What's brought me a lot of success in the past is to back up every skill.
*C programming experience gained through independent development of games
*C++ development experience obtained through formal academic studies as well as independent activity X
As soon as I did that, I found that my interviews tripled. Also, when you talk about a project, perhaps emphasize what skills you learned while doing it? Unless it's a well-known thing nobody's going to know just how serious you were about it.