On my resume, I list myself as having "7 years of hands-on experience programming in C++".
To clarify, I am a self-taught C++ programmer with some college courses thrown in the mix. I've worked on some small personal projects, and I consider myself to be more competent than a CS grad with no actual real-world experience, though by no means am I anywhere near being an expert.
The issue is this... I keep getting calls and emails from recruiters that see my resume on job sites, inquiring about my interest in senior developer positions, contracts, etc., of which I feel that I am completely under-qualified for. My resume only has 3 years of work experience listed (which is all IT stuff), so when they ask about my prior experience in C++, I have to clarify that it was personal work, not professional work.
I'd really like a job as a developer, but I don't want to get hired for something that I can't handle, nor do I want to misrepresent myself while trying to show off my strengths. I deliberately chose the phrasing "hands-on" to imply that it wasn't professional. How should I phrase my C++ experience on my resume to clarify it better?