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Applying for local jobs with the intent to move.


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#1 Shake92   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

 So I'm about to start applying for QA jobs with the intention of moving to wherever I can find a job. I'm pretty open in that regard but a couple of things occurred to me that I was hoping you guys would be able to help me out with.

 

Firstly, how do developers view an application from someone who is applying from out of the area but is planning to move? I was told that in my cover letter or some piece of my application I should specify that I am already planning to move to X city regardless of whether or not I get the job. This was all fine until the second issue occurred to me... The interview... I can't say I'm already moving to a city if it means that I'm going to ask to schedule an interview the week that I supposedly get there thus leaving me moved to a city where I don't necessarily even have a job... Not the situation I want to be in...

 

But beyond that, how can an applicant in my position possibly be available for an interview assuming that virtually all companies would want to have one before they hire. I live on the east coast and its obviously just not feasible for me to drive to the west coast for an interview... I need a sure thing before it makes sense to make the trip.

 

Not sure if there is really an answer here but I was hoping someone could give me some advice. I know there are companies on the east coast and I am applying to several but it seems like at least 80% of the larger developers are on the west coast and frankly I'd prefer to move there anyway.

 

 



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#2 Sean T. McBeth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1634

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:35 AM

Just tell the truth, you're "willing to relocate". Don't try to game the system with half-truths and technically-rights.

 

Most places start off with phone interviews. If they like you and need you to come in for a face-to-face interview, a lot of companies will pay for a plane ticket to get you there. I had one place even pay for my hotel and dinner, it was rather nice.


[Formerly "capn_midnight". See some of my projects. Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github.]


#3 minus4th   Members   -  Reputation: 587

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:37 AM

I agree with capn_midnight. Let them know you are 'willing to relocate'. My workplace will do phone interviews and even pay for relocation if the candidate is right. Being honest is better then telling them you are moving when in fact you might not be.

*** Why'd you run away? ****** Don't you like my... style***

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

Moving this to the Breaking In forum.


-- 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.

#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

 So I'm about to start applying for QA jobs with the intention of moving to wherever I can find a job. I'm pretty open in that regard but a couple of things occurred to me that I was hoping you guys would be able to help me out with.

 

Firstly, how do developers view an application from someone who is applying from out of the area but is planning to move?

 

The first thing I look for in a QA application is, "is he local?"  If he isn't, I put the application in the cylindrical file.

The advice you got above ("say 'I'm willing to relocate'") is wrong.  Flat-out wrong.  We're talking about QA, one of the lowest entry-level jobs there is in games.  You have to already be local, before anybody will look at your resume or consider interviewing you. 

 

Read the FAQs now that this thread is in the Breaking In forum. 

Go back out to the Breaking In forum main page, and look for the FAQ link at upper right.

URL: http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16


-- 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.

#6 Shake92   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

Alright so it sounds like I'm going to have to head out there before even applying. What happens if you don't get a job? I mean there are only so many companies in each region. I guess if I just go to Southern California I'll be able to move around a bit more easily but it all sounds like a very risky and difficult process to me if that is really the case.


Can anyone else give me any advice here? Has anyone gone through this kind of thing themselves?



#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:02 PM

Alright so it sounds like I'm going to have to head out there before even applying. What happens if you don't get a job? I mean there are only so many companies in each region. I guess if I just go to Southern California I'll be able to move around a bit more easily but it all sounds like a very risky and difficult process to me if that is really the case.
Can anyone else give me any advice here? Has anyone gone through this kind of thing themselves?

 

Yes, it's a risk.  Don't take the risk, and you definitely won't get the job.  Take the risk, and you might.  Life is all about taking risks.

 

There's a guy I know.  He was working at a national retail chain in his home town, and had saved up a little money and could afford to move to California.  He lined up a transfer to a California branch of the national retailer so he would have a job that would keep him housed and fed while he applied to game jobs. 


-- 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.

#8 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

At the risk of sounding belligerent, why would it matter if you're local? This doesn't sound like it's the case for the OP, but if you're not asking the company to front any costs--i.e., if you don't ask them to cover a plane ride down for the interview, or hotel costs, or moving costs, or anything like that--what difference is it to them? 

 

(I'm not disagreeing with the reality that it does make a difference; I'm just not sure I get why.)


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#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

At the risk of sounding belligerent, why would it matter if you're local? This doesn't sound like it's the case for the OP, but if you're not asking the company to front any costs--i.e., if you don't ask them to cover a plane ride down for the interview, or hotel costs, or moving costs, or anything like that--what difference is it to them? 

 

(I'm not disagreeing with the reality that it does make a difference; I'm just not sure I get why.)

 

Because a hundred local guys are banging down my door to test games for me.  Because if I ask Shake92 to come in for an interview at 2:00 this afternoon, he can't, but a hundred other guys can.  Because if I want Shake92 to start work tomorrow morning, he can't, but a hundred other guys can.


-- 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.

#10 DaveTroyer   Members   -  Reputation: 1052

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

Just tell the truth, you're "willing to relocate". Don't try to game the system with half-truths and technically-rights.

 

I agree with this part completely, but like Mr. Sloper said, when you're looking for an entry level position, there are far more candidates for the potential employeer to choose.

 

When developing your skills and tallents for making games, you become more valuable and set yourself apart from the pack. The more deverse or better you become, the further employeers are willing to reach to hire you.

 

But I'm just regurgitating what's already been said before.

 

Instead, I want to pose a question to you Shake92; what is your end goal in getting a job in QA?

 

Is it to get your dream games made?

 

Do you want to be seen as a creative genius and get piles of money and women?

 

Work your way in as a programmer?

 

Is it to get inside so someone can get a look at your artwork?

 

Are you planning on moving on up through the studio until you own the place?

 

All are tough career moves to make even if you have an amazing portfolio, resume, experience, and connections in the studio already.

Its good to plan a goal that this step will take you closer to.

 

Not trying to discourage you, just maybe help you (or others) to think ahead and make a plan for their future. biggrin.png

 

Hope I was some help!


Check out my game blog - Dave's Game Blog


#11 Shake92   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

I don't really have a long term goal right now. I want to get into QA and do the best that I can within that position. I don't want employers to think that I view the position as a stepping stone to becoming a designer, and I sincerely don't. I'm at a point in my life where I want to explore some different paths and try to find whats right for me because I just spent 2 years studying finance at college more or less because it felt like what I was "supposed" to do after high school, and I don't want to make that mistake again.

 

My goal is to get a QA job right now. Do the best I possibly can to fulfill my duties as a QA tester, and go from there. I want to get a feeling for whether or not I would enjoy a career in the video game industry. Would it be cool to be a designer? Probably, but I don't have my mind set on anything right now. Based on who I think I am and what I think my strengths are I would say that I'm best suited to be a producer or programmer. I don't have any schooling in programming but I did a lot of HTML in a few web design classes in high school and I was very good at it, fast at it, and enjoyed it so I can see myself being a good programmer but obviously that would require i get schooling which is another thing that I'm open to and would like to explore ideally as I work a QA job.

 

Long story short I don't really know what to expect and frankly at this point I feel that I probably won't get a QA job at all. My resume is mediocre, I've worked 2 jobs in restaurant business, i had a 3.2 GPA at college, and I have decent extra curriculars. On the negative side I dropped out of college which probably leads employers to label me a quitter. I have no degree. I have no experience in the video game industry, and I live in New Hampshire (obviously not local). Really the only thing I feel that I have going for me is my experience as a really good gamer and my experience testing games (lots of beta testing experience and I alpha tested a recent AAA mmo and gave a lot of feedback on balancing directly to devs) but realistically I don't feel like that is going to offset the shortcomings on my application. I might be able to use a few low level connections at a couple of companies so that seems like my only real shot at this point... Kinda feeling down about the whole situation.


Edited by Shake92, 12 January 2013 - 09:59 PM.


#12 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

1. Really the only thing I feel that I have going for me is my experience as a really good gamer and my experience testing games (lots of beta testing experience and I alpha tested a recent AAA mmo and gave a lot of feedback on balancing directly to devs)

2. I might be able to use a few low level connections at a couple of companies so that seems like my only real shot at this point...

3. Kinda feeling down about the whole situation.

 

1. That's not "experience." Employers have a particular definition for the word "experience."  http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2006

2. That'll work better if you're local when you try that.

3. This too shall pass.  You'll feel better soon.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 12 January 2013 - 10:59 PM.

-- 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.

#13 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14267

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

I am not seeing exactly why this is so hard for you.  Calculate how much you need to rent a place for 1 month in Washington or California safely, including a budget to get back home as a safety net, save up that much, and go do it.

 

Spend that 1 month looking for a job in fast food.

At least the chances are higher there.  Your goal is to get closer to where you need to be, not exactly right where you need to be.

Likewise you don’t need to aim for the QA job right off the start.  Aim for a job that will allow you to sustain yourself, then start looking for a QA job.

 

You may have to move a few times before you finally get the QA job, but this is your best bet.

If your planning is not terrible you will also be able to abort at any time and flee home.

 

 

And I am not just saying, “This is what I would do.”

This is what I did.  Except on a scale 10 times larger.

I budgeted for 3 months in another country, including the tickets home just-in-case.

I got a job as an English teacher in order to extend my stay.  With just this job I intentionally missed my flight back home.

No matter!  I have enough to sustain myself!  Any job that can sustain you in your new location is your first goal.

A few months later I found my first job as a game programmer.

 

Replace “country” with “state”, “English teacher” with “fry-flipper”, and “a game programmer” with “QA”, and suddenly this becomes your story instead of mine!

But only if you actually get off your feet, drop the pity party, and take action.

Tom Sloper already said it:  If you try you only have a chance at failure.  If you don’t, you are guaranteed to fail.

 

 

L. Spiro


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