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A Few Tips for Getting a Job in the Game Industry
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As some of you may know, we’re in the process of hiring right now. It’s always a fun and exciting process for us. However, because of the nature of our business, it’s not unusual that we have to go through the recruiting process quicker than many companies would be used to. For example in this case, we’re currently attempting to hire 2 positions in about 2 weeks. Needless to say, there’s a lot of work to do.

However, it reminds me that whenever we’re hiring – it’s always easier to reach out to people than to try and pull them in through job postings. It’s a concept we’ve talked about in the past regarding our marketing activities, but the same seems to be really true for HR practices.

Now, the following should probably be taken with a grain of salt. After all, I kind of “fell” into the game industry. I wasn’t actively seeking a position in the same way that I know many other people may be. Therefore, I may show a bit of bias coming from the other side of the table – but I’d like to think the principles are still just as valid.

 

1. Personal relationships are worth as much as a good resume

I always find it easier to interview and make offers to people that I (or someone on the team) already know. We always focus on finding someone with a good fit in terms both technical skills and corporate culture alignment. Having an existing personal relationship (or even acquaintance) helps us know you’re already a good fit for the latter. Hopefully, your resume can help speak to your technical skills enough that the combination of the two makes for an easy decision. It seems like a pretty straightforward concept, but I have yet to meet anyone who says it doesn’t add a ridiculous amount of value to your application. This is simply my explanation for it.

IGDA Meet-Up, Source: IGDA Ottawa Facebook Page

Most of the people I know outside of client relationships, at least locally, I’ve met through community events organized through the local IGDA chapter, Dirty Rectangles or other local digital media events. Most of these events are free and feature drinks, good attendance, networking opportunities and some really neat discussion topics. If you’re interested in the industry, these types of events are probably the best places to meet the who’s-who of local developers.

 

2. Knowing you’re into games other than at work is encouraging

I’m also partial to considering applications that show candidates are into games outside of the workplace. The biggest attracting factor is usually if you make games in your spare time, either as a hobby or as part of an indie project. I always find this shows not only genuine interest, but initiative as well. While playing games is a seeming prerequisite for a cultural fit, unless you’re in some sort of design position, I find it tends to only show that someone is interested in games – and not necessarily ready to put a ton of work into making their own.

 

3. You’re more likely to find out about positions offline instead of online

This is perhaps true of most jobs. You know, the age-old saying of “most jobs aren’t advertised”. People love talking about themselves. So much so, that many people are happy to talk about any upcoming projects and hiring possibilities (wink wink) – long before any jobs are posted online. I’ve found this to be pretty accurate in that we usually know about the potential for hiring at least a few weeks before the posts actually go live. Get in early – and get the advantage over others applying for the job.

I often get asked how to get a job in the industry. I can honestly say that the above 3 points may not be the only important things to consider, but they’re certainly helpful.

Do you have any other tips to share about getting a job in the game industry? Let us know in the comments below!