Game Development Career Night: Level Up Your Resume Skills

This is a part two of a three part series of AIE (the Academy of Interactive Entertainment) and IGDA's (Indie Game Developer's Association) Career Night. In this article, Anthony from Seattle Indies will be highlighting key points on resumes, learned from the Career Night that took place on January 14th, 2019.

Guest Writer - Anthony Ritchey (Seattle Indies)

January 12th Interactive Experience Day - AIE

Anthony Ritchey is a Seattle-based writer and game developer. Anthony's writing appears on the Seattle Indies website, where he reports on Hackithon game jams, events, and more. He is currently working on the Story Mode for Keyboard Kommander, an open beta typing tutorial game that is free to play. His team meets every Saturday at the Seattle Indies-run, AIE-hosted Indie Support Group to further develop their game. Anthony is a welcomed guest writer for the Academy of Interactive Entertainment-related events and meetups.

What should we highlight in resumes?

For entry-level candidates, show that you’re serious about getting a job. That could mean anything from showing school projects to passion projects that are relevant to the job that show you’re curious about developing career-applicable skills.

Make sure that these projects emphasize skills that are relevant to the job. “Believe it or not, the same problems you ran into on your student project are the same types of problems you might run into at Bungie!”

For any candidate, make sure your resume is proofread and succinct. Your resume should tell the story of your career and education. It should show your attention to detail and a willingness to collaborate with other people and other teams. Does your resume show that you can engage with other departments and people?

Are there any resume yellow/red flags?

Long resumes. “Unless you’re a PhD, or have years of relevant experience in the field, cut it down to one or maybe two pages.”
Resumes that don’t tell a memorable story for the interviewer or interviewers.

Resumes that are too vague and don’t show a clear career path. Resume entries “that are just a rote list of tasks, without any specifically applicable context.” Cut, or reword, all entries that don’t show how you added value or reduced costs to a project or job duty.
To that point: resumes entries that “say what they did, rather than the results that they enabled.”

How do I handle communicating with recruiters?

Recruiters want to get you in. Recruiters are working with you.
It might not seem like it, but some recruiters can be technical and know exactly what technical skills are needed, and most should know about the technologies in general.

How should I handle take-home projects?

Specifically, should I show off my skills by making the project fancy?
Focus on making the project solid first, and not fancy.
Bring up during the interview certain ways that you would improve on the take-home question.

What is the value of contracting?

Contracting is a great way to get your foot in the door.
Just remember, that everything stated outside of the contract is just a bonus. If there is no statement about contract to hire, don’t assume it will happen.