1. Keep the CV to around two-to-three pages. Hiring managers are busy so a CV should be clearly laid out with your main skills and experience summarised at the beginning. Employment history should be in reverse chronological order, with the most description on your recent and relevant experience. Remember to explain any employment gaps, don’t leave unexplained dates. If you were job-hunting between roles then include this too.
2. Tailor it to each application. Ensure you have read the job description to fully understand the required skills. Describe the experience you have which demonstrates that you meet the requirements in the description.
3. Include a personal statement. Summarise what you have to offer and why you are applying. Make it specific to the studio you are applying to – do you love the IP they are working on? Do you feel you can make a difference in the studio? Avoid generalised statements about yourself such as “punctual, reliable” etcetera. and instead say what you have achieved.
4. Tell the Truth. Don’t list games you have worked unless you had a key role on it. Be clear about what your responsibilities were on the project. Never lie on an application! If you end up in a job you cannot actually do, nobody wins.
5. Include softography and Metacritic scores. Save time for hiring managers, if they don’t know your products they may look them up, so make this easy. If you have worked on a lesser-known but successful product then get your scores on the CV with a sample of feedback from Metacritic.
6. Include reference points from past employers. Refrain from adding long testimonials to your CV, instead clearly state two previous line managers whom you have worked with in the past who will vouch for your skills. Get their permission and ensure their contact details are on the CV. This gives employers confidence that they can call these people if required without having to worry about alerting your existing employer that you are on the lookout for a new move.
7. Make it easy to read. Better to have a simpler CV than something that is difficult to read but great to look at! Whilst creatives may disagree with this, artists and animators are judged by their portfolios not their CV’s. Keep the reel / portfolio dynamic and leave the CV to do the talking about the roles you have held and what type of responsibilities you have had.
8. Make sure your portfolio links work. It takes time to review a large number of portfolios and sites going down or dead links can be a reason to reject. Aim to make everything as easy as possible for the hirer.
9. Keep your CV and online profiles synchronised. Employers will be interested in your social media and LinkedIn updates so it’s important to present the same information. They may look at your Twitter account to see what topical information you have posted. Some may do this to get a feel for your online personality to see how well you will fit into the team, so be mindful of your online profile.
10. Include your educational experience and grades no matter how senior you are. Most technical directors really do care about education to give them an understanding of what you have studied formally and to what level.
This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.