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I consider myself a well-rounded developer. I read books, delve into technologies at home, go to developer meet-ups, frequent Stack Overflow, and so forth.

But how do I show this to the prospective employer? If I read a book on Hibernate but we don't use it at work, how do I show it on my resume that I know Hibernate? Would having a side project that uses it and putting it on GitHub help? How do you all tackle this problem?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Thomas Owens Oct 29 at 18:36

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kanundrum since it has some upvotes as well. –  Omnipresent Jul 7 '11 at 19:12
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Really, they thought your stack wasn't impressive enough? What part of smart and gets things done do these companies not understand? –  KevinDTimm Jul 7 '11 at 19:14
    
It wasn't me at the interview. It can also be blamed on bad interviewers trying to act slick but still how would we able to show what we learn outside of work. as @matt said open-source is top. –  Omnipresent Jul 7 '11 at 19:17

5 Answers 5

I always prefer to implement something for myself that others may or may not find useful, to indicate to others that you know something about the technology, I suggest a straight-forward approach - add a Personal Studies section to your resume. It has several good points:

  • It shows you know something about the language/technology
  • It shows that you like programming enough to experiment / read about it during your free time
  • It gets the keyword on there for the search engines
  • It creates the reasonable expectation that you'll come in knowledgable but not at an expert level.

If you put something together that a employer might find interesting you can include some details in that area as proof of being able to make practical use of self-taught knowledge.

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I like this idea a lot. I'd keep it short and just use it as a vehicle to talk about hobby projects you have done if they are interested. I have done hobby/learning projects that I'd never release as open source since they are not in and of themselves anything anyone should use...they were strictly for me to learn with. –  Jeremy Jul 7 '11 at 21:08
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thats a why didn't i think of that idea i'll surely be making use of this in future. –  Omnipresent Jul 7 '11 at 21:53

Another thought here would be to consider what your profile on various sites like LinkedIn, SO, Branchout on Facebook etc. that may provide useful notes on what you know and do to some degree.

Something else to consider is how one discusses their current stack. Does it come across as a painful set of tools that are slowly sucking the life out of you? Does it seem like an exciting world of possibilities and adventures? This could also be a factor on interviewers too.

Lastly, it may be worth getting to know some recruiters and talk to them to see if they have any ideas of how they would suggest handling this. Granted there may be more than a few that may believe the candidate should handle this on their own, there are likely also a few that may offer tips and ideas if you keep trying to find the good ones.

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This answer is kinda a merger of two answers. The problem with doing open-source projects is either they're rare in the specific technology, sometimes you coan't even come up with an idea of your own, or at least the idea you can come up with is a bit "too small" for an open source project.

The answer to this is blogging you small idea, or your experience with this technology. Being a good blogger/active community member is a great plus in any interview. Adding the technologies you've learnt on your own there makes it even better

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Here are my suggestions:

  1. Maintain your own Open source project (or contribute where you are comfortable and receive recognition).

  2. Have industry body affiliations/certifications.

  3. Be active in StackExchange or such interactive sites.

  4. Maintain blogs where you can explain in depth about various things you have learnt/created.

  5. Maintain Public profiles (like LinkedIn or others) which provides link to all of the above to give good perspective.

Reading books is good, but don't think you should try to cash-in on that factor when you are applying for job. (Someone who hasn't read yet, can also catch up with you!) But, it is a good sign that you are doing things beyond the job. That's what you should highlight.

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Another thing you can do, in addition to the suggestions on this site, is to have a demo site that has a few applications you have written on the side. An artist might have a portfolio showing their work, so why can't a programmer have a portfolio also?

When I was last looking for work, I set up personal website and a demo site and put links to them on my LinkedIn profile. It was nothing fancy, but between LinkedIn, my personal website, my demo/portfolio site, and GitHub, I had several different marketing channels.

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