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Old 12-20-2010, 05:18 PM   #1
ryan.george
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Default Studio Hiring Cycles

Hey guys, hope the holidays are finding you all well.

I've been doing research into Studio hiring cycles to find the best window of opportunity to start throwing out resumes to no solid results.

So I figure since this may apply to a wider audience I'd pose the question here.

Does anyone know if there is a specific time of the year that studios ramp up their hiring cycles? From what I've gathered a lot of it is based off of the length of project cycles (falling into 6, 12, and 18 months generally) roughly starting at the beginning of the year.

I'm mostly curious about getting into the industry via QA. That being said QA Testers aren't generally needed at the beginning of the development process, which makes my question much more complex.

Or would it simply be easiest to contact studios I'm interested in and pose the question to them personally? However, I honestly haven't had much luck getting responses in the past.


Anyone have any guesses? I'll post any additional findings here if I happen to come across additional information.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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Ryan, you asked:
Quote:
1. I've been doing research into Studio hiring cycles to find the best window of opportunity to start throwing out resumes to no solid results.
2. Does anyone know
3. if there is a specific time of the year that studios ramp up their hiring cycles?
4. I'm mostly curious about getting into the industry via QA. That being said QA Testers aren't generally needed at the beginning of the development process, which makes my question much more complex.
1. If you are ready to start working "now," then the best time to apply is "now."
2. Yes. Someone does.
3. No. There isn't. That's why you have had "no solid results."
4. No. It doesn't make it more complex. Forget about calendar windows. The best time to apply is always "now."
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:06 AM   #3
kbaxter
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Projects can start and end at any time of the year, so the "best" time will depend a lot on where you're applying. For QA, it's probably best to apply at least 6 months after the last game that studio shipped. Honestly though, I think there's so much variation that it's not really worth the effort to try to calculate. Just apply!
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
ryan.george
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Thanks for the quick responses!

Believe me, I'd love to simply apply to any open position in range of my skillset- however I have one last semester to go before I graduate and get my degree in Game Development. So I'm at the whim of the few local (Chicago) studios and the last time I can recall an opening for a QA position was last Summer.

But I only have one remaining class so, as far as I'm concerned, I'm ready.

Currently I'm using my contacts that I have now (mostly teachers and contacts via IGDA) to get in touch with the major studios HR simply to pick their brain and see if I can get a heads up for a multitude of things.

The studio that I have the most ins with, however, doesn't accept applications unless they have the job posted.

So for the time being it seems like the best thing to do is wait, continue working hard and trying to meet people, and seeing what comes along the way. That and hope and pray that one of the four internships I've applied for goes through.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:22 PM   #5
tsloper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan.george View Post
1. however I have one last semester to go before I graduate
2. to get in touch with the major studios HR simply to pick their brain
1. Then "now" is not the right time for you. The right time for you will always be "now," beginning about a month before you graduate -- no sooner.
2. Yeah, well. Good luck with that.
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Last edited by tsloper : 12-21-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
2. Yeah, well. Good luck with that.
Thanks, it's actually gone pretty well!
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #7
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So, would you suggest spending the next four months just tweaking my website and tightening up my resume?

Maybe it's just me, but a month before I graduate seems late in the game. I've always heard "the earlier the better".
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
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Default Reasoning (since you asked)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan.george View Post
1. So, would you suggest spending the next four months just tweaking my website and tightening up my resume?
2. Maybe it's just me, but a month before I graduate seems late in the game.
3. I've always heard "the earlier the better".
1. No, I'd suggest focusing primarily on your studies. The resume and portfolio have to be secondary to your learning. School is job #1 while you're in it.
2. Appearances can be deceiving. This isn't Star Wars. "Feel the force, Luke" was just a movie line. You aren't hirable until you graduate.
3. Axioms don't always apply 100% of the time to 100% of the people. Your circumstances dictate different rules. If you apply for a job now, a couple of different things can happen:
a. If somebody wants to hire you, they probably need you NOW, not several months in the future. They might force you to choose between taking the job now (which would mean quitting school before getting the degree) or finishing school and not getting the job.
b. Most will probably just put your application in the FFCM file (For Future Consideration Maybe) and not give you any further thought.
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