• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
mikeman

Critisize my cover letter

27 posts in this topic

Ok, so I'm about to send an application to a nearby game company(one of the very very few that exist here) and I'm thinking the cover letter is pretty important. So I'd like if gamedev members took a look at it and offer some critisism on how to introduce myself better. As I said in the title, I'm interested in the bold truth in order to really make some good corrections, so let me have it!

Thanks in advance, and here it is(I have deleted the names, but some of you may guess what they are):

[quote]
[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]Dear sirs,[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]Hello. My name is Michael Mitsopoulos and I’m writing to you because I am really interested in working in your company, XXX, and more specifically in the first Greek MMORPG game, XXX.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]A little about myself. I am 29 years old, and a graduate of the Technological Institute(TEI) of Athens in Informatics. I was interested in computers and their applications from a young age, I believe I was around 10 when I started experimenting in programming in my old 286 with QBasic. As is natural with most kids, I developed an interest in game programming in particular, which I found fascinating. I made many little games there, like a slot-machine game, a Hangman game, and even a clone of Scorched Earth with planets and spaceships instead of mountains and tanks.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]I don’t want to bore you, so fast forward to today, I am familiar with a dozen of languages, have studied now programming and CS in general formally, I am familiar with advanced programming techniques, multithreading, design patterns, SOLID principles, I have worked professionally as a programmer mainly in database programming, but still my passion is in programming for games. I see working in your company as a terrific chance of combining my passion and my job at the same time. [/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]I have been following XXX since its birth, and it’s very interesting to see how it has grown to its current status. I especially liked from the start the fact that, unlike most MMORPGs today, the battles are not click-and-wait, but real-time FPS-like battles, and I’m impressed on how the engineers pulled this off considering it’s an massive online game, with the issues of latency and lag we all know exist in these games.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]I think I will be a valuable asset to your company and to XXX development team, because, first of all, I consider myself to be fairly experienced in programming and game/graphics programming in general, but most of all because I am a good communicator, a team player, and I’m always eager to learn new things and techniques(when I’m working on the computer and not trying to create my own game, you’ll most probably find me scanning the net for interesting new methods, especially pertaining to graphics and gameplay organization). In short, for some reason(be it the environment I grew up or…the ‘genes’) I have a passion for game developing, and I would love being part of the XXX team, having a chance to work alongside talented developers which I’m sure have many things to teach me about the trade. [/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]About the positions I would prefer, as I said I am very interested in graphics, so a position in the rendering technology department would make me most happy. Alternatively, I am interested in tools development too, as it is kind of a special category where the software you write is used to organize and optimize the work of the team itself, which means there will be communication and some sort of managerial challenges which I find fascinating.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]Finally a bit about my own projects…I am experienced in C++, D3D and OpenGL, among others(I list all my skills in my resume), and have created the usual small games(Pong,Tetris,Arkanoid and such) before I started on some more demanding projects. I have attempted, in a few occasions, to gather together an internet team, mostly 3D artists, so I can complete a more well-sized game. Those efforts had various degrees of success, none though resulted in a game ready to publish, mainly because internet teams are too disjointed, and people work whenever they like to, so progress was quite slow.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]For good or for worse though, I have uploaded and included some videos of some of my projects. So they are:[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]i)The closest I ever get to a finished project, a futuristic 3D racer. I got a team together to work on the art for the environments, but as I said it didn’t work out. However, the code was pretty solid and in good state.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Gameplay video:[/size][/font][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUUhm2PBxEk"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#0000ff"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUUhm2PBxEk[/color][/size][/font][/url]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Editor: [/size][/font][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2RoYoHPPtY&feature=related"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#0000ff"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2RoYoHPPtY&feature=related[/color][/size][/font][/url]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]ii)a 3D isometric action game. The guy I worked with was pretty talented in 3D art, but real-life issues made him quit, and so the project stayed as it were.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbeuDwQFvDg&feature=related"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#0000ff"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbeuDwQFvDg&feature=related[/color][/size][/font][/url]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]iii)A small 3D fighting game featuring Gods of several mythologies.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJnUNvoAKys&feature=related"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#0000ff"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJnUNvoAKys&feature=related[/color][/size][/font][/url]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]iv)This is my latest effort, a small FPS game.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P0rK59t6YM"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P0rK59t6YM[/size][/font][/url]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]About the rest of my credentials, I have a Proficiency in English language, and I have completed my army duties normally.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]Thank you for reading this letter, and I hope I’ll hear from you.[/font][/size]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][/size][/font]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]With Regards,[/font][/size]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] Michael Mitsopoulos
[/quote][/font][/size]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMHO: much too long.

Stick to saying hello, expressing interest in the company, saying your cv + portfolio is attached, and 1 link to the video of the racing game.

I wouldn't normally suggest even having any links in a cover letter, but if there's just one they might click if they are bored at work even if they aren't really hiring, and it's polished enough to make you stand out.

FWIW I've only ever worked for 1 games company, so I may be wrong.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mrbastard' timestamp='1314876136' post='4856231']
IMHO: much too long.

Stick to saying hello, expressing interest in the company, saying your cv + portfolio is attached, and 1 link to the video of the racing game.

I wouldn't normally suggest even having any links in a cover letter, but if there's just one they might click if they are bored at work even if they aren't really hiring, and it's polished enough to make you stand out.

FWIW I've only ever worked for 1 games company, so I may be wrong.
[/quote]

Well in the 'jobs' section of the company site, it explicitly says 'provide a detailed cover letter introducing yourself' and 'include samples of your work, preferably links of samples of your work'. That's why I wrote it this way.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, I don't have the time to read it all, but I think the following things could be changed:

[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314874405' post='4856226'][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]I don’t want to bore you, so fast forward to today, [/font][/size]
[/quote]
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314874405' post='4856226']
[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"](be it the environment I grew up or…the ‘genes’)[/font][/size]
[/quote]
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314874405' post='4856226']
[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]For good or for worse though[/font][/size]
[/quote]
I know this is how you would usually say it (and I would too if I was talking to someone), but in a letter I think you should leave those out. You sound confident in your skills in other paragraphs and I think these detract from that feeling.

[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314874405' post='4856226']
[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]The guy I worked with[/font][/size]
[/quote]
Would "partner" sound better? or maybe cite his name.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314876355' post='4856232']
Well in the 'jobs' section of the company site, it explicitly says 'provide a detailed cover letter introducing yourself' and 'include samples of your work, preferably links of samples of your work'. That's why I wrote it this way.
[/quote]

Ah OK. Still, maybe consider separating the samples of your work from the cover letter just to keep it tight and focussed?

I also kind of agree with Gaenor, in that I think that kind of friendly plain speaking is useful in an interview to build a rapport, but in a cover letter risks diluting your points and making the reader impatient.

Anyway, I wish you all the best of luck, but I don't think you'll need too much luck [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]


0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mrbastard' timestamp='1314878435' post='4856241']
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314876355' post='4856232']
Well in the 'jobs' section of the company site, it explicitly says 'provide a detailed cover letter introducing yourself' and 'include samples of your work, preferably links of samples of your work'. That's why I wrote it this way.
[/quote]
Ah OK. Still, maybe consider separating the samples of your work from the cover letter just to keep it tight and focussed?
[/quote]

Already did it. I now have 3 files attached, the resume, the portfolio and the cover letter(in which I mention that I have the portfolio attached).

I also did away with the second paragraph about when I started programming and jumped right away to my current knowledge, I think I have made it apparent that I have a passion for gamedev that I don't need to share stories even about my childhood :P The letter is now just one page long.

And I have taken Gaenor's advice and lost those sentences, you were totally right that they were somehow 'off'.

Thanks a lot guys, great advice so far!
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"I don’t want to bore you, so fast forward to today"

Yup, those phony humble or whatever expressions do more harm than good. Just like apologizing in advance (except for some very commonly used polite expressions).

(personally, I don't like people who do that. It makes me want to slam them in the face. You said you wanted harsh :P )
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't work in the industry, but from a business perspective you come off as a 'kid'. I feel like I'm reading more of your life story and personal interests as opposed to reading about why you're qualified for a job.

I'd speak more about what you've accomplished at your last job unrelated to the industry and with personal projects that relate specifically to the job. You're saying you want to work with graphics, talk about specific experience you have in graphics programming. Stuff like, "I created a Direct3D engine utilizing <some graphic industry tech terms> and used it to make this game." And then you can link to the game.

I think it's a mistake to appeal to passion, because I can imagine game companies have thousands of "applications" from people with no experience but "really love games." You don't want to come off as one of those people. You want to come off as an experienced programmer that is interested in working on this specific project and can start without needing their hand held.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My advice is simply to put your stuff in bullet-point form - nobody cares about your life story, at least not at this stage in the interview process. The person reading your application is likely to apply 'the seven second rule' which basically means if it takes more than seven seconds to read it, you get rejected. Harsh reality, huh?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just to keep you guys up to date, this is the cover letter now:

[quote]
Dear Sirs,

Hello. Myname is Michael Mitsopoulos and I’m writing to you because I am reallyinterested in working in your company, Aventurine SA, and more specifically inthe first Greek MMORPG game, DarkFall Online.

A littleabout myself. I am 29 years old, and a graduate of the TechnologicalInstitute(TEI) of Athensin Informatics. I am familiar with a dozen of languages, have studied nowprogramming and CS in general formally, I am familiar with advanced programmingtechniques, multithreading, design patterns, SOLID principles and I have workedprofessionally as a programmer mainly in database programming. Still, mypassion is in programming for games. I see working in your company as aterrific chance of combining my passion and my job at the same time.

I have beenfollowing Darkfall since its birth, and it’s very interesting to see how it hasgrown to its current status. I especially liked from the start the fact that,unlike most MMORPGs today, the battles are not click-and-wait, but real-timeFPS-like battles, and I’m impressed on how the engineers pulled this offconsidering it’s an massive online game, with the issues of latency and lag weall know exist in these games.

I think Iwill be a valuable asset to your company and to Darkfall development team,because, first of all, I consider myself to be fairly experienced inprogramming and game/graphics programming in general, but most of all because Iam a good communicator, a team player, and I’m always eager to learn new thingsand techniques(when I’m working on the computer and not trying to create my owngame, you’ll most probably find me scanning the net for interesting newmethods, especially pertaining to graphics and gameplay organization). Inshort, I have a passion for game developing, and I would love being part of theDarkfall team, having a chance to work alongside talented developers which I’msure have many things to teach me about the trade.

About thepositions I would prefer, as I said I am very interested in graphics, so aposition in the rendering technology department would make me most happy.Alternatively, I am interested in tools development too, as it is kind of aspecial category where the software you write is used to organize and optimizethe work of the team itself, which means there will be communication and somesort of managerial challenges which I find fascinating.

About therest of my credentials, I have a Proficiency in English Language, and I havecompleted my army duties normally.

I’m alsoenclosing my portfolio with some links to some of my projects.

Thank youfor reading this letter and I hope I’ll hear from your company.

WithRegards,

Michael Mitsopoulos


[/quote]

And to reiterate, the guidelines on their site state that:

1)Introduce yourself in a detailed cover letter
2)Show that you know things about the company and its products in particular and how they work
3)Talk about why you'd fit in the company
4)Mention the position you're interested in.
5)Include links to samples of your work

-EDIT: Some weird glitches with spacing in the quote, don't exist in the cover letter itself so ignore them
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1314882680' post='4856273']
" I have a Proficiency in English Language"

You mean you are proficient in English...
[/quote]

No, it's an actual degree I got from university of michigan :) Greeks know what I'm talking about.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314882880' post='4856274']
[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1314882680' post='4856273']
" I have a Proficiency in English Language"

You mean you are proficient in English...
[/quote]

No, it's an actual degree I got from university of michigan :) Greeks know what I'm talking about.
[/quote]

ahaa :)
Then shouldn't it be "I have a Proficiency degree in English Language"?
(not sure about the 'a' article, I'm not proficient in English.....)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1314882939' post='4856275']
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314882880' post='4856274']
[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1314882680' post='4856273']
" I have a Proficiency in English Language"

You mean you are proficient in English...
[/quote]

No, it's an actual degree I got from university of michigan :) Greeks know what I'm talking about.
[/quote]

ahaa :)
Then shouldn't it be "I have a Proficiency degree in English Language"?
(not sure about the 'a' article, I'm not proficient in English.....)
[/quote]

...and there should be a 'the' before 'English Language' (or you could just say "I have a Proficiency degree in English")
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314881298' post='4856267']
Just to keep you guys up to date, this is the cover letter now:

[quote]
Dear Sirs,

Hello. Myname is Michael Mitsopoulos and I’m writing to you because I am reallyinterested in working in your company, Aventurine SA, and more specifically inthe first Greek MMORPG game, DarkFall Online.

A littleabout myself. I am 29 years old, and a graduate of the TechnologicalInstitute(TEI) of Athensin Informatics. I am familiar with a dozen of languages, have studied nowprogramming and CS in general formally, I am familiar with advanced programmingtechniques, multithreading, design patterns, SOLID principles and I have workedprofessionally as a programmer mainly in database programming. Still, mypassion is in programming for games. I see working in your company as aterrific chance of combining my passion and my job at the same time.

I have beenfollowing Darkfall since its birth, and it’s very interesting to see how it hasgrown to its current status. I especially liked from the start the fact that,unlike most MMORPGs today, the battles are not click-and-wait, but real-timeFPS-like battles, and I’m impressed on how the engineers pulled this offconsidering it’s an massive online game, with the issues of latency and lag weall know exist in these games.

I think Iwill be a valuable asset to your company and to Darkfall development team,because, first of all, I consider myself to be fairly experienced inprogramming and game/graphics programming in general, but most of all because Iam a good communicator, a team player, and I’m always eager to learn new thingsand techniques(when I’m working on the computer and not trying to create my owngame, you’ll most probably find me scanning the net for interesting newmethods, especially pertaining to graphics and gameplay organization). Inshort, I have a passion for game developing, and I would love being part of theDarkfall team, having a chance to work alongside talented developers which I’msure have many things to teach me about the trade.

About thepositions I would prefer, as I said I am very interested in graphics, so aposition in the rendering technology department would make me most happy.Alternatively, I am interested in tools development too, as it is kind of aspecial category where the software you write is used to organize and optimizethe work of the team itself, which means there will be communication and somesort of managerial challenges which I find fascinating.

About therest of my credentials, I have a Proficiency in English Language, and I havecompleted my army duties normally.

I’m alsoenclosing my portfolio with some links to some of my projects.

Thank youfor reading this letter and I hope I’ll hear from your company.

WithRegards,

Michael Mitsopoulos


[/quote]
[/quote]

I think it's a little bit verbose. Bare in mind that the further stuff gets from the top of the cover letter, the less likely it is to actually be read. I'd put your position preference at the top. This generally helps with them sorting your application so it gets to the right person. Don't make it difficult for them to do that.

To give you an idea on how you might want to rewrite all of your paragraphs just to make them less verbose/easier to read I'll rewrite this one:

"About thepositions I would prefer, as I said I am very interested in graphics, so aposition in the rendering technology department would make me most happy.Alternatively, I am interested in tools development too, as it is kind of aspecial category where the software you write is used to organize and optimizethe work of the team itself, which means there will be communication and somesort of managerial challenges which I find fascinating."

"I am interested in a position in either your rendering technology department or tools development as I have a real passion for graphics development as well as a drive to improve the workflow and productivity of the company as a whole."

Says pretty much the same thing but is about half the length. I wouldn't copy and paste that as you'd want to rewrite it so it sounds like you, but you get the idea. That's the biggest gripe I'd find with your cover letter. The content is good, it's just long.

Keep in mind that the people that are going to be reading this are probably going to be looking at 10s/100s of these. You don't want them diving into your resume/portfolio feeling like they don't want to read anymore.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What you posted has a lot of grammatical mistakes, I'm not sure if you've proofread it yet but fix that stuff first.

You've still provided no hard reasons as to why someone should hire you outside of your desire. You mention you know programming languages but you don't talk about any specific accomplishments. You don't display any technical knowledge of any subject. You need to demonstrate competency in the area that you want to work. The fluff about being impressed by the company is not helpful as I read your cover letter.

When I read cover letters and resumes I skip over any unsupported claims. For example, if someone tells me they are a hard worker, a team player, etc. If you are a good communicator, your cover letter will show me when I read it. If you are a team player or a hard worker, don't tell me, prove it by mentioning some things you have done. Which is more interesting for an HR person or the hiring manager:

"I'm a hard worker, I work well with others, I'm a great communicator."

or

"In my last job, I initiated a multi-department project to improve productivity by 8%"


"I know 14 languages and like to learn new things"

or

"I am proficient in C# and developed my first game at 16. 1 Year later I learned C++ and used it to develop my third game. I have supplied the demos and source code so you can observe how much I learned in that year."
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm just an IT guy, I don't work in the game industry but IMHO...

I don't find the length a problem but it does seem a bit disorganized. I would keep all of the details of the position that I'm applying for (and what you'd prefer) in the beginning. So like:

[quote] Hello. Myname is Michael Mitsopoulos and I’m writing to you because I am reallyinterested in working in your company, Aventurine SA, and more specifically inthe first Greek MMORPG game, DarkFall Online. I am very interested in graphics, so a position in the rendering technology department would make me most happy. Alternatively, I am interested in tools development too, as it is kind of aspecial category where the software you write is used to organize and optimizethe work of the team itself, which means there will be communication and somesort of managerial challenges which I find fascinating.[/quote]

Also, you're not really saying much about the company other than that you've followed the development of the one title. Personally I never understood why this is something companies look for but they've specifically asked you to show knowledge about "its products and in particular and how they work". I don't really know what would be best to add but it's something to consider.

[quote]About therest of my credentials, I have a Proficiency in English Language, and I havecompleted my army duties normally.[/quote]

I would suggest to leave out that line unless you're sure it's a significant asset to include. And if that's the case then it should probably be included in the paragraph where you're discussing why you would be a good fit for their company and not tacked on at the end. If it doesn't make sense in that paragraph then it's probably not needed at all in the cover letter and should be enough to indicate it in your resume.

[quote name='ChurchSkiz' timestamp='1314890048' post='4856320']
You've still provided no hard reasons as to why someone should hire you outside of your desire. You mention you know programming languages but you don't talk about any specific accomplishments. You don't display any technical knowledge of any subject. You need to demonstrate competency in the area that you want to work. [/quote]

I'm not aware of what the standard is for providing links to portfolio work in a job application is. Whatever it is that you attach or link to, make sure that it show your talents for the position(s) that you're applying for. Indicate that a particular project was a focus on a particular language or technology. A video might be nice but does it give a way to form an opinion on what you contributed? You could have a really cool looking race game in which you wrote the AI for but how is that shown in the video? Edited by kseh
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BeanDog, that is near perfect.

Quick intro, list your skills, list the job you are interested in, and then show examples of your work.

Your work should speak for itself.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I brushed over because I see it keeps getting edited. You have a paragraph about a game you like? And another paragraph about what positions you want? When you apply for a position it will have a title, so that whole paragraph is dumb. And nobody cares what games you like, maybe a sentence that you actively play games or mmo's. But not a whole paragraph topic about it.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='dpadam450' timestamp='1314906868' post='4856437']
I brushed over because I see it keeps getting edited. You have a paragraph about a game you like? And another paragraph about what positions you want? When you apply for a position it will have a title, so that whole paragraph is dumb. And nobody cares what games you like, maybe a sentence that you actively play games or mmo's. But not a whole paragraph topic about it.
[/quote]

Look closer. This is not a 'game I like', this is the game I'm applying for, the game this company makes. They mention that in your cover letter you should show that you know a thing or two about the company and its projects. Also, they stated in their guidelines to makes sure you mention what position you are interested in, since they have many positions and as they claim they're 'always hiring'.

Other than that, posters that said work should speak for itself are right, but I can't make things out of thin air; outside of these small demos I have nothing much to show further; that's what I've got, that's what I included in the letter. In my previous jobs I was a regular codemonkey of run-of-the-mill desktop database apps; nothing exceptional or remotely interesting I can speak of. In the resume, I list my skills in detail, the languages and APIs I know and a very brief word about what I did in the previous jobs, but other than that I can't sell what I don't have. In response to ChurchSkiz, I can't see how I could "prove" my technical skills in a short cover letter which is, as they state, used to 'introduce yourself'...I attached links of my portfolio in a seperate file(there are 3 file in the email: The cover letter, resume with education,skills,previous jobs and portfolio with the video links), that's all I have.

But thanks for the advice, I am working into making it even shorter. Thanks all!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've read many different views on the subject, here's mine:


First, this assumes you are applying for a programming job in [b]a US-Centric market[/b]. Every area has different rules. Applying for a job in Athens will have radically different customs than applying for a job in Berlin or London or San Francisco.

Most (but not all) of the US is fairly lax when it comes to formality during hiring. This is especially true in the game industry, and more lax in the west than the east.



For most big companies all they want is a copy of your resume, which gets entered to the database. Nobody will ever read a cover letter. Nobody will see it because it doesn't get into the database. It effectively doesn't exist.

For medium companies they want it as part of your email (not a separate document). They will look at it *ONLY* if they have looked at the resume and like it, and still want more info. Why read 200 documents when you can look at 100?

Even at small companies, while they might read your cover letter when the email arrives, it will generally not be a compelling factor in the decision to interview. If you have some links to your games they *MIGHT* click on them, but those same links should also be in your resume and are just as clickable for the person viewing it in Word or PDF.

You should still write something, since a few companies will consider it, and many will use it to route the resume to the correct department and job listing. Write something, but it generally is meaningless to the interview process.






If you get nothing else out of this:


The cover letter is only seen by a few people. The resume is seen by everyone. Plan accordingly.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1314908006' post='4856444']

Other than that, posters that said work should speak for itself are right, but I can't make things out of thin air; outside of these small demos I have nothing much to show further; that's what I've got, that's what I included in the letter. In my previous jobs I was a regular codemonkey of run-of-the-mill desktop database apps; nothing exceptional or remotely interesting I can speak of. In the resume, I list my skills in detail, the languages and APIs I know and a very brief word about what I did in the previous jobs, but other than that I can't sell what I don't have. In response to ChurchSkiz, I can't see how I could "prove" my technical skills in a short cover letter which is, as they state, used to 'introduce yourself'...I attached links of my portfolio in a seperate file(there are 3 file in the email: The cover letter, resume with education,skills,previous jobs and portfolio with the video links), that's all I have.

[/quote]

You HAVE demos, discuss them. What technique or toolset did you use? How did you apply it? You have 2 paragraphs about why you want to work there and not even a single sentence about your specific technical knowledge. It should be the other way around.

As for "just being a code monkey", are you saying you didn't do anything special or interesting at any of your jobs? You didn't learn anything or contribute to the team in any helpful way? You didn't work on an interesting project or come up with any innovative ideas? No one wants to hire someone who just gets by, they want to hire people that add value to their team. How did you add value to your last jobs? How will you add value to this company?

There's been a lot of good advice about what to put on it so far. I haven't written one in a while but if I did it would look something like this:

<brief introduction of who I am and what job/industry I was/am in>
<quick summary of what job I am applying for>
<1-2 specific examples of a successful project I was involved with. In your case I would do one from your work and one from your demos.>
<Tying those examples to the skillset that the employer would need>
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My advice is to place a greater emphasis on your past projects and perhaps create a very simple portfolio website because the wall of text is hard to keep interest in. At least break up the text with different fonts and put some images in there to make it interesting.

[url="http://www.zymic.com/free-web-hosting/"]Also if you do decide to make a simple website you can use the free hosting service I'm using which has been decently satisfactory to me and it should more than meet your needs.[/url]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0