I was a .NET programmer in a sole developer capacity for nearly eight years until i got made redundant due to a downturn in sales at the company. While at the firm i specialised in VB.NET, WinForms, SQL Server and also did a little bit of C#. For the past 5-6 months i have been trying to improve my skill set by moving over to C# as my primary language and learning WPF. My C# knowledge has come on a lot and I am now almost at the same level in that language as i was in VB.NET. I have also created my own programming portfolio website and taught myself CSS as i always had a good grounding in HTML. I also managed (Not created) the CMS for my old employers website and did PHP, MySQL many years ago (However this knowledge is now very rusty).

It has became apparent since leaving that the following skills are now very popular: ASP.NET, MVC, WPF. I am struggling to find a new role as it now seems my skills have become quite niche, 1 job that fits my skills to every 25 webform role jobs. How do I convince a employer to consider me for these roles, I have expressed my willingness to learn and cross train but this doesn't appear to work. I am also open to negotiating my salary but obviously have a minimum i could drop to.

How do i encourage a employer / recruiter to give me a chance based on my previous track record of being successful at my old firm?.


A few people have suggested learning new skills as a solution to this issue. As i am currently unemployed i need to find work quickly to pay the bills so spending months training at home unpaid is not really a suitable option. I am already learning and practicing: C#, WPF, CSS, SQL Server 2012 so i feel my learning is already at maximum capacity without taking on ASP.NET, MVC. I am trying to find a solution that gets me back into work now and allows me to train into these other tech's while on the job.

  • 1
    I would suggest that you like, learn the new key skills. Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 18:43
  • @itcouldevenbeaboat You will see that i have learnt or have been learning C#, CSS, WPF in the past 6 mths. When you are unemployed you need a job fast, there is a limit to how long you can study without a salary coming in.
    – Stormy
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:27
  • @Chad I dont agree this is a duplicate but i agree they sound similar. My issue is not lack of years of experience. I am trying to persuade recruiters / employers to give me a chance in a job requiring a slightly different skill set. I already have 8 years experience in .NET.
    – Stormy
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:30
  • @Stormy they want X years of Misc_programming_lang_you_dont_have. This is exactly the same application just different specifics. If there is something that you feel is not covered I recommend you visit The Workplace Chat and talk with us there about it. Maybe we can help you craft a question that suits your needs and is not a duplicate or help you understand how that question applies. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


You need to focus your CV and interview techniques more around development methodlogies and approaches. You obviously have experience in delivering solutions through technology - sometimes, the specific language is what an employer requires of course, but sometimes, they want people with experience. It is why companies don't always go for the fresh faced candidate straight out of uni with no real world experience whatsoever

Languages are merely the specific syntax and terminology which is quite easy to pick up. The experience is key, especially in problem solving, analysis and delivery

I recently successfully moved from being a Domino/Java developer of 15/16 years into a role where 90% of my time is spent in the SQL/Oracle/RDBMS area - the transition is tricky but ultimately rewarding.

Best wishes on your journey forwards!

  • Hi thanks for your feedback, i agree with what you have said. I have revised my CV around 5-6 times now and i often get told it's a strong CV by recruiters (True or not i do not know). I think the road block is often caused by the recruiter due to many of them (Not all) having a lack of knowledge in programming technologies. Recruiters tend to skill box tick and don't understand that one skill is very similar to another and experience can sometimes be transferable. Due to this they often will not pass your CV over to the hiring manager for viewing.
    – Stormy
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 11:46
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    In my experience, a lot of recruiters literally do a word search on your CV based on the list of technologies provided by their client. I've often had contact from recruiters based on technologies on my CV that are merely referenced as part of a project and not on my list of skills. It is frustrating and I do often wonder why comapnies still use them. They must assume the level of filtering/pre-screening is far more thorough than it actually is.
    – Mike
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 11:50
  • - 100% agree. I once mentioned 'Android' in the 'Personal Details / Hobbies' section of my CV as i had dabbled with it in my personal life and i got recruiters contacting me about senior iOS and Android development jobs. I also dont mention ASP.NET, MVC or other web programming technologies on my CV but recruiters assume i can do them as i program in C#, VB.NET which is very frustrating. Recruiters often just skim over your CV and don't read it properly and contact you purely by the merits of a database search rather than a proper job to cv match up.
    – Stormy
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 12:18

You could also break your technical experience into categories so that some of the newer technologies will appear in your resume and give you a chance to get by the "skill box tick".

Something like:

Expert in: VB.NET, WinForms, SQL Server

Proficient with: C#, etc...

Familiar with: ASP.NET, MVC, etc...

Also, focus on how your actions affected the company's bottom line if possible. For example, I managed the company's CMS which led to X, Y, Z.

Hope that helps.

  • Hi, thanks for your feedback. I currently do a technical profile like the one above on my CV. I cannot list ASP.NET, MVC etc though as i know what these technologies are used for but could not use them without some on the job or at home training. If i list them recruiters are likely to assume i am proficient in them as they often don't read the CV and acquire candidates purely on a database keyword search.
    – Stormy
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:38

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