What TO DO – if you want to get a job in gaming

Insomniac Games’s HR guru Angela Baker blogs about working in the industry, getting jobs, dealing with recruiters and all sorts of other cool things that are great to know if you are considering a career in the gaming industry. Here’s here latest blog!

So I noticed that the last blog was all about “What NOT to do”…well what about “What TO DO”? I don’t always want to be a Negative Nelly… if you meet me in person – I think I’m kind of nice. So let’s dispel this negativity and get with the positive. Maybe we need to take to the Mary Poppins School of Discipline “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”. As a total side note – was anyone at the Swell Season concert last year when Glenn and Co brought out the man who with his co-writer wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and had all of us at the Greek singing till our hearts were content? That is what I love about concerts and live events – the total spontaneity of it all. Anyway I completely digress… the positive!

So here we go – what TO DO:

• Show off! Your resume is your space to really tell us/show us why we should hire you. IF you don’t toot your own horn – who will? So be sure to highlight all the great things that you do, have done and can do. Do a little strutting. Key word here being little. There is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. Be sure to be on the right side of that line.

• Have a fantastic reel or link. Only show the best, completed artwork/animations/designs. Make me want to see more of your work. Make me wonder what amazing thing you will do next, and hope that I can hire you before someone else does. Also be aware of length. It’s better to err on the side of brief than on the side of epic. Also please credit the work of others that you collaborated with or used elements of their work.

• Show us how you work in a team. Did you do a class project? Did you work with a team to make a function or asset look or feel like it was the best element in the game? What did you learn from that? What worked and why?

• Make sure that I can contact you. Please make sure to have a name, address, phone number, and email address on a resume. You might be shocked to see how many people don’t put that on their resume, or omit some of this info. My crystal ball is usually not working – and it’s tough for me to know where you are, or how to contact you.

• Please do attach a resume, or a link to a resume. Make it easy for me to read what you have done/accomplished. If hunting around a website for a resume takes too long, I may just pass you by. Be proud to display your resume!

• Follow the Boy Scout motto – and be prepared! Keep your resume current. Everyone should have a current copy of their resume ready to go at a moment’s notice. You just never know when you will be asked for one, or when that dream job is going to pop up on Gamasutra, and you want to be in the first wave of candidates.

• This may not be part of the resume or reel branch – but this kept coming up at GDC this past year- so I will mention it here. Business Cards. It’s all good to have a creative business card and one that shows who and what you do – but I highly recommend having a blank, white back side to your cards. It’s a handy place for a message to be written on, a website link or a separate contact number. It can even be used when we run out of business cards for us to write our contact info on. When the back of the card is black, or full of graphics- it’s tough, and then the game of “who has a piece of paper” starts. Make it easy for us, and for you. Keep it clean and simple.

Maybe that will do for this week… it’s pretty sugary sweet… so until next time…