Helping our students find great jobs is a huge part of what we do at Epicodus. In fact, it’s our mission. Over the years, we’ve accrued quite a bit of job-hunting knowledge that helps set our students apart. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share our best tips and tricks for junior developers looking for their first jobs.

Searching for full-time job opportunities can be a tedious process for aspiring programmers. The pressure of preparing for interviews isn’t lessened by the many ways to present your professional and academic profile to recruiters. While a solid education in coding helps in finding a programmer job you love, it is also important to use the right tools to showcase your skills and experience.

Over the last few years GitHub – the version control system and code hosting service – has been gaining popularity as a tool to bolster programmers' portfolios.

The question we'll look at in this post is: GitHub vs. resume, which one is better?

 

Employers and recruiters are increasingly looking toward GitHub to gain an understanding of a potential hire's technical skills. Some consider GitHub a better alternative to the standard resume for several reasons:

  1. GitHub offers the space and freedom to share code while also functioning as a social network. Your projects are rated and can be ranked based on popularity.
  2. GitHub tracks activity. Employers can see how often you're coding, and what code you're pushing.
  3. Some consider resumes to be an old and outdated component of professional portfolios. Since employers and recruiters tend to spend only seconds evaluating a candidate’s resume, there’s a focus on being as brief as possible. This means there isn’t enough space to successfully detail your accomplishments.

Despite its many advantages, using GitHub in place of a resume has also received criticism. Like any new trend in the industry, this has been widely debated among programmers and recruiters.

The primary argument against replacing your resume with GitHub is that GitHub simply doesn't convey your academic and employment experience as effectively as a resume. It's possible to pin specific repositories you want employers to see to the top of your profile; however, there isn’t a dedicated area to convey achievements that may be non-coding related. It is possible to view a programmer’s GitHub profile and gain an insight into his or her projects and skill level, but not much more.

When it comes to building a professional and personal portfolio, the best practice for aspiring developers is to use all tools in the best possible manner. If you can’t decide between GitHub and a standard resume, why not use both? Most employers today ask to see both your GitHub profile and resume. This is also what we recommend to our own students and alumni. Make sure your resume is polished and that it provides a quick peek at your professional and academic accomplishments while ensuring you’re constantly engaged in interesting projects on GitHub.

 

At Epicodus, we’re focused on ensuring that our programming students derive the greatest value from their education and are able to obtain a programming job or internship of their choice. While you’re here, check out our Career Services to learn more about how you can benefit from an education at Epicodus!

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