So… you decided to work in the games industry. You’ve got everything ready – your projects, your personal website, and your confidence. That’s great! But as the pile of application rejections grow around you, you’re left feeling as if you have a better chance of running for president. ‘Curses!’ you say, as you shake your fist. ‘Why is it so difficult to get a game job in the industry!?’
And you’re not alone there. Only 16% of applicants landed an interview in the entertainment and recreation industry, of which only 11% were hired, according to Career Plug.
That’s why you need to know if you’re doing things right. And we generally look at three questions before we decide if the game job application works or not. You can use these questions as a relevant checklist to confirm if your job application is good enough.
Are you asking for feedback?
Rejections happen. But if you’re getting rejected consistently, then you must re-evaluate your approach. Was it the cover letter? The CV? The portfolio? The only way to know is through constructive feedback. And if you haven’t already asked for feedback yet, then start asking around!
If you were rejected, politely thank the team for their time and ask for their feedback on what they felt was missing in your application. If you made a good attempt at your application, you’ll often get a reply. These replies are a great way to get some expert, objective advice on your applications.
You can also ask people you already know in the industry, friends willing to offer unbiased thoughts, or anyone with a good eye for detail. The more you optimise your application, the less chance you’ll be in the position of needing feedback.
The two questions below should help you save time. You can fix what still needs work before you go ahead and ask for feedback on other elements of your job application.
Does your cover letter complement your resume/CV?
The cover letter is where all the less quantifiable elements go in. If you want the recruitment team to feel convinced about your application, you need to answer some questions they may have in mind.
- ‘Why did you want to apply to us?’
- ‘What entices you about us and the job so much that you applied to it?’
- ‘What contributions can you bring to the table for us?’
- ‘Are you sure those contributions are something we want?’
Recruiters can tell if your cover letter was written with heart or with a sense of disguise. They can also tell if you’ve done your homework on the culture, the company, and the work involved. Candidates with striking cover letters generally earn their trust from the get-go, and eventually, become amazing game job hires.
Are you forgetting your own work in your application?
Seeing your work in action takes precedence in convincing recruiters in the games industry. Unfortunately, applications without any links to a portfolio website, playable builds or even simple project breakdowns are an extremely common sight. If the hiring managers can neither play nor see your projects, then how can you convince them that you made them?
Did you program a game to make it feel amazing? We’d love to play it ourselves.
Did you create fantastic artwork that gave a beautiful look to a game? We’d love to admire your style.
Did you meticulously bring everything together so the world could enjoy a great game? We’d love to marvel at your work for ourselves.
Are you a graduate fresh off the academy boat? Or someone with little time or experience under your belt? That’s fine, we’ll keep your limited experience in mind. But show us any academic or weekend projects you made so we understand how passionate you are.
Make sure you have links to your work. And when you’re setting your links down, double-check if the links you provide are:
- Public: if they’re not public, we can’t access them.
- Reputable: host your projects on Github, Google Drive, or Dropbox. This is simpler for everyone.
- Recognisable: don’t use link shorteners. We want to know where your projects are being hosted.
On the project pages themselves, don’t forget to include details about what you worked on and how you solve the problems involved. This goes double for anyone who wants to join Quality Assurance, Backend Development, or Data.
Now go set the right job application!
Getting a job is undoubtedly hard work because you have so many moving pieces to focus on and carve out well. But simply put, your portfolio, followed by your cover letter, makes or breaks your chances. If they’re outstanding enough, you’ll land the first call. We hope this article can alleviate some of that pressure and effort, so you can focus on achieving your passion.
We have over 80 job roles available for everyone, including remote opportunities! Head over to our jobs page and see what’s in store at Kwalee for passionate folks like yourself. You can also reach out to us and our recruitment team on LinkedIn to ask about roles that fit you. Follow us on social media (Twitter | Instagram | Facebook) to get the latest deets on our recruitment efforts.