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Video Game Job Hunt: Your Complete Guide

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So you’ve worked hard for months – maybe years – learning how to make games. You’ve got serious game dev skills under your belt, and whether you went to school or you’re self-taught, it’s finally time to start looking for a full-time job making games.

Congratulations, because all that hard work is about to pay off. You’re soooo close to becoming a professional game developer. (That’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? “Professional game developer.”)

The only thing standing between you and a job making games, is writing a good resume. And building a portfolio. And applying for jobs… and doing all those interviews… Well, okay, I guess you’ve still got some work to do.

But you’re in luck, because what you see before you is the Internet’s most comprehensive guide to mastering your video game industry job search. The opportunities are out there, and I’m here to help you find them and make them yours.

You can thank me later, once you’ve been hired and your dream has become a reality at long last. Until then, check out the articles below to help you on your way.
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Posted in Applying, Careers, Interviewing, Networking

7 Tips for Interviewing at a Video Game Company

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

JC Connors, Senior Video Game Manager

JC Connors has interviewed hundreds of up-and-coming video game developers. Do you have what it takes to make the cut?

J.C. Connors has been running large game studios for many years. He’s interviewed and hired literally hundreds of people, so we’ve invited him to share his best advice on how to ace your interview. His guest post below is full of high-value tips and insights, so if you’re interviewing for game jobs, keep reading!

J.C. Connors: Interviewing for game companies can be daunting. It’s a bit like being a guest star on a long-running sitcom: Everyone you are about to meet has worked together for the past five years, knows each other’s quirks and passions, cares deeply about their team and creative process – and you’re the newbie who only has an hour to impress everyone.

In the last few years, the game industry has become more competitive than ever. Big studios are shutting down, developers are focusing more on quality, and schools are graduating more talented engineers, artists, and designers than at any time in the history of video games. Read more ›

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Posted in Interviewing

What to Wear (and Not Wear) to a Game Job Interview

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Woman interviewer dressed in black

Even if the interviewers are dressed olde Victorian, still plan on wearing something more casual.

Game studios are like a lot of other tech companies: Casual. But when you add game culture into the mix, things can get weird.

I used to work with an amazing programmer who wore the same ripped-up shorts and ancient t-shirts most every day. And with an amazing artist who sometimes came to work wearing a miniskirt and cat ears. So, let’s just say, the game industry is a little bit… different. Read more ›

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Posted in Interviewing

Amp Your Job Search: Master the Telephone

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Upside-down performer reaches down to answer a phone call

Opportunity is calling! But this probably isn’t a good time to answer.

If you’re like me, you love chasing the latest tech to boost productivity or communicate with friends. But there’s one gadget you’ve been using for so long, you take it for granted – and it’s hurting your chances in the job market.

I’m talking about nothing less than the oldest communication device in your entire geek-gadget arsenal: The lowly telephone.

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How You Can Swim With the Big Fish

Big and Small Goldfish

There are advantages to being a small fish in a big pond.

Without a doubt, this is a tough time to look for a new job in the game industry. Dozens of studios have have been hit by layoffs or have been shut down. Many others are barely treading water. From smaller shops like Harmonix and OMGPOP all the way up to big industry fixtures like EA, LucasArts, and SEGA, nobody has been immune to cuts. As a result, the job market is flooded with veteran game developers, and they’re fighting against fresh-out-of-school newcomers for many of the same jobs.

If you’re a recent graduate, you might be thinking: How can I get hired when I’m just a guppy going up against so many sharks? Is the pond big enough for everybody? How can I compete with established developers that have years of experience? Read more ›

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Posted in Interviewing, Resume

Rejected… Again? How To Cope With Job-Search “Thanks But No Thanks”

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Rubber Stamp With Denied Word

A rubber-stamp rejection can sting, but it’s not the end of your job search. Acknowledge and move on.

You’ve been sending out your resume. Getting some phone interviews. Maybe an on-site interview with a company you’re super excited about. Things are going great! Until you get that dreaded email:

“Thank you for your interest in our company. Unfortunately, you’re not good enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Goodbye, and don’t come back.” Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing

Is Your Online Art Portfolio Lacking? Get Advice, Inspiration from 7 Professionals

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Illustration of Winged Boy with Skateboard

Is your online art portfolio setting you up for success? Or dragging you down?

Building an online art portfolio is a critical part of applying for video game artist jobs. But it isn’t just about showing your awesome work to the art director before an interview. It’s also important to highlight your individual passion and personality as an artist.

We’ve assembled a collection of 7 game artist portfolio examples from working, industry professionals. Each artist offers clear and actionable advice on how to make your online art portfolio really shine.

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing, Resume

5 Phone Interview Mistakes You Must Avoid

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Hand Holding Clapper Board

The phone interview is your “movie trailer” to make them hungry for the feature film.

The phone interview is your first and best chance to make a strong personal impression. Think of it as a “movie trailer” for your career, rather than the feature film: You want to mention the coolest things you’ve done, but only at a very high level. And you want to build a ton of interest and excitement in the short time you have.

Unfortunately, because they’re so short – usually only 20 to 30 minutes – there’s no time to recover if you stumble. Avoid these top 5 mistakes that will cause hiring managers to give you two thumbs down during your phone interview. Read more ›

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Posted in Interviewing

Why the Recruiter Didn’t Call You Back (And the Hidden Silver Lining)

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Hand reaching for telephone receiver

Why do you suppose they still haven’t called you back?

Have you sent your resume to several companies and haven’t heard anything back? Did you even have an interview, which was followed by… radio silence?

You might be surprised at the reasons why companies don’t follow up on applications and interviews. The good news? It’s usually all about them, and not about you. Here are some reasons for their delays, and what you can do to push things forward – and even use the delay to your advantage.
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Posted in Applying, Interviewing

Stand Out from the Crowd: Be A Rock Star

Rock Star Pointing At Viewer

Who’s the rock star in the room? You are!

For many graduating students, their biggest fear is not being able to get a job. Not only are you competing for jobs with established industry insiders, you’re also competing against your entire graduating class!

There aren’t enough jobs for everybody. If you don’t stand out from the crowd, you’ll be left behind. Here’s how you can differentiate yourself and be somebody those hiring managers can’t pass up.

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing
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