Improve your profile on GitHub

20. September, 2020 3 min read Teach

Create an engaging profile

GitHub is a fantastic platform to contribute and share your code. But it's not just that! Your profile page can provide a first impression on fellow members or companies interested in your work.

Like a resume, it should present your most significant work as well as personal interests and affiliations. Many members neglect the importance of an attractive digital appearance. To improve this, make sure to:

  • add a short bio about your interests, goals or aspirations
  • add information about where to reach you, like Twitter or a personal website
  • create a showcase of repositories you have been considerably involved, so your skills are presented favourably

I’m not particularly interested in how many followers I have or whom I follow so far. So I’m leaving this off the list for now.

Express yourself by adding a GitHub README

The information provided above is static; it looks the same on almost every GitHub profile. It would be great to express yourself further by adding some custom content to stand out.

I recently discovered that you can do just that by adding a customizable README to your profile:

My customised GitHub profile
My customised GitHub profile

GitHub even has documentation available, showing you step-by-step how to do that.

In short, you have to create a new repository with a name that matches your username. So for me, it was github.com/finalangel/finalangel. Next, you create a README.md file and add the content you want to appear. Once ready, commit it, and your profile page will automatically show the content.

There are many resources available on how to use markdown to create a README. I recommend to familiarise yourself with the syntax to get the most out of for your profile. Alternatively, you can use HTML right in the README.md file to structure the content instead.

Finally, I would like to mention some handy tools and inspirations I came along while creating my README.

Make the most out of your profile

Adding a README to your profile is a simple improvement with many possibilities. You can even add dynamic elements, charts, blog posts, tweets, gifs and much more. A great resource is awesome-github-profile-readme that references many creative examples of other users profiles.

There are also great dynamically generated GitHub widgets available on github-readme-stats which are simple to implement. They can enrich the personality or message you want to express.

In addition to that, you also get a free analytics tool for your GitHub profile. Go to the created repository and open up ”Insights” followed by ”Traffic”. These statistics offer some great insights into the number of visitors your profile receives.

Conclusion

Overall I recommend to keep it simple and don’t over clutter your profile page. The same goes for your resume. Less is more, keep it simple and focus on what you want to communicate with your visitors.

‘Till next time!