Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Do NSFW tags belong in a résumé?
October 6, 2011 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Best practices for including pornography in your professional portfolio?

Time was that I was a professional PHP/MySQL/JavaScript guy. I've been out of the business for awhile but am looking to pick up a few contracts again.

The thing is that the last time I was employed full-time in the industry it was for a major pornography website.

It's no problem listing them on my resume, as the company's name is of the generic "Foo Media" cast and the corporate website makes no explicit mention of the lurid nature of their content.

But what do I do when people ask for links to sites I have worked on? It would be a shame to leave it off as it's a very high traffic site and I did good work on it. Also, if I jump back to the sites I worked on for my previous employer it will really make my skills look outdated ("Here's an awesome site I developed in PHP 4...").

But at the same time, I feel pretty weird including a URL in my C.V. that fills your screen with boobs, butts and vulvae as soon as you click on it.
posted by 256 to Work & Money (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
There are no best practices here. If you include the URL or a reference to the work you will lose far, far more business than you will ever gain. Unless it's for another sex-positive site do not use it as a reference. That's part of the price you pay and you should have included an additional markup for to your client.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:51 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been in this position and dealt with it in a straightforward manner.

My resume was fine (same generic kind of corporate name you mention).

At some point during the second round of interviews I was asked to be more specific. I simply said: "It was a porn site, if you are uncomfortable with that, I understand, but please look at the work on it's own merits."

That time, I got the job. Next time, maybe not.

Like the first poster said, there is no best practice. It's going to depend on the individual employer. That said, there is no way, would I ever, publicly link to said site. I save that little detail for after they're loving me.
posted by cedar at 5:00 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not safe for work means not safe for work.
posted by swift at 5:03 PM on October 6, 2011


I would also not put the URL in. Save that for when/if they ask. But I wouldn't shy away from owning the work- those sites are money makers, and probably fairly difficult to build and maintain. Those are skills that I would imagine are valuable.
posted by gjc at 5:06 PM on October 6, 2011


cedar/gjc: Yes, this is absolutely my preferred course of action. I feel pretty confident in my ability to play down the pornography aspect while emphasizing the value of the work in a phone or face-to-face interview. And I do not, by default include URLs in my résumé.

The thing is that in some cases clients ask for sample URLs during initial contact. I guess I knew that I probably shouldn't just drop a porn site in there but, that being the case, should I include any sort of note on why I include no examples from my most recent employer?
posted by 256 at 5:10 PM on October 6, 2011


Could you do screenshots with offending bits blurred or removed?
posted by bleep at 5:14 PM on October 6, 2011


...should I include any sort of note on why I include no examples from my most recent employer?

Sure, if they really push, a simple NSFW will suffice.

Look at it this way, if you are looking for a full time gig and previously coding for the "adult" market rules you out, are you going to be happy there anyway? You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
posted by cedar at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


can you build a site that shows off your skills? that way you can include the company name on the resume and your sample site as evidence of your work. then when you get to your actual interview, you can explain the porn site.

i think it will take you out of some jobs, but i think at this point a lot of tech people realize that porn pushes the standards in coding out of a business need and you working for one is a good mark of your skills. if they don't realize that, your skills belong elsewhere.
posted by nadawi at 5:41 PM on October 6, 2011


bleep: "Could you do screenshots with offending bits blurred or removed?"

Removed. Always completely removed. If they're gonna be offended by boobs, they're going to be offended by blurry boobs or obviously-obscured boobs.

Better yet, unless you somehowinto incorporated boobs into the overall layout/design of the site, replace the pics with kittens. You can (should) even replace any offending bits of text with filler. Given that you're a web developer, this should only take a few minutes if you've still got access to that site (or an HTML dump of the page from when you worked on it). You can even do it with Firebug or the Chrome/Safari Inspector.

If the new client asks what the original content of the site was, just say "Not Kittens," and wink if you have to.
posted by schmod at 6:02 PM on October 6, 2011 [22 favorites]


To add onto schmod's suggestion, I would just use random landscape photos and latin text. If the customer asks about the original content, just explain that the client would be uncomfortable with you sharing. Have traffic figures ready for your new customer so they know what a success you are!!
posted by 200burritos at 7:27 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I recommend you don't use kittens. The winking "pussy" analogy is too obvious, and risks making you look kinda tasteless. At worst, it could be outright offensive.

Also, humor is always a 50:50 proposition in an interview situation anyway. You're much better off if you can extract the offensive and inoffensive from each other rather than gamble on whether cute replacement images will flat flat or not.

"PHP/MySQL/JavaScript guy"

Do you even need to show content? How about a URL that points to an unparsed codebase instead? Or if they need to see something like, serve a site with all img tags empty, all text replaced with lorem ipsum text, and from a database composed of innocuous objects (produce? NYTimes bestsellers?).
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:30 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


s/see something like/see something live/
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:31 PM on October 6, 2011


« Older I want to watch Swedish televi...   |  Might be making a move back to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.