There’s a perceived disconnect between programmers and recruiters about GitHub profiles. It’s commonly asked for developer jobs that candidates include a GitHub profile with an application. Will your page contents get you past screeners and land a job interview? Narratives run the gamut between “absolutely yes!” and “nobody actually cares” about your GitHub page. What is going on with this?
The quick explanation is that programmers and recruiters look at GitHub differently--even if the recruiters are tech savvy. If you’re a candidate seeking job opportunities you’ll want to present your page in a way that makes sense to your target audience, which is in this case is anyone from hiring managers to recruiters to HR.
Not everyone uses GitHub in a career-forward capacity, but you can. Just like keeping a programming blog is a great presentation tool, a GitHub page presents a similar opportunity. It’s another place to put your best foot forward. While it isn’t built to be a job-seeking tool per se, it is wise to manage it as deliberately as you might a LinkedIn page. Just as any social platform, GitHub has unique ins and outs to consider.
Don’t expect anyone to decode your code or read through your libraries. Nobody has the patience for that. Instead, make sure that every repository you work on has the Description field filled in. Here (and in the Readme file) you want to talk about the features you wrote into the project. Demonstrate business acumen buy articulating your role in the Git in one or two sentences that capture how you helped along the project. Think of Description as the headline, on which you’ll elaborate further in the Readme.
The types of projects you choose speak to the type of work you’re willing to take. For example, if your profile has a good representation of open-source projects, it gives a sense that you’d might work for a non-profit or public sector agency.
Believe it or not, some programmers carry bad attitudes into open source projects. Makes sure your communications are always clear, professional, and courteous. Team-mindedness is something hiring managers want to see. Surely not the opposite.