We recently received several tips about changes to some of the game studios on our Video Game City pages. Thanks to everyone who left a comment with an update! We also want to thank Jeremy Strauser and Tom Carbone for their help on the Austin and Orlando lists, respectively. Keep those tips coming – it’s a challenge to keep these lists current, and getting info directly from people in each city is a HUGE help. Here are the cities that were affected:
- Austin – added Bee Cave Games
- Boston – removed Quick Hit
- Los Angeles – removed THQ
- Orlando – removed Dot Matrix Interactive, added Iron Galaxy Studios and Phyken Media
- Toronto – removed Tecmo Koei Canada
Both the City Rankings and Power Rankings pages were updated. The loss of Quick Hit broke a tie on the City Rankings page, and Vancouver moved ahead of Boston for sole possession of the #6 spot.
If you’re looking for a job in games, the GDC Career Expo is one of the best places to connect with potential employers. Check it out – there are dozens of companies with a booth, and the people working those booths are looking to make hires. What’s that, you say? You’re stuck at home for another GDC, and wondering what the action looks like in the Career Expo? Worry not – we’ve got a team of intrepid reporters on the show floor who have captured and shared photos with us. Thanks to Tim Borrelli (Lead Animator @ 5TH Cell) and Miguel Molinari (Senior Game Designer @ Arkadium) for the action shots! If you’re not following Tim and Miguel already on Twitter, click their names and do so now. These guys are both forces for good in the game industry! By the way, 5TH Cell and Arkadium are both hiring. Tell them Tim and Miguel sent you, respectively.
On to the shots…
New week, new recruiter quick tip. This one comes to you from Erica Haack, the HR Specialist & Recruiter at Deep Silver Volition. She’s been working in the game industry since 2007, and is heavily involved in recruiting all candidates for Volition. I’ve actually been recruited by Erica before, so I can personally attest to her skills as a recruiter! On to the tip…
“If you’re going to include a cover letter, it should have relevant information about you and how you are great for the job you are applying for, not just bullet points of your skills. Too many applicants use a template from Word or the first template they find on a Google search and cut-and-paste directly from the resume—not a good idea. I want to know why you want to work for us and specific experiences you have relating to the position. Try to keep this to 2 paragraphs. Following up if you haven’t heard back is a good idea too, but wait at least a week.”
Deep Silver Volition is hiring – check out all of their openings. Thanks to Erica for the tip, and have a good weekend, everyone!
The next Recruiter Quick Tip comes from none other than, well, me. ”But….you’re not a game industry recruiter!” I can hear you say. And you’re right – but, I’m writing the post, damn it! I’ve reviewed my fair share of resumes over the years, and I hope this tip is helpful. This is aimed at job hunters who might be looking for their first professional job, and it is something I’ve run into frequently.
Be very selective about what you include from your high school and college jobs. Putting something like, “maintained lettuce-to-tomato ratio on tacos to meet customer expectations” might sound fancy, but it’s not doing you any favors when applying for a job in games. There’s no shame in having worked at Taco Shack, and it’s nice to see you have work experience, but you probably don’t need to go into great detail. Instead, look to include relevant achievements or skills that might start a conversation in an interview. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of something like, “Motivated learner: watched over 80 hours of online tutorials in an effort to improve my skills in 3ds Max.”
Have a good weekend, everyone!
The next Recruiter Quick Tip comes to us from Patrick Lamont, the Talent Acquisition Specialist at EA’s Baton Rouge QA facility. Patrick has worked in the game industry for over 10 years, and has placed literally thousands of candidates during that span.
Here is his tip:
“Your resume will have a much greater chance of catching a Recruiter’s eye if you list specific accomplishments rather than just industry buzzwords. I pay very little attention to people describing themselves as “dynamic”, “results-oriented” or “value-adds”. That doesn’t tell me anything I haven’t heard a million times. But if you tell me about how you inherited a process or system, tweaked it and improved the end results? Then you’ll really have my attention.”
Very true – you can’t go wrong highlighting substance over style. Check out EA’s current openings, and Patrick is always looking to hire testers in Baton Rouge.
Finding a job in the game industry can be tough. It can be even harder if you’re slipping up at some point in the process without realizing it. A recruiter might have dozens of other resumes for the same position you applied for, and there’s only so many hours in the day. They’re looking for quick ways to whittle that pile down, and a couple of errors can land your resume in the reject stack.
We wanted to start this new blog series to get advice directly from the source – game industry recruiters. We’ll look at posting a quick tip on a regular basis that can help you avoid common mistakes that these recruiters are seeing.
Our first tip comes from Juliette Dupré (LinkedIn/Twitter), Recruiter at Gameloft New Orleans:
“Recruiters can deal with hundreds of candidates at a time. But even with exceptional skills they may not be able to respond to and schedule every candidate immediately. Don’t send repeat emails within a 24-hour period, or even 72-hour period, unless it’s a true emergency. You will appear clued-out as to how business works, and sometimes even rude.”
Good advice – it can be frustrating to play the waiting game, but patience is a requirement in the job hunting process.
Check the open positions at Gameloft’s New Orleans studio, and stay tuned for more quick tips!
What’s the most important thing to you when looking for a job in the game industry? If you’re fresh out of school, you might be satisfied with just finding someone who is willing to hand you a check to do something that you love. Later in your career, you might add a few more things to the list – being close to family, working on a certain type of project, size of that check, etc. Finding the right fit can be tricky, and there’s a lot riding on the decision for both you and your potential employer.
So how to start your search? Or maybe you’re already employed at one studio, and you’ve got an offer from another. Should you take it? There’s a long list of factors that it could be very helpful to consider before either starting your search or accepting that position. Some are very obvious; others, maybe less so. Determine which of these are most important to you, and evaluate opportunities accordingly. These are in no particular order:
- Salary – one of those obvious ones.
- Bonus structure – do they offer bonuses at all? If so, are they yearly, or after the project ships?
- Equity/options – companies might offer you some ownership stake in the company (usually younger companies). Others might offer you stock options.
- PTO/vacation time – how many days off will you get each year?
- Perks – The Atlantic recently did a piece on the “Perks Arms Race.” Are they offering you a fancy chair? Catered meals? Massages in the afternoon?
- Studio city – Is it located in a big or small city? What’s the cost of living? What amenities are available to you?
- Climate – beach? Mountains? Skiing? Year-round sunshine?
- Other nearby job opportunities – if something doesn’t work out at the studio you select, will you have to move again if you want to stay in the industry?
- Proximity to friends/family
- Studio facilities – how nice is the building itself? Is it centrally located to transportation/food/bars/etc.?
- Studio size – smaller companies can often offer more chances to make a direct impact. Larger companies might provide more stability.
- Studio culture – does the management team seem engaged? What’s the mood seem like around the office? What do past employees have to say? At the end of the day, will you like the people you work with?
- Work-life balance – do your research on the studio, or ask them directly about it. Have they had issues with this in the past? What, if anything, have they done to address it?
- Studio stability – how long has the studio been around, and how many titles has it shipped? Is it part of a larger family of studios?
- Project – what project would you be working on?
- Studio focus – what type of games has the studio done in the past? AAA, mobile, social? What will they be doing in the future?
So, how would you rank each of these factors? Deciding which ones matter most to you can be a huge help, especially if you’re considering several different studios. What else are we missing?
Lots of new updates recently, so I figured I’d combine them all into one post. First off, we’ve seen some really amazing growth over the past few months. May was BY FAR our biggest traffic month ever. Thanks to everyone who has been checking out the site!
As for our lists of video game studios by city, we’ve got several updates:
We also made a small tweak to our individual job pages – our social links were updated and no longer look so dated.
As always, good luck to everyone who is hunting for a new job!
The last several months have been busy for us. Traffic has been at an all-time high, and we’ve had a steady stream of new jobs and submitted applications. But, we want this to get even bigger. We want more studios to publish their jobs, which we hope will make finding a new job easier for those on the hunt. In order to encourage new studios to publish, we need help from those of you working in the industry. Of course, if you help us, we want to reward you.
We could attempt to contact HR reps at each studio, but, quite frankly, we think it would mean more coming from you. So, we’re offering a $10 Amazon gift card to anyone who gets their game studio to publish new jobs. If your HR person asks what’s in it for them, tell them we’re also offering them a $10 gift card for posting. Here are the ground rules:
- If someone at your studio posts the jobs, they must write us (email@example.com) to mention the contest and let us know that you referred them.
- Only 1 gift card (or set of gift cards) per studio. First person to get mentioned in a referral gets the card.
- Only 1 gift card per person.
- If the studio has published jobs in the past, we’ll still issue a card if new jobs are published. We’ll just need to hear from the person publishing the jobs that someone acted as a referrer.
- If a company has multiple studios (EA, Activision, etc.), we’ll offer a card (or set of cards) for each individual studio that posts new ads.
- We’ll run this offer for 3 weeks or $300 worth of gift cards, whichever comes first.
- The offer is aimed at employees working at game development studios – if you’ve got a question about whether or not you’re eligible, let us know in advance.
- We reserve the right to make final decisions on whether or not a gift card is warranted. All previous rules about posting on our site apply.