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rdansie

Getting an interview

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Im just finishing the last year of my degree so im about to look for some work as a game programmer. Ive written a cv and i have a demo program. I'd be grateful if anyone working in the industry could take a look at the two and let me know what my chances are of getting an interview and what i can do to improve them. My cv is here: http://www.geocities.com/ryan_dansie/ocv.pdf My demo is here: deleted Thanks for your time. (edit) The CV online is now the third draft written after reading the comments here. Thanks for your continued feedback. (/edit) [Edited by - rdansie on March 23, 2007 11:59:28 AM]

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Hey Ryan,

OK here goes, I have not looked at your demo yet, I will do that in a minute.

But taking a quick look at your CV, I would make some changes, and that is not from a gamers view.

It's just from being old enough to of had a few jobs, and being a fellow English man ;-)

A) Your CV is too long, 3 pages for someone with your experience, is too long.
Sorry, but if a CV is 3 pages, you better be the best thing since sliced bread !!

And it's not that it's even long, you have a huge font !
Just change it to fit 2 pages.

B) Secondly you use lowercase 'i', and not uppercase 'I' when referring to yourself.

C) Thirdly, your GCSE in Math, is an O-Level equivalent, make a point of highlighting that.

D) ‘Quote 1’ - I think that i have quite a good knowledge of this language.
‘Quote 2’ - I am not so familiar with these but i am confident that i could use
‘Quote 3’ - Im not very familiar with directX but i have used them if i needed to.
Be more confident ! … Don’t say ‘I Think’ or ‘I’m Not’ (Wow you do that a lot)

No offence please, at any of these comments, I have just been employed for 20 years, and I know what will put off an employer.

E) Capitalize the programming languages, Java, Pascal & API etc ..

F) programming ?? cool .. Using what IDE?
Add some experience, and build on that. Tell them you use Microsoft Visual Studio, or Borland Delphi 7, What art packages, PhotoShop etc, what about Sound & music, do you know FMOD or another library ?

G) What platform did you program in, Windows, Linux ?
What versions of Windows .. 98, ME, XP etc etc.
Are you confident in the Windows environment, can you fix basic problems, can you install operating systems, can you hook up a network.
You could really build this CV up Ryan.

H) expand on your ‘Hall Assistant’ Duties, fires & emergencies, are you first aid trained ?


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Sorry, but if I were handed this CV and demo they'd be binned within minutes. Your CV has extensive grammar issues - capitalization, man! - and your demo is apparently very simplistic and suffers from depth sorting and screen corruption issues. You've also not included the source code.

I'm not sure where to begin on the rest of it. The CV is far too wordy - you've got 10 seconds maximum for the employer's HR person to glance over it all, and if they see huge swathes of text then you can pretty much guarantee that they won't go back for a closer look. Personal statement stuff is better suited to your cover letter than your CV - stick to the hard facts about yourself and your experience, and avoid what you think or feel about things.

One tiny demo is nothing. If you've coded several projects in C++, where are they?

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Concur with darren. Under no circumstances should a recent uni grad have more than a single page resume. You don't get to have a 2nd page till after 3-5 years of experience. A 3rd page is for veterans only. Why? We resume screeners get bored after half a page.

Your programming languages section should be no more verbose than the following:

Languages/APIs:
C++, C, java, vb, pascal, prolog, haskell, DirectX

Your degree shows you know design patterns so don't mention it (it's a silly buzzword anyway). You don't need to say 3D graphics, having DirectX implies 3D graphics. I don't really care the details to which you know those items, that's what the interview is for. A resume is high level overview only.

There should not be a personal statement on the resume. That's reserved for the cover letter (in the states that's the custom, anyway). For US companies we will expect that the personal statement is specific to our company: i.e. why do you want to work specifically at: EA, THQ, Blizzard, etc.

If you're submitting the resume to US companies use the word References instead of Referees. =)

Your work history is also entirely irrelivant to programming. I'd try to replace that section with elaborate projects you've worked on, internships you've had, work you've done with a professor, etc.

The purpose of anything on a resume is to tell me how you are qualified for this specific job. That you packed boxes has nothing to do with programming: did you improve the workflow, did you try to improve any system there (software or just process). Only mention the job if anything you did there involves analysis, system design, programming, i.e. skills that are relevant to programming.

If your jobs don't demonstrate programmer thinking don't include them. instead use the space to briefly describe software you've written: did you write a thesis? have you done hobby work? did you do any research?

-me

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In addition to what everyone has said, I would also refractor your personal statement. I would argue that a lot of it should go in the covering letter and the space should be used to detail some of your best university projects instead.

I disagree with Palidine, you should at least list one job even though it isn't related to the industry because it shows that you can handle yourself in a work environment.

[edit]CV reveiw request moved: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=440449 [/edit]

[Edited by - yaustar on March 22, 2007 12:58:30 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by yaustar
If the OP doesn't mind, I like to piggy back on this topic and have my CV reviewed please as I may be looking for another job soon.

You should create a new thread for this, so that advice on the two CVs doesn't get all mixed up.

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Hm, I don't really know about the length of the resume. I too believe that 1 page is enough, and,unlike you, I haven't even graduated yet so I made mine exactly 1 page(with a good part of it dedicated to a "serious" application I made for a well-known company). However, at a recent interview, after me and the interviewer talked about several stuff like design patterns,OO principles,etc, he said that my resume was actually too short(it was like Palidine demonstrated, just mentioning the languages/APIs I know without anyother details), and that I should write more stuff about my knowledge so it would stand out from the rest of the resumes. I'm not saying I agree or not, just thought I should mention a recent incident.

About the demo, if I undestand correctly it's a software renderer, which I think is a pretty good choise, but, honestly, it's pretty horrible ;). SW renderers aren't supposed to be fast of course, but this one is very very slow(7 fps for 48 untextured polygons?), and most importantly, buggy. I suggest either just take it out, or really work on it to make it good, because I don't think anyone would be impressed in the state it is right now.

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Hi again Ryan,

I would agree with MikeMan, since he was the first to comment on the demo.

I'm sure others are holding back, in fear of hurting your feelings ...

But it's bad !!!

I'll be honest, because I feel you will get disheartened in your job searching, not hearing back from employers. Wondering if it was your interview technique, or was it the demo, did I do something wrong, what happened?

I have travelled that road, during my many years of job hunting and interviews.

Yes, it’s real bad, and claiming to have even ‘some’ DirectDraw (DirectX) knowledge on your CV, after showing them this demo, you would get laughed out of the interview.

You even say your last big project was a 3D engine, I would expect much much more in a demo, if you have worked on a 3D engine.
(Note, if you wrote an engine, I would specify what language/API you used also, on your CV)

Really if you followed ANY online tutorial or example, you would have a better demo, after lesson 2. (Lesson 1, being able to create a blank DirectX window)

It’s extremely slow, extremely ugly, and lacks colour, imagination, or originality.

I would spend the next week, finding a site with good tutorials, and try understanding them, even if it’s only to the stage of creating a rotating 3D cube.
But honestly, that’s not going to cut the mustard for a demo.

Personally, I would start looking at OpenGL and NeHe’s tutorials (http://nehe.gamedev.net/) right away.
If you want to stick with DirectX, there are hundreds of tutorials out there.

Please don’t take this to heart, you asked for advice, and there it is.
It’s a cut-throat world out there, and for someone who just spent 3 or 4 years at university, you are going to let yourself down badly with this demo.

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Thanks for all of your replies. Ive written a second draft of my CV after taking all of your suggestions into consideration. Ive cut it down a lot and its looking a lot more readable. I'd be grateful for some feedback on the new version.

Quote:

I'm sure others are holding back, in fear of hurting your feelings ...

But it's bad !!!

I'll be honest, because I feel you will get disheartened in your job searching, not hearing back from employers. Wondering if it was your interview technique, or was it the demo, did I do something wrong, what happened?


Its pretty harsh but I wont take it personally. Im genuinely interested in improving my chances so i welcome your criticisms.

As for the demo. I agree its not very impressive but i have a month or two to make something better and i dont have much coursework left so ill have a lot of time for it now.

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Ryan,

MUCH, MUCH, better !!

Short and sweet, and to the point.

You explain or detailed a little more about your project, and the reasons for not using an API.

Only bit I would adjust right now is:
"Able to start work from: May 21st"

Get rid of it .. !!

Get your foot in the door, and get an interview.
If your the man for the job, they'll make an offer, THEN and only THEN, break the news of your availabilty to start work.

Don't give them a reason not to hire you, or throw your CV in the trash, before you even get an interview.

Cheers
Darren

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