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Need mentorship from a veteran programmer

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Hi,
 
I am currently doing my Masters in Game Programming at a reputed university in United States. Over the last 3 years during my under-graduation I have taught myself game programming and self published 6 games for mobiles (made with GameMaker). My games have crossed 2 Million+ downloads worldwide and have an average user rating of 4/5. Last year I picked up Unity and made 3 finished games with it. Also made a game in Unreal Engine (using Blueprints). I would say I am an intermediate programmer and can pick up any engine/language quickly. I have also made a small 2D game engine from scratch using C++ (Rendering, Collisions, File Loading, Memory Management, own Physics implementation). I am quite proficient in C, C++ and C#. 
 
But the problem is I have applied to numerous internships (EA, Activision, Blizzard, Treyarch, Disney, Startups, Indie Studios...) and have been straight up rejected without even reaching the interview phase. I am having trouble understanding what's wrong with my resume. Also can't understand what are the technical aspects of the jobs, what are they expecting me to know. Most of the replies I read on this forum are either "make a finished game", "learn unity", "learn C++". I did, it didn't help! I have applied to jobs like Gameplay Programmer, Game Engineer, Software Engineer, which I felt I met all the requirements, in fact I felt I had more than enough skills on my resume and would easily pass the interviews (if I got one!). But I keep getting rejected at the initial resume screening phase. I understand that the industry might be competitive but I don't understand what else I could have done with my time over the last few years that would put me on the list. I've become painfully aware that I need help figuring it out.
 
I need someone with the time and the desire to explain numerous aspects of things a game programmer should know. If would be awesome if you can help me prepare for more specific roles like gameplay programmer, tools programmer, engine programmer, graphics programmer or a software engineer. I have one more year left before I graduate and I will do my best to make myself a "worthy" candidate for these jobs. If I don't get a job I have to go back to my country where there are no AAA studios and very few opportunities. I know I'm asking for a lot but it would be awesome to get an insight from professionals rather than thinking what's wrong with me.
Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
EDIT: Added link to my Resume.
Edited by godarm

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If your resume seems to be the thing that is costing you opportunities, I'd suggest starting with a resume review. There are plenty of people here who will offer free thoughts on your resume.

My suggestion would be to post an anonymized version of your resume (i.e. personal contact details omitted, name, etc. removed, and so on) and let people have a glance. If you're not comfortable doing that I'd be happy to get you some private feedback.

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Don't feel bad, I'm pretty sure the rejection by Disney had nothing to do with you, and more to do with them shutting down their entire game development branch =)

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If your resume seems to be the thing that is costing you opportunities, I'd suggest starting with a resume review. There are plenty of people here who will offer free thoughts on your resume.

My suggestion would be to post an anonymized version of your resume (i.e. personal contact details omitted, name, etc. removed, and so on) and let people have a glance. If you're not comfortable doing that I'd be happy to get you some private feedback.

I have edited my post to include a link to my resume. Wish I could post my portfolio link in there.
Also thanks for offering help. I have private messaged you.

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...........................    I have one more year left before I graduate and I will do my best to make myself a "worthy" candidate for these jobs. If I don't get a job I have to go back to my country where there are no AAA studios and very few opportunities. I know I'm asking for a lot but it would be awesome to get an insight from professionals rather than thinking what's wrong with me.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
EDIT: Added link to my Resume.

 

 

Though your resume has outlined some very good documented facts about your skillset, your educational background and your game development/coding experience. IMO i think you also need to devote another paragraph that would indicate your passion and zeal for the position and career you seek. 

 

Provided these do not violate the rules of what a resume should look like in the USA, then...

 

...in one or two short paragraphs, talk about your challenges while developing, talk about bottlenecks and how you solved it, talk about the late nights. Talk about a few "eureka" moments you had and how elated you felt when you had your current break throughs and the challenges you are still working on. Talk about what you expect for the future and your vision as a programmer if you were given the chance to join that great company. Talk about your ability to work well in a team (try to keep it short though so your resume would still be of reasonable size)

 

This would make it look less likely that a robot was behind your resume and more likely that a real person, smart, intelligent and passionate about game development, who pushes himself, and able to rise up to meet new challenges is behind the resume

 

Its not only about your education and what games you have completed, its also about how you can face tough challenges and your passion for the position

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...in one or two short paragraphs, talk about your challenges while developing, talk about bottlenecks and how you solved it, talk about the late nights. Talk about a few "eureka" moments you had and how elated you felt when you had your current break throughs and the challenges you are still working on. Talk about what you expect for the future and your vision as a programmer if you were given the chance to join that great company. Talk about your ability to work well in a team (try to keep it short though so your resume would still be of reasonable size)

 

 

 
It's a good idea to note what was challenging or interesting in the point-by-point breakdown of what you did on a project, but what you're describing here sounds more like what would be on a cover letter in the US, not on the resume itself.

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Need mentorship from a veteran programmer


This forum is loaded with online mentors. Please do post your questions as you have done,
and you'll usually get loads of great advice. Basically, this forum IS your mentor. Or
the members of it.

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...in one or two short paragraphs, talk about your challenges while developing, talk about bottlenecks and how you solved it, talk about the late nights. Talk about a few "eureka" moments you had and how elated you felt when you had your current break throughs and the challenges you are still working on. Talk about what you expect for the future and your vision as a programmer if you were given the chance to join that great company. Talk about your ability to work well in a team (try to keep it short though so your resume would still be of reasonable size)

 

 

 
It's a good idea to note what was challenging or interesting in the point-by-point breakdown of what you did on a project, but what you're describing here sounds more like what would be on a cover letter in the US, not on the resume itself.

 

 

That's very true. Even so here in the UK, what I advised is better suited for a cover letter rather than in a CV 

 

 

I'm not sure though if cover letters compulsorily have to accompany a resume in the US

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I'm not sure though if cover letters compulsorily have to accompany a resume in the US

Highly recommended to provide, along with the resume, a "cover letter" (which these days may be
the email conveying the resume to the employer). Not compulsory.

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The resume looks good to me, I might move the skills section to the bottom, I think it's less important than your work experience, and your independent projects.  But that's a fairly minor quibble.  I would definitely do a cover letter for every place you are applying, tailoring it for that specific job and specific company.  And lastly, don't get discouraged, that seems to be a common thing, there are a myriad of reasons why you might never hear from a company.  Places get a ton of resumes, job postings are old, sometimes hiring freezes happen, (or mass layoffs a la Disney), some companies are just incredibly, and I mean incredibly slow to get the ball rolling and call you back and set up an interview, etc.  Basically, there are a lot of external factors for why you may or may not be considered for a position, almost none of which has to do with your ability, or the quality of your resume.  Keep applying.

Edited by ferrous

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