But I have recently been rejected for 3 roles due to not having Python experience on my professional resume, or for not being an absolute expert in it. This despite presenting in Python, Go, Java, and Kotlin, machine learning, BDD/DDD/TDD — all in the past year, having begun the year not knowing any of this more than a smattering of Java when I began.
I Don’t Know Python Yet, But Is That a Reason Not to Hire Me?
Erik “Edgar A. Perry, A Bostonian”
1.4K10

This is pretty common for those of us in this experience category (my first programming jobs were at startups in the late 80s). I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to get most of my work from people who had worked with/for me before. Here are a few ideas to consider with your resume/job search:

  1. shorten the heck out of your resume(s). make it 2 pages and put the rest elsewhere (linkedIn, web page).
  2. customize the resume you send to include what you know they are specifically working on. Also, include an impressive item or two that isn’t what they are working on.
  3. Break up your languages section look something like this: extensive knowledge: c++, java, etc. Some knowledge: Javascript, Ruby, Python. Dabbled: Smalltalk, Eifle, whatever. Make sure that the target environment for a particular application is in the middle to top tier EVEN IF ALL YOU EVER DID WAS LEARN IT ON YOUR OWN AND PLAY WITH A TOY PROJECT.
  4. Don’t list your actual years of experience. Say something like 15+ years of software development in a variety of roles. People will think you are overqualified for EVERYTHING otherwise.

You and I both know that learning another: language, build tool, editor, or framework is easy. If they ask about it in an interview just take that attitude and say it straight out. Don’t be defensive, be dismissive.

In the end, to someone who finds engineering hard (as your typical manager does, or as a recent grad with <5 years might), it’s not always obvious to them that you can come up to speed quickly. But you know you can because you’ve done it lots of times before. Make sure that comes across in the interview. Mention how in job x you learned y in two weeks and wrote all the code for project z.

good luck and have fun :).

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