Get the Name Right

Paul Teall —  January 25, 2016 — Leave a comment

I tweeted about this recently, but I figured it was a topic that was maybe worth explaining in more than 140 characters.

I’ve talked in the past about how seemingly minor errors in your resume or cover letter can get you in the reject pile. Think of it this way – if it’s a popular job ad that’s getting a lot of interest, and a recruiter is sifting through dozens and dozens of similar applications, do you want to draw their attention to a careless error in YOUR submission? Of course not. Here’s one of those small mistakes that I’ve seen in many, many submissions – getting the company name wrong.

Seem unbelievable? Something that you would never do? Consider these examples:

  • NCSOFT
  • BioWare
  • Double Fine
  • inXile Entertainment

If you send in a cover letter and say that you’re thrilled to be applying to “NCSoft”, “Bioware”, “DoubleFine”, or “Inxile” – you’ve made an error. Will that minor oversight automatically get you rejected? Why take the chance? How a studio spells its name is an important part of its brand. BioWare decided years and years ago to put that capital W in there for a reason, and I guarantee you that when someone there gets a submission to “Bioware”, it at least catches their eye. How can I guarantee that? I work for TurboSquid, and I’ve reviewed lots of resumes over the years. If someone applies to “Turbosquid” or “Turbo Squid”, I always notice, because that’s not our brand. It just looks incorrect to people on the inside, because it is. It sends a small signal that you haven’t taken the time to figure out how to properly spell the company’s name. Don’t let that be one of the first impressions you make.

If you’re not sure how they handle the spelling, take a few minutes to poke around their site. Don’t just trust the logo, those can be deceiving. It might look like something that’s all caps or one word, but that might be due to their logo font. Find their “About Us” page, and see how they refer the brand there. It’s a small enough thing that it won’t get noticed if you get it right, but there’s a good chance it will be noticed if you get it wrong.

Good luck on the job hunt, everyone!

This is the time of year that people spend time considering how they’re going to improve themselves. Goals are set, resolutions are made. That’s what got me thinking about this post, but it isn’t something that should only be considered around the impending new year. If you’re in the process of hunting for a job, it’s helpful to ask yourself this question often – “what am I doing to get better?” If you’re spending time improving one of your skills (or learning something new entirely), that’s going to help you in the interview process in several ways. If you’re not spending any time trying to get better at something -well, you should probably start, because you’re competing against other job hunters who are.

The primary benefit of improving/learning a skill is obvious – you’re (hopefully) getting better at something that will help you get a job. Beyond that, your learning process can be a great thing to bring up during interviews. Spend some time thinking about things like:

  • How do you stay on top of current trends in your field?
  • How do you go about learning a new skill? What resources do you use?
  • Is there a skill/tool/programming language that you taught yourself? How did you do it?
  • How long did it take you to master or become adept at a new skill? What were the biggest challenges?

Be ready to discuss things like that, as they have the potential to take an interview in some interesting directions. When I’m interviewing people, I love to hear about how they are learning things on their own time. It gives you some insight into how they might approach a unique challenge if they end up working side-by-side with you!

Don’t be afraid to bring up things that you learning/improving that aren’t directly related to the job you’re applying for. Learning how to cook? Play an instrument? Speak French? Those can all be interesting discussion points in an interview as well. They help give the interviewer more insight into who you are, and how you might fit in with the team.

inXile Entertainment just announced that they will be opening an additional studio in New Orleans. CEO Brian Fargo and President Matthew Findley were on hand to make the announcement at the space that they will soon be calling home. During the announcement, the pair said that the decision happened very quickly, and was based largely on the package that the state of Louisiana was able to offer through its “Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.”

inXile will continue to maintain a presence at its original Newport Beach location, but will be actively looking to hire for the New Orleans location in the very near future. Findley will be making the move to New Orleans, while Fargo will be staying in Newport Beach.

inXile

We missed putting out a post last week, but we’re back at it again this week! Here’s a collection of various job leads that we’ve found from various sources over the past week or so. Hopefully something catches your eye – as always, good luck with your hunt!

  • Big Viking Games is looking for an Associate Producer
  • Adult Swim is looking for a QA Manager in Atlanta
  • Respawn Entertainment has several open positions on their site
  • Treyarch is looking for a temporary Concept Artist on Linkedin
  • Saw a new studio in Boulder, Colorado – Backflip Studios. They’re hiring!
  • DICE has posted a job for Senior QA in Los Angeles on Linkedin
  • Retro Studios (Nintendo) posted an ad for a Technical Animator in Austin on Linkedin
  • It looks like Amazon is doing a big hiring push for their games division – I’ve seen several announcements recently. Here’s a list of their open positions.
  • Found a new studio for the Austin list – PLAYSTUDIOS is working on social/mobile casino games, and it looks like they’re hiring

I found this recent Quora answer to be a thoughtful read. A question was asked about “underrated skills”, and both of these skills are essential, easy to cultivate, and probably rarer than they should be. Take a look at the author’s answer, but both skills related to managing your own time, and delivering what you say you’ll deliver. I find that these are habits that can really help you stand out as a team member, and they are things you can start doing now. I’m always amazed at how quickly that task that I said “yes” to in a meeting vanishes from my mind as soon as I walk out of the meeting room. Don’t just say yes and assume you’ll remember – write it down. Take specific notes about what you said you’ll do, and when you said you’d do it. Then actually do it!

It’s that time. We’re taking our weekly (usually) look around the various corners of the web to see if we can unearth any new tips or leads that might help you find a new job. As always, good luck on the job hunt!

  • Major updates to Austin studio list! We added a few “other organizations”, cost of living info, removed several defunct studios, and added a few new ones.
  • Liz England is a Designer at Insomniac, and she put together a really thorough breakdown of all of the various types of game industry designers. It’s an excellent read if you’re unclear on what being a “Game Designer” might actually entail.
  • Hothead Games has been busy posting new jobs on our site
  • Heather Holmes and members of the Ubisoft Toronto team were at the Ottawa International Games Conference earlier this week, and she participated on a panel about getting into the games industry. We asked if she had any advice to share, and she offered this up:

  • Bioware Edmonton posted several new jobs on our site this week
  • DICE is looking for a contract 3D Artist in Los Angeles on Linkedin
  • If you haven’t noticed the sign-up form on our blog, we’ve got a newsletter now. You should sign up! I promise that we won’t go overboard, we’re planning on doing them about once a month.

We’ve also been working on a new side project. Check out PlayingThis and let us know what you think. The idea is that you can discover new games by seeing what professional game developers are playing. We’re working on a pretty major redesign, so keep an eye on it in the coming weeks…

Clock image courtesy of PixelSquid

Hey, everyone! It’s time to take another peek around the game job hunting landscape to see if we can find some new opportunities to share with you. We try to do this weekly, and we check a variety of sources to try and find information that we can pass on to you. Here’s some things we’ve seen recently:

  • We added Puny Human to our list of Raleigh studios
  • Speaking of Raleigh, Boss Key continues to add new positions on its site
  • Filament Games, an educational game developer, has several open positions in Madison
  • Gameloft posted several new jobs yesterday on our site
  • Rising Tide Games, a relatively new startup focusing on social and casino games, is hiring in NY and Austin
  • Sucker Punch has been busy spreading the word about several new jobs
  • Armature Studios, in Austin, posted a couple new jobs on our site
  • Big Viking Games is looking for an Intermediate Software Developer

That’s it for this week. Good luck on your search!

It’s time for another Game Job Grapevine, where we share various tips, leads, tweets or stories that will hopefully give you an idea about a potential new job. The list is by no means comprehensive, but it includes various interesting things that have recently caught our attention.

  • First off, sad to hear about Spark Unlimited ceasing game development operations. Good luck to all those who lost their jobs!
  • TIL – Epic also has a studio in the Seattle area (Bellevue), and they’ve got an open dev position listed on Linkedin
  • Big Viking Games is looking for a Photoshop Artist at their London, Ontario office
  • Glu Mobile is hiring…a lot. Dozens of recent jobs posted on Linkedin.
  • Machine Zone is hiring….maybe even more. Dozens of recent jobs posted on Linkedin.
  • Infinity Ward has several open positions, including some short-term contract Environment Art slots
  • Finally, DICE is looking for audio designers in Sweden:

Here’s a few recent things that we’ve either updated on our site or caught whiff of from around the web. Take a look, and see if any of these might give you a lead on a new job!

As we mentioned last week, we’re playing with this new post format where we share potential leads from wherever we might hear about them. Hopefully it gives you some ideas! As always, good luck on your job hunt.

  • EA has a list of weekly “hot jobs”, and it was shared by @ShandaRecruiter:

Our goal at GameJobHunter is to help people find jobs. We strive to be a resource that’s useful for everyone that’s looking for a job in games. We have a lot of companies that post ads directly with us (which we really appreciate!), but there are a LOT more open jobs out there at any given moment. We hope our job listings and city pages are helpful for you, but we wanted to do a little more. We see or hear about companies posting jobs all the time, and we wanted to pass some of that info on to you. Every so often we’ll do a quick post that collects links, tweets, or job page updates that might give you some ideas about a studio doing a new hiring push. As always, good luck on your job hunt!