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Advice Wanted - Bad luck or just me?

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Hello everyone.
So, I know there are 2 topics on this subject (at least), however I didn't wanted to revive old topics and there is some differences.
I really need some advice because at this point I don't know if I am doing anything wrong or not!
I will give some background story for you to see if there is anything dragging me down or what...
So I am about to finish my bachelor studies, I am 27 years (I went late to university because I had to work a couple of years to pay for it...). I am focused on design/art and I have done some projects on my own (games).

Since I need to apply for internship to finish my studies, for the last month I have been sending mails for companies listed on http://gamedevmap.com/ at a rate of 40 per day and until now, no luck. I am sending mostly for Germany and UK because I think its the best places for game industry inside Europe (my internship must be done in Europe only).

I don't know if I am doing something wrong... I am sending links for my games as well as CV, cover letter and other links like Behance and LinkedIn.

 

Besides this, I have some questions:

 

1. When a company asks for your desired salary, whats the best or avoidable answer?

I only care to pay for my basic living costs because I am undergraduate after all, so I said around 800-1000€.

 

2. I've read that it is good to embrace network laugh.png I mean, send messages to people inside companies asking for advice or if by any chance we can offer our "work" to their company and be part of the team but... would it be weird to do this?
 

3. Is it true that being a foreign to UK is a big obstacle to find a position at their companies? Or Germany... I've found more companies from Germany that were offering relocation packages and seemed pretty generous for foreign people. 

 

4. Stating all of this, Is there any region for me to avoid? Places or companies that might mark my cv in a bad way? huh.png

 

5. Does age really matters? Weird question but it does bothers me somehow. Isn't it odd for companies for someone with 27years to be looking for a internship position instead of a regular job position? Because I seriously have no experience at all in this field.

 

6. Last question... I am seriously starting to think if it is me or just bad luck and a matter of trying and trying so... Should I just focus on trying or am I doing something wrong?

 

Thank you all in advance! And sorry for the long post! sleep.png

 

edit: so sorry for the incorrect counting, yes I was editing some of them and forgot about changing numbers *facepalm*

edited also to attach my cv and cover letter... But I did change many times the cover letter depending on which company I was applying... So...

Edited by pumpkinChan

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> Since I need to apply for internship to finish my studies

Is that a requirement of your school? If so, work with the school to help you out.

Don't forget that YOU are paying THEM for services. Many students get caught up in the institutional details and invert the relationships. Sometimes staff members do to. You (and possibly your parents) are paying them to help with your education. You (and possibly your parents) are paying them to go through the process of earning the degree. If something is blocking you from the path, the faculty needs to help you remove the blockage. Work with your advisors, they are there to help you. 

> I am sending mostly for Germany and UK because I think its the best places for game industry inside Europe

Location is important to getting a job. You'll likely be hired at an entry level. There is high risk for the employer. Why should they hire you -- an unknown from far away -- when they can hire people who are already in the city, who don't need to relocate, who are at or near the same level in their career? Companies very rarely help with relocation of entry level work.

> 1. When a company asks for your desired salary, whats the best or avoidable answer?

Depends on where you are in the interview process, and it depends on the company. In general it is better to try to get the company to tell you their estimated rate first. In general it is better to delay the discussion until the company has decided they want to hire you.

> I only care to pay for my basic living costs because I am undergraduate after all, so I said around 800-1000€.

I don't know the area or job market. Asking for too little money is almost as bad as asking for too much money, because it would show you don't understand the job market or that you are not professional about your work. I don't know if that pay is in line with the local salary, or if it is terribly off base.

> 2. I've read that it is good to embrace network I mean, send messages to people inside companies asking for advice or if by any chance we can offer our "work" to their company and be part of the team but... would it be weird to do this?

It is generally most effective to go through your social network when looking for work. Contact your friends and let them know you're looking for work. Ask them if they have any friends who might help get a lead. Ask them if they might have heard of anything that might help get a lead. Based on various books and web sites and studies I've read, on a per-hour basis it is about 10x more effective at getting a job. That is, 1 hour of working your social networks trying to find about jobs before they hit the market and trying to get in with companies is worth about 10 hours of traditionally submitting applications without a contact at the company. You still need to do both, but if you've got a choice between the two spend the time working your social network first.

Be smart about it. Don't go out volunteering to work at no cost. Make it clear you are a professional and you are looking for a job, assuming that's what you're looking for.

You must have deleted your question #3.

#4 I don't know your area. For the companies offering relocation packages read the ads carefully. Pay attention to if they are looking for industry veterans or for entry level workers. You mentioned intern or entry level work, I'm guessing you won't be relocated for that.


#5 is probably not. In this industry it is pretty rare to see a case of "you worked at company X so there's no way we're hiring you." I can imagine if there was a major legal scandal that could happen in some industries. For example, being a high-level accountant looking for work after the company you were at for several years just collapsed under a major accounting scandal that is in the news. That type of problem doesn't typically exist in games.

> 6. Does age really matters?

If you appear over age 40 it can be an issue in technology generally. You're age 27. It is not an issue.

> 5. Last question...

You need to work on your counting skills.

> I am seriously starting to think if it is me or just bad luck and a matter of trying and trying

The job hunt looks something like this:

"No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes."

You need to keep applying at jobs until you get to that last one. While you are looking, if you need money you can get any honorable job you can hold.

Also, consider posting a link to your CV or resume and a link to your portfolio. There could be some errors that you are not seeing on them.

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for the last month I have been sending mails for companies listed on gamedevmap at a rate of 40 per day

At that rate, how can you still be sending applications? Haven't you applied multiple times already to every single company in your target area(s)? If you send 40 applications in a day, you're only spending 12 minutes on every one. That's not enough time! You need to do thorough research on a company so you can write a good application to that company.

I am sending mostly for Germany and UK

Wrong. You can be applying in Germany if you live in Germany. And while Germany isn't as large as my country, it's surely big enough that it's impractical to commute daily from one side of the country to the other. The daily commute distance should not exceed 80 kilometers, or the worker burns out on commuting. You have to be applying within an 80-kilometer radius of where you reside. Read the FAQs.

I am sending links for my games as well as CV, cover letter and other links like Behance and LinkedIn.

Sure, that's all fine.

1.a. When a company asks for your desired salary, whats the best or avoidable answer?
1.b. I said around 800-1000€.

1.a. It's a trick question. There is no good answer, unless you can name a figure that you know to be at the low end of the range they usually pay for the position being applied for.
1.b. US$866 to US$1083 is way too much for an hour, and it's way too little for a year. Wages are measured in hours, and salaries are measured in years. What time increment are you using (presumably weeks), and why? (Are UK or German payscales usually measured in weeks?)

2.a. I've read that it is good to embrace network lol I mean, send messages to people inside companies asking for advice or if by any chance we can offer our "work" to their company and be part of the team
2.b. but... would it be weird to do this?

2.a. That's not the best way to network. The best way is to get involved in online forums like this, and live gatherings like conferences and trade shows and game jams and developer gatherings. It takes a lot of time to build up a network of people who know you and know that you're someone worth knowing.
2.b. Mmm, yes and no.

4. Is it true that being a foreign to UK is a big obstacle to find a position at their companies? Or Germany... I've found more companies from Germany that were offering relocation packages and seemed pretty generous for foreign people.

So you don't have citizenship in either of your target countries, I guess. Do you have full work status? All anybody cares about is that you are legal to work, that you're qualified for the job, and that you would fit in with the team. It's common to have linguistic differences - and if you're expecting to find a lot of prejudice against outsiders, I don't think that's as big an issue as you seem to think.

5. Stating all of this, Is there any region for me to avoid? Places or companies that might mark my cv in a bad way? huh

Not enough information.

6.a. Does age really matters?
6.b. Isn't it odd for companies for someone with 27years to be looking for a internship position instead of a regular job position?
6.c. Because I seriously have no experience at all in this field.

a. No. Please read the FAQs.
b. Maybe a little. Others have asked the same question here.
c. THAT is probably your biggest issue, right there.

5. Last question... I am seriously starting to think if it is me or just bad luck and a matter of trying and trying so... Should I just focus on trying or am I doing something wrong?

You aren't doing enough of the right things, and you're doing too many of the wrong things. Read FAQs 24 and 27. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16 (see section 5).

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I am applying for Germany and United Kingdom mostly... but I am not asking for relocation packages! And I am able to go and work there without a single problem, as I said it on my cover letter mellow.png I am not from USA.

About the salary, 800€-1000€ /month, not US$ but EUR€. I have checked on Germany and asked a couple of friends and family there and it is a fair amount of money for internship. But I only know that for Germany, I have no idea on UK.

I've been applying at around 40companies per day and I am not re-applying I am sure laugh.png  I've created a Excel file to take note on which company I've applied, if I had answer and website... but yes, I am not checking each company properly... I am sending the same cover letter with few changes...

I am on Erasmus+ currently, and my mentor told me to apply for internship. It is not the only option (I can do a project myself) but it is the better option and he is really putting me into pressure to find a company... I know he is pushing myself in order to have a good future but still... I am getting frustrated...

Thanks for the link, I will read the FAQs carefully.

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1. but I am not asking for relocation packages!
2. I am sending the same cover letter with few changes...
3. I will read the FAQs carefully.


1. I never suggested or assumed that you were. The FAQs cover this. This is a non-factor in the Location, Location, Location equation. There are only three factors: location, location, and location. Period.
2. THAT is definitely a mistake.
3. Yes, you need to. Edited by Tom Sloper

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2. I am sending the same cover letter with few changes...


2. THAT is definitely a mistake.

Ok, so I definitely should write a cover letter that includes info about the company which I am applying, right?

Stuff about how inspired I am about their work and other things related to them. I am reading now some texts on Sloperama.com, its helpful, thanks a lot for your help.

I am really making efforts to be better and do the right thing to do! So every advice will be taken in consideration! happy.png

Again, about the "foreign" issue and location... I have already tried all companies in the country where I am doing my erasmus. No luck, few countries and most of them are made of little teams that are not accepting anymore staff members/interns.

My mentor asked me to search outside that country, that's why I am insisting on Germany (it's close...) and UK for a better future... If I have to do it and if it have to be outside this country, then I am aiming for what might give me the best background, apprenticeship and offers... sad.png  But It's so hard and yeah everything on "Location, location, location" makes sense, of course... But right now I don't have much options unsure.png  I hope lady luck smiles at me soon sleep.png 

Until then I will try to find more time to make more projects on my own! ph34r.png

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Ok, so I definitely should write a cover letter that includes info about the company which I am applying, right?

Companies often have an announcement for which people they are looking for on their website. A good trick is to just copy those requirements and mix them into your cover letter about yourself and they will get interested.


About the salary, 800€-1000€ /month, not US$ but EUR€. I have checked on Germany and asked a couple of friends and family there and it is a fair amount of money for internship.

Internships in computer science can get payed up to 15€/h for 40hours a week, that is 2400€/month. Especially for computer science!

However, there are different wealth areas in Germany poor & rich that either pay you that much money (mostly south-west) or just a tiny bit (mostly north-east), however life sustaining costs are also entirely different. 800€ should get you covered over the month in any case and still have some spare money and that is what counts. At least if you are not trying to work in Munich.)

 

Here comes the sad part: Companies in Germany don't have to pay you anything, legally. No joke! There are enough companies out there that exploit your circumstance as an internship to get a free worker. The same companies do not value as a worker and at the end they let you carry paper from one bureau to another. I know that from first hand experience after working at 6 different companies: The less they pay you, the less they value you and the more repetitive unchallenging work you are doing.

Value your time! And they will value yours.

800€ a month is okay if you have nearly none experience because the company will end up spending money on people training you then, mostly.

 

While computer science is generally a growing industry that pays well, I am not so sure for game companies anymore. From everything I hear this is a hard and risky profession. Maybe others can say more about that part.

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not US$ but EUR€


Yes. I converted Euros to dollars in my reply to you.

Companies often have an announcement for which people they are looking for on their website. A good trick is to just copy those requirements and mix them into your cover letter about yourself and they will get interested.


Employers aren't stupid - they can easily see this transparent ploy, and aren't impressed by it.

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Employers aren't stupid - they can easily see this transparent ploy, and aren't impressed by it.

1. Depends on how big the company is. The employee writing the webpage might not be the same person doing the job interview or checking the applications.

2. That is exactly what you want to achieve! They don't write this on their webpage for nothing! They want you to read this so they get people matching those requirements and people repeating those requirements in their letter have

a) read the announce and informed themselfes about the company (no standardized mass-application)

b) are possibly exactly what they are searching for or at least are claiming to be

which leads you to the next step -> the job interview.

 

According to your statement you should neglect them?

It is important that you match their qualification requirements and often companies write them into their announce.

 

As I said though: Mix them into your application together with your other benefits and why you want to work there. Don't just copy paste the whole webpage block and send it to them.

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Employers aren't stupid - they can easily see this transparent ploy, and aren't impressed by it.


According to your statement you should neglect them?

No that's not what Tom Said. What's an employer supposed to think? *We put up this list of requirements and this person has repeated those requirements in his application letter...Gary, I have a strong feeling about this one!*. Frankly, I'd feel insulted. Respect the employer's intellect and write things that will allow him/her to conclude that you do or may meet their requirements.

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I have been doing nothing but research, really happy.png

And I have been reading a lot of topics on this forum also! Its opening my eyes at some subjects...

 

I have family in Germany near Munich, but its an avoidable place for me (if I can have another place to go...) since its so expensive.

And I have been looking at sites like glassdoor.com that gives more information like employee feedback on the company.

 

I am focused on Arts... and yesterday I was lucky to have a conversation with a designer currently living in UK (foreign as well). She told me its freaking difficult to have a internship in arts/design and/or get a job in that field out there. She is a senior designer and was forced to change career. I got a bit disappointed but I am not giving up ph34r.png

 

Today I will continue with my "mailing service" laugh.png  and I will be careful with my cover letter, I will add more info on the company. Its a bit hard to mix what they are searching for because they are not searching for interns (mostly), but I can try to see what companies want from a game artist.

 

By the way... about internships payments, in my country its against rules to pay for a intern... In Germany my cousin is being paid 1200€. Not bad actually happy.png 

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I have been doing nothing but research, really happy.png

And I have been reading a lot of topics on this forum also! Its opening my eyes at some subjects...

 

I have family in Germany near Munich, but its an avoidable place for me (if I can have another place to go...) since its so expensive.

And I have been looking at sites like glassdoor.com that gives more information like employee feedback on the company.

 

I am focused on Arts... and yesterday I was lucky to have a conversation with a designer currently living in UK (foreign as well). She told me its freaking difficult to have a internship in arts/design and/or get a job in that field out there. She is a senior designer and was forced to change career. I got a bit disappointed but I am not giving up ph34r.png

 

Today I will continue with my "mailing service" laugh.png  and I will be careful with my cover letter, I will add more info on the company. Its a bit hard to mix what they are searching for because they are not searching for interns (mostly), but I can try to see what companies want from a game artist.

 

By the way... about internships payments, in my country its against rules to pay for a intern... In Germany my cousin is being paid 1200€. Not bad actually happy.png

 

 

I am really not that knowlegdeable about the job situation for artists, being a programmer myself, and I don't work in the games industry myself, so I cannot comment from my own expierience...

 

But I do follow some artists that do youtube vids of their art, and some of them talk about the job situation and how they got their positions during their videos since that seems to be asked more than how they created their art in the comments (sad for me really, because I am always interested in improving my own hobby art skills, but am not interested at all in getting into an art career :) ). Just look for "Cubebrush" on youtube and look for some of his speedpainting vids as an example.

What I found interesting is that I hear some talk about how the best way to get noticed and in the end be hired is to create art and actually put it out there for everyone to see. Seems like having work in freelancing and unrelated jobs for some years until you can transition into the game industry seems to be not uncommon.

 

Take that into account. There seem to be not that many open positions in game art, but many artists eager to get into them. I would bet that getting an internship position in such a climate is neigh to impossible.

That is why I would follow frobs words and actually ask your school to help you find an internship. They make it a requirement to do an internship to get the degree (which is a good idea, as theoretical studies do not properly prepare you for doing actual work. Nothing beats having to actually WORK 40 hours a week for some months)... they should be bloody prepared to help their students get such an internship. Would be quite ridicolous else, like "ok, you are the best student in class, and we are happy with your work so far. Now roll this dice to see what your final score is and if you passed the exam".

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1. When a company asks for your desired salary, whats the best or avoidable answer?

I only care to pay for my basic living costs because I am undergraduate after all, so I said around 800-1000€.

For an internship in the UK expect minimum wage you may get more but, its best to not set your sights high.  In the UK I think thats around £6.20 per hour Just work it out as a salary and ask for that much.  I have heard of some studios offering less than this because technically they don't even need to pay interns.

 

2. I've read that it is good to embrace network laugh.png I mean, send messages to people inside companies asking for advice or if by any chance we can offer our "work" to their company and be part of the team but... would it be weird to do this?

 

It can work sometimes but, don't resort to spamming people.
 

3. Is it true that being a foreign to UK is a big obstacle to find a position at their companies? Or Germany... I've found more companies from Germany that were offering relocation packages and seemed pretty generous for foreign people. 

 

Not at all in the UK.  Anybody from the EU is readily accepted at any UK company.  In the UK  its technically illegal to ask what country you are from at an interview.  They are only supposed to ask if you are legally permitted to work in the EU.

Don't expect a relocation package though.  There are lots of people applying in the UK so they expect employees to pay for their own relocation.  I have had companies in Italy, Spain and Germany and San Francisco offer to pay relocation costs.  Usually the case is that either there isn't as large a talent pool or theres a particularly large demand for talent in these areas, which is why they offer relocation benefits.  Also its not likely that they'd offer a relocation package for an intern.

 

4. Stating all of this, Is there any region for me to avoid? Places or companies that might mark my cv in a bad way? huh.png

 

Not really places that would view your CV as bad.  I have however had bad experience working for companies in Italy though but, this has been employers refusing to pay.

 

5. Does age really matters? Weird question but it does bothers me somehow. Isn't it odd for companies for someone with 27years to be looking for a internship position instead of a regular job position? Because I seriously have no experience at all in this field.

Age shouldn't matter.  In fact in the UK its illegal for a prospective employer to even ask your age.

 

6. Last question... I am seriously starting to think if it is me or just bad luck and a matter of trying and trying so... Should I just focus on trying or am I doing something wrong?

 

Its just bad luck.  I had to do an internship as part of my degree in the UK.  I must of applied to well over a thousand places.  Its much harder to get an internship than a full job.  Also Im a programmer so I could look outside of games.  I imagine as an artist the avenues are even more limited.  You could try startup companies and see if they are looking for a graphic designer.

Edited by Buster2000

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Don't shoot me for my ignorance now but... I read that a subject like "Internship Application", "2d Artist Internship", "Job Application" and so on are not good subjects and I wonder why. I think that the subject should be as "raw" and straight to the point as it can. So, I can't really understand why its not that recommended to write subjects like these. What would be a good subject then? Some companies even ask for the applicant to use the name of the position as subject. I wonder whats the best.

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What would be a good subject then?


You mean the subject line for your application email. How about "My Name, Artist" (substitute your name for "My Name"). And instead of "Artist" you can put your art specialty. For example:
"Susan Samson, character art"
"Machiko Manson, concept artist"
"Helen Hong, environment art"
A few years back, I was put in charge of receiving all applicant emails. I had to sort them and store them for when I needed a particular role filled, and I found that my job (as "the HR person") was much easier when the applicant's name and desired role were in the email subject line. You want to make it easy for the HR person to find you in the files and get back to you.

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Age shouldn't matter.  In fact in the UK its illegal for a prospective employer to even ask your age.


I wasn't aware it's illegal to even ask - it is of course illegal to discriminate based on age, gender or race (amongst others such as disability). Worth knowing :)

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Thank you again Tom, now I understand.

I always write my files with my name (when sending to someone) that way. I never realized it would be the same in the mail subjects because I always used my name in my mail and well... it appears next to the subject. But yeah, totally understand that now! happy.png

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