So a guy says he knows PHP. Does it mean that he’s a PHP guru who has written 100k lines of PHP code or that he’s just finished “Learn PHP in 15 minutes”? No way to tell.
My idea: blog your resume.
In addition to a standard resume keep a log of all the stuff you’re learning and doing. E.g. if today you wrote a 5k lines perl script that spiders the web and extracts interesting info, you would to your log a dated entry:
Finished 5k line Perl script to spider the web. Used LWP::Simple module…
Maintain focus and balance. We assume that this information will be read at some point in the future by someone who’ll want to hire you. Don’t put irrelevant information like what you’ve eaten for breakfast (maintain focus).
Also don’t post trivia like wrote 5 lines of Perl code to display “Hello world” (maintain balance).
It’s a win-win situation. Potential employer has a much better chance to assess your skills and experience. You’ll have a better chance to showcase your skills and you’ll have an edge over resumes that only say “Programming skills: C/C++, PHP”. Of course you should start now, the day you’re out of work is probably a few years late. Blogs are a good way to maintain this “extended resume”. You might use categories (a feature of many blogging systems, e.g. Radio) to integrate this into your blogging flow.