When you’re a game designer, your professional objective is a simple one: beat out all other competitors for a chance at taking on the big boss (i.e., landing the job of your dreams). What’s the best way to stand out in a crowded level? Let’s look at an “ideal” game designer resume template for some potential power-ups.
In the world of game design, you need to show hiring managers and recruiters how you combine technical proficiency with creativity and imagination. An ideal game designer resume will highlight programming and game-building skills in the context of past experiences and successes.
Ideal Game Designer Resume Template
Here's a template of an idealized game designer resume:
Keep It Short
“The most critical element of a game developer’s resume is making sure it is succinct with the role they are applying for,” said Nicola Smith, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Visual Concepts, for video game publisher 2K.
Cover letters are really important, she continued, as you can add to your backstory, break down your passion for the role, and give a general overview of why you are a great fit.
Katie Nelson, talent acquisition manager for Cloud Chamber, a 2K studio, offers some additional advice: It’s critical for game designers to include where they’ve worked, dates, what they’ve done (job duties) and job titles. “You’d be surprised how many people leave off some, or all, of this information,” she said. “I also love to see a list of software and platforms they’ve worked in. And for anyone in an art-related field, you have to include a link to your portfolio site.”
Smith said listing technical skills is enough on a resume; keep mind that your proficiency with some platforms will be tested if you make it to subsequent interview rounds. “A recruiter sees a lot of resumes and is looking to see the list of skills rather than any in-depth information at this point,” she added.
Put Soft Skills in a Larger Context
When it comes to including soft skills on a game designer resume, Smith said a recruiter can get a good idea of what the applicant possesses via key words and phrases like “teamwork,” “volunteer work” or “collaboration.”
“This is really interesting and obviously something that we screen for regularly,” Nelson said. “Highlighting key terms like collaboration, communication, flexibility and an ability to learn can easily be done in the ‘job duties’ section of their resume by elaborating on what they did in that role.”
For example, an applicant could note how they collaborated with an engineering team, wrote documentation on new tech tools, communicated regularly with the director, or learned a new system and rolled it out to the team.
Start with Work Experience
Smith said she likes to see the work experience at the top of a game designer resume, starting with the most recent positions.
Nelson agreed, noting work experience should be in the main body of the resume. “It’s the entree and what we all came to see,” she said. “For someone who has had a long career at multiple companies, I recommend a detailed accounting of the last three, maybe four, and then anything prior to that simply put job titles. This info, if needed, can be covered in an interview.”
Find a Place for Career Successes
Nelson added that a list of career successes (like awards) can appear in the side margin or the end of a game designer resume.
The use of keywords in the resume is also, well, key. “For most developers, listing game engines and common development software like Jira, Shotgun and Perforce is good,” Nelson said. “Scripting languages and programming languages are also really good to call out. As a recruiter, if I’m looking for an artist with Blueprint experience who knows Unreal, please make that easy for me to find.”
Dig Into Role Specifics
As for what catches a hiring manager’s eye, Nelson said it’s a good idea to really dig into job duties: hiring managers want to see the candidate knows how to do the job and understands the nuances of development.
“I counsel people to tailor a resume for the role they’re applying for,” she said. “If the job posting lists five specific things, and they know how to do those five specific things, they should absolutely add them to their resume and highlight how and where they did them, and to what success.”