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#1 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:31 AM

I'm looking to acquire a summer internship at Blizzard. Primarily in UI or general game systems programming. As such, the resume and portfolio has a bit of Blizzard/WoW specific content. I've been reading over all the previous threads here and tweaking my resume. I'd love any and all feedback on it: Resume PDF Resume Doc Additionally, I've been working on a portfolio. It's not complete yet, however, I am hoping for some preliminary feedback, primarily on the section on Cellular Automata I just completed: Main site Cellular Automata section Thanks -Dan

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#2 choffstein   Members   -  Reputation: 1090

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:36 AM

1) Your 'relevant' skills section comes up white on Mac OS X Preview. Had to copy/paste the info out. Same with the link above your projects.

2) What schools did you attend? That is important information, and not providing them makes me think you are ashamed to say where you went.

3) What role did you play in the projects? Did you do them all? Over what time-frame?

4) You don't need 'references available upon request' -- that is a given now adays.

I would get rid of the objective -- it is just a waste of space. They know why you are applying (and your cover letter will tell them anyway).

All in all, the PDF looks poorly organized and doesn't give off a professional shine. Change the font, increase the organization, and provide more info.

Here is a copy of my resume. While you and I are looking to enter very different industries, you will be able to see where my recommendations are coming from.

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22736

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

The first flaw is right here:

Colorado Springs,
CO, 80904

Blizzard is in Irvine, CA. You will need to move on your own.



As written right now it would survive my own first round of pruning. I had a bit of a laugh at some of the points and see some points of improvement, but it does manage to convince me that (1) you probably would work well and (2) you probably would fit in.


The "Relevant Skills" section should go. The sayings "expert at", "extensive experience", "strong skills", "proficiency with" and "experience with" do not convey much useful information.

The line "Advanced C++ expertise, including STL" shows that you are in fact NOT an advanced expert at the language. Such an expert would know the difference between the C++ Core Language, the C++ Standard Library, and the STL. I chuckled at the very first line of content where you boldly declare your expertise yet clearly demonstrate the opposite. I really did laugh and was reminded of the declaration, "I speak good English."

If you are truly "expert at" something or have "extensive experience", then you will have concrete examples to back it up. Give the examples and let the employer decide if that meets their criteria.



I like that you listed out the details of the projects you have done. I would prefer to see more details under your education, but will assume you put those as projects up above. They give me some strong evidence that you are interested in games and that you would be able to program them if hired.


For a point of preference, I am not a fan of drawn lines. I prefer columns with white space, so I would personally change that.



If you decide to keep the lines, please make them focus elsewhere.

My eye is drawn to the line intersections, so three things jump out at me:
* Your giant name at the top box.
* C++ LUA LUA C++ XML C# at the second set of intersections
* The date ranges "over two years" and "barely over three months".
That is a problem being pulled to the dates. The "Oct 09 to present" jumps out at me and screams "BARELY OVER TWO MONTHS" (late October, November, half of December, and half of January). I had calculated the very short three months before I even bothered to look at the other side to see what was so short. It does not make a good impression.

Instead, try to draw attention to the details of what you have done, not the dates you did them.





#4 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:32 AM

Thanks for the critiques guys. Let me go over a few points and clarify.

Quote:

1) Your 'relevant' skills section comes up white on Mac OS X Preview. Had to copy/paste the info out. Same with the link above your projects.

Is this the PDF (I assume), the DOC, or both? I don't have a Mac, but I'll head into school and test it on one when the semester starts.

Quote:

2) What schools did you attend? That is important information, and not providing them makes me think you are ashamed to say where you went.

Both of my schools are under the education section actually. Either they're not showing up due to 1) or the font doesn't work as it should to indicate that.

Quote:

3) What role did you play in the projects? Did you do them all? Over what time-frame?

Yeah, the projects are completely on my own excepting the last one. The website has more information on them, but I'll look into including that info into the resume. I can see how it's relevant.

Quote:

4) You don't need 'references available upon request' -- that is a given now adays.

I would get rid of the objective -- it is just a waste of space. They know why you are applying (and your cover letter will tell them anyway).


Noted, thanks.

Quote:

The first flaw is right here:

Colorado Springs,
CO, 80904

Blizzard is in Irvine, CA. You will need to move on your own.

I'm aware, this position is for a summer internship. I questioned this also, when it was mentioned to me at the Blizzcon 09 career booth. I'm not sure on the specifics, but they accept applicants from any university/location.


Quote:

The "Relevant Skills" section should go. The sayings "expert at", "extensive experience", "strong skills", "proficiency with" and "experience with" do not convey much useful information.

I was mainly trying to match the job description's requirements. I'm not sure what I would replace this section with. Any tips?

Quote:

The line "Advanced C++ expertise, including STL" shows that you are in fact NOT an advanced expert at the language. Such an expert would know the difference between the C++ Core Language, the C++ Standard Library, and the STL. I chuckled at the very first line of content where you boldly declare your expertise yet clearly demonstrate the opposite. I really did laugh and was reminded of the declaration, "I speak good English."

I'm quite aware of the difference between the SC++L and C++ as a language, but it's difficult to express that in a few words. I was trying to match the job posting requirements, which is worded similarly - probably by HR instead of a programmer.

Quote:

If you are truly "expert at" something or have "extensive experience", then you will have concrete examples to back it up. Give the examples and let the employer decide if that meets their criteria.

I agree completely. That's what I am attempting to do with the portfolio. However, from what I understand, I need to survive the pruning process first. Is this not the approach you'd recommend?


Quote:

I like that you listed out the details of the projects you have done. I would prefer to see more details under your education, but will assume you put those as projects up above. They give me some strong evidence that you are interested in games and that you would be able to program them if hired.

I had initially listed out a couple classes I excelled in and their grades. It didn't seem to really add anything that my overall GPA didn't. What other details would be relevant under education?

Quote:

Instead, try to draw attention to the details of what you have done, not the dates you did them.


Excellent advice, thanks. I'll work on integrating everything posted thus far.

[Edited by - m_switch on January 18, 2010 4:32:54 PM]

#5 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:01 PM

I scrapped my previous layout and started anew taking in feedback given thus far. I scrapped the relevant skills section and expanded some of projects details. But most of the changes are in layout/fonts and not content. After staring at it for several hours it's difficult to keep perspective, so please, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Resume PDF v2
Resume Doc v2

#6 SpreeTree   Members   -  Reputation: 396

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:12 PM

I won't comment much on your resume as people have covered enough already, but I will mention that it looks clear, easy to read and conveys the right kind of information.

Regarding the portfolio.

You've obviously spent quite some time on the Cellular Automata section, both in body of work and in presentation and it shows. The videos really help, I wouldn't have to download any executables to see exactly what the project is about (which is a real time saver) and if the worst happened and they didn't run, it's not the end of the world.

The purpose and use of the system is clear, well presented and gives me everything I need to know.

Unfortunately it does show up the rest of the portfolio.

Having been impressed with the content and presentation of the first section, I'm left wondering why the other's are pretty bare. Are they not very good? Do they not work? Is it half finished work?

The Shear project seems interesting and I'm guessing you could have some cool stuff to show. But you don't. There is no example of code (get some example usage code in C++ on there), no screenshots or videos showing it's use and scalability. I would most likely discard this project and move on.

The same goes for the Visual WoW Simulator. Again this sounds (really) interesting, but with the compile requirements there is no way I'm going to be attempting to compile that myself (and if I didn't have WoW then there is no chance). This is a perfect example of when a video/screenshots of the project running is required.

Mittens Massacre is exactly the same as the Shear project.

In all it looks like a good portfolio. There is some good content on there using a range of languages and API's which shows diversity. But it's not showing off your work enough. The amount of time spent on the Cellular Automata section should be spent on the other sections. Having a video and screen shots showing off the other projects (along with downloadable executables and links to requirements where needed) would really boost it.

So it's a great start that just needs refining and, in a single word, finishing.



#7 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:54 AM

Thanks SpreeTree, to be fair though, in my original post I did say that the only section that's complete is the Cellular Automata section. :)

Your feedback is appreciated nonetheless, I'm glad you found the Cellular Automata page to be clear and well presented. And that you find the other projects interesting. I'm hoping to have the portfolio finished by the end of the month. I'll be working on the Mittens Massacre page tonight.

#8 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2185

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:46 AM

It might be a strange request, but do you have the old version of your resume?
I would like to see it in comparison with the new one, since I'm currently working on my own (I'm Mechanical Engineer, but it would be useful anyway).

#9 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:53 AM

Absolutely: Old resume

#10 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22736

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 09:03 AM

I like the new one much better. It has far fewer obvious things to complain about. [grin]

It immediately says to me: "I am writing games on my own because I'm not in the industry yet. Put me in the industry and I will continue writing games."

I've seen worse from SE1 and SE2 job applicants and hires.

Add an "expected graduation" date on there and start sending it out not just to intern jobs, but to any junior-level position you can find. There is no reason to limit yourself, especially given the layoffs over the past year. With companies starting to un-freeze you will want your name in the pool early.


I would put a game-sounding item first rather than "Cellular Automata". I think moving the automata project down between the Wow Simulator and Falling Blocks projects would make it look a bit nicer when scanning over the document quickly.

The PDF version is not very printable with its current margins. I'd add to the margins and remove some space between the columns. I prefer small blocks of text, right now it looks like the top half is a wall rather than blocks.

#11 m_switch   Members   -  Reputation: 234

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:43 PM

Thanks again frob. I fixed the margins, added a bit more whitespace around the descriptions and a couple other minor formatting issues. I think it looks much more readable now.

Resume PDF v3
Resume Doc v3

Also, I just finished the Mittens Massacre part of my portfolio. If anyone would like to give feedback on it I'd love to listen.

Mittens Massacre




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