When you’re a game designer, your professional goal is simple: beat all the other competitors for a chance to face the big boss (i.e. land your dream job). What’s the best way to stand out in a crowded level? Let’s look at an “ideal” game designer resume template for some potential bonuses.
In the world of game design, you need to show hiring managers and recruiters how you mix technical skill, creativity, and imagination. An ideal game designer resume will highlight programming and game creation skills in the context of past experiences and successes.
Ideal game designer resume template
Here is an idealized game designer resume template:
“The most critical element of a game developer’s resume is making sure it’s succinct with the role they’re applying for,” said Nicola Smith, vice president of talent acquisition, visual concepts, for video game publisher 2K.
Cover letters are really important, she continued, because you can add to your backstory, break down your passion for the role, and provide general insight into why you’re a good candidate.
Katie Nelson, Head of Talent Acquisition for Cloud Chamber, a 2K studio, offers some additional advice: it’s essential that game designers include where they worked, dates, what they did (tasks), and job titles. “You’d be surprised how many people leave out some or all of this information,” she said. “I also like to see a list of software and platforms they’ve worked on. And for anyone working in an art-related field, you should include a link to your portfolio site.”
Smith said the list of technical skills is enough on a resume; keep in mind that your proficiency with certain platforms will be tested if you make it through the following rounds of interviews. “A recruiter sees a lot of CVs and is looking to see the list of skills rather than detailed information at this stage,” she added.
Placing soft skills in a broader context
When it comes to including soft skills in a game designer resume, Smith said a recruiter can get a good idea of what the candidate has through key words and phrases like “work ‘team’, ‘volunteer work’ or ‘collaboration’.
“It’s really interesting and obviously something we look at regularly,” Nelson said. “It’s easy to highlight key terms such as collaboration, communication, flexibility and ability to learn in the ‘Job Duties’ section of their resume when explaining what they did in that role.”
For example, a candidate might note how they collaborated with a team of engineers, wrote documentation on new technology tools, communicated regularly with the manager, or learned a new system and deployed it to the team.
Start with work experience
Smith said she likes to see work experience at the top of a game designer resume, starting with the most recent positions.
Nelson agreed, noting that work experience should be in the main body of the resume. “It’s the entrance and what we all came to see,” she said. “For someone who has had a long career in several companies, I recommend a detailed accounting of the last three, maybe four, and then of all the above, just put the job titles. This information, if necessary, can be covered in an interview.
Find a place for career success
Nelson added that a list of career successes (like awards) can appear in the side margin or at the end of a game designer resume.
Using keywords in the resume is also, well, key. “For most developers, listing common game engines and development software like Jira, Shotgun, and Perforce is a good thing,” Nelson said. “Scripting languages and programming languages are also very good to call. As a recruiter, if I’m looking for an artist with Blueprint experience who knows Unrealplease make it easier for me to find.
Dig into the specifics of the role
As for what grabs a hiring manager’s attention, Nelson said it’s a good idea to really dig into the tasks: hiring managers want to see that the candidate knows how to do the job and understands the nuances of development.
“I advise people to tailor their resume to the role they’re applying for,” she said. “If the job posting lists five specific things and they know how to do those five specific things, they should definitely add them to their resume and highlight how and where they did them, and how successfully.”