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  • How To Break Into The Industry, Part 3

    [03.22.12]
    - Destin Bales
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    Next, create a spreadsheet that includes all of the game companies that you would be willing to work at and track columns for location, released products, contact information and currently posted positions. Additionally, use a column to track when you submitted your resume and to whom. Lastly, evaluate the minimum amount of money it will take to support yourself or your family for each specific location and track that information as well for future reference. This collection of information will prove instrumental in the process of juggling your submissions and keeping each company straight in your mind.

    At long last it is finally time to submit your resume. Regardless of whether or not a company that you have interest in is openly hiring submit your cover letter, resume and portfolio to the contact listed on their website. Staffing in game studios is an ongoing process and many times positions are indeed available even if they are not posted as such online.

    Remember to tailor your cover letter and resume to the company in which you are applying. If they have job postings online use similar terminology found in those postings on your cover letter and resume to reflect your capability to fill the position. The premier resource for finding game development job postings is Gamasutra.com. Make sure that you triple check your submission before hitting send! Every year people errantly submit resumes to companies filled with information on how much they desire to work for a direct competitor.


    Job boards on sites like Gamasutra can prove an invaluable resource

    After sending off your submissions there is still much that can be done to improve the odds of landing your job. Don't just sit back and wait passively for a reply. Here are some suggestions to keep things moving and help you create opportunities:

    • Track your submission dates on your spreadsheet and follow up once via email if you receive no response after 5 business days
    • Use LinkedIn and attempt to track down the hiring manager for each company and invite them to join your network
    • If they accept, introduce yourself and submit your resume directly to them
    • Join various game development groups on LinkedIn and post links to your resume and portfolio while sharing your interest to find work
    • Utilize social media by professionally sharing your interest in finding a job in the industry through sites like Facebook and Twitter
    • If a company that you are interested in happens to be in driving distance, deliver your resume in person (dress nicely and do not expect to talk to anyone but be prepared in case you luck out)

    "I was set on being a programmer for a long time but didn't even consider games until the last minute of my job search in college. I'd had some internships at other software companies and there was something ever so slightly dull about them.

    It was pure luck that I saw a game programming job advert and it sounded intriguing. I was totally hooked from the studio tour at the interview, seeing all of the artwork up on the walls and people in the process of making games. For some reason I'd never thought about how cool that would be before then... and that feeling never really went away."

    - Luke Halliwell, Software Engineer | PDI/Dreamworks

    If you have followed each step above and are still unable to land a job, do not give up! Volunteer, apply for an internship, beta test products and provide well-written feedback, and/or continue modding and creating games with others online. Re-apply to your desired companies of choice every 60 days, continue to gain hands-on experience in game development, and grow your personal network through continued collaboration and communication with others online and you will eventually get the opportunity that you have been working so hard for.

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