Job search tips from Interactive Nordic – the specialist games recruiter in the Nordic region.

Finding it difficult to get the job you seek? Not sure when and how to work with a recruiter? Interactive Nordic tells you how.

Many people say it demands a passion for games to work with game development. That might be true in many cases but it’s not written in stone. What you really need to understand is game mechanics and how important games are to people.

The game development industry is a creative industry which makes commercial products for a large audience and this is an important insight. To work with games is to work in the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry generates large sums of money and every year the computer and video games business grows the most compared to other industry areas. Sweden turned over 1,2 billion SEK year 2005.

Most of the game companies are looking for people with experience and if you don’t have it, it can seem impossible to make your self heard. But have patience, talent will be noticed but you need to work hard on your portfolio.

Before going into concrete tips on what’s important to have in your application there is something we want to emphasize and that is the importance of your personal qualities. Since developing a game is a process you do togehter with others you need to be:

  • Humble
  • Honest
  • Good at showing respect to other people
  • Good at verbal communication
  • Good at written communication
  • Be able to work to a deadline
  • Plus a good ability to cooperate with other people

Without this you can be a genius at what you do but you wouldn’t be able to work in a team of game developers who work close together, often under pressure in a creative and iterative process.

Get to know what you are good at. To be vague in what you want to do is not good. Target your application!

A long education is not always important. It’s a plus but you might be a person who is self taught and creates fabulous mods at home.

Are you looking for a job as a programmer?

If you want to be a programmer you need to focus your application on that. In your cv you need to have following basic skills:

  • Knowledge of maths
  • Knowledge of software development
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Ability to think logically
  • C and C++
  • Object oriented programming
  • Understand datastructures
  • AI-programming is valuable but not necessary
  • Graphical programming
  • Debugging techniques
You should also show how much you really want to work in the industry. It's nice to get your background as a gamer.

Are you looking for a job as a designer?

To find a good designer is hard. There are few courses that teach game design and to get a job as a designer directly after graduating can be difficult. Many designers come from other categories within the game development, programmers, artists, producers or QA (quality assurance). A good designer is a person who knows what the consumer wants preferably before he or she knows it. A good designer is also really good at gameplay (game mechanics), he/she play most of the genrers on the market and enjoy popular culture. Always send a mini game that you have created in your portfolio. This shows your talent.

Are you looking for a job as an artist?

There are many different kinds of art jobs when it comes to the game development industry. You need to know what you are good at and what you want to do. Is it 2D, 3D, concept art, animation or something else? Only send your best stuff in your portfolio and preferably the most recent. It’s a good thing to show the process from sketch to result. Make an effort to show your talent.

And one thing that is important: Make sure your portfolio is easy to view. If the company has a problem looking at your art they wont give you another chance.

General tips for your CV and your cover letter

Don’t start a letter telling a company how you want to revolutionize the world with your brilliant ideas. Instead focus on what you are good at and what you want to do. Write about your passion for games and your ā€¯game historyā€¯. Make sure that your phone number and address are correct in both CV and cover letter. Don’t lie!

General tips for your portfolio

Send your best and most recent work. Make sure that your work is easy to access. Target your portfolio.

General tips for the interview

Be prepared to be tested again on your skills. Be honest and be yourself.

Good luck!