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“Do you know anyone who’s hiring…”

November 26, 2008

I’ve received a good number of emails recently from unemployed industry friends asking if I’ve heard of anyone who’s hiring. The number of emails speaks to the overall state of the economy. Though entertainment is recession resistant, it’s not recession proof. Couple the recession with skyrocketing development costs and an opportune time to trim the fat, and the industry’s more flush with out-of-work talented individuals than ever. This means it’s probably more challenging for students to break in. (Counterpoint: very talented students cost less than not-so-very-talented people in the same position, so it could be a good time, too.)

If you’re looking for a job in the game industry, here’s a few pieces of advice from someone who’s had to do it on many more than one occasion:

  • Look every day.
  • Network – ask your friends if they know of openings, even on a contract basis.
  • Visit Gamedevmap.com and visit individual companies’ sites. It’s not enough to stick to the gamasutra.com or gamedev.net. While both are good, they are also often home to the jobs that are the toughest to fill. Because I am tragically geeky, I had my job search detailed in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Fix your reel and remove the stuff that’s not great. Everything either helps you or hurts you.
  • Proof your resume and your cover letter. A typo can be lethal (seriously!). Don’t send form letters, either.
  • Check the Craigslist.org listings in the development centric towns.
  • Check the regular want ads of the local newspaper in development centric towns. Why advertise nationally if you can fill your position locally?
  • North American development centric towns = Austin, Boston, San Fran, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton.

To my friends who are out of work this holiday, I wish you the best of luck. If you have an MFA, MS or a PhD, I might be able to help.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2008 8:28 pm

    I just did this about 2 months ago, actually. If I can offer one more piece of advice, it’s motivation. Not necessarily to find a job – that’s plenty of motivation in and of itself. Instead, motivate yourself to do it “right”. Find a good job in a place you want to be in.

    In order to do that, you’ve got to be on your A-game 100% of the time. That’s really tiring. So, my advice (after a long-winded intro) is this: While you’re checking every day, apply every day. However, only apply to one or two places a day. That way, each one is as genuine as you have energy in a day. And if you’re anything like me, that’s plenty of energy and a really genuine application. That is, assuming you couldn’t tell I have lots of energy.

  2. November 27, 2008 12:29 am

    Hey Brenda. Zynga is looking for game developers. Lots of them. check out http://www.zynga.com/jobs or contact Flo @ zynga.com.

    Hope to hire some of your readers!

  3. November 27, 2008 1:31 am

    I’d add Montreal to the list of dev-centric towns.

  4. November 27, 2008 3:56 am

    Brenda, a year or so ago I did some research on game companies and found, without much trouble, over 6,000 jobs at computer game companies.

    I’d post the links but I think the spam filter will get it. The info is a year old, but finding the jobs is not the problem.

  5. Chris permalink
    November 27, 2008 8:25 pm

    You didn’t mention any of the Canadian centers of development like Montreal and Vancouver.

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