4. Tech specs- stack, components scheme, libraries etc.
  5. Known issues and todo's - it looks a lot better if you know you have a bug, or have thought of a missing feature.
  6. Link to other projects you used- be a part of the community and give credit to those who made your project possible!

Here's a small example from one of my repos.

Now your turn

Even if you only implement some of these tips, you will have a more inviting github profile.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment!
And if you think this can help someone you know - sharing is caring 🤓

Top comments (88)

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braydoncoyer profile image
Braydon Coyer

Very nice! Here’s mine!

github.com/braydoncoyer

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Very cool profile!! Thanks for sharing!

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allenheltondev profile image
Allen Helton

This is really impressive! Nice work!

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braydoncoyer profile image
Braydon Coyer

Thank you!

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arielb506 profile image
Ariel Barboza

Followed! Amazing

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tinhnguyentrung profile image
tinhnguyentrung

Awesome ^^

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hermes179 profile image
Neel Devani

Nice Work Man !!

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datafiend profile image
Randy L

Dude, very sharp and professional.

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georgewl profile image
George WL

Also seen a lot of folks, especially in frontend technologies, instead of using a photograph for their avatar, drawing or commissioning a cartoon version of their own face as the avatar, to give it a bit of originality.

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webdevterri profile image
webdevterri

That's what I do. (It's a good option for people with stalkers who still need to promote themselves safely online.)

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ismaestro profile image
Ismael Ramos
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georgewl profile image
George WL

I wouldn't say that bitmoji count

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ararat2 profile image
Ararat2

asd

Thread Thread
 
ararat2 profile image
Ararat2

asd

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turnerj profile image
James Turner

I did mine up recently with some colourful repository banners to extend/augment the GitHub pinned repository section. They are generated in a separate repository and deployed to Netlify every hour to keep them loading fast and also update the stars and download counts of my projects. The colours are (mostly) determined from the icons in the projects. Really happy with how it turned out: github.com/Turnerj

After seeing a few others in the comments thread, I think there are a few more things I might do to make mine more interesting - probably a main banner at the top of some sort.

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Wow, looks really good!!!

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

@james Pretty cool!

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brianwaustin profile image
Brian Austin

"get over yourself and do it" General advice, including Github profiles.

I've hired dozens of developers, and Github gets a passing glance. It's aspirational, usually passion projects. Great context of the sort of technology you are into in your spare time.

What hiring managers are looking for:

  • Are you willing/able to learn
  • Are you a good teammate?
  • Can you understand WHY customers use our software and how we add value to the product.

All that said, if you are a student, or entry level, by all means build a Github portfolio of projects. Build something useful and functional. Don't stress over squashing commits and looking like a genius in your git history. Software development is messy, and fun.

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nilostolte profile image
Dr Nilo Stolte

Hi Brian! I am on the other side of the spectrum, definitely not a student but a lifetime learner (well, if one is not a lifetime learner one is cooked after some age), definitely very experienced, but looking for collaboration to port my current GUI techniques on the web. I would appreciate if you could give me some feedback on mine: github.com/nilostolte

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sarveshprajapati profile image
Sarvesh Prajapati

Agreed with all point. recently I also customized my github profile too...
Could you verify, it is better ?
github.com/sarveshprajapati

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

hey Sarvesh! thanks for the comment. Your profile looks really good!!!
I didn't understand the first line though (Lerning=Learning?)

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sarveshprajapati profile image
Sarvesh Prajapati

Oh man... that minor mistake. Thanks to point out... I will update it :)

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ananddhruv295 profile image
Dhruv Anand

Amazing post!
Have a look at mine
github.com/iDCoded

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Very cool interactive banner!

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ananddhruv295 profile image
Dhruv Anand

Thanks!
I'm glad you liked it.
Btw it has my name in binary ;)

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phantomhaze profile image
Alex Hernandez

I like this alot! It's such an easy way to look a project look complete on github.
No more next.js default readme's, thank you!

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Agreed. It really makes it somehow more "real" and finished :) and easier to start and browse

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phantomhaze profile image
Alex Hernandez

That's a good term for it, 'real'.
The times I've come across skeleton readmes, it just registers in my head that I'm looking at some weekend throw-away project.

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diethrone profile image
Sagar Barapatre

Hi Sarit, This blog is beautifully written. I have my GitHub repo - github.com/sagar-barapatre.
Any helpful advice would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks!

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Your github profile looks good!! And your portfolio site looks great as well!! Maybe you can display the link to it first?

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gchammas23 profile image
Gabriel Chammas

Thanks for sharing these important points.

Here's my github profile for you guys to check: github.com/gchammas23

Let me know what you guys think! I'll take all your comments into consideration

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thomasburleson profile image
Thomas Burleson • Edited

I even add pictures and cool visualizations with highlighted blog posts, client engagements, and more @see gitHub.com/thomasburleson

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saritchaethudis profile image
Sarit Chaet Hudis

Very cool!! Love all the visulaizations!

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ajafik profile image
Oluwafikayo Ajayi

Well put together @saritchaethudis

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sohanr profile image
MD. Mizanur Rahman

yup, very nice, here is mine. github.com/SohanR

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zigrazor profile image
ZigRazor

Good Article!!

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ethand91 profile image
Ethan

Bookmarking for when I get time to try it. :)
Thanks!

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ronaldgrowe profile image
Ronald Rowe

Thank you for such a great resource of informative tips! 👍 Got to love another place to hone my markdown skills.

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