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#1 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:40 PM

Hey guys, I've been suuuuper busy traveling around scoping out cities and think I'm going to stay in San Francisco for a while, dig my heels in, and pursue the job market here.

As such, I would appreciate it if you guys took a glance at my resume and offered your opinions. I've gone through it, stripped out the big "Here's a block describing all the languages I know" and simply replaced it with specific projects I've done. This is strange and new ground for me, doing this sort of thing, and I do worry it might not convey the depths of my knowledge, or worse, conveys the depths of my ignorance.

One question I have, should I include my GPA on my resume? Or perhaps phrased differently; my GPA was a 3.41. I'm not sure how this stacks up against other people. Is this above average for competitive entrants into the game industry? Should I gracefully leave it off the resume? I know that it's hard to compare GPA's in a vacuum, and different companies have different expectations, but I'm trying to get a rough ballpark.

http://www.renegadeinteractive.com/Assets/elijah_orear_resume.pdf




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#2 rdragon1   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1200

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:25 PM

I would include your GPA since you're straight out of college. As soon as I saw the college at the top I looked for the GPA. 3.41 is a good GPA - certainly better than what I guessed it might be that made you want to leave it off :)

Edit:
I would also perhaps add "notable courses" - course title and what you learned from it. Did you take any compiler design, OS courses? Those are always good to throw on. Any class projects?

#3 NoNameCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 08:33 PM

Hey guys, I've been suuuuper busy traveling around scoping out cities and think I'm going to stay in San Francisco for a while, dig my heels in, and pursue the job market here.

As such, I would appreciate it if you guys took a glance at my resume and offered your opinions. I've gone through it, stripped out the big "Here's a block describing all the languages I know" and simply replaced it with specific projects I've done. This is strange and new ground for me, doing this sort of thing, and I do worry it might not convey the depths of my knowledge, or worse, conveys the depths of my ignorance.

One question I have, should I include my GPA on my resume? Or perhaps phrased differently; my GPA was a 3.41. I'm not sure how this stacks up against other people. Is this above average for competitive entrants into the game industry? Should I gracefully leave it off the resume? I know that it's hard to compare GPA's in a vacuum, and different companies have different expectations, but I'm trying to get a rough ballpark.

http://www.renegadei...rear_resume.pdf




To me "Seeking an entry level position or internship as a software engineer or game designer." means that you still did not decide what you'd like to be. If I was a hiring manager that would not look positive to me.

#4 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22732

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:16 PM

First glance: It is dense in the middle and vacant on the ragged left side. Use your space better.

Line-by-line reading:

"entry level OR internship, software engineer OR designer". Not okay. You only get one job. You are probably an entry level programmer.

You graduated in 2009, so this should not longer be your topmost item. Education should be your top item while in school and immediately after finishing. Real-world work experience generally trumps education.

I'd reformat the whole education block. As it sits now, the most critical thing is the name of the institution, and the second most important thing is Atlanta and the year. It currently says the minor details are the degree and the emphasis. Instead, the bold heading should say Bachelor of Science, since that is the key detail. Perhaps: Bachelor of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology 2009. Cut the city, that is irrelevant. That small change calls out that you have a bachelor degree, which is basically a must-have, and when they look at the details they'll see Computational Media and interactive software, both highly relevant to games. Not CS so you don't immediately get through the filters, but not bad either.

Looks like you got your first real job, and you left in May. Why? Was your project complete and they were downsizing? Was a contract completed? Were you laid off? Were you fired? If you don't answer it HR will dig for the answer or assume the worst. Better to give them something small and either positive or neutral rather than leave them guessing about possible negatives. I'd rather see that someone left from RIF or project completed, rather than a vague unemployed date.

You have punctuation issues. Fix them.

Your experience looks really fishy. You have "PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare" as work experience, and you also have them as 3 published projects. Something is very fishy to my resume-reading eyes. Pulling up a corporate web site shows you listed on the site as a web specialist since 2010, so it matches, but the projects seem wrong. Were these three projects done for the company? If so, they belong under work experience. If not, they don't get the name of the company.

What's up with Renegade? Is that contract work? If so, it is work experience, not a "project". Again, a few seconds on google doesn't make it clear, but it does seem very fishy. That needs to be fixed up.

Series of Tubes, you "Won 2nd Place". Out of 2? Out of 200? Out of your University? Nationally? Globally? How many were in the "team of other programmers"? What was your portion of the project, specifically?

That's the end of my first pass.


Overall it is reasonably good. It seems clear that you are not the intern level, and possibly beyond the "entry level" that you asked for in your objective. You list a lot of skills and activities that are game related.

You've been employed but you left for reasons you didn't explain, but I'll leave that up to your preference. You have some odd business relationships that raise my eyebrows. Explain your relationship for all the projects with "Photobook/Connect Healthcare", and your relationship with "Renegade Interactive" projects in another state. Not knowing more it makes me think you were a contractor, but the ambiguity makes me nervous; make your relationship clear. Reorder your education to the bottom and real world experience to the top.

I'd cut the objective down to just a position as software engineer since you clearly are not a designer, and let the company decide if you fit better in the "entry level" bucket or the "experienced non-game programmer" bucket. You may be a better fit at a game company if you open up your options a bit more.

If you have permission, provide a link to the three games and the video player. If they were done under contract or employment for the various companies it is understandable if you cannot, but then at least you should provide an address for the Series of Tubes game.


The document itself could use improvement but it still communicates good things. It's good enough to make me wonder if you're willing to move. We're hiring but a 750 mile commute is probably a bit long. :-)

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#5 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:49 AM

Depending on what you're doing with, you can actually change your pitch for the recipient. i.e. "software engineer" if that's what you're applying for.

I realize this is kind of duh, but it's important to remember you don't need a one-size-fits-all resume.

Personally I have a "complete" resume, then I trim off parts or reorder them when I sent to someone. If someone doesn't need to know odd-jobs I've done voicing... Backspace and send.

On a side note, the only job I ever got through a resume was not what was listed. If someone has it in hand and thinks you'd fit, they might just ignore your objective statement altogether.

You might actually put a summary statement instead. On mine I have a summary. They want to know about you. Like, "Programmer and Georgia Tech grad with experience building software" or something. They know what they want, so sum yourself up to paint yourself as relevant. Object is too much "I happen to want the position you have".

But here's a key point I couldn't gather from what you wrote. Did you lead these projects? Did you design them from scratch? Were you a team member? Were you alone?

Put that in your summary that you have experience leading projects or working on a team or whatever. If you've done both, say both. Like "... with experience leading and participating in software projects".

A few minor details:

-Make the phone number not a hyperlink.
-Remove the "email:", "website:" and "phone:" labels. It's obvious what they are, so this is cruft.

-Good job describing projects in terms of results.
-Good job keeping it pithy.

#6 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:55 PM

Thanks a lot for the responses, guys. I really appreciate it.

Looks like you got your first real job, and you left in May. Why? Was your project complete and they were downsizing? Was a contract completed? Were you laid off? Were you fired?


A very valid question! Here's the deal with me and that job.

First, the name PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare. The name changed halfway through me working there. When I was hired, it was PhotoBooks. A few months before I left, they re-branded to Connect Healthcare.

Secondly, I was a full-time employee for the company, not a temp or contract worker. I left voluntarily, no layoffs or downsizing or anything of the sort. The reason I left was to pursue a career in game development, which is something I've always wanted to do, and to move away from Atlanta, which is also something I've always wanted to do. We left of friendly terms, I wrapped up the projects I was working on, gave appropriate notice, all that good stuff. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to explain all that on the resume itself, or how to articulate it concisely.

Your experience looks really fishy. You have "PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare" as work experience, and you also have them as 3 published projects. Something is very fishy to my resume-reading eyes. Pulling up a corporate web site shows you listed on the site as a web specialist since 2010, so it matches, but the projects seem wrong. Were these three projects done for the company? If so, they belong under work experience. If not, they don't get the name of the company.


Those projects were projects worked to completion as part of my normal duties at Connect Healthcare. Particularly, they were bigger projects that I was either the development lead on (the video player and MyHealth app specifically), or were a major developer on (The ValleyHealth and HealthTexas apps were different. I co-designed the software with the other iOS developer, and we worked collaboratively on different modules of the app, then strung them together. On these two I still did about 3/4 of the development work). I was solely responsible for the ValleyHealth and HealthTexas applications, but the other developer was working on very similar apps for different clients. We worked on each of these projects independently, but since their functionality was very similar I wrote the core framework for all of the apps and we would extend that framework for each individual project.

What's up with Renegade? Is that contract work? If so, it is work experience, not a "project". Again, a few seconds on google doesn't make it clear, but it does seem very fishy. That needs to be fixed up.


Renegade Interactive LCC is a company I formed for myself about a year ago. Basically, I wanted to have some official body I could release independent work under if I ever got around to creating anything. I have one game that I've finished, but it is presently not hosted anywhere, which would be Simon Evolution. I have another game Joust Training (working title), that is still in progress. These are both personal projects of mine. Simon Evolution is 100% me, and Joust Training started as a Global Game Jam project, but I went ahead with it and kept developing it on my own after the competition.

renegadeinteractive.com is the companion website for the company, and it's supposed to be a place where I can put games/projects that I've completed and wish to publish to the public at large. It's not really meant to be a personal site.

Series of Tubes, you "Won 2nd Place". Out of 2? Out of 200? Out of your University? Nationally? Globally? How many were in the "team of other programmers"? What was your portion of the project, specifically?


Ah, good point. It was out of the university. I believe the team size was 5 people, and the specific parts of the game that I worked on were the code to procedurally generate levels and game play programming (particularly input handling and movement). I think I also wrote the core game loop. I would guess there were approximately 50 people participating in the contest in total, but I'm not sure. I could try to look it up, or at least figure out how many teams there were.

I'd cut the objective down to just a position as software engineer since you clearly are not a designer


Actually, I am highly interested in design. The position I've always dreamed of is something along the lines of "Technical Designer". I really love programming, but I also really love the nitty gritty of designing games as an experience. I'm pretty thrilled to sit down and do number crunching to theorycraft champion balance in League of Legends, or to talk about how the sound design in Limbo meshes extremely well with the games aesthetics to create an atmosphere of "creepy, threatening isolation" that reinforces the sense of dread created by the level design (how it is designed for you to repeatedly blunder into gruesome deaths to introduce you to new puzzles and mechanics). I choose to focus more on the programming side of things because it's what I consider the more marketable skill to have (and because I genuinely love it), but I would totally take a design position at a company if it were offered. I do have a couple projects that are more design-focused (I designed a card game and a tabletop RPG system for instance). They'll likely be thrown online at some point, too, but I'm not sure I still have the RPG system or not. Might have gotten lost in the sands of time.

Depending on what you're doing with, you can actually change your pitch for the recipient. i.e. "software engineer" if that's what you're applying for.

I realize this is kind of duh, but it's important to remember you don't need a one-size-fits-all resume.


Actually, I'm very glad you pointed that out. We can all lose track of the obvious things, and I had kind of lost track of this! I'll see if I can hammer out a design specific one, too.

You might actually put a summary statement instead. On mine I have a summary. They want to know about you. Like, "Programmer and Georgia Tech grad with experience building software" or something. They know what they want, so sum yourself up to paint yourself as relevant. Object is too much "I happen to want the position you have".


So summary in place of objective? I was thinking of saving "about me" type stuff for the cover letter, but you know it does make a lot of sense to do a short blurb talking about what I'm actually looking for/who I am in the resume itself.

Ok, so here's what I've gleaned from the replies.

1) Formatting is kind of chunky and asymmetrical. Left is too empty, right is too chunky.
2) Better proofreading, there are some punctuation mistakes.
3) Provide links to projects within the resume itself if I have legal rights to do so.
4) Place projects I did for Connect Healthcare in the work experience section.
5) Move education to the bottom, go ahead and place GPA on it, re-word it to place more emphasis on the B.S. part.

Questions I have are this:

1) Where should I place my independent work? Also, how should I describe it? Should I just be like, "Independent work" or should I be like, "Created under Renegade Interactive, my company (which doesn't actually do anything other than impress people at parties when I tell them I have a company)"?
2) Long question, see below:

I'm still not quite sure I'm doing a good job of describing myself. Partly that's because of my gummy education. "Computational Media." What does that even mean? It's a pretty worthless name.

Here's what it is. Georgia Tech went, "Hey, you know what would be cool? Let's take CS, carve out some of the courses, and put courses that teach design and aesthetics in their place." That's pretty much what they did. My degree is not a Computer Science degree, but it is a joint degree between the College of Computing and the School of Literature, Communication and Culture (GT's liberal arts branch). Like, it has both schools listed on the degree. The whole objective behind the course was to teach people not just how to make software, but to make software that could achieve a certain user experience. Pretty much take CS, take Industrial Design for Software, smash the two together, and you have this. Games fell into this vision, and GT marketed it quite heavily as a program for people interested in game development, and most of the "game development specific" courses fell under purview of the major.

The goal is that a person with a CM degree could not only make a game from the technical perspective, but should also understand how to design a gameplay experience that is appropriate and engaging (bubbly and cute platformer versus survival horror), to recognize good aesthetics, and to tie all these elements together and generate a game that is polished and memorable. Or, if I don't, recognize why the game sucks.

That's my educational background. Unfortunately, they occasionally cut out some very important things from the CS part of the curriculum. Things like data structures and algorithms and low-level programming, plus Georgia Tech's not really a C++ campus. After graduating and learning more about what the game industry expects from people, I've gone back and studied things to fill in the gaps of my education best I can.

I think I can be a valuable employee, but what I'm chiefly concerned about is marketing my capabilities and making it clear to a company what exactly I am. I have a cross-discipline background, but I don't consider myself a "soft CS" kind of guy. I didn't do this degree because I was afraid of CS, I did it because I was interested in design. I love code, and I am very much not afraid of it or moving beyond my comfort zone and into tough programming challenges. I am deeply concerned, however, of people getting the impression of, "Oh, this is some second-rate coder who couldn't hack it in CS and isn't interested in pushing his professional skills to higher levels."


#7 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

I'd still want to better understand you role in projects you've completed. Were these team projects and did you lead on at least one of them? Did you design and plan, and did you design and plan for other people?

I would try to capture the answer to that at the top if the answer looks good.

"I am highly interested in design ... I also really love the nitty gritty of designing games as an experience. I'm pretty thrilled ... hammer out a design specific one, too."

Hammer one out and go for it. It's a perfectly legitimate profession.

"they occasionally cut out some very important things from the CS part of the curriculum. Things like data structures and algorithms and ..."

Not to imply you can't do CS - or get a job in programming - but you'd probably more competitive in game design if you have a passion for it.

FWIW, being able to program also means you can conjure up your own game design experience and, when necessary, pull prototypes from your rear to experiment.

Assemble some kind of easy to deploy or presentable portfolio with your design resume; everything on a disk or site. Your website should feature this. (Also, your site seems to be boned.)

"I have a cross-discipline background"

This is an excellent sentence.

#8 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:27 PM

I'd still want to better understand you role in projects you've completed. Were these team projects and did you lead on at least one of them? Did you design and plan, and did you design and plan for other people?

I would try to capture the answer to that at the top if the answer looks good.


Ok. I'll find room in the resume to fit this stuff in. To satisfy curiosity, here's what I've done on what.

Universal Video Player:
Sole programmer. Designed and implemented software portion by myself. In fact, I was the only programmer at the company who knew AS3, so anything Flash related fell to me.
Had several meetings with the sales and management teams to design functionality for the player. Chiefly worked with 1 member of the management team, 1 member of the sales team.
Collaborated with 1 artist on the aesthetic portion of the player. While I did not make the graphics, I did provide input and help tackle aesthetic and usability issues.

Valley Health and Health Texas iOS apps:
Lead developer on both. Co-software designer on both.
Collaborated with 1 artist for both of these. He generated comps that outlined each screen for the app, a fairly complete UI mockup. I had input on these designs, and would interject whenever they started causing development issues, but mostly stayed out of the way. He's a really good artist.
Sometimes collaborated with 1 other iOS programmer. He was simultaneously working on very similar apps, but we were independently working on the set of apps that were assigned to us. Since they were similar, we'd often share code for the parts of the project that were re-usable. So we pretty much sat down and designed the overlapping portions of the app together, then figured out specialized code on our own. For instance, I came up with a lot of the database searching backend and gave it to him, he developed much of the map functionality and gave it to me.

MyHealth App
I was given the existing app that the mobile version had to sync to and told, "Make these two sync." I designed and programmed the iOS/Android sync platform from there. I was lead designer and developer for that portion of the project, but I would routinely talk with the other iOS developer and the Android developer who were in charge of the front-end of the app to make sure I was creating something they could use. I offered some advice on the front-end half of the project, but those guys were the chief developers for that portion. I would also talk with the director of operations to make sure I wasn't introducing some horrible, horrible security risk into our products.

Day to day maintenance work at PB/CH:
This was a mix of collaboration and solitary work. I would often be handed (or hunt down) maintenance tasks for the various sites we maintained. Sometimes I was also handed small projects to do. Some of these were tasks that I could do on my own, but some were larger tasks or sub-tasks of ongoing projects that involved collaborating with other programmers. In these roles I was usually standard code monkey, and the requirements for what needed to be done were rather specific. I would answer to either the lead maintainer for that site, the lead of that project, or the lead developer for the entire company, if I ran into some problem or had a question that wasn't covered by the original task description.

For all the work at PB/CH, there was a direct manager in charge of any given project. They usually were the contact point between client and developer. I'd get requirements for the project from them, sometimes I'd get a complete design of the project from them. If not, I'd sit down with them and we'd hammer out a design together. Software design was often left up to me, but for the majority of tasks it was pretty trivial stuff. The specific projects I mentioned are the bigger ones that presented non-trivial design challenges. I usually did not talk to clients directly, but a few times I was brought in on conference calls to talk with them when they needed a developer's perspective.

Simon Evolution:
Did everything myself. Art, programming, design and sound.

Joust Training:
Most, say 90%, of the programming has been done by me. I have a couple libraries that I use (one for collision, but I might replace it, one for this totally sweet rain effect that I'm definitely keeping), but all the code for the game itself was written by me. Also, all the software was designed by me. At that GGJ I was the only programmer who knew AS3 in the group, then there was 1 other artist, and like 4 people who kind of got lumped into "design and moral support". I've retouched all the animations for the knight, recolored him, redrew his face and helmet and made the horse's animation. I scrapped the original game design and created a new one. The sounds are being re-made and I'm talking with an artist to take a look over the existing assets and do levels. So at the end of the day I'll have done the game design (unless one of the other chaps I'm working with comes up with new ideas), software design, programming and some of the animation.

"they occasionally cut out some very important things from the CS part of the curriculum. Things like data structures and algorithms and ..."

Not to imply you can't do CS - or get a job in programming - but you'd probably more competitive in game design if you have a passion for it.

FWIW, being able to program also means you can conjure up your own game design experience and, when necessary, pull prototypes from your rear to experiment.


What can I do to make myself more competitive for the programming side of things? I've done extra-curricular study and coding to fix the gaps in my education, is it just a matter of making projects that demonstrate those strengths and showing them to people?

I'm honestly a bit at a loss as to what to do to demonstrate my game-design worthiness. I guess just make prototypes?

Assemble some kind of easy to deploy or presentable portfolio with your design resume; everything on a disk or site. Your website should feature this.

P.S. Your website seems to be boned.


Yeah, website is a work in progress. This is not a resume that's being sent out this 5 seconds, but in the near future. I'm working on the website as we speak, in fact. Resume, website, portfolio, job hunting, it's all something of hitting a moving target for me, so I'm polling you guys partway through the target to make sure I'm heading in the right direction.


#9 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22732

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:05 PM

Here's the deal with me and that job.

First, the name PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare. The name changed halfway through me working there. When I was hired, it was PhotoBooks. A few months before I left, they re-branded to Connect Healthcare.

Secondly, I was a full-time employee for the company, not a temp or contract worker. I left voluntarily, no layoffs or downsizing or anything of the sort. The reason I left was to pursue a career in game development, which is something I've always wanted to do, and to move away from Atlanta, which is also something I've always wanted to do. We left of friendly terms, I wrapped up the projects I was working on, gave appropriate notice, all that good stuff. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to explain all that on the resume itself, or how to articulate it concisely.

The name was fine, companies get renamed or bought out all the time.

If you left on good terms as describe, I would add a very simple "Completed all projects" or similar statement.


Your experience looks really fishy. You have "PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare" as work experience, and you also have them as 3 published projects. Something is very fishy to my resume-reading eyes. Pulling up a corporate web site shows you listed on the site as a web specialist since 2010, so it matches, but the projects seem wrong. Were these three projects done for the company? If so, they belong under work experience. If not, they don't get the name of the company.


Those projects were projects worked to completion as part of my normal duties at Connect Healthcare. Particularly, they were bigger projects that I was either the development lead on (the video player and MyHealth app specifically), or were a major developer on (The ValleyHealth and HealthTexas apps were different. I co-designed the software with the other iOS developer, and we worked collaboratively on different modules of the app, then strung them together. On these two I still did about 3/4 of the development work). I was solely responsible for the ValleyHealth and HealthTexas applications, but the other developer was working on very similar apps for different clients. We worked on each of these projects independently, but since their functionality was very similar I wrote the core framework for all of the apps and we would extend that framework for each individual project.

If they were part of your job, then they go under that company in the work experience. They don't belong in a separate "projects" section. It is just fine to have multiple projects listed under one company.


What's up with Renegade? Is that contract work? If so, it is work experience, not a "project". Again, a few seconds on google doesn't make it clear, but it does seem very fishy. That needs to be fixed up.

Renegade Interactive LCC is a company I formed for myself about a year ago. Basically, I wanted to have some official body I could release independent work under if I ever got around to creating anything. I have one game that I've finished, but it is presently not hosted anywhere, which would be Simon Evolution. I have another game Joust Training (working title), that is still in progress. These are both personal projects of mine. Simon Evolution is 100% me, and Joust Training started as a Global Game Jam project, but I went ahead with it and kept developing it on my own after the competition.

renegadeinteractive.com is the companion website for the company, and it's supposed to be a place where I can put games/projects that I've completed and wish to publish to the public at large. It's not really meant to be a personal site.

Please make that more clear. Mark it under "personal projects" or similar games.



I would also be VERY careful about putting that kind of name ("Simon Evolution") on a personal project, and even more so on your resume.

The name "Simon" is an active trademark currently owned by Hasbro, who currently has an exclusive license with EA. It hurts your presentation to show that you are applying for a job creating intellectual property, but in your very job application you clearly show that you actively engage in IP infringement against major game companies.

I'm actually mildly surprised the projects on SlideME haven't been noticed yet. Usually Hasbro is very active in contacting probable infringers. However, the four "Simon" games on SlideME are all recent additions, maybe they are still making the rounds.

I am highly interested in design. The position I've always dreamed of is something along the lines of "Technical Designer". I really love programming, but I also really love the nitty gritty of designing games as an experience. I'm pretty thrilled to sit down and do number crunching to theorycraft champion balance in League of Legends, or to talk about how the sound design in Limbo meshes extremely well with the games aesthetics to create an atmosphere of "creepy, threatening isolation" that reinforces the sense of dread created by the level design (how it is designed for you to repeatedly blunder into gruesome deaths to introduce you to new puzzles and mechanics). I choose to focus more on the programming side of things because it's what I consider the more marketable skill to have (and because I genuinely love it), but I would totally take a design position at a company if it were offered. I do have a couple projects that are more design-focused (I designed a card game and a tabletop RPG system for instance). They'll likely be thrown online at some point, too, but I'm not sure I still have the RPG system or not. Might have gotten lost in the sands of time.

You will not get the job you described from the resume you just posted. What you posted shows that you are very much a programmer. I think you'd be best served to enter the industry as a programmer, then transition across to design.


Ok, so here's what I've gleaned from the replies.

1) Formatting is kind of chunky and asymmetrical. Left is too empty, right is too chunky.
2) Better proofreading, there are some punctuation mistakes.
3) Provide links to projects within the resume itself if I have legal rights to do so.
4) Place projects I did for Connect Healthcare in the work experience section.
5) Move education to the bottom, go ahead and place GPA on it, re-word it to place more emphasis on the B.S. part.

You've been out of school for a few years. You don't need the GPA, especially once you've moved it down below work experience.

1) Where should I place my independent work? Also, how should I describe it? Should I just be like, "Independent work" or should I be like, "Created under Renegade Interactive, my company (which doesn't actually do anything other than impress people at parties when I tell them I have a company)"?

"Independent work" or "personal projects" are fine.

I would not mention that you started a company for multiple reasons. Among the biggest reasons are that it scares off some employers ("will he be devoted to us, or to his personal project?") and it is an immediate and obvious conflict of interest for legal contracts and employment agreements. Be careful about what you sign when you are hired. If you are serious about continuing your personal business you really need to have a lawyer read and review your employment contracts before signing them. When the company gives you a page to write down stuff to exempt from the catch-all contract they'll want you to sign, you'll really want your own business lawyer to help ensure you protect your rights. It is rare, but sometimes companies will take lawsuits against former employees who venture out on their own.

I'm still not quite sure I'm doing a good job of describing myself. Partly that's because of my gummy education. "Computational Media." What does that even mean? It's a pretty worthless name.
...
I think I can be a valuable employee, but what I'm chiefly concerned about is marketing my capabilities and making it clear to a company what exactly I am. I have a cross-discipline background, but I don't consider myself a "soft CS" kind of guy. I didn't do this degree because I was afraid of CS, I did it because I was interested in design. I love code, and I am very much not afraid of it or moving beyond my comfort zone and into tough programming challenges. I am deeply concerned, however, of people getting the impression of, "Oh, this is some second-rate coder who couldn't hack it in CS and isn't interested in pushing his professional skills to higher levels."

You have a few years of actual programming job history and links to actual games that you have created. That more than compensates for the University's naming choices.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#10 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:14 PM

Hey Elijah! I just recently got into the games industry, but have already been pretty critical of resumes we receive. Know that most companies get hundreds of resumes per day, so me being critical is just that.

Seeking an entry level position or internship as a software engineer or game designer.

This is totally bogus.
- First, software engineering and game design are two completely different disciplines. Software engineers are programmers, while game designers do very little programming in comparison.
- Second, game design isn't an entry level position. Saying that you're seeing an "entry level position" in game design is completely hypocritical because that position does not exist.
- Third, this is about you, and it should be about the company. What are you going to bring to the table? Think of it from a recruiter's standpoint. They have recruiting "objectives" to fulfill for the company, and your objective should perfectly mesh with theirs.

For education, I would not include your GPA. Your GPA matters if you're in college applying for your first job. After that, it ceases to matter. If you have some outstanding GPA or received honors based on grades, you can include it, but anything less than a ~3.5 and you should probably pass on it.

Purely a curious note, but are you 100% sure you're allowed to talk about everything on your resume? Some of the stuff seems borderline proprietary. I'd check!

Your published projects are cool, but should be condensed down quite a bit. A lot of them are huge bullet points that no one is going to read. Not only that, but you list them in the wrong order - Series of Tubes and Simon Evolution should be up at the top.

"Projects in Progress" are total BS. If they're not finished, don't list them. You'll get a chance to talk about what you're doing in interviews, but if you don't have a demo or a finished product, don't list it.

None of your listings focus on results. For example, "How many downloads did Series of Tubes get?" Or "What did Universal Video Player do for the company?" How many people use the "Mobile Physician Search Directories" or "MyHealth" apps? Focus on results here - how did your contributions make an impact to the company? Most companies are results focused, and your resume doesn't show that.

Your website, http://www.renegadeinteractive.com/, loads absolutely nothing on the front page. You'd easily lose the job here. It reads "Not found. Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here. Wanna try a search?"

Lastly, nothing on your resume says "gaming." This is probably the most killer, because it looks like you're a skilled programmer, but not a skilled game programmer. I went through a similar thing with my resume for outstanding results. You should have a section entirely devoted to "Game Experience and Development." Right now, you're just clumping them all together.




Despite all of this, I do think your resume is good enough to get into the industry, but you'll have to do some networking. Get started on some awesome gaming project and buy a GDC pass, and start networking. You won't be able to get in without it.

#11 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:46 PM

"I'm honestly a bit at a loss as to what to do to demonstrate my game-design worthiness"

My understanding was that you'd present a portfolio of games you've designed. If you can't, you would need to make more games.

"You have a few years of actual programming job history and links to actual games that you have created. That more than compensates for the University's naming choices."

Agree strongly.

"To satisfy curiosity, here's what I've done on what ..."

So not a lot of participation in team programming. I might leave it off then.

"I think you'd be best served to enter the industry as a programmer, then transition across to design."
To the OP; I suggested going direct and decided not to recommend transitioning. Frob, however, is the one with the actual experience. I withdraw my comment and trust his opinion.

#12 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:57 PM

Ok, I've made a second pass at the resume. Here's the revised version:

http://www.renegadei...ume_revised.pdf

Here are the things I did

1) Changed the formatting.
2) Where applicable, tried to give a bit more information about my role in projects.
3) Moved education to the bottom, changed its layout as suggested.
4) Got rid of the "Objective" statement and replaced it with a "Summary" statement that attempts to describe what sort of person I am.
5) Jiggled the project descriptions some. I cut back on how technologies were applied, I thought about it and don't want to accidentally reveal anything people would rather I not.
6) Removed all references to "Simon". Definitely don't want to infringe on any IP.
7) Did some additional proofreading, but I'm still not done with this yet.
8) Added in placeholders for links to examples of my work. My website is still under construction and not everything is hosted on it, nor have I finished tracking down all the links I need.
9) Added in something to indicate I parted from my previous employer on good terms.

Things I didn't do, and why:
1) I didn't remove the "in progress" section. Things that are going on there are either projects that are nearly finished, and thus I have working demos of, or bigger projects that are in the pipe. I'm not wholly convinced that I should only ever talk about things that are on the shelf as it were, but if I get a lot of people saying "Take it out, hide things you are working on until they're finished", then I will.
2) Haven't fixed the website yet. It's on the list, don't worry, but it can be ignored for the moment for critiquing purposes.
3) I still have my work experience above my independent projects. That was over a year of 9-5 programming work. I know I'm looking for a job in games, but I think the raw volume of programming experience in a professional environment that represents might trump even the games I've made.

Questions:
1) There's one change I made that I want to ask you guys about. When I graduated in 2009, I graduated at the end of the fall semester, not the spring semester. Thus, I have only been out of school for a year and a half instead of 2 years, and the gap between graduation and working was 1 month instead of 7. Is this a good or bad thing to specify, or just something that doesn't really matter at all?
2) MAEnthoven mentioned this:

Lastly, nothing on your resume says "gaming." This is probably the most killer, because it looks like you're a skilled programmer, but not a skilled game programmer.

Which I'm not sure I wholly understand. To me, there's not a whole lot of difference between game programming and "regular" programming. It's programming. Software engineering is software engineering. A quadtree doesn't stop being a quadtree just because it's part of a game. When programming games you do come across many recurring challenges that are semi-unique to games (collision detection, particle simulations, various real-time rendering techniques, etc), but they're solved with software engineering. I'm trying to present myself as a software engineer who makes games.

Am I wrong in taking this approach? If so, how should I alter my resume to make it say, "This is a dude who is all about game programming."?

Further comments are welcome!


#13 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22732

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:20 PM

I like it much more than before.

The line "Completed all project prior to departure" makes me feel more comfortable. It doesn't say why you left, but it does say that you had a clean exit. It leaves the point open as a discussion topic during an interview, since it could be for anything from a normal RIF to a personal family issue. You will be asked about it during an interview.

I'd cut the block "PhotoBooks/Connect Healthcare" at the end of each project, and possibly just prefix each line with a different bullet or marker. Maybe a dash for each project, or "Project: Universal Video Player" "Project: MyHealth mobile app"


I think I'd also keep the date on graduation. It ties the dates nicely.

You clearly point out a connection to games, especially once you add links to those sites. As mentioned, it's good enough I'd consider putting your name in the applicant pool if you didn't mind moving.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#14 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:13 PM

I think its a winner.

I also like the green.

#15 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:15 PM

Thanks, frob, you've been a big help. Here's the last revision with your suggestions.

http://www.renegadei...me_revised2.pdf

I think its a winner.

I also like the green.


Thanks. I took a course on typography and was like, "When oh when will I ever use this?" Little did I know!


#16 loom_weaver   Members   -  Reputation: 325

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:50 PM

I would put the education section immediately after the work experience. The important information (you have a bachelor's) must get across.

The "PhotoBooks/Connect HealthCare" heading is the same typeface size and style as the "Project" headings. This makes it harder to see the hierarchy.

Software engineer with a cross-discipline background in game design, professional experience building software and independent experience developing games


Hard to read because it's A, B, A, B.

Second point under Web Specialist is a completely different tense and perspective. All bullet points should be <verb> blah blah ... gave good result ...

First bullet point in Universal Video Player - should flash be Flash?
Second bullet point in Universal Video Player is a completely different tense and perspective.

Only link your personal projects if they are truly worthy of being showcased. Otherwise leave out the link and keep the items as potential talking points.

Examples can be found on the app store



App Store is a proper noun?


Overall a decent resume and you have enough experience listed to give you a good shot at landing an interview for an entry-level position+.

#17 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:49 PM

What if it was like "Software engineer with web, app and game programming experience and a cross-discipline background" ?

#18 PropheticEdge   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 12:30 AM

What if it was like "Software engineer with web, app and game programming experience and a cross-discipline background" ?


How about "Software engineer with professional experience in web, iOS app and Flash development, independent game development experience and a cross-discipline game design background."?


#19 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

Reduce "iOS app" to just "iOS" and I think it's good.




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