Hey! You guys are pretty spot on, and I'm glad to hear you got so much useful advice out of the Austin GDC!
I wanted to add that applying for jobs in any field also gives you more experience at simply knowing what it's like to apply for a job in your industry. If you get a phone or live interview, that's even better experience! We often don't think of going through the motions of applying for jobs as "practice," but that's precisely what it is.
Also, reading job ads before applying to maybe 10 percent of those you read gives you enormous insight into the industry. You absorb so much by just seeing how different people or companies phrase the same things.