Great Advice About Resumes, Cover Letters, and Websites

by Darius Kazemi on November 25, 2009

in breakingin,resumes

Jim Rivers, the Hiring Manager for Obsidian Entertainment (KoToR 2, NWN 2, Alpha Protocol) gave a great talk at the Austin GDC Game Career Seminar about resumes, cover letters, and websites. It was specifically geared towards newly graduated students — some of his advice doesn’t apply to seasoned vets. I just found out that his presentation is available for download (direct link to a ZIP file containing a PPT).

Here are some of the most important points of the presentation:

  • If you lack industry experience but have worked on lots of game stuff as an intern or for school or in your spare time, you should use a functional resume (a resume that is organized by the skills you have rather than your employment history).┬áIf you have industry experience, you should have chronological resume (this is a “normal” resume where you list out your job experience over time).
  • His preferred cover letter is broken into three sections: an intro where you create interest in yourself, the body where you talk about why you want to work for this company in particular, and a closing where you state that you’d like to be interviewed for the job. Pretty simple.
  • If you’re an artist, organize your work on your online portfolio by genre or type (fantasy/scifi/contemporary, or perhaps rigging/modeling/2D). This helps potential employers quickly find the type of stuff that they are interested in.

There’s a whole lot more very specific advice in the presentation, I highly recommend that anyone who’s in school and wants to get a job in the game industry read it and take its advice to heart.

{ 5 comments }

Arrakiv November 25, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Oh Jim Rivers, what a crazy, crazy man… But, from what I saw of him one post-AGDC night, I think I’d trust his judgment and these sound like good points for people getting into the industry. ;-)

Really, this is solid advice for anyone making a resume, regardless of what field they are going into.

bobisimo November 26, 2009 at 4:04 am

I sent resume to Obsidian, unsolicited. Rivers responded back saying he liked it but that they weren’t hiring at the position for which I was looking. Most companies don’t even respond, but he responded back to me fairly quickly, was friendly, and even, it seemed, a little encouraging. Thanks for the link. :)

Kyle Stone November 27, 2009 at 5:16 am

Terrific advice! I appreciated the entire powerpoint – although, it is not super-impressive to encounter spelling / grammatical issues within a presentation about the importance of perfect spelling / grammar :P

Cimici December 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

Great post! I will surely keep this in mind! Yes, I agree that how the resume “looks” definitely reflects what your character could be. Thanks for this advice.

George Katsaros January 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

This is so great! Now, my revised resume looks much better.

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