I go by a variety of online handles, including this one, and I'm planning to start building my own website.

Problem is, I don't know what to create the URL as.

If I'm looking to have this website be included in future jobs/interviews/etc., what/how should the URL look like? Is it more appropriate to have a "jdoe.com" kind of url or a "retrosaur.com" or something along the lines of that? From what I've seen online, it's really hard to tell, as some developers chose to have their own name in the URL, whereas some use quirky different names.

To clarify, it doesn't just pertain to just my username. What if I make a "sevencirclesofjava.com" as a url, or something along that line (pseudonym-esque (is that even a word))

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about navigating the workplace. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 5 '14 at 19:56
  • I think it depends on what kind of work you do as well. Front end developers tend to favour a more quirky style, but if you worked in finance, you'd probably want to go the sensible route. I can't imagine the pseudonym going against you as long as it isn't offensive or really strange. – Fiona - myaccessible.website Feb 5 '14 at 21:12
  • Maybe an online CV/portfolio goes by your name but a link to your blog or personal project site called retrosaur.com? – user8365 Feb 5 '14 at 21:38
  • Mods, can this be edited in a way that makes it on topic? I think the core of this is workplace related and it would be useful to me too. – Fiona - myaccessible.website Feb 6 '14 at 12:48

If you want to build your personal brand, it should be under your personal name. Projecting a professional appearance means selling yourself as "Your Name", not "Retrosaur" or something similar. For some hiring managers, this may not be a big deal; others may be concerned about your professionalism in other areas if you use a pseudonym (I'm one of them).

Think of this like getting a highly visible tattoo. It's fine to express your individuality, but you need to understand that some organizations are more conservative than others, and the way that you present yourself may limit your opportunities.

  • The one caveat I would insert here is that the situation is not necessarily the same in creative fields. So whilst "keeping it professional" might be good advice for, say, a programmer's portfolio website, it might not be such good advice for a graphic designer's site. – Carson63000 Feb 5 '14 at 23:52

Let's say you have two people applying for a job, John and Dave.

John's url looks like this: http://johndoe.com/portfolio

Whereas Dave's looks like this

Who will get the job?

The answer - you can't tell based on the URL of their website because it doesn't matter at all versus the content of the actual site.

If your portfolio is good, it doesn't matter what the link looks like. If your portfolio is bad, it doesn't matter what the link looks like.

  • How do I know hiring managers wont be impartial and possibly go "this guy has some weird whimsical url, I bet he doesnt take things seriously" – yuritsuki Feb 5 '14 at 19:41
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    The exception being unless the URL is something terribly offensive. I would probably not hire anyone no matter what their skills who sends me to a website that I can't access from work. So no swear words or sexual allusions and you are probably fine, but if I can't get to it to see it from work and whatever filters are applied in a typical work setting, I am not going to see it. – HLGEM Feb 5 '14 at 19:42
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    That's a pretty good point. Still, I'd say content counts for so much more as to render the whole question moot. – Code Whisperer Feb 5 '14 at 20:02
  • Agreed, the pseudonym affecting too much of the theme and layout would be a little worrying. If retrosaur.com had dinosaurs all over the place and looked like it was made by a 15 year old, that would make me think twice. Something smart and clean with a little dinosaur pic in the header, fine IMO. – Fiona - myaccessible.website Feb 5 '14 at 21:19

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