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Can any Industry Vererans give advice on my Resume and Website

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Hi I’m a student that just graduated from a collage called full sail and I now have a Bachelor of Computer Science in Game Design and Development. I have just constructed a web site and I was wondering if I could get some feed back from some industry professionals. My web site is www.gamerpassion.com. My resume is on the About Me page. If anyone can give me feedback on that as well it would be greatly appreciated. Also I plan to put tutorials on my web page to help developers. However I want more advance content on my web page. If there was a subject that you would have liked to have a tutorial for while working some of your projects please let me know. Thanks in advance for anyone who is willing to help. P.S. MY web site likes fire fox for some reason and not IE im currently looking to resolve this problem.

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Just my thoughts as I went through your site:

  • "Comming Soon :)" is not an encouraging thing to see. Correct spelling would be good; some employers may take exception to using ":)" on your site due to it not being "professional" (I personally don't really care, though).

  • "Princcess of Persia" also has a spelling error.

  • Using Flash to just do blinky rollover links is wasteful and not really a nice practice (hint: you can do the same thing easily in CSS). There's also some Web Design No-No's going on here. However, I'll leave that alone for the most part as you're not applying for a Web Design job [wink]

  • Consider providing your resume in alternate formats, like HTML or PDF, in addition to DOC. Some employers are picky about this.

  • Your resume's layout is very painful. To be brutally honest, many reviewers would chuck it out and not look twice. The "Knowledge" bar down the side is a creative albeit counterproductive touch; going with the conventional bullet-list style may be boring but it also helps people process your resume quickly, which is important.

  • Your resume doc goes into two pages but the second is blank; I'm sure a few screeners out there would bin your resume for that.

  • "Favorite Games" really doesn't belong on a resume.

  • "General Skills/Knowledge" doesn't tell me anything useful at all, aside from the fact that you've heard of A*. Specifics are far more important on a resume. It's too easy to read a whitepaper on sockets and put "General Knowledge of Network Programming" on a resume; reviewers look out for this kind of padding and generally will bin a resume that shows signs of such inflation. Stick to concrete and specific products, algorithms, and technologies as much as possible.

  • There is a spelling mistake here which should have been caught, considering it was written in Word, which has a spell checker. There is also a subtle grammar mistake which is harder to catch, but still visible to someone reading the resume. These kinds of things definitely will count against you - meticulous attention to detail is appreciated by most employers.

  • Your project information isn't terribly useful to an employer in its current form. I don't know if these projects were part of your degree coursework, just for fun on the side, or what; I also have no way of knowing if they succeeded or were completed to any reasonable degree. That's important to note. Also, if I've never heard of "Disgaea," that entire entry is a waste for me.

  • You could really stand to make the bullet points more consistent. As it is I have to read the entire thing to know what skills you used in each project; it would be much more helpful to be able to just glance at each and see the kinds of things I'm looking for. Less prose and more bullet-point-ness would be good [wink]

  • In general a lot of this assumes that the reviewer knows a lot about game programming and will recognize the stuff you talk about (and be impressed accordingly). That is not necessarily a good assumption to make. Consider carefully who you're trying to market your skills to. Also keep in mind that the ability to communicate your skills to a lay-person is very important, and something which many employers will be looking for.



There's my nitpickery; should be enough to get you started [smile]

Don't be discouraged, by the way - putting together a good resume is a difficult task. Getting it right is important, though. Have a look here and here for some more good tips.

Best of luck!

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Your resume:

  • The vertical bar down the side is cute, but as ApochPiQ said, its a bad idea.

  • Are you a programmer or an artist? Maya, Photoshop and (perhaps) whatever Visual Paradigm is are not relevant for a programmer, so remove them. Also, remove Microsoft Office from the list as well.

  • Your skills section is too generic; these are general skill groups that you are expected to know. Break it down some; instead of "render engines" and "collision" list specifics like "BSP trees, octrees, scene graphs, software polygon rasterization..." whatever specifics that are relevant.

  • Favorite games: pointless. If you have room it can be worthwhile to list additional outside interests on your resume, especially if they are interesting hobbies. But its kind of assumed that you like to play games if you are applying for a job in the games industry.

  • Your work experience as a librarian is not relevant to a game programming position, I would remove it. Use the extra space to expand on the details of your roles in your school projects. As a fresh graduate, not having a professional experience section is not going to kill you, but including pointless fluff on your resume will as it looks like you are padding your resume.

  • Your projects stuff mentions some things (f.e.x., DirectInput) repeatedly. Your projects should each hilight different skills, techniques or responsibilities. If a given project is just "more of the same" in terms of interesting things you did, don't include it.

  • It can be a good idea to list the relevant upper-level or optional coursework you did at school, especially as a recent grad.

  • Grammar and spelling problems, as ApochPiQ pointed out ("there homework" should be "their homework", "hashtabe")



In general, the layout of your resume is pretty poor and the amount of information that makes you stand out is sketchy at best. You have too many generalities and nothing to set you apart. For example, you build a point sprite system. That's not that interesting. Tell me what was cool or unique about your implementation, instead of telling me you know how to use DirectX for the fourth time.

Now, your website:

  • "White-on-black" (or a similarly styled theme, like yours) screams "script kiddie" or "1337 h4x0r" to me, and lots of people I know. It looks unprofessional; consider changing it if you are going to direct potential employers here.

  • Your typing is terrible. You capitalize incorrectly and mis-spell things. That makes for serious marks against you in an employers mind.

  • I don't have Cg installed, but your world editor screenshots and description don't make it sound much more advanced than a hacked-up DX SDK sample. Explain in more detail what exactly it does? I downloaded it to look at the source code (its not there) and all I see with the .exe are some textures and some .x files, no readme, nothing to really indicate that this is more than a trivial tool. You don't want people to have that impression.

  • I'm not sure sure about the project descriptions, especially for Princess of Persia. Something about them feels off, but maybe its just my not being impressed by the rest of the website. For the Princess of Persia one in particular, however, it really sounds like you think the code is poor and you are trying to make excuses for why that's not such a bad thing. Unfortunately, that makes it become a bad thing, even if it wouldn't have been.

  • This isn't neccessarily a point against you, but if you love tools so much, how come you've never experimented with C# (which is vastly superior to MFC or pure Win32 for rapid tool development; and certainly the "wave of the future" as far as that field goes).



I realize you aren't a web developer, but its still important for you to have a very clear, clean, easy-to-follow website if you are going to present it to employers. As it stands, I don't think what you've got fits that bill; this is especially apparent by the lack of a clear front page.

EDIT: Added bullets so I can look cool like Apoch!

EDIT: The Princess of Persia code is over 20 MB... I'll come back when its done downloading. You might want to look into better forms of asset compression, or maybe making sure you clean your build directory of size-increasing intermediate files before you upload (not sure if thats the case, might just be the assets... we'll see).

EDIT: Okay, you DID ship an unclean build directory. Don't do that. Including all those .obj files et cetera increases the size of the download, and its just annoying. Although in this case it seems it was your assets (.wavs) that really jacked up the size.

[Edited by - jpetrie on June 9, 2006 9:45:31 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I will disagree with jpetrie in one aspect.

Maya and Photoshop skills are a plus in a game programmer.

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Just some general comments on the updated blue/black web site:

Employers will not look at your website. They have better things to do. IF they decide they like the way you look on paper, and IF they are interested in your demos, then they might look at the web page. At that point they are still looking for reasons to throw away your resume, so you need some more polish.

Your site says you spend time thinking about gameplay mechanics. That means you should also spend time thinking on providing consistent and easy to use interfaces. Your web site shows the opposite of that.

Your front page should give me low-detail screen shots and download links. I don't have time to waste searching through your site.

Change this: <title>Untitled Document</title>

Your color scheme has some serious problems. Sure you aren't applying for a web master or artist position, but even programmers are expected to have at least a basic grasp of artistic concepts. Have a look at the color scheme generator and the color contrast analyzer.

What's with the useless flash and the non-breaking spaces all over the place? Why is "Princess of Persia" indented? Why the mystery meat navigation? (I expect my browser to show me where the link goes, not to have the flash redirect me without knowing where it goes.) To me that screams "I don't bother to learn the tools of the trade."

The links to gamedev.net, opengl.org, and How to Draw Magna don't give me a positive impression of you. They don't add anything to the site, and they don't really offer me anything.

Your "About Me" link is inconsistent with the rest of the site.

Your game descriptions don't help me as an employer. These statements don't really inspire my confidence or boost my view of you. "I realize upload the wrong version of the game[sic]" [razz] says you don't bother to check your work and don't really care about results. "I hold very close to my heart" and "one of my most beloved projects I have ever created made at the infancy of my programming youth." both are unprofessional.

I get a "file not found" on your resume download. Again, not something that inspires me.

Your project pages don't tell me what you specifically did. See also the previous people's posts about that.

I'm sure there's more, but that's the stuff that immediately stands out.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yea why would you ever neglect to mention a skill you feel you have, on a resume? It can only be a plus, unless it's totally un-applicable (horse riding, or ice hockey, for instance are not applicable skills in this example).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Maya and Photoshop skills are a plus in a game programmer.


I agree strongly on this one, make it clear you're a coder, but having knowledge of art packages is a plus point

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