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I noticed that a percentile is placed at the top of my resume in Careers 2.0.

70th percentile on SO for android tag

How are these percentiles calculated? Is there a certain threshold you need to be over in order for it to be displayed?

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I actually find the whole wording confusing ... it would be better if it just showed "advanced"/"expert" and so on and on hover spelled out what it means. –  waffles Feb 24 '11 at 0:29
@waffles hover is standard for the network, but I'm pretty sure your average employer would not expect to find it there –  David Fullerton Feb 24 '11 at 0:37
@David these percentiles have been turned off for the time being, right? Or am I just overlooking them? –  Pëkka Feb 24 '11 at 0:43
@David, I am not following how "70th percentile" is more clearer to employers than "Expert on Stack Overflow" ... :) percentile is weird word –  waffles Feb 24 '11 at 0:51
@waffles maybe a difference between US and AU? "90th percentile" is fairly common, I think –  David Fullerton Feb 24 '11 at 0:56
@Pekka yes, turned off except for passive candidates –  David Fullerton Feb 24 '11 at 0:57
@David yeah ... I am not convinced the term is even being used correctly, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percentile ... regardless percentile is a really hard concept to convey which will be lost in international translation –  waffles Feb 24 '11 at 1:02
@Waffles @David how about in the top 30% for the 70th? –  Pëkka Feb 24 '11 at 1:04
@Pekka top 30% works fine for me ... it makes sense –  waffles Feb 24 '11 at 1:06
@waffles yeah. Sounds more flattering, too IMO –  Pëkka Feb 24 '11 at 1:09
@Pekka I like it –  David Fullerton Feb 24 '11 at 1:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

We take all the candidates in our system who rank for that tag, sort by their total score in the tag, and figure out where you fall (rounding down to the nearest 10%, and accounting for large blocks of users who all have the same score).

The key bit is "candidates in our system", which only includes people who have at least a total score of 5 in that tag. If we didn't do that, everyone would be in the top 10% because the long tail of users with a score of 1 or 0 is so long.

If you fall below the 60th percentile, we don't show it. Also, we're now only showing this on passive profiles because we realized that active users should be able to customize which tags are shown.

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Have you considered using more fine-grained categories near the upper end? (Somehow – maybe it wouldn't work with current layout.) Like "98th percentile" / "in the top 2%", etc. Talking about what sounds more flattering... ツ –  Jonik Feb 24 '11 at 2:07
Now active candidates are disadvantaged. Passive candidates can show that they're the cream of the crop when it comes to answering questions on some tags, while active candidates have no option to show off that status. I thought it was a neat thing to display, now I can't even if I want to. –  Dan Grossman Feb 24 '11 at 18:48
By the sounds of things, they pulled it from active temporarily until they implement the ability to show/hide them. –  Fiona Taylor Gorringe Feb 24 '11 at 22:10
@Dan @Fiona that's correct -- it'll be back once we add the ability to show / hide –  David Fullerton Feb 24 '11 at 22:15

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