I am a fresher, and I have been working on my resume for sometime now. I have a 500+ reputation on stack-overflow, that I gained in a year.

I am not sure if I should put this reputation on my resume. What could be a decent score on stack-exchange? I am not a beginner for sure, somewhere on the intermediate level. I don't want to look like a beginner with a low reputation on the site put on my resume.

Read below, before pointing that the question is a duplicate...

I had read the following question, before posting the answer: Should I include information about my reputation on professionally-relevant Stack Exchange (or other Q&A) sites on my resume? This answer is more general, mine is specific about the reputation. Although, it seems like the answers that I am getting are probably similar(all efforts are welcome and appreciated though).

Any guidelines/advice/suggestions on this, will be helpful

  • 1
    @MisterPositive it was thanks to Joe's Hammer power on the resume tag :) – DarkCygnus Sep 25 '18 at 19:56
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    @JoeStrazzere you have Gold Tag Badge on the resume tag. Thus, you can single-handedly close or reopen any post with the resume tag, without having to gather 5 votes... the same applies to all Gold Tag Badgers you have... the Hammer is the term (meme?) used to describe using Gold tag powers, or well mod powers (usually when closing, as you can imagine yourself "hammering" the post)... I've also seen a Hat on Winter Bash named Hammer or something, that is unlocked by, well... hammering posts :) here a MSE post explaining the feature – DarkCygnus Sep 25 '18 at 20:17
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    I think a github with actual implemented projects is more important than theoretical knowledge besides you can get points for other irrelevant activity such as edits or flagging – user86742 Mar 7 '19 at 21:37
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    Check out the 'developer story' feature on SO. It is IMO pretty good and you get your desired SE score visible aswell. Good attachment to your resume. – Jonas Praem Mar 8 '19 at 9:25
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    @RobertoTorres You can't gain (or lose) reputation by flagging posts or comments. – BSMP Mar 9 '19 at 18:45

I wouldn't include it. While that's a solid amount of reputation it would strike me as irrelevant information for a resume and even then, I would put it as a side note for the reader. Only in the most extreme cases (top .01% for example) would I think it appropriate to highlight on your resume. Having a high stack overflow ranking doesn't really pertain to your fit for the role nor does it demonstrate a capability as a software engineer. When I review a resume I'm looking to see:

  • what the last company they worked for is, what did they do there?
  • what skills do they have listed that are relevant to the job
  • what kind of educational background do they have?

if you have any more questions, checkout Is "Stack Exchange use" a valuable skill on my CV? regarding stack exchange and your CV.

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    That is apt! Yes, I saw that answer, and it didn't satisfy me, so I asked my question. Thank you for you answer! – ThePerson Sep 25 '18 at 18:30
  • Possibly irrelevant, not irreverent? – cdkMoose Sep 25 '18 at 18:32
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    happy to help @ThePerson. Welcome to the community! – sfidf12489 Sep 25 '18 at 19:18
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    I wouldn't agree with saying that 400+ is "decent reputation" anything below 10K hardly matters as a CV point. More broadly, a few times I came across excellent answer by very knowledgeable folk who had low rep due to contributing much. On a few occasion, I've amended answers given by more "reputed" SO contributors. Of course, if the OP would be this guy then it's a different story... – Konrad Sep 26 '18 at 12:29
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    How is 500 a "solid amount"? That's very, very little. – forest Mar 7 '19 at 10:03

Your SO reputation score shouldn’t go on your resume.

Although it shows your technical expertise, it also highlights how much time you spend online helping others, and by implication not developing for your own employer.

Your employer doesn’t directly benefit in your high score, they’re liable to be less interested in you and prefer another candidate who can demonstrate adding value to their employer rather than everyone else...

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    Glad to see this coming from a high reputation user – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Sep 25 '18 at 19:35
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    There are a ton of rock solid developers who do not post questions or answers on StackOverflow for a variety of reasons. – Neo Sep 25 '18 at 19:35
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    Solid answer, in one interview on a company I was really interested to work with, the 2nd person interviewing me made a snide remark about me having time for SE. – Rui F Ribeiro Sep 25 '18 at 20:43
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    It's also not uncommon for a decent answer to a simple question to get a ridiculous amount of reputation. I've seen upvotes of hundreds on answers to fairly simple, straightforward questions simply because the question is common or interesting. Score doesn't correlate to expertise. – McAden Mar 7 '19 at 20:40

You can include a link to your profile, but don't just include the score.

I've factored people's SO profiles (questions/answers) into a hiring decision before. The reputation by itself isn't as useful though (it could have been gained through knowledge in something irrelevant for the position, for example).

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    This is what I did; next to the GitHub link, the blog link, and the LinkedIn link. My new manager told me he looked at it my StackOverflow, and, even though I don't answer the hardest questions, he could tell I cared. – Ben Sep 28 '18 at 23:59
  • Especially for mid and senior jobs, explaining technical matters is a valuable skill. Reading some StackOverflow questions and answers can give an idea of a candidate's ability to explain clearly. – Patricia Shanahan Mar 7 '19 at 18:17

How long is a piece of string?

Personally, I feel that nothing less than 10k would impress me, but others may disagree.

I am currently in the top 3% on S.O, but I don't put that on my CV.

I think that %age might be a better measure than sheer points, and while you are in the top 6% this quarter, which is quite impressive, you don't have a great %age overall, so I wouldn't, if I were you.

At most, perhaps, a throwaway statement, lost in a general summary at the start, along with github projects. As @bharal said, interviewers look for passion (I know that I do), so perhaps it will help a little, but I would still try to get it past 5k before mentioning it, and even then, only as an overall %age.

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    So, the percentage age matters more? I'll keep that in mind. Thanks you for your reply! – ThePerson Sep 26 '18 at 15:50
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    Who can say? I guess it varies from person to person. Some might say top 25%. For me, I would say the top 10%, preferably 5%, but YMMV. In any case, we both have a long way to go to catch up to Jon Skeet :-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 26 '18 at 17:53
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    A loooooooong way! : P – ThePerson Sep 26 '18 at 19:07
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    Me too :-) But, with top 6% this quarter, you should soon move up the ranks – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 26 '18 at 19:18
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    Dude! You are in the top 3% oerall! Good work! – ThePerson Sep 27 '18 at 2:55

It might work.

One thing employers want to see in their hires - especially their graduate hires - is passion.

If you put your score on your CV in the section on hobbies then that's fair. It shows mentorship and communication skills, which, hey, you might as well list as skills on our CV seeing as, as a fresher, you don't have a lot else, right?

But listing the stack overflow score first - with an explanation of what stackoverflow is and how you getting those points reflects your passion and communication skills will help you.

For example:

Hobbies: Stackoverflow score of 400 (Stackoverflow is an online q&a site for engineers, I regularly contribute to the site to improve my coding and also my communication and mentoring skills).


Be aware that not all companies appreciate the guy that is overly active on internet message boards. Even in the IT industry, some may view it as a time waster.

  • IMHO it is thanks to those 'time wasters' that so many users whether new or experienced are able to find answers. Talking about "IT industry" is too broad. – DRP Aug 18 '19 at 0:42

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