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brainydexter

Resume feedback

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I am going to start applying for game dev positions and would appreciate any feedback that you can provide me with. One more thing, I am currently located in USA, but I would be applying to game studios in canada and other places. I mention this because of the format I have in my resume. Do you think I should change it, if lets say I am applying to a game studio in canada ? Edited: Resume Updated Resume (pdf) Updated resume (doc) Resume (doc) (link updated to google docs - no sign in should be required to view) Resume (pdf) (link updated to google docs - no sign in should be required to view) I am shooting for a gameplay / engine programmer. One more question: Should I include the AI work in my resume ? Thanks for your time. [Edited by - brainydexter on March 3, 2010 10:36:54 PM]

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I would be much more likely to review your resume if I didn't have to download it as a .doc from mediafire. Consider posting it on google docs, or uploading it as a PDF somewhere with fewer ads.

As for the resume itself, having read it I am not clear what game development position you will be applying for. Might want to make that clearer, or at least tell us here.

I would recommend adding programming language and technologies used to each project you have listed. Also mention whether you worked solo or as part of a team, and if in a team, what role you fulfilled.

The employment and education sections look fine, but not sure how relevant most of your listed activities are (somewhat depends on the position you are applying for).

Your objective statement sucks - too short, too generic, not passionate enough.

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@Swiftcoder: I apologize for the mediafire ad problem. I didn't realize it till you mentioned. Also, I am working on a portfolio website, so I'll host it there eventually. For now, I've uploaded it on google docs. Linkie:


Resume (doc) (link updated to google docs - no sign in should be required to view)


Resume (pdf) (link updated to google docs - no sign in should be required to view)

I am shooting for a gameplay / engine programmer. ( How do you recommend making that more clear in the resume ? )

Thanks for your comments.

I have updated the projects to reflect the { Technology U Team Status (Solo/team) }. ( You will see that my listed projects are solo. My team projects were at school, which were not very polished and I followed the advice of only putting up my best work there. Do you think I should include my game projects from school which reflect team work? I was involved in making up the major software design of the game. It is a race to collect resource strategy game we completed in 2D using XNA)

For the intended job, do you think I should remove some of the listed activites?

Objective statement: I thought so too. I changed it this time. Hope its a tad better :)

One more question: Should I include the AI work in my resume ?

And yea, thanks a lot for your time.

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I wouldn't put your role in your positions after everything you did there. I also wouldn't put it in the bullet list of the things you did. I only glanced over it, but I didn't even notice your roles until I looked for them because I thought it was weird for them not being there.

EX:
University of North Carolina, Charlotte(USA)
Role: Research Assistant
· Reconstruct terrain-surface from a point cloud
· Implementing Marching Triangles Algorithm using CGAL

Some of the things you've done at the companies could be reworded much more impressively. I don't remember where I saw a tutorial on it (probably sloperama), but:

Reconstruct terrain-surface from a point cloud
Implementing Marching Triangles Algorithm using CGAL

seem like really bland ways to say something that's actually interesting.

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The bits inbetween the { and } isn't really clear. I didn't understand what GLM, U and Solo meant.

I agree with way2lazy2care about the 'Role' as a bullet point and was the main reason for the extra line break in my old layout.

Quote:
How do you recommend making that more clear in the resume ?

By actually saying it in the objective.

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Side note: my wife read it and said "It doesn't make sense to me. What is the application for?" She's got a strong professional background, including managing organizations with several hundred people. If she can't figure it out after 30 seconds, you know an HR drone will throw it in the bin.



You are junior level, so you only get one page. Plan for about one page per decade of experience. Don't worry, it is easy to get this thing down to a single page.



Rewrite your objective. I need to know instantly if you are a programmer, an artist, a modeler, an animator, a designer, or something else. The objective "I am driven by the desire to create innovative games which challenge me on different levels by applying my existing knowledge and learning new tricks." implies that you may be a bit snobby with less-educated peers and may quit if you have boring tasks. If that is true then keep it, because I don't want that kind of person working under me.



I STRONGLY do not like your format with {technology}. It took me a relatively long time to figure out, and even when I did figure it out it didn't tell me anything useful. I do not know what "glm U Solo" is, and Google doesn't tell me. "U solo" brings up pages about law firms entering individual practice and some rock groups.

When I remove those very distracting blocks, I get something that looks like a list of games. Keep those. Add a hyperlink to those games. Add back the technology as a line in prose, such as "Implemented with C++ and OpenGL, with Qt for user interfaces", "Implemented with C# and XNA". This lets me know what actual experience you have using those languages and tools.


I see you list your graduate projects there. I wouldn't do that, but it is a preference. I would rather see them with your schooling section. Listing it before your education implies that they are somehow more significant to me as an employer than other educational projects, and I simply don't see that to be the case.

Get rid of the link to the HDR algorithm, unless you are the author of the paper. Don't mention SIGGRAPH unless you presented there. I don't want links to anything that isn't yours. You should assume that I don't know what an HDR algorithm is, so tell me both what it is and why I should care that you implemented it.



Next, the "Skills" section. It seems every beginner has one. CUT!!!

I should be able to see your skills in the projects you have done. The "languages" and "API" subsections just eat space because of the above, so cut. You don't have professional experience on X360, so cut the platform. (If you have the professional experience, you should include it directly when you had it.) Any recent college grad should know Visual Studio, so cut. You aren't trying for art, so cut GIMP (which is not what artists use, anyway). You will be taught about source control if you don't know it, and it is not a bragging point, so cut that. Saying you have platform experience with Windows is just stupid, cut. The BrainBench certifications mean absolutely nothing in game programming, only that you were once a student, so cut. That leaves an empty section, so cut it. (I really hate "Skills" buzzword sections. They tell me nothing useful as an employer.)



This brings us to the education section.

Why the link to Playground.uncc? The page is effectively a big "Under Construction" site. There is nothing in it, and nothing about you. I'd almost rather be pointed to an invalid link.

I honestly don't care that you took courses in "Algorithms & Data Structures". Every student is required to take classes on that, seeing as that's really what programming boils down to. Instead, tell me about PROJECTS that you did which set you apart from other students. Tell me what you enjoyed. This is where I would put the projects you listed above.


The same is true in your employment section. "Reconstruct terrain-surface from a point cloud" tells me a tiny bit, but give me more details about what transferable skills you gained there. "Preparing test plans" doesn't help much at all. Did you work on a team? How big was it? What did you personally actually develop? What off-the-shelf technology did you use?


You were president of the computer club. How does that translate to skills I care about in a junior programmer? Why should I care that you were editor to a student magazine? What is so significant about your organizing a single LAN party, which are commonplace? Why should I care if my programmer can play a guitar? Unless you have something extremely significant to the job, CUT!


The blurb "References available upon request" is filler. You only need it when you have nothing else to put on the paper but still have glaringly empty space. Cut.


It looks like that brings it down to a more acceptable single page.

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Updated resume .doc

Thanks everyone for your feedback and time. I've updated my resume to reflect the changes you suggested.

@frob: I appreciate your feedback and it made me question myself the content I put in when I had written the resume. I have made the changes you recommended, but there were some things which I had read elsewhere which compelled me to put them in there.

For e.g. Skills section: This section helped the employer to quickly get an idea of what skillset candidate posseses. What you said also does make sense, skillset highlighted via projects section sounds reasonable too. Thus, I've removed that and mentioned in the projects section.

Similarly, amidst my clouds of confusion, I heed to your advice and have edited my resume. Given the content I have, I still couldn't shrink it down to a single page. :(

Anyways, let me know what you all think about the new resume.

Thanks

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I think it's a nice improvement from your previous resumes, but there was still one thing that stuck out to me when I glanced over it. Your formatting wasn't consistant throughout the document. I don't know if it was google docs messing it up or if that's just the way it is, but the inconsistant formatting made it look slobby and lazy to me. I've listed the things below that stuck out to me.

- Your degree under University of North Carolina wasn't tabbed like the rest of your document.

- Your bullet points under employment aren't indented.

- Your role for 3i Infotech wasn't dropped down to a new line.


If you're still having problems shrinking it to one page, you could easily get rid of your references section. As frob said, that section is really more of a filler section for when you need to complete a page. It's pretty much a given that you will provide references if asked so you don't really need to put that on your resume.

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Updated Resume (pdf)

Thanks mumbo for pointing that out. I dont know why google doc messed up the formatting, but I've now uploaded a pdf. The formatting should be correct in that one.

Also, I thought about reducing it down to one page, but then I have these three sections on game projects, graduate work and Industry experience which are pretty long. I can't shrink it to one page without loosing content. Any suggestions/ recommendations ?

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Quote:
Original post by brainydexter
Also, I thought about reducing it down to one page, but then I have these three sections on game projects, graduate work and Industry experience which are pretty long. I can't shrink it to one page without loosing content. Any suggestions/ recommendations ?

Change the formatting at least. As I said last year, my format doesn't cater well towards US style resumes.

The personal details header can be made small and use a slightly smaller font.

Use more width, so for example:
Quote:
Side scrolling 2D-Arcade game (inspired by Mario)

Can be changed to
Quote:
Side scrolling 2D-Arcade game (inspired by Mario) using C# and XNA

And it eliminates a bullet point from that section.

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Bring your name down so it sits between your contact details and address.
Make your top and bottom margins smaller.
Bring your sub bullet points left by a bit.

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