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Portfolio/Resume Advice

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Yet another resume thread. I would greatly appreciate some feedback.

My resume can be found at ryanmatern.com/resume.html

Most of the rest of the site is not complete, but I have a couple of general questions about it. A lot of responses to threads here asking for portfolio critiques mention the importance of having smaller, completed projects in their portfolio. I don't have anything of the sort. Frankly the time I've spent working independently has been more about enjoying myself and learning what I want to learn (namely graphics) and not so much doing specifically what will make my portfolio better. That said, even if it isn't perfect I'd still like to present the work that I've done somehow for whatever it is worth. Some people mention tech demos as good portfolio pieces, so I figured I would split up my portfolio site into smaller pages each related to a different sort of tech. For example a page on terrain rendering, procedural and manual generation, a page for water rendering, my COLLADA importer, my GUI implementation, things like that. Each page will have some sort of explanation regarding how I did what I did and related code samples.

On top of that I thought I'd make a 3-5 minute video of everything in action that I talk over and give some explanations and stick that on the front page. Assuming all of this sounds reasonable so far, would it be better to split up this 3 - 5 minute video and put one on each sub-page or have a longer video right up front? I understand that viewing portfolio's is generally a hurried process and I want to make sure I'm providing something that is most likely to be viewed.

Thanks very much for any and all feedback.

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You appear to have several good work projects, and it is understandable to not have source or other content because they were not yours. Work you do for your employer belongs to your employer, and interviewers understand if you don't have anything from them.

Your resume looks reasonably good. It could use some additional detail about what you did. What specifically did you study (content, not course names). It could use a bit more detail about what you did individually at work, you probably didn't create all the content in your simulators. However, overall it is rather good and doesn't suffer from more serious issues that I can immediately spot. You don't seem to be overhyping yourself, except perhaps in the objective line. You aren't listing yourself as a founder of a corporation or a lead developer over nobody, so that is good.

You are setting yourself up as a specialist in 3D, which wil be limiting if the employers are looking for other aspects of game development. For the entry level they are much more likely to be hiring general gameplay engineers or object scripters. I'd use caution and only send that version of your resume out to companies specifically looking for 3D programmers. You are reducing the pool of possible jobs, which may make it more difficult to find a job. However, you are also pointing out an important skill set, so this falls into personal choice.

You can put together a demo video or not. You are correct that most of them won't view it. They'll prune people out at the job application level far before checking their web site or watching movies. You can drive them toward it if you want. If that is your goal then add some more details that a demo is on your site.

I get a few "You are not authorised to view this resource" pages on your site. I suggest you fix those. Assuming all the code and images are yours, I don't see anything that would stop an employer from interviewing or hiring you.

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[font="Arial"]Thanks a lot for the feedback. Sorry I've taken so long to get back to my post - I was traveling this week and had much less available time than I expected.

[color="#1C2837"]

[color="#1C2837"]Your resume looks reasonably good. It could use some additional detail about what you did. What specifically did you study (content, not course names).
[color="#1C2837"][/quote]

[color="#1C2837"]Thanks. I'm not sure what specifically to mention while avoiding simply listing standard computer science course content. Interesting school projects and what they involved?

[color="#1C2837"][color="#000000"]Perhaps on a related note, am I hurting myself by not making my skills more apparent? For example I want to write C++ code, every position I'm planning on applying for is asking for C++ skills, but is it clear enough on my resume that I am competent in C++? I want to avoid a bulleted list, but if someone just skims my resume will it be clear that I know what I know?


[color="#1C2837"]It could use a bit more detail about what you did individually at work, you probably didn't create all the content in your simulators.
[/quote]

By content do you mean assets, in the sense did I work with modelers/animators? Or do you mean specifically what I myself implemented in code?


[color="#1C2837"]You are setting yourself up as a specialist in 3D, which wil be limiting if the employers are looking for other aspects of game development. For the entry level they are much more likely to be hiring general gameplay engineers or object scripters. I'd use caution and only send that version of your resume out to companies specifically looking for 3D programmers. You are reducing the pool of possible jobs, which may make it more difficult to find a job. However, you are also pointing out an important skill set, so this falls into personal choice.
[/quote]

I thought it might be too specific. I'll use a more general objective for the online resume and tailor it more specifically for each position I apply for. Graphics would be my first choice but as far as I can tell it's not a likely entry level position.

[color="#1C2837"][font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"]
[/font][/font]
[font="Arial"][color="#1C2837"][font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"]You can put together a demo video or not. You are correct that most of them won't view it. They'll prune people out at the job application level far before checking their web site or watching movies. You can drive them toward it if you want. If that is your goal then add some more details that a demo is on your site.[/quote][/font]

Will do. I don't think it can hurt.


[color="#1C2837"]I get a few "You are not authorised to view this resource" pages on your site. I suggest you fix those. Assuming all the code and images are yours, I don't see anything that would stop an employer from interviewing or hiring you.
[/quote]

These will hopefully be fixed tonight - I've just hidden them until I get those pages filled up.

I do have a few other questions. First, it's my understanding that if they want references they will ask for them. Right? I don't need to list them, and definitely should avoid a "references available on request"?

Second, I'm still finishing up the contract work at my current job. The hard set deadline for completion is the end of this year but it is likely that the work will be done quite a bit earlier than that. Is it appropriate to be applying for jobs if I can't give an exact date when I would be available to start? If so should I be waiting until nearer to the project completion to start applying? I'd like to start now and obviously be jobless for the shortest possible amount of time but I am not sure if I'll be overlooked on the basis that I can't start immediately or as soon as other candidates.

Thanks again.


[color="#1C2837"]http://www.udk.com/download

here i do not see a UR engine 2 download. But different dates! i have slower pc.[/quote]


I'm not sure what you mean. The UDK is built on UE3, but the work I have been doing still uses UE2 for the simple reason that we are writing the software to be accessible to very low end machines. I'm fairly certain the UE2 Runtime is not available for download (basing that on when I tried to get it to prepare somewhat before starting at my current job, which was over a year ago), and I know from experience that its functionality and editor is nowhere near that of the UDK.[/font]


[font="Arial"]Also, note that the site is still a work in progress. Now that I have some time I'll get it fleshed out a bit.[/font]

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