Blog Archives

My Game Careers Talk at AIE Seattle

A few weeks ago, I spoke with a group of students at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, a game and film school here in Seattle. They were kind enough to make a video and share it with the world, I thought you might like it.

It was super fun, because I did an open Q&A with the students. They’re graduating soon, so they asked about everything: interviewing, resumes, portfolios, and whether good digital hygiene means you should “scrub” your social media before employers find those pics of that thing you kinda wish you hadn’t done last summer. Here’s the video. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing

How can I tell if a video game jobs website is a scam?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Bryan, who asks “Where can I find reviews for this business site and is this a legit website that I will not be scammed by?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why there are so many scammer websites for video game testing jobs
  • 5 simple techniques you can use to identify, and avoid, scammers
  • Use those techniques to see which Google search results are actually scams!

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

Should I take a video game job I don’t want, just to get my foot in the door?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Indigo, who asks “I have a question about taking a job in a position you don’t want just to get your foot in the door. I’ve had many teachers and other people tell me that taking a QA job or a 2D art job is a good idea just to get in. But I know that I really wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as a 3D art position. But it’s pretty hard to find a 3D position. So I’m not sure what to do. Any advice would be great.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What happens if you don’t have the skills you need to get the job you really want
  • 3 reasons why starting in a different job can boost your career
  • The 1 major drawback of starting in a different job

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Posted in Careers, Podcast

Will my job application be rejected by resume bots if I submitted a PDF file?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Travis, who asks “I am a recent computer science graduate. I applied for a tester job at Ubisoft and, following your advice, I submitted everything as a PDF file. But I recently listened to another podcast that said big companies, like Ubisoft, don’t actually read resumes, computers do, and that we should use a plain resume with specific fonts and save it as a Microsoft word or a TXT file so the computer can parse the information. Is this true? Is my application going to be overlooked because I submitted PDF files?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why big game companies use machine learning software to filter resumes
  • Whether certain file formats and fonts might cause problems for your application
  • A clever trick you can use to find out what’s allowed by any company’s resume-reading software

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast, Resume

What should I put into my video game programming portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Supreeth, who asks, “Hey Jason! Supreeth here, we here in India appreciate all the information provided in you website and I’m a huge fan of your podcast :). So, I would feel glad if you could provide me any certain information regarding, How do I make a game programming demo to apply for jobs? How should the demo be? In video format? How do I show my code along with my demo reel?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you can’t afford not to have a game programming portfolio
  • How to use the “what, why, how” portfolio format
  • How to get your own portfolio website and your own domain name

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Posted in Podcast, Resume

Do video game studios ever consider hiring entry-level job applicants?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Taylor, who asks “I am incredibly committed to my craft and improving at it, yet I am under the impression that when I apply for jobs, along with my application there may be 30+ talented artists who have been in the industry before. Do hiring managers occasionally consider candidates that have potential, despite not having the experience? Or do they only seriously consider ones that have industry experience?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How your entry-level salary fits into the game team’s hiring strategy
  • Why your passion and enthusiasm could be worth years of experience
  • The top 4 ways that a newbie can be even more valuable than a seasoned veteran

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

If I land a game dev job in a new city, can I get help with moving costs?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Kit, who asks “I live in a state where there is no real game development work around, which puts me in a pickle because when I graduate I will have a degree but nowhere to use it. I already know that my best bet is to move to another state like Washington, but how does someone like me who will be new to the industry land that first job when migration cost has to be a factor? I’ve heard that some companies will help with this if they really want you to work with them, but I will not have a reputation at this point so I don’t see that happening. Do you have any suggestions?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you shouldn’t move until you’ve signed an offer
  • Why game studios might pay you big bucks to relocate, even without experience
  • The 2 most effective ways to ask – and get – free money to pay for relocation

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

Video Game Industry Internships FAQ

How can a game internship solve the dreaded "chicken and egg" problem for students?

How can a game internship solve the dreaded “chicken and egg” problem for students?

At this very moment, many students are knee-deep in their search for their first job at a video game studio. But if you’re one of those job-seekers, you’ve likely smashed head-first into a very tricky problem: How can you get a job that requires “prior experience,” and how can you get experience if nobody will hire you? Read more ›

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Posted in Applying

Which factors will affect my salary level at a video game job?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from John Paul who asks, “I was wondering a few things. 1: Do you get paid more for being at a company, say 10 years versus 2 or 3? And 2: If you work for a bigger company are you more likely to make more? 3: How many years of schooling do you have to go to for most companies to hire you?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why salary is an important consideration when selecting a career
  • The 4 major factors that determine how much you’ll make in your game job
  • How project bonuses actually work, and why they’re not quite what they seem

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Posted in Careers, Podcast

How can I write an effective resume for a job in video games?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Gabor G. who asks, “I found a lot of useful information about game testing in this post. And now all I need is a CV or Resume. And that is the part where I need a little help. I have almost no experience in CV writing and I don’t find any useable example or template on the Web.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The best way to get past the hardest part of writing your resume or CV
  • How to write your personal Summary (not an Objective!)
  • The #1 mistake most people make when writing their work history, and how to avoid it

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast