Looking for some quick tips on being noticed in the gaming industry? We look back on our recent industry panel and highlight the essential tips for fledgling artists, programmers and designers.
We understand how important job prospects are for our current and potential new students. Ultimately, it can make or break the decision to apply for an undergraduate course in the first place. In a recent survey by Prospects, the careers advisory organisation, it was found that 96% of students said they felt they faced significant barriers when it came to looking for jobs and the main culprit was a lack of work experience opportunities. This is one of the reasons we run regular events with industry professionals, to provide real, actionable insight and advice to ensure you choose the right course and have the best chances of employment post-graduation.
Recently we held an expert gaming panel event with speakers from Gameopolis, d3t, Cloud Imperium Games and FORMAT. If you want to catch up with the action, the full event video is now available to watch in full.
However, if you don’t have the time to watch that through, we plan on giving you a rundown of those golden nuggets of advice, which will help you be top of the pile when it comes to interview shortlisting for your dream gaming studio.
This can seem like an impossible task when you have a lack of experience, but our panellists explained that there are so many routes into the industry and that by persevering and putting in the effort, working at your first-choice studio is a very achievable goal to have.
Build a show-stopping portfolio
Louise Andrew, Head of Art at d3t said that most of the people she employs have a degree with an artistic focus, however, her first port of call when reviewing applications is to look through the individual’s online portfolio. She recommends using a platform such as ArtStation to build your portfolio showcasing your best projects, as well as the variety of software you can use. She explained she often finds artists try to position themselves as masters of everything; visual effects, environments, and props, but actually she prefers to see that candidates know where their niche is. Being an adaptable artist is great but trying to do everything is overly ambitious.
Find your niche
Lukas Genever, Senior Manager in Global Talent Acquisition at Cloud Imperium Games echoed Louise’s thoughts, when discussing the importance of crafting an online brand identity. He did also say that, as with all job opportunities, there is a huge element of luck as well, and to keep this in mind when applying. He advised applicants who are unsure of the area they want to specialise in, to focus on applying for general roles initially and look to specialise later as once you have your foot in the door it’s easier to take a sidewards step. As a hiring manager of such a fast-growing studio, he said he is often time poor, so candidates that make his life easier, by writing a thorough, tailored covering letter and a portfolio including relevant links and commentary alongside their projects, will automatically have a stronger chance of being shortlisted.
Showcase your skills by networking
Daniel Ledger, Lead Producer at FORMAT spoke about the variety of ways he networks with those in the industry which is not only a brilliant way to make new connections and hear about upcoming opportunities, but also to gain valuable portfolio feedback. The professionals have a greater understanding, and appreciation of what should be included. He highly recommended the Meetup app, as well as common interest groups on Facebook, gaming channels on Discord and Slack as well as attending industry conferences and game jams wherever possible.
Top 5 takeaways
- Do your research and tailor your applications and cover letters wherever possible.
- Network, network, network - you never know who you might get talking to.
- Show your personality and discuss your hobbies within interviews. Studios are interested in what you get up to outside of work hours as well.
- Shout about your achievements, no one else will.
- It’s a ‘people focused’ industry, everyone wants you to succeed, so relax and enjoy the journey!
We hope the advice from these industry professionals has been useful, it really was a great event. If you have any queries about our new Manchester campus, the gaming course on offer or how to apply please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Looking to take the next step towards a career in the game industry?
Check out our undergraduate game art and programming degrees.