Inspired by When do you put a programming language on your resume?, but I'm looking for a slightly different answer.

I started off my career in web development, but have since moved away from that area. So, I have extensive experience in both web and non-web lanuages that I don't particularly like, such as PHP, ASP, Pascal, VB, etc. Now, those are just examples and purely down to my taste, so no flaming please.

My point is, should I be putting these on my resume? Sure they widen my skill set, but they may give employers the wrong impression of what I'm after...

What about putting them under a section called "Languages I know, but dont like", albeit a little negative looking, it would maybe fend off those annoying web developer job emails, or not.

What does everyone else do about this?

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10 accepted

If you already have three or four languages that you like listed, I would just leave the others off. I think it is better to have a short list. Listing 20 different programming languages can make you look like too much of a generalist, without in depth knowledge about anything.

Generally it is good to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for, so you could put only the languages that are related to the position, or ones that are similar to what you would be using.


Would you take a nicely paying position in that language, even though you don't especially like it? If so, then list it.

If you absolutely would NOT work in that language then by all means leave it off.

If you are currently gainfully employed but looking for a cool job or a better fit or whatever then leave it off.

The underlying idea here is to have your resume reflect your desires, not for your ideal job but what jobs you would be open to accepting. There are other areas on your resume where you can describe your goals and desires.


That depends on the position I apply for. Normally I adapt my CV, so that information uninteresting for a given position doesn't bloat it.


Yes, it show's your skillset. Your personal taste has nothing to do with what the company needs. It also shows how diverse you are and that you can adapt to many situations.


I don't put languages that have not point in knowing anymore. CHILL and PL/1 are two of them.


No, I can rely on the fact that my skillset of languages I do like is large enough that I don't have to include languages I don't like.

I used to have things like MIPS, Lisp, Lex, Yacc, etc. on there. But then I really thought about it... why? I never, ever want to work in those again. They were horrible experiences for me. I may be good at them, but I'd be wasting both my and the employer's time if I interviewed for a job that used them, so I don't see the point.

It plays in my favor that I like to program. That's what keeps my skillset of things I do like large enough to be marketable. If the number of languages you'd actually want to work in is too small, you either need to learn yourself up (because you don't have enough experience) or find another profession (because you don't like programming enough to make a career out of it :)

EDIT: As software engineers, we enjoy a career that has not suffered greatly in this economy and we can generally still choose the technology we work in, or at least the level of language. We can be somewhat picky, so be picky and be happy, unless you're just trying to break in and are desperate. Then be picky later :)

It is true that you should be able to adapt yourself to the project and whatever technology will best meet its demands, but you should also be able to find yourself a sector that lets you work in something comfortable for you.


Mention those languages under the jobs where you used them, but not in the objective / summary / skills section.

That way the breadth of your experience is clear, but there's nothing to indicate that you're currently involved in web development or looking to get back into it.


No. My current boss has a habit of asking technical questions about the skillsets you list on your resume. If you tell him you don't really like that language and you just put it in to fill stuff in, you will definitely get into trouble.


I do. I've worked with PL/I and C and others, but a long time ago and so I don't really know those languages or really want to work with them anymore. However, I am trying to show that I have depth and a history of being able to work with a variety of tools (languages) to get the job done. I'm showing off my experience.


There are some languages that will typecast you, so I tend to avoid putting those down even though I have experience there. COBOL is the big one that comes to mind. There can be whole classes of jobs that are defined by a technology that you don't want. It helps if you have sufficient depth elsewhere in other languages to offset leaving one or two off.

A lot depends on your experience level. I'm a lot less worried about breadth of technology with a more senior hire, assuming that someone being vetted at that level should have the ability to learn whatever language set is necessary.


Yeah, regardless of my unlikeness to them, I put them just for the sake of professionalism. Then through the interview I mention my own taste (of course if possible!)


Depends. There's some arbitrary/subjective line that I don't cross. So, for example, I'd prefer to keep doing Java, and not so much C any more, but for the right opportunity, (if I were looking) I'd do C. OTOH, I don't put COBOL, MarkIV, FOCUS, PowerBuilder, or VB on there, because whatever the right opportunity is, I can assure you they're not using one of those languages to build it. I still put 6502, 80x86 and 370 Assembler on there, just to prove I'm a trilingual assembler geek, but not because I think someone will hire me to do 6502 anytime soon.


but they may give employers the wrong impression of what I'm after...

Then when they contact you looking for someone to code up their Classic ASP website, you tell them you're not interested...

In general you don't want your resume weeding things out - you want to do that yourself. Let your resume get you prospects. If you're in a position to turn them down, more power to you.


Yes, I think I need to. Otherwise I'd have maybe one programming language to list. :-)


I would not put a language you don't want on your resume because that seems like you're a person who's unwilling to learn and/or take on certain projects.


No, I don't because I prefer not to be hired to work with a language I don't like.

My focus is on specifying my domain specializations.


If you are applying for a job it is more often than not predefined what language you will be working in - it's not really a lottery - so I don't see the danger in mentioning languages that don't like in your CV.


You shouldn't be applying for thirty-nine thousand jobs with a single resume. You should be researching a small handful of companies. If you send them a resume as part of this process, it should be very hand-crafted for the company you are researching. But far better to commit resume blasphemy and try to win the job by doing the job.

A language I didn't like would be in my resume only if it had something to do with the job I was interviewing for. In my case and my job, that would be Java. :)