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Will high reputation in Stack Overflow help to get a good job?

Just curious, what Web2.0 websites do employers use (if any) to pre-screen potential employees?

Does any employer actually refer to a user's online "reputation" to get a job?

  • 3
    I don't know if it's going to help me, but I did put StackOverflow participation on my resume. Can't hurt.
    – Adam Lear
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 23:19
  • 9
    I could also see it being a negative. Especially if you have lots of answers given during what are typically considered working hours. One might ask, "How did you have time to get 50K rep while still doing your job?"
    – JohnFx
    Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 0:30
  • 4
    It could also be a negative if you claim to be an expert in technology X and StackOverflow (or whatever other site) is full of you asking recent newbie questions in that technology.
    – Adam Lear
    Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 1:45
  • 6
    Don't put SO on your CV, unless your username on is Jon Skeet :) Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 8:08
  • @victor ...and some would still not hire him... see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30615/… Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 12:03

8 Answers 8


I can tell you that there are certain employers who do care about your stack overflow reputation score, and will factor it into their hiring.

How do I know? Because those employers made me implement -- and I really didn't want to -- a reputation sort on http://careers.stackoverflow.com. It is not the default sort, though, because I insisted that it not be.

Anyway, we always tell employers the same thing, that they should look at the content and evaluate someone's merit based on more than a number; the number is just shorthand for a bunch of other factors.

  • 6
    +1 interesting - Can you share any details on who? If not, what type of company asked for this? Did the boss have pointy hair? Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 13:13
  • This is worrying. careers.stackoverflow.com is supposed to attract the smarter clients, you know, the ones who will have the ability and inclination to truly recognize and seek out quality devs. From this, it sounds like at least some of them want a potential employee's "worth" to be reduced down to a simple sortable number.
    – CraigTP
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 16:27
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    @CraigTP: It does attract smarter clients. The less smart clients will judge you by your degrees, marks and certificates, which I don't believe to be a good metric. Stackoverflow score is something you get from your peers. It indicates three invaluable qualities for a developer: 1. skill/technical understanding, 2. the ability to communicate your ideas, 3. the willingness to do so.
    – back2dos
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 10:32

Another programmer site with a "jobs" section is http://jobs.github.com. I suppose the idea there is that your portfolio of Git repositories is part of your extended CV. Or, that it's attractive for employers because those who participate on Github might be a step above your average programmer.


I don't think it's currently helping a lot, but probably it's a good move as it can attract the correct employers.

The ones that gives value that you openly expose yourself and shows that you at least try to answer things. As well as showing an interest for learning and sharing information.

I could be perceived as a risky move, as you can have errors, but I feel that the right kind of employers (the ones that you want to be working for) will appreciate it.

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    If the employer wouldn't hire you because of one or two errors then you don't want to work for them anyway. Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 18:35

I don't think so, but the contributions probably raise a little your chances.

Instead, bad contributions could put away any chances :-)


I chose not to mention my SO rep (73k. and #5 on the all time C++ users list) a week ago, when I applied for a job.

It seemed tacky and desperate. If the employer isn't very familiar with StackOverflow, I don't think mentioning an artificial score on a Q&A website is going to make a good impression. I know I would personally consider it a negative if i was doing the hiring, and the candidate kept trying to draw attention to his user profile on an arbitrary website that means nothing to me. It's a risk I don't want to take.

I was just invited to an interview, and there, depending on circumstances, I may mention it, if he asks me something where it would be relevant.

We'll see how it goes. ;)

  • 2 years late comment, but I am just curious, did they ask you about Stack Overflow rep?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 3:09
  • Heh, it's 4 years, but no, they didn't. What you might call my online presence did get noticed though. I took the job, and my boss has later told me that the fact that I was active talking about programming on my blog and on twitter (and on SO) strongly counted in my favor.
    – jalf
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 9:00
  • @jalf I've just been reading through your C++ posts. Would love to know where your blog is...
    – Mohan
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 7:29

On one hand... if your potential boss is technical enough and smart enough to evaluate your contributions, then bring it on!

But I hope in general that the answer is NO. The sites are too easily gamed if they're only going to go by rep count.

  • plus many people spand time at stackoverflow at work.
    – IAdapter
    Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 12:00
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    you should no more go by rep score alone than you'd go by SAT score, ACT score, IQ score, etc alone. At least on SO you can measure someone's communication skills which are EXTREMELY important -- much more important that raw coding skills, in my experience. Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 13:05

I kinda figured people answered questions here to help the community and get involved a bit. I appreciate everyone who gives answers. But imo, no it won't help in general, and bad answers might hurt your chances.


I don't think employer is ever going to take a look that in which website you are receving the credits.
But indirectly this is going to pay you in your next assignment, it is not possible that you can create so many errors that you see when people raise the questions. The only way to learn about them is by helping other to solve it which makes you much more stronger in your respective technical language/field.

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