5 things to avoid when trying to get a job in the games industry | XR Futures
It’s no secret that the games industry is a tough one to break into. It’s an industry of passionate individuals, and millions upon millions of people want to work in an industry they love so much.
But with all that competition, how do you land yourself your first role in games? There’s plenty of advice out there telling you what to do to stand out, but what shouldn’t you do?
I’m going to list the top five biggest no-no’s of finding a job in games.
1. Don’t waste time building your own portfolio website from scratch
A lot of people out there will tell you to build your own portfolio site using websites like Wix and Squarespace in order to stand out. The truth is, you don’t have to. There are plenty of alternative platforms out there these days that are industry standard across professionals in the gaming industry. Platforms such as:
Art - artstation
Animation - vimeo
Programming - github
Using these to showcase your work means less time spent worrying about website layouts and colour schemes, and more time you can put into your actual projects!
2. Don’t cast your net too wide
It may be tempting to apply to every job you see, with the hopes that that they’ll hire you even if your CV isn’t relevant. In reality, all this does is waste your time by putting in an application, and wastes a company’s time having to give you the unfortunate news. By all means if you meet the criteria for a certain role, then feel free to go for it, but for example; if you’re looking for your first role in the games industry, you’re unlikely to land a Senior/Principal role. Spend the time instead curating your CV and a cover letter to make sure that even if you’re applying to a junior role with lots of applications, you’re more likely to secure an interview.
3. Don’t apply for jobs without research
Again, this takes time, but make sure you’re applying to companies you really want to work for. It can be tempting to just get your foot in the door with any company that will have you, but think about how beneficial this is for you in the long run. If you end up joining a company that doesn’t put out work that interests you or doesn’t align with your values then you’re likely to not enjoy your time there and that leads to the risk of killing your passion for the industry, which is the last thing any of us want. Do some research before you hit apply - what types of games does the company put out, is there anything alarming in the news about them, are lots of people leaving the business at the same time? You’re also a lot more likely to leave a memorable impression on the interviewer if you show an interest in what they do and create.
4. Don’t limit yourself to your CV and portfolio
You never know where your next job opportunity will come from. Spend time curating your online presence where you’re likely to be seen. Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are a great place to connect with people in the industry and also recruiters, and this way you’ll be the first person they think of when a new job opportunity opens up. Go to industry events and careers fairs. It might be disheartening if you come away from them without a job or any leads, but again you’ll be seen and be able to network with people that can lead to future job opportunities.
5. Don’t lose control of your job search
Especially true if you’re looking for your first role in the industry, where you’ve probably applied to tens if not hundreds of roles, and it can be very easy to lose track. Note down where you’ve applied to and when. There’s nothing worse than getting a call from a recruiter and being caught off guard because you don’t know what role they’re talking to you about that you applied for. If you’ve been approached by lots of recruitment agencies, make sure they get your permission for sending off your CV to each company so you don’t duplicate any applications. Also don’t work with a recruiter you don’t connect with - make sure you’re aligned on your values and motivations and what you’re looking for in your next role so that when they talk to you about a job you know it’s going to be a good fit for you.
And there you have it, my views on what to avoid doing when looking for a job in the games industry. Remember to not get disheartened if you get rejections - keep focus, keep patience and you too will be a part of this amazing industry.