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Question regarding Job postings and applications


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#1 dzeligman   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:47 AM

I'm about to graduate and am seeking full time employment. While I realize this is probably the worst job market in the state of this industry, I am still going to actively look for an opportunity. I've followed the large job boards and have notice that there are next to none entry level positions posted (associate/junior level programming). This is probably because so many people apply to companies without seeking a specific position. I'm curious about the best way of approaching this process. Many companies do not publicly list recruitment emails or alternative forms of contact so I was seeking some advice on how to approach sending in my resume blindly to companies. I'm going to GDC for the second time this year and will speak to many recruiters in person to up my chances of getting a job. I live in the midwest which is not near a hub and may move after I graduate, but currently that is not an option until this summeer. I'm aware of the importance of location. I am aware of the importance of networking and am doing my best with the people I know.

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10159

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

You know that location is important. But it sounds like you don't realize that you can't get a job if you live in the wrong location.
Move first. THEN apply. Sorry that it's that way for entry-level people, but that is the way it is.

Before somebody points out some exception to the above general rule, I acknowledge that there is, indeed, an exception to every rule. And that also goes for this paragraph.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 shadowcomplex   Members   -  Reputation: 445

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:33 AM

There have been a lot of lay offs in the industry over the last year and thus, a lot more developers with experience (even if only months) are in the market looking. This means the low rung jobs are quickly cannibalized leaving apparently only senior/specialist positions available.

As Tom said, not living near the bulk of game development studios doesn't help your chances. However, there are a few game dev studios in your area that I know personally. You can look here Game Dev Map to find the closest studios to you.

Keep in mind, that a lot of medium and small size developers don't actively push open positions on places like gamasutra -- you'll typically find these positions on their websites. So, check game dev map, find the close studios, and check their websites. That's the best chance you'll have of finding entry level positions without moving to the west coast/Austin/et al.

As an aside: did you attend KU, KSU, UMKC, or ???

#4 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31804

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

Quote:
Original post by dzeligman
...have notice that there are next to none entry level positions posted (associate/junior level programming)
If a developer is financially sound, then they're always looking for talent, whether they advertise it or not. If you can demonstrate that you are that talent, then you've got a chance.
You can always apply for a mid-level position, and if you're lucky they'll think that with a little bit of mentoring you'll be able to do the job despite your lack of experience (as long as you've got talent). Plus they won't have to pay you as much as an actual mid-level, even if you are just as capable (which is good for your chances) ;)
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Move first. THEN apply. Sorry that it's that way for entry-level people, but that is the way it is.
Before somebody points out some exception to the above general rule, I acknowledge that there is...
I applied while saying that I was in the process of moving (was packing up the house and looking for a place to rent in Melbourne). HR was indeed concerned about this (maybe they thought I'd try to negotiate relocation expenses?), so I had to reassure them that I was moving to Melbourne no matter what happened with my application.

#5 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:50 AM

I'm not in the game industry, so my experience comes from "normal" companies, but...

A good idea may be to save up and let HR know that you're planning to move to the area at your own expense, if relocation is a concern. They're still going to prefer local people in general, but sometimes that's enough to remove location as a factor. I got my second job this way (they didn't want to pay for relocation, I told them that I had more than enough to relocate myself, and was just waiting for a job offer).

Of course, you have to gauge whether relocation is an option. If you offer to pay for relocation, then most companies will be happy to let you, even if they would have paid for it themselves.

#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10159

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:02 PM

Quote:
Original post by Rycross
If you offer to pay for relocation, then most companies will

...still not offer you a job until you actually live locally. Offering to move on your own dime is a hollow promise.

I noted with interest the story above by the guy who told them he was moving regardless.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#7 dzeligman   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:03 PM

Quote:
Before somebody points out some exception to the above general rule, I acknowledge that there is, indeed, an exception to every rule. And that also goes for this paragraph.

Thanks for your thoughts. I guess I'll already point out then that I was the exception to this rule last summer when I interned for EA. (I went to the July/Aug IGDA meetings in LA and saw you. I guess I was too busy talking to other people to talk to you).

Quote:
As an aside: did you attend KU, KSU, UMKC, or ???

I'm about to graduate from UNL, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Overall I guess my main takeaway from this thread thus far is simply to scavenge individual company sites more and mention relocation in my cover letter emails.

#8 Rycross   Members   -  Reputation: 576

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
...still not offer you a job until you actually live locally. Offering to move on your own dime is a hollow promise.


Is this a game-companies-only thing then? Because nearly every programmer I know has gotten an out-of-state job, and many of those were on promises of relocating on their own dime. Of the game programmers I know, at least one relocated cross-country...

Sorry, its just your insistence on this point flies in the face of my own personal experience. But like I said, my experience is mostly in the traditional software development. One game company did give me an offer, based on me personally relocating, though.

#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10159

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:38 PM

Quote:
Original post by Rycross
nearly every programmer I know has gotten an out-of-state job

Without any game industry experience? Immediately after getting their degrees? I don't think so!

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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