How Do You Land Your First Job in the Industry? / by Xiaosong Shang

Hello again! Sam Martino here.

Last post I talked about how there are many other positions in the video game industry other than programming, but how do you get your foot in the door? All positions in the gaming industry are hypercompetitive; trying to stand out on a resume application alone is nearly impossible. So, how to do you do it? From my experience, there are two ways.

The first way is by having a strong portfolio. Your portfolio isn’t just showcasing your art; it can list any credentials that may deem credible in this industry. The website that I have used, and also considered one of the main platforms we use in discovering new talents is www.artstation.com. If you are a 3D artist, your work does not have to be amazing, but rather the showcasing of your comprehension of the specific skillset will be able to factor in your potential contribution in the industry. It is also possible to use this website to entering different contests or receiving feature attention in articles. If you are able to appear on a site such as 80lvl, you are in a great position to be scouted right from there. It is all about getting your name out there which leads to the second way to getting into the industry.

The second way is by meeting people and establishing networking connections. Networking and establishing a relationship with someone already in the industry is a fantastic and almost sure way to land that job of your dreams. For some who do not have accessible access to a studio in their city, it will be near impossible to meet developers. With that in mind, conventions will be the best chance to meet and network with developers and others currently successful in the industry. One of the conventions that I frequent was E3, in the first year that I attended, I was able to connect and network with people from every studio imaginable in our industry (DICE, Taleworlds, RARE, etc.). These representatives from these successful companies were more than happy to share their experiences, advices and answer our questions that we proposed. Another convention such as GDC is an even better resource as it not only is attended by developers, but also with panels that will gladly help improve your skills, and also provide hiring tents for their respective company.

Despite listing these two methods, getting into the industry can still be described as difficult. But those who are passionate about what they want to do for a living will put in the necessary effort to make the impact they desire.

Now you’re thinking well how do I have content to show for my portfolio if I do not work in the industry? What stands out the most? I will talk about that next time!

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at smartino@dogwoodgaming.com, I always love hearing from you!