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If applying for a new job, would you put your stackoverflow profile link on your resume? This would show the employer you're an active member of the development community and also provide an insight into your knowledge + how well you convey your ideas.

However it would feel a bit gimmicky to me?

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closed as off topic by Yannis Rizos Jun 13 '12 at 20:47

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This question contains related info and might interest you: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/9948/… –  Rachel Oct 14 '10 at 18:13
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I find the variety of answers to this question rather amusing... "Yes", "No", and "Maybe". –  Nathan Taylor Oct 14 '10 at 21:51
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@Nathan: It's not that there are different answers it's the reasoning behind them. –  Josh K Oct 15 '10 at 4:00
    
Yes, I would add my stackoverflow profile link on my CV/Resume,preferably in my special Interest column. –  ahmed Dec 11 '11 at 21:07
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why not just use careers.stackoverflow.com? There you can create publicly visible résumé with some SO answers that can be selected by you. Looks something like this: careers.stackoverflow.com/vartec –  vartec Apr 16 '12 at 14:20

10 Answers 10

up vote 75 down vote accepted

It Depends

When I was looking for a job a month ago, I didn't put a link to SO on my resume, but I did mention that I participate on SO and added a link to my blog that contains the SO "flair" on the About page. At that point I had about 3000 rep.

I wouldn't try to leverage rep, but I would leverage intelligent participation. If you act like a moron on SO and draw attention to it, that's obviously a bad move. But if you say "hey, I participate on this dedicated Q&A site" and you have been giving good answers and asking smart questions, it can work in your favour as it shows passion for your work and fellow developers.

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+1 Agreed. I wouldn't put it on my resume but would mention it if it came up. –  Walter Oct 14 '10 at 18:09
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+1 for Leveraging intelligent participation. –  Chris Oct 14 '10 at 19:06
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It's always a good response to the "what programming-related activities do you do outside of work?" question. –  STW Nov 10 '10 at 21:05
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+1 "It depends" is always a good answer in software. –  Bernard Dy Mar 8 '11 at 12:13
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and you certainly don't want your employer to check your profile and see how "you act like a moron" –  JustaPro May 14 '12 at 21:29

No

I would not put any websites on my Resume. I will make reference to projects or applications I have done and other information that is readily applicable to the person reviewing the resume. My resume is a one page summary of me, I don't have room for the half dozen SO family accounts, LinkedIn, my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, (you get the picutre).

Putting "I have XXX reputation on stackoverflow.com" is just like saying "I have 8.3k posts on myfavoriteforum.com." It's not professional. Deliberately pointing people elsewhere for information is also, in my view, wrong. What do you want to gain from adding a link to your LinkedIn profile? Work history? That should be on your resume. People you know? Connections? I guess it would be some indicator of how well you are known in the community, but honestly that information should be found elsewhere.

If they care, they can visit my website where I have an Imprint page linking to various online profiles. I get more referrals in regards to my blog then I do from my stackoverflow reputation ranking. I'm on page one of superuser.com but have never had someone drop me an email because of it. Reputation is great however it is not applicable to your job.

If I notice I'm writing an extraordinarily good answer to something I will turn it into a blog post. Sometimes I'll even turn it into a full blown application. This gets far more recognition and attention then crawling through your answers. My second highest rated answer on stackoverflow is a XKCD comic. My highest rated answer on programmers is an explanation of a brace. These are not answers I'm especially proud of or feel like I should show off.

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I think it depends on the content of one's post in StackOverflow. I might not link my StackOverflow profile on my resume, but I do include links my linkedin profile as well as my technical blog. They themselves have links to my stackoverflow profile (and people can discern my contributions to say mathoverflow or cstheory.stackexchange.) In the end is all about the content that one creates. –  luis.espinal Oct 14 '10 at 19:24
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@Luis: I would rather include no links on my resume. The resume should speak for itself and stand alone. Personally I never let mine get past one page. Recent work history, highlights, and a blub. If after that you don't feel the need to find out more, I probably wouldn't like working there anyway. And it's not like I have trouble finding work. :) –  Josh K Oct 14 '10 at 19:45
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I hear ya. For me, there is no way to include my work history and education without a 4-page resume (not unless I exclude everything but my last 5 years of work). Plus after a certain amount of years, you can't have a resume that is less than 2 pages short (3-4 is now the acceptable norm, specially in tech jobs.) –  luis.espinal Oct 14 '10 at 19:56
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@Josh: I understand your position, and would not penalize someone for not having any link. But, as someone who has read more resumes lately than I care to think about, I wouldn't mind seeing some links to your online presence. It wouldn't matter if your technical skills on your resume are lacking, but might help if it was a borderline case. If nothing else, it shows that you treat your profession as more than just a 9-5 job. –  KeithB Oct 14 '10 at 19:57
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@KeithB - Oh, I agree with you. It is critical to have a well organized CV. Once you have it organized, let it be 4 pages if that's what's required. There is a difference between a) having a CV being 4 pages because it is a litany of technologies and b) it is 4 pages because it includes a dozen jobs narrating relevant contributions in each, graduate education and a summary current relevant technologies. The best resumes for sr. positions I've seen out there have never been less than 2 pages, with 3-4 being the norm (or more for people with 25+ years of industrial experience.) –  luis.espinal Oct 14 '10 at 20:17

Yes.

Your SO profile gives potential employers a look at you actually coding, as well as your ability to solve problems and seek help. If you have any amount of reputation there, I'd say put it on. Either a URL alongside your contact info, or a bullet under "Misc"/"Other" with your rep.

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Curious what "any amount of reputation" would qualify as? –  Chris Oct 14 '10 at 18:05
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+1. Any reputation means that the total amount is less important than the fact that you participate. –  user2567 Oct 14 '10 at 18:11
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@Josh: You can have no idea what you're doing regardless of any metric on your resume- college GPA, years experience, etc. Nothing is a perfect proof that "this is a competent programmer," but rep is an indication. More important, though, is your actual questions/answers that, hopefully, interested interviewers would look at. –  Fishtoaster Oct 14 '10 at 18:34
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In addition it shows you see the need to keep updated with current technology + that you participate actively, with a good proportion in your free time –  billy.bob Oct 14 '10 at 18:40
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The GPA analogy was the best. I have a 4.0 but I cannot program is so common it makes me sick. Also, I personally think fishtoaster is not saying the explicit numeric reputation number but more of saying if you have a good amount of reputation on SE you probably are a good part of the community giving good answers, asking good questions. Sure anyone can build reputation without doing anything meaningful but as Josh K said if they want to know they can find out. –  Chris Oct 14 '10 at 19:04

I have a special section on my CV that shows potential employers that I communicate effectively and work well with others. The section before that lists my involvement / accomplishments in various free/open source projects.

You need something to show that you not only know what you're doing, but can get along well with a team of your peers. While yes, you can articulate this in an interview, you need to help make sure that you actually get the call in the first place.

A number of people maintain that a reasonably high reputation score on Stack Overflow generally shows that you are not only knowledgeable, but also an effective communicator.

I have found many cases where this theory is directly contradicted. There are more than a few people on SO that have 12k + reputation and are consistently and incredibly rude.

When I hire someone, I do ask if they read blogs, participate on programming related web sites, etc and I generally research their participation on whatever they mention.

A more 'general' synopsis of spare time activities is better, for instance:

  • Regular participant on the Stack Overflow Q&A Site
  • Regular editor of CS related articles on Wikipedia
  • Member of the League For Programming Freedom
  • Contributing / Voting member of Software In The Public Interest
  • Founder of Programmers For The Ethical Treatment Of Unicorns (PETU)

Just show the hiring manager that you actually enjoy programming so much that you do it in your spare time and that you get along with others. There's no reason to draw attention to a single activity just because it features a numerical score.

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Upvote for treating unicorns ethically! –  Marcie Dec 15 '10 at 3:26
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People Eating Tasty Unicorns? –  sdg Apr 15 '11 at 17:39
    
+1 for "Just show the hiring manager that you actually enjoy programming so much that you do it in your spare time and that you get along with others." –  Karthik Sreenivasan Jan 31 '12 at 7:08

I will have to hire someone in the next few months, and seeing that the person participates in the software community is a huge +1 on that end. Seeing that they have intelligent ways to solve problems, work with others respectfully, and have the courage to admit there's something they don't know-- but know how to ask for help... that's really attractive. Am I great in all the areas I mentioned? Not as well as I'd like to be, but it's part of growing. If you can show that you're always growing by linking to SO, go for it.

Don't put "I have over 9000 rep on SO." but explain what you have. I'm not a fan of paper resumes, I'd like to see a web presence with online portfolio (which isn't always easy to do, I understand), but if you have to stick it on paper, put it under "Professional Communities," where you have a table of communities you are inolved with, for example,

 Community        | description                           | involvement
 Stack Exchange   | A community of software professionals | I have participated in over 400 discussions on highly-technical issues, ranging from <your best two options here>.
 EFF              | Down with the man                     | I'm stalking politicians against NN in my blog
 FSF              | Free as in beer                       | I edit the man pages for YetAnotherY. The Y stands for YetAnotherY.
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When I was looking around, I put a link to my careers.so page, which has a link to my SO and SU accounts, in the block with my contact information. I felt this was an unobtrusive way to provide more information, if someone desired it.

As someone who has done lots of developer hiring recently, I would be happy to see references to someone online profiles. It wouldn't turn a no into an interview, but it might tip the scales if I'm unsure whether to bring someone in, assuming I like what I see online. It gives a much deeper insight into how someone might fit into out team that a resume ever would.

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Probably Not
It's not an accomplishment but most of all because it puts everything you've ever said under scrutiny. I don't mind telling my peers that I'm ignorant about something so I can learn from them but I don't want an employer seeing that. I just can't trust someone in HR to know that someone that can admit they don't know everything is better than someone that thinks they do.

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you should take that as a filter for the company you want to work for. If their HR department doesn't know that, or can't be overridden by the manager you will work under, you don't want to work there –  Victor Jalencas Oct 15 '10 at 7:52
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I agree 100%. (Don't understand the downvote. +1) –  Nick Oct 15 '10 at 23:38
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@Victor And if the world were a perfect place where everyone got to work for exactly who they wanted then you comment would make sense. As it is you show very little understanding of reality. @Nick Some people dislike honest answers. Some people also live in a fantasy world. –  Kludge Oct 19 '10 at 18:15
    
The fact that people would actually down vote an honest answer just goes to show you how useless these "communties" can be. You have people that dislike an answer so down vote it. They are so threatened by someone having a differing opinion they attempt to bully them into deleting an answer by ganging up on them. Some intellectual discourse huh? –  Kludge Oct 19 '10 at 18:22
    
You should always strive for that perfect place. If you really need the job, accept it, but then you will be miserable. If you can afford to choose, here is a guideline. To you it might sound like I am disingenous, at least in my reality am happily employed on cool projects. The only time I did a bad choice, I corrected it promptly. –  Victor Jalencas Oct 20 '10 at 1:43

As I commented on Josh K's answer (a good one to take into consideration mind you), it depends on the type of content that you put in via your stackoverflow account. You can generalize that to the type of content present on your identifiable internet presence. I would probably not do it, not because it is a bad idea (nor I feel my content is inapropriate), but because I'm already including my linkedin profile and tech blog in my CV.

Potential employers can then use that to discern what I've posted on SO, ServerFault or say, cstheory.stackexchange or even slashdot if they so wish. I try to create mostly good content but there are a couple of WTFs here and there. I don't worry about them. If my content however contained a high ratio of flamewards and LOLZ, then I would be worried.

I used to have one like that before under a pseudonym (younger, stupider days), but that has been completely replaced with more professional content under my actual name. The older one can still be found if one is really persistent, but then, unless I'm applying for, I dunno, a top secret gig or something like that, I would not be happy if an employer goes to that extreme of finding my much older content.

Neither would I accept to continue an interview or work with such a company. Probabilistically speaking, I doubt that such a thing is a common occurrence for employers worth working for (except for jobs with valid reasons to perform extensive background checks.)

So, it is a personal call whether to include a SO's profile on your CV. It depends on what type of content you have. My personal feeling is that I would prefer to have a well-maintained linkedin profile or tech blog, have it with links to other tech-oriented profiles of yours, and have that (your linkedin profile or a technical blog) included in your CV.

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Look at it this way

I never knew about Jon Skeet until I started using Stackoverflow. Whenever I read any of his answers I get a stronger and stronger feeling he's very knowledgeable. And that is enough for me that I can say: ok, Stackoverflow participation has value.

Which data would I provide

But instead of providing a link to my profile and points I collected I would rather:

  • provide a link to my answers because I think they're a better measure of my skills
  • provide information of how high my reputation is, because it tends to change slower than my reputation points (I'm currently one of the top 0.25% of all registered users - there are 9987 pages of all users and based on reputation I'm listed on 25th page)
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Yes; BUT he is... Jon Skeet. Not everyone is! –  Nick Wiggill Aug 13 '11 at 11:32
    
@Nick: True... And not just that! The more problematic thing is that Stackoverflow participation may be fine when your CV gets to the employer so it will be screened by a developer (hopefully). But on the contrary Stackoverflow participation has no value whatsoever with recruitment agents because they're most likely not developers. –  Robert Koritnik Sep 1 '11 at 21:27
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@Nick. Well John Skeet doesn't really need a CV now does he? He'd probably get enough job offers just by announcing job switching in a blog post. I'm sure there would be several top notch companies pulling for his head. –  Robert Koritnik Sep 1 '11 at 21:29
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Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Using him as an example of the value of stackoverflow participation probably doesn't make sense in relation to the rest of us. The point is he probably probably produces more value when he breaks wind than the rest of us do in 6 months of crunch time. Tech directors likely worship statuettes of him, carved from precious materials, in dark corners of company HQ. He almost certainly groks at least 80% of the inner workings of the universe. And still has time to spend on stackoverflow. –  Nick Wiggill Sep 2 '11 at 7:40
    
@Nick: You're right. But if you're somewhere at the top, you have the right to brag about it, don't you? Or if you think that your answers may provide valuable insight into your skills, then I welcome that. It's the same with linking to a blog where one talks about their work. Recruiters aren't interested in it, but potential employers may be. It gives a nice overview of your work if your blog is of course valuable. –  Robert Koritnik Sep 2 '11 at 8:27

I haven't yet put my profile on my CV, mostly because I haven't thought of it while updating. It seems though that it's consistently quite high in google searches on my name, so people in the know will have no problem being led towards it.

PS. I just created my stackexchange.com profile, have had my stackoverflow.com profile for a few years.

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you know you can link them, don't you? –  Victor Jalencas Oct 15 '10 at 7:50

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