The goal of a resume is to make you stand out from hundreds of other job candidates, so you can land an interview and ultimately get a job in the video game industry.
Don’t underestimate how important it is to write a good resume. This is your chance to make a great first impression on potential employers. Don’t blow it!
Start With a Template
Don’t start from scratch. There are dozens of good examples out there for you to model after. Start by finding a good template, then fill in your own information and background.
I’ve provided some great sample resumes here. Names have been changed to hide identities, but they’re based on actual resumes that real people used to land real jobs.
Only Include Relevant Personal Information
In the olden days, your resume would contain your home address. These days, game industry employers prefer email and phone, so just add your email address and phone number. Be sure to answer your phone when it rings!
Write a Summary (Not an Objective!)
Some web sites advise you to write an Objective statement, for example “Objective: To become an artist at an awesome game company and make high quality cutting-edge games.” But that just wastes space without providing anything useful. (After all, doesn’t everybody want to get a job at an awesome studio making awesome games?)
Instead, write a Summary statement such as “Digital Artist with a focus on poly-optimized character modeling and animation.” A summary gives hiring managers a quick overview, and sparks their interest to keep reading.
Focus On Responsibilities & Accomplishments
A common mistake is to just list your jobs and schooling. It’s critical to go a step further and describe what you were responsible for and what you accomplished.
For each job, add 3 to 5 bullet points that clearly state what you accomplished and why it was important. Be specific, and use numbers when possible. For example, instead of “Improved the frame rate”, be more specific: “Optimized the frame rate and increased it from 45 up to 60 FPS.”
Ask People to Proofread
Spelling and grammar errors give a terrible first impression. Especially since they’re so easy to avoid! Before you submit your resume, be sure to ask your friends and family to proofread it for you. Don’t skip this step! They’ll catch the spelling and grammar errors that you missed. Ask them to suggest any changes that could make your resume cleaner and easier to read. They’ll be happy to help you out.
Here are some other tips to help you write a killer resume.
- Keep it to 1 page only. I’ve seen resumes from people who have been in the industry for 20+ years, and they can keep their resumes to a single page. If they can do it, then so can you!
- Mention any extracurricular activities that demonstrate rock-star traits like self-motivation, community involvement, volunteering, or leadership activities. This tells hiring managers that you’re a self-starter and are willing to go above and beyond normal expectations.
- Submit your resume as a PDF. Using Adobe PDF is the best way to make sure your formatting doesn’t get hosed when a hiring manager opens it in a crappy old version of MS Word. Most current software has built-in PDF export, or you can find free PDF export plug-ins on the Internet.
Does that sound like a lot of work? It’s worth it! If you work hard to write a great resume, you’ll stand out from the crowd and be on the road to landing an amazing job in the game industry.
The Resume Is Just the Beginning
While a great resume will get you noticed, it’s only the first step. Read up on these key skills:
- Build a strong online art portfolio
- Build your personal career network
- Master your interviewing skills
You know what else looks great on your resume? A professional degree. If you’ve been thinking about taking classes or going back to school, enter your zip code below to explore video game courses and schools near you.
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