Sunday
Feb192012

Step 6: Resume and Online Portfolio

It's almost time to go after your dream.  Be prepared by creating an appropriate resume and online portfolio.  Let's discuss how.

When the time comes to begin applying for jobs in the games industry, your resume and online portfolio will become critical in effectively communicating your value to a prospective employer.  In today's digitally driven world we do recommend creating both a resume and an online portfolio to ensure the maximum level of exposure and ease of use for your target organizations.

Tips for Creating a Compelling Resume 

  • Feature your hands-on experience, as a candidate with no prior dev history it's critical that you highlight the work you've done modding existing titles or working in Unity
  • Limit your information to two pages or less
  • Thoroughly proofread your resume and have friends review it as well
  • Do not settle for traditional templates, search the web for attractive examples that you can build upon for your work
  • Create a cover letter that emphasizes both your passion for development and your self-directed accomplishments to date
  • Customize both your cover letter and resume to each job that you apply for, using familiar terminology found in the associated posting

Tips for Creating a Compelling Online Portfolio 

  • There are many free hosting and design sites available online
  • Include a company-agnostic version of your resume in your portfolio
  • Feature examples of your work with a clear and concise summary of what role you played and which elements you personally affected
  • Show only the best of what you have accomplished as quality is far more valuable here than quantity 

"If you have a demo reel, keep it to one minute or less in length and under 10mbs in size. Ensure your resume is simple, easy to read, and contains only the most important information. Attach Google Analytics to your website to track who looks at your portfolio and when, allowing you to see when a company views your information. And thoroughly fill out your LinkedIn profile, as people these days often look at that before reviewing a resume."

  - Colin Brown, Sr. Animator | Paragon Studios

Today many developers use LinkedIn as a means of sharing their work history with one another and we encourage you to do the same.  This free service allows you to link your resume and online portfolio to it as well, providing an accessible one-stop-shop for all prospective employers to view your information.

Game studios receive thousands of applications each year so it is critical that you take your time, create a polished resume and portfolio, share only your most promising work, and perhaps most importantly be as brief as possible.

If you would like feedback on your resume and portfolio feel free to link them in the comments below or in our discussion section.  Consider removing personal information such as your home address prior to posting.

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Reader Comments (12)

Just an FYI, clicking the Lead Designer Portfolio for me links to his website, then it looks like his site got hacked as it redirects to some Emma Watson Nude youtube-like site. NSFW, that's for sure!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Hi Steve, thank you very much for calling this to my attention! It looks like your comment was posted an hour ago however the redirect issue you mention is not occurring for me. I've clicked the link several times and get nothing but Joe's online portfolio.

I apologize that this happened to you, I'll keep testing it to make sure it is safe, and will let Joe know something odd may be happening with his provider as well.

- Destin

March 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDestin Bales

Hi Destin, I've been reading your posts and I find them very interesting and encouraging!

I'm a student about to finish my BSc Audio Engineering and I'm about to jump on the hunt for that Audio Designer position.
That means that I will take you up on your offer for getting some feedback on my CV / Portfolio. I'm still working on it and will hopefully get some hands-on experience in game audio, be it doing some collab with a game student or a mod group or whatever I can find to get my hands and ears dirty.

Would greatly appreciate any feedback of any kind that you can give me! Thanks in advance.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/alarcondaniel
http://be.net/daniel-alarcon/frame

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi Dan,

I've asked some Audio Designer friends to take a look at your CV and Portfolio and will pass on their feedback once I have it. They should be able to provide insight into your work. In the meantime, here are my personal thoughts as a hiring manager in the games business.

Neither your LinkedIn info or your online portfolio lead me to believe that you are interested in developing video games at all. You show no game audio examples, there was only one mention of the word "games" on LinkedIn, and none at all in your portfolio that I could see. This could often result in your resume being passed over completely.

Therefore I would suggest the following:
- As you've indicated, get some games experience under your belt before applying anywhere. Work on a mod or find an indie developer and help him or her out. They would be thrilled to have the free audio support and you gain a valuable reference point for your resume.
- Once you have this project or projects completed, make them the focal point of your resume and portfolio. Currently you lead off with movie work and then studio recordings. I'd love to see games work, then movie work, and studio recordings last.
- On both your CV and your portfolio talk up your passion for game development. Talk about your favorite games if need be, but at least make sure that it is obvious that this is what you want to do. See if you can visually add something to your CV that speaks to gaming.

You don't ever want there to be any question as to your interest in game development. Make sure what you submit to companies clearly speaks to that.

Hopefully that feedback helps and when I have more I will follow up here.

Best,

Destin

March 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterDestin Bales

Thanks Destin. Those are very helpful points you've just mentioned. I will work on building up some game audio experience.

I greatly appreciate this and any future information! I'm shocked nobody else is taking advantage of such opportunity!

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi Dan,

I had an experienced Lead Audio Designer take a look. His feedback is as follows:

Everything looks great. The demo reels are clear-cut. I really like that he plainly lays out exactly what he did for each video. I have no real suggestions for improvement. He looks like he would be a great candidate. …if only we were looking for one :)

Best,

Destin

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterDestin Bales

Destin,

You have no idea how much I appreciate this! I will keep working on my portfolio and some time soon I will land that job somewhere in the world. :)

Thanks once more, I am truly grateful for your (and your Lead Audio Designer contact's) time and feedback.

Dan

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hello, after coming across this article, I was wondering if you perhaps would be interested to give some feedback on my resume and linkedin aswell. They're both still being modified quite rigorously, and my website hasn't been placed online just yet until they're done.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/duwemichael
http://depositfiles.com/files/1ms9hcmxt = cv

Thanks for your help, it's really greatly appreciated

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hi Michael,

Here are my thoughts on your LinkedIn and Resume.

LinkedIn:
- Links to the three projects online would be great, downloadable versions or movies of gameplay would be fantastic.
- Minor issue but is it possible to reverse the order of your projects so that the most recent is at the top of the list?
- Your experience with C++, XNA, C#, UnrealScript/UDK and now the PhyreEngine is great. That covers a wide variety of potential employer's needs which gives you a lot of options!

Resume:
- Unfortunately I receive this message when attempting to download it. This file does not exist, the access to the following file is limited or it has been removed due to infringement of copyright.

As you mention, your online portfolio/website coming online is very important. This is where you can really shine and show off your skills and projects. Let's get that online ASAP! :)

Best,

Destin

July 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterDestin Bales

Thank you for your feedback so far

I uploaded my cv again : http://depositfiles.com/files/ftf07u7us this worked for me ( just tested it )

with the website; it's "ready" but I'll be showing it to some artists tomorrow who have a much better understanding of just general design and appeal than me, together with editing a final video for the UDK project ( the XNA project on my linked-in has a url connected to it to show a video).

Thanks very much again!
Michael

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hi Michael,

I had two different (fantastic and very experienced) Technical Directors take a look at your resume. Here is their direct feedback:

From Neal:

- As an American I didn’t know what an MProf was, and had to look it up
- I would re-word the first sentence, it feels run-on and should probably start with “I am …” or something like that
- Put game title “The Maze” in quotes, or underline as it’s confusing in the middle of a sentence
- You mention solid math skills as proven during current masters degree module. I’m not sure I follow why that is. Did you get an A? If not, maybe better to just say “Solid math skills” and leave it at that.
- I’m a little confused about your position working on the Vita for Sony. Were you a paid contract employee, or was it for fun? If it was just for fun, the current description may be misleading which would turn someone off when they asked about it.

Overall, looks nice though, seems like you have a good start of experience going. Keep it up!


From Rob:

I Agree with all Neil’s comments plus:

• I can’t click on the website link, it’s not a hyperlink for some reason. If I cut and paste it into my browser I get this: 􀅚􀆩􀆉􀍗􀍬􀍬􀄚􀆵􀇁􀄞􀅵􀅝􀄐􀅚􀄂􀄞􀅯􀍘􀇁􀅝􀇆􀍘􀄐􀅽􀅵􀍬􀆉􀅽􀆌􀆞􀅽􀅯􀅝􀅽
• When I typed in the URL by hand, it seems that the site doesn’t exist.
• I also had no idea what MProf was, I would probably just swap it out for MSC or “Masters Degree”, unless it’s not equivalent.
• I think the word “Relevant” could be removed from the second section, the information should be implicitly relevant if he’s applying for the right jobs .
• Something is weird with the hyphenation settings as it’s splitting words like ex-perience and present-ed over lines, that just makes it look messy.
• They should link to the proto-play as we’ve got no context there.

I hope that helps!

Best,

Destin

July 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterDestin Bales

Hello,

Thanks so much to everyone for all the detailed feedback, I really appreciate it, and it will improve my cv a lot.
I guess I should have mentioned on there that the website is going online in a few days, while this is still being re-written.

Thanks again
Michael

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Duwé

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