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Spice up your GitHub Profile README

Introduce yourself to the GitHub community as you highlight your skills and projects with the new profile README feature. Learn some tips on how to stand out and attract potential employers.
Written: July 12, 2020

GitHub recently released a feature which allows you to add a README to your profile page. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the GitHub community as you highlight your skills and projects. In this post, we'll be looking at ways on how you can improve your README! 💯

What's a Github Profile README?

Since release about two weeks ago, there have been a ton of articles on dev.to about what the GitHub Profile README is about and how you can set up your own. Here's a quick guide on how to do that.

  1. Go to github.com/new to create a new repository.
  2. For the repository name field, type in your GitHub username. A prompt signifying it's ✨ special ✨ should appear like so:
    Typing in GitHub username in repository field
    Special repository message
  3. Make sure to set the repo to Public. (The profile README won't show up if it is set to private!)
    Select Public radio button
  4. Tick Add a README file.
    Add a README file checkbox is ticked
  5. Click the Create a Repository button.
    Create a Repository button

You should see a similar page to this. Now, let's customize it!

Initialized README

For more details on when this page shows up, check out GitHub's documentation.

What to add to your README?

While sometimes simplicity is best, I do think that the README is a way to make a lasting first impression to others (this includes potential employers!). Let's break down some of the elements you can add to your own page.

I'll be using the README I created for my GitHub Profile as an example.

1. Add Images and Icons 📸

Make your page memorable by uploading some images to your repository.

You can add a hero image, which is basically a large banner at the top of your page. This is the first thing that people will see when they visit, so make it enticing!

My README with a huge header image

You'll notice that your eyes gravitate to the huge header image!

Want to link to external sites? Add some icons which redirect to your social networks or projects. I used the free and open source RemixIcon library for mine and just changed the color to suit the color scheme.

A list of social media icons

One thing to note: Make sure your images are of great quality. We wouldn't want images to show up pixelated. If you are using vector images, upload them using SVG instead of JPG or PNG.

2. Include Statistics 📈

If you are using GitHub for your projects or use it to contribute to open source, you probably have a lot of commits and Pull Requests. Anurag Hazra created this amazing widget which compiles all those stats into one! He talked about it more in this article.

Breakdown of GitHub stats in a widget

You can also add a widget that counts the number of page visits in your page. This widget created by Jiang Wenjian does the job, and it's very easy to setup. The docs for the visitor badge is available in this site!

Shows the number of visitors in your README

3. Use HTML 🛠

You are not limited to Markdown when it comes to editing your README. GitHub's Flavored Markdown allows using some of the HTML tags.

Here's some of the basic things you can do:

  • Center a section using <center>
Centered section
  • Create a widget that opens and closes using <details>
Details widget

For advanced use, you'll want to read up on HTML blocks section to see the other tags that are available for use.


I hope this helps you in creating your own README! You can see the source code for mine over at my GitHub profile. Leave a ⭐️ if you found it useful!

Hey, I'm Jaye. Thanks for stopping by!

Drop me a message about anything under the sun (out of this world ideas are always welcome, too!) over at jaye@jayehernandez.com.

You can also reach me via Twitter!