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Writing the Ideal CV for the Games Industry

We all know that there is serious competition for great roles within the games industry and boasting a great CV is still the best place to start - but what is your dream employer really looking for when they read your CV? Studio Gobo's Head of Talent explains...


Writing the Ideal CV for the Games Industry

Drawing from 8 years' experience of recruitment within the games industry, here are some of my top tips on how to write a great CV - from the inside.

1: Keep an Open Mind

I mean this in terms of who you are listening to for advice (myself included!). If you're at the early stages of your career you may have received CV advice from an in-house guidance expert at your university. It's worth considering that whilst very useful these people are offering generic advice to a high volume of students who are all looking to break into different industries. The result of that, in a nutshell, usually leaves us with the feeling the we should be a bit more formal/black and white/plain old boring than we feel. You'll be pleased to know that's not the case in the real world; the games world!

My advice here is to search games industry specific articles on CV writing and noting what feels best suited to you. At least you'll know that the advice provided on games outlets will be relevant to you.

2: You Do

Like to express yourself a bit differently? Great! We love to see it.

Nobody works in the games industry because they just 'fell into it'; we're all here because we share a love of it! That goes for me, you and your future employers, so if you've got a fun idea as a way to stand out from the crowd then there's a good chance they'll appreciate that too - go mad.

Click Here to check out the amazing video Erin Vondrak made to stand out from the crowd when applying for her dream job at Epic Games!

Or, Click Here to check out Robby Leonardi's take on an interactive online CV!

This goes for your hobbies too. I have witnessed occasions where people have pipped their competition to the post because they shared a love cosplay, LARPing and even Jaws 2 (that's right, specifically 2 - don't ask) with the interviewer.

3: The Page Number Debate

In short, your CV shouldn't really be any longer than a couple of pages. Remember, you have various other platforms to flaunt your feathers, and prospective employers will be looking at them. Your CV is simply a summary of you... A summary good enough to make people to want to know more and arrange a conversation with you. Here we can see Elon Musk's illustrious career demonstrated on just one page, using clever summaries and aesthetically pleasant infographics to maximise the use of space.

4: Know (And Spoon Feed) Your Audience

Firstly, ask yourself who will see your CV as a part of the application process. There is a high chance that before your CV makes it to the hiring manager it will go through other departments such as the HR of big companies, or external recruitment agencies. In which case, it's very likely that they will not have the level of technical understanding that you or the hiring manager has. Play it safe and cater to both.

It's also worth considering how many CVs these people see on a daily basis. So what can you do to make sure you pass this phase? Simply make it as clear as possible. The latest CV trends are more pictorial and graphical over words.

Particularly when it comes to the software you know and use best. You could try a 'star rating' format or timeline graph, as this Developer has has used to indicate his focus levels, as below:

5: Keep it Relevant

If it's at all possible I would suggest avoiding your paper round at 14 years old, or your previous stint as a Sandwich Artist at Subway. You don't need everything to be dripping in game development, but I would try to keep it as game-centric as your experience allows. Even if you’ve been an Assistant in Game, or a volunteer at an event or conference, it at least demonstrates your desire to be in a game related environment.

Another way to keep it relevant is by telling us all the great things you enjoy doing within the community. Whether it's attending Game Jams, workshops, expos, streaming on Twitch, having a gamer blog or moderating a forum, it indicates who you are as a person and how you eat, breathe and sleep games.


6: Include Projects

This is so important. Employers love to see what projects you've worked on and what your responsibilities were on them. Give us as much detail on that as possible. This might be a chance to refer us to your website where we can go through all of your previous work. Always let us know what software you used to create what we're looking at.


7: Show Me Where You Are

Make your online presence immediately clear, and link us to it all. From your website/portfolio to your LinkedIn profile... And make sure your Twitter is employer friendly too :)

A bug bear of many is that 80% of the time job seekers we speak with tell us their website/portfolio 'needs a bit of updating'. Invest that time! What an opportunity to be in the 20% of people who can instantly demonstrate their ability to finish a job they started. Make sure all of your work is up to date, and if it's a game it's important to make sure it's playable and not glitchy. 


Closing Comments

Well that's it for now... Remember, all of this is just the opinion of one person. My biggest tip is to consider all the advice that is available, and do what you feel best suits your personality :) I'm always more than happy to offer free advice to anybody that would like a second opinion on their CV or website etc. Please feel free to get in touch if you think I can help! 

Best of luck, Job Seekers!


Guy DeRosa

Guy is the Head of Talent for Studio Gobo (Hove, UK) and Electric Square (Brighton, UK), overseeing growth in all studios. In an industry in which culture is paramount, Guy believes that being a part of the community is of utmost importance, which is why you can usually find him somewhere gamesy and fun. 

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