I majored in Visual Arts last year and I'm trying to get into a Master degree course. In the meantime I would like to get a job in the IT field (I may drop the master course if I find a good job, not the other way around)

I'm self-taught with 4~5 years in Python and along the way I learned a bit of C# and C (not much). I'm very familiar with the language and that I can get into most frameworks that use it pretty fast (like Qt, Pandas, Django).

I don't have any hard evidence of my competence. I mostly make programs to my personal use and to learn more about the language. I haven't learned any major framework (like Django) since I haven't found any personal use for them. I haven't done any course in IT or had any previous job in the field.

I recently found a company ad here on StackOverflow Careers which doesn't have too many requirements and I would like to send my CV to them.

If was to be interviewed I could show that I have some knowledge. But if I send my CV with no proof I know that it will be dished instantly.

I'm not looking for a Senior or any highly skilled position. Just something basic that could bootstrap my way up.

So I have two related questions, 1) in this imminent future (the company ad), how can I craft my CV to at least give me an attempt in the interview? and 2) for future attempts, what can I do in the meantime to increase my chances?

A side question, would it be reasonable to email the company and explain my situation and try to work a way to show my experience?


Hilmar wrote.

tailor your CV and your cover letter so that it clearly shows how you meet the requirements

So, let me be more specific about this Ad I found.

Most of the requirements are soft-skills, or hard to prove.

  • Passion about coding
  • Keen to work collaboratively
  • Experience – or at least latent knowledge – with agile methodologies
  • Good communication
  • Development and delivery experience with Java, C#, Pyhton and/or Ruby. You'll have the chance to show us what you know in our hiring process;
  • Analysis, design, coding and implementation of large-scale custom-built OO applications

From those, only the last one I don't meet, since my projects are always small-scale.

They also have some other skills that would be good to have (but not required).

  • Good knowledge of design patterns, refactoring and unit testing;
  • Experience working with Agile methods, including Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum and/or Kanban;
  • Experience with picking and applying good software practices like test driven development (TDD), continuous integration and continuous delivery;
  • Participation in the professional community as a speaker, author or online contributor.

Those I mostly don't meet any, I know a bit about design patterns, I do a lot of refactoring and recently started unit testing. I have no experience on Agile methods, but I know what they are and I really would like to work on those. I kind new to TDD, I did a few projects with it, and never done any continuous integration My participation in the field is mostly on StackOverflow, I try to help as much as I can. Never done any presentation or authored anything.

  • 3
    I will point out that "Analysis, design, coding and implementation of large-scale custom-built OO applications" is almost certainly the most important of the lot. Large scale is very different from small scale.
    – HLGEM
    Aug 27, 2015 at 16:58
  • Yeah, I agree. The others sound to vague. Aug 27, 2015 at 17:08
  • "I recently found a company ad here on StackOverflow Careers". I hope you don't stop with one ad. You may need to apply to several open positions to get one interview, and you may need to go through several interviews to get one job offer. It may be obvious, but one of the simplest ways to increase your chances is to increase the quantity (apply for more positions). And if you fail a phone screening or interview be prepared to learn from that experience so you can improve for the next time.
    – Brandin
    Aug 28, 2015 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


Create a Web site to showcase three projects - source code and documentation. Put that on cv as portfolio. Customise cv with job and outline in cover letter the overlap between project and role

  • This is a good idea. I'll work on that. Aug 27, 2015 at 16:40
  • Why the down vote?
    – Ed Heal
    Aug 27, 2015 at 17:03

The major problem I see here is that you are studying Visual Arts, but you are seeking a job in the software development field.

I recently found a company ad here on StackOverflow Careers which doesn't have too many requirements and I would like to send my CV to them.

This looks like a junior role. The "problem" with juniors is that we want them to grow, so we don't bet on them, we invest on them.

Therefore, the question I'd ask you is: if I invest on you, are you going to give back, or are you going to leave for another job in the Visual Arts field?

  • That's a fair question. I'm currently trying to enroll in a master course, but in the meantime I'm trying to get a job in the IT field, if I find a good job (on that's nice to work in and that pays reasonably) I would cease my attempts in the Visual Arts. If I get into the master course, I may continue to seek a job (the future is murky) , but my expectations will probably be a bit higher, since dropping a master course is a big deal. Aug 27, 2015 at 16:58

Firstly, find some specific job openings to actually apply for. Plow through job search web sites and study the websites of companies that you are interested in and that may have use for your skills.

Each job description will list a set of requirements. Assess carefully what requirements are and check if you meet them or not. Doesn't need to be 100% but less than 75% or missing a key requirement is probably a problem.

Then apply, tailor your CV and your cover letter so that it clearly shows how you meet the requirements (or not as the case may be). If you can, include examples or some proof of your work. You can put it on a website and link to it.

So each job comes with requirements, and you either meet them or you don't. As long as you can show that you meet them, you should be good to go. If you don't, there is no point in applying.

  • Thanks for the answer. I added more about the requirements to be more specific. Aug 27, 2015 at 16:38

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