Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Applying to a job in game development shouldn’t be something to freak out over as it’s pretty straightforward once you get the process down.
It’s not just about your portfolio and demo reels either. Although those two are good, having a resume is a great way to quickly break down key information about you to an employer.
On the other hand, a resume may not be as applicable to a freelancer but having some kind of cover letter might be (in the case of a proposal or pitch).
This article is going to break down some advice on making a cover letter, resume, and a portfolio for a game development position (or really any position).
Which, of course, are the 3 main components you should include when applying to a job.
You can even bundle all three into a single PDF to make sure they stay together if you’re applying to a large company where it may be passed on to many people.
Although it’s not a requirement (unless they obviously ask for it).
One of the most important things a cover letter should include is personalization.
Well, that and having your portfolio attached or a link to it.
Direct your cover letter at the position, company, and how you can apply previous education or experience at this job.
Do some research on the company/studio and see what projects they’ve done and what’s going on now. Doing your due-diligence shows initiative and attention to detail.
And, go over all of their minimum and recommended requirements, talking about how you either meet or don’t meet them.
If you don’t end up meeting a requirement, it’s good to mention related skills and a willingness/plan to learn.
Just keep it brief and to the point, while also keeping it professionally written.
As a final touch, find out the name of who will be reviewing your application so you can personally address them!
I’ve read that it can also help by reaching out to someone you’ll be directly working with, introducing yourself and telling them that you’ve applied.
Wondering how to make a resume for a game development position? It’s not that different from a typical resume but there are some best practices when it comes to it.
It’s important to tailor the resume to the company and position your applying to. There is no need (and kind of a waste of space/time) to include any irrelevant skills or experience.
By understanding what the job requirements are, you can put that information first. Remember, it’s kind of like a book, you want to capture the reader's attention.
Here are some quick tips on making a resume:
If you have any links on your resume leading to something like LinkedIn, make sure it’s up-to-date on what you’ve listed (experience, education, etc.).
If you don’t have any experience (which doesn’t have to be paid) or education related to game development, then you’ll need to hammer down on the portfolio.
And some recruiters probably won’t even look at your resume if you don’t have a portfolio or some kind of demonstration of your skill attached/linked.
Arguably the most important part of these three, making a portfolio of your work won’t replace the other two but will definitely be critical to include.
All three complement each other.
If you wanted to learn about what to do when making a portfolio, check out this article on How To Make A Portfolio.
It goes over what to do if you’re someone into Audio but you can just swap out what’s said about audio and apply it to your own discipline.
And including finished work is important, especially when you can show that you can polish even smaller projects.
If you’re a programmer, you should make your code available and easily compatible with Windows.
You can host this code sample on GitHub for free as long as it’s open source, which is perfect for this as they'll want to check it out.
If you end up getting an interview, be ready to talk about your portfolio.
I hope this helps you apply to jobs in game development. Making a cover letter, resume, and a portfolio is critical in the process.
Another piece to this can be using business cards to network and to get potential clients/work. Check out that article, I go over how to make one too.
Thanks for reading!