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Resume / Portfolio Critique


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#1 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:00 AM

http://www.MatthewEnthoven.com I love blunt/honest advice. Targeting Blizzard at the moment for Game Design internship in World of Warcraft or Starcraft. Any advice on these two positions is also much appreciated.

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#2 Meai   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:42 AM

Ah wonderful, I love to critizise. Here we go:
Seriously, in the projects, you write nowhere what YOU actually did. Those might be games someone else coded, and you just sat back and enjoyed yourself with some light "advise".
I'd also like to know what those projects are before I click on them.(talking about the main site, when I hover above the "portfolio" button.) It's just a waste of time, to have to click on each of those things and read through all that.

I also think you highlight the wrong things. How am I supposed to kinow what a "GPA 3.08" is? Just write in plain words how far in into your studies you are, and in bold what degrees you already have.

I personally don't like Blogs on Portfolio sites, it's just not relevant. Especially not a blog that is called "pro gaming". In case you haven't heard: you are not paid to play, you are paid to work. If you are such a progamer, or claim to be, then you can't have that much experience, since you spent most of your time playing. (and NO, game design is NOT playing games)

Ah yes, another thing I personally think is ...odd:
Quote:
Extensive experience in Lua, 3ds Max, Java, C++, OpenGL, javascript, XML, XSLT, HTML, Visual Basic, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access. Experience with Scheme, MySQL, C#, and Cocoa/Objective C.

So you have "extensive experience" with ALL of those? I think you don't realise what "extensive" means. Or "experience". Please, be honest about your knowledge, or ask someone who can actually assess your skills. You have to sell yourself, but don't go THAT far.

#3 JustChris   Members   -  Reputation: 149

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 06:42 AM

Quote:
Original post by Meai
Ah wonderful, I love to critizise. Here we go:
Seriously, in the projects, you write nowhere what YOU actually did. Those might be games someone else coded, and you just sat back and enjoyed yourself with some light "advise".
I'd also like to know what those projects are before I click on them.(talking about the main site, when I hover above the "portfolio" button.) It's just a waste of time, to have to click on each of those things and read through all that.


I agree here. If you're trying to sell yourself as a programmer, don't be afraid to describe a few of the technical problems you had to overcome, and implementations that you had to do for each game. Right now it just feels like a list of your favorite web games.

Regarding the menu buttons, all of your three projects take you to the same page, and not even with anchor tags to put focus on one part of the page. Just remove these menu sub-items completely so you just have to click on 'portfolio'...same for 'blog'.

Quote:
I also think you highlight the wrong things. How am I supposed to kinow what a "GPA 3.08" is? Just write in plain words how far in into your studies you are, and in bold what degrees you already have.


In North America, Grade Point Average is used a weighted average for calculating your performance in school so far. It's usually weighted by the number of credits in each class. Most of the time, the GPA for perfect top grades is 4.0, so GPAs are usually measured on that scale.

Quote:
I personally don't like Blogs on Portfolio sites, it's just not relevant. Especially not a blog that is called "pro gaming". In case you haven't heard: you are not paid to play, you are paid to work. If you are such a progamer, or claim to be, then you can't have that much experience, since you spent most of your time playing. (and NO, game design is NOT playing games)


Agreed. The gaming blog feels a bit more of a personal thing, even though it's about video games. Keep it in a separate site. Though some people like to tie their sites with different domains together with a single umbrella home page. That way your visitors can retain focus on one particular area.

#4 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:00 AM

I tend to move the "skills" section of my resume into its own section, at the very bottom of my resume. The only reason that section is there at all is so that HR people/site-scraping scripts can view a summary of skills that I profess to have. In general, the people actually hiring you aren't going to put a lot of stock into it. I'd also make sure to keep it short and concise. You might want to remove things like "Word," that aren't likely to be important skills to call out.

GPA is a mixed bag. Back when I was a student, I took it off my resume based on advice from reviewers. I did have one prospective employer ask me what it was, and then comment that leaving it off "usually means that their GPA isn't that good," but it didn't really seem to hurt my employment prospects.

I would advise you to take off your high school experience. Employers don't care about which high school you went to, and the fact that you're in college makes the fact that you graduated high school redundant.

Your activities and skills should be related to the job that you're applying to. Does your pilot license really qualify you to develop games? It does show that you have a certain level of maturity and responsibility, but I'd only put it on there if you have nothing else to fill in that space.

#5 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:28 AM

Quote:
Seriously, in the projects, you write nowhere what YOU actually did. Those might be games someone else coded, and you just sat back and enjoyed yourself with some light "advise".
I'll edit this. I worked on all the projects.
Quote:
I'd also like to know what those projects are before I click on them.(talking about the main site, when I hover above the "portfolio" button.) It's just a waste of time, to have to click on each of those things and read through all that.


Quote:
I also think you highlight the wrong things. How am I supposed to kinow what a "GPA 3.08" is? Just write in plain words how far in into your studies you are, and in bold what degrees you already have.
I'm applying for an internship, so I don't have a degree. Listing your GPA seems pretty standard on resumes...?

Quote:
I personally don't like Blogs on Portfolio sites, it's just not relevant. Especially not a blog that is called "pro gaming". In case you haven't heard: you are not paid to play, you are paid to work. If you are such a progamer, or claim to be, then you can't have that much experience, since you spent most of your time playing. (and NO, game design is NOT playing games)
I'm completely aware that game design doesn't involve playing games. However, having an extensive knowledge of the gaming industry from a player's perspective is something that I see as valuable. Sloperama also lists off "playing games" and "start a blog" as some things to do while trying to break into the industry. I've actually really started to like my blog as it gives me an opportunity to express my opinion of games from a business standpoint that would otherwise be ignored.


Quote:
Quote:
Extensive experience in Lua, 3ds Max, Java, C++, OpenGL, javascript, XML, XSLT, HTML, Visual Basic, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access. Experience with Scheme, MySQL, C#, and Cocoa/Objective C.


So you have "extensive experience" with ALL of those? I think you don't realise what "extensive" means. Or "experience". Please, be honest about your knowledge, or ask someone who can actually assess your skills. You have to sell yourself, but don't go THAT far.
Ah, one part is wrong about that which is 3ds Max. That should have been Maya, so thanks for catching that. I do have extensive experience with all of those. C# probably should be moved up to extensive as I've been working part-time for a company that operates in C# (I already knew some C# from XNA). I used XML, XSLT, HTML, and javascript for the past two years at BigMachines. I do programming competitions in Java and C++ and all of my school work is in them too. I've taken multiple computer science classes on Maya and OpenGL. I've now written over 10,000 lines of code in Lua. Majoring in Industrial Engineering doesn't let you graduate without extensive experience in Visual Basic / Excel.

I agree that it might invoke skepticism on the part of employers, in which case I should find a way to reword it.


Quote:
Regarding the menu buttons, all of your three projects take you to the same page, and not even with anchor tags to put focus on one part of the page. Just remove these menu sub-items completely so you just have to click on 'portfolio'...same for 'blog'.
I'll add anchors.


Quote:
Your activities and skills should be related to the job that you're applying to. Does your pilot license really qualify you to develop games? It does show that you have a certain level of maturity and responsibility, but I'd only put it on there if you have nothing else to fill in that space.
I'm somewhat desperate to fill the space at this point. My entire life has pretty much been run by either Northwestern or work. Originally when I started my pursuits to get into the industry (6 months ago now), I was banking on my university's prestige to get me a lot farther than it has.

For general employment, my resume also has had fantastic results. I've gotten over 20 interviews now in the past 3 years at school from companies that aren't in the games industry. A lot of them turn into job offers, though I've stuck with BigMachines due to money and responsibilities (they like me a lot and give me a lot of meaningful work).

The problem at this point is just tweaking it for making the largest impact at companies like Blizzard.

#6 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:51 AM

One more thing. Would it be a good idea to include quotes from users on the portfolio page? Blizzard's employment team has said in a few interviews that they really like people who actually take a mod and make a complete project. Here are a few of my quotes:

"Damn that is nice, quick somebody let the higher ups of this place know about this add on."

"I have to give you credit. I was talking to a few guildmates lastnight about this addon and while my guild does not use LC anymore we all pretty much said the same thing. "Why has it taken this long for a LC addon to be made". Very nice work"

"FINALLY someone who gets it. I've been raiding with a loot council system for over 4 years and we've been dying for a mod like this all the way."

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7424

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:56 AM

Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
One more thing. Would it be a good idea to include quotes from users on the portfolio page?

So you suspect that it might be a bad idea. Tell us how it might be a bad idea...?


#8 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
One more thing. Would it be a good idea to include quotes from users on the portfolio page?

So you suspect that it might be a bad idea. Tell us how it might be a bad idea...?


It might look like I'm bragging. It might detract from the add-on itself. It might look I'm overselling it.

#9 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 01:09 PM

http://www.worldofraids.com/

My add-on just got featured on the front-page. Any way to highlight it even more?

#10 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
It might look like I'm bragging. It might detract from the add-on itself. It might look I'm overselling it.


A resume is your chance to brag. Its both expected and encouraged. Just make sure you don't lie or over-embellish and you'd be ok.





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