We share how to write and structure your resume so as to get through the first stage of the recruiting maelstrom as successfully as possible.
In this short guide you’ll discover:
- What to write in your resume
- How to structure your resume
- How to send your resume
- Advice from recruiters
What a resume is
Let’s start by agreeing on what the word means.
A resume is a short summary of your professional experience, skills and education that you adapt for each specific vacancy.
In the CIS, a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is the same as a resume. However, if an American recruiter asks you for a CV, the chances are they expect something different. In the US, Canada, and several other countries, a CV should also include a list of different publications and a detailed description of your professional activities, meaning that it is usually quite a bulky document. Just bear that in mind.
What the employer wants to see in your resume
Let’s work out which blocks of information are essential in a resume, which are optional, and which are best left out.
- Name and surname
- Your current job title and the title of the job you’re applying for, if they’re different.
- Date of birth
- Your country/city/willingness to relocate/willingness to work remotely
Email, telephone, Skype, links to LinkedIn and other social media, github or your portfolio – everything that helps get in touch with you and show you off as a professional.
NB! Links should be clickable. Your email should not be anything like firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully, that doesn’t need explaining.
- Language skills (your level and any certificates you have)
- Summary: a paragraph about you, why you work in this industry, what motivates you, your main roles, your key competencies, what your goals are, what projects you enjoy working on.
For newcomers to game dev, we recommend writing here about your gaming experience, your favorite genres and platforms. It’s great if you genuinely like the projects of the company that you’re sending your resume to. Demonstrate your awareness and your interest.
- Work experience: name of the company, position, the dates you worked there, your responsibilities and achievements (list these from latest to first, and leave links to projects).
- Education, relevant courses, links to your articles and conference speeches, if you have any.
- Hobbies, family information, your photo
What you shouldn’t do
- List irrelevant experience
- Make mistakes in your writing
- Provide out-of-date contact information
- Attach inappropriate photos (in a swimsuit, in your pajamas, in a veil, with the shoulder of your friend at the bar still in the frame, etc.)
- Lie about your experience, skills or education
How best to structure your resume
- Try to fit all the information on one page
- Don’t use lots of different fonts and colors, 1-3 is plenty
- Lay out the information with subheaders for each block
- Make your links clickable
- Save your resume as a DOCX or PDF and title the document “Surname_name_position_CV”
How best to send your resume to a recruiter
Make life easier for the person your employment depends on.
- Send your resume both as a link to a Google Doc and as a DOCX or PDF attachment.
(Google Docs are great for a quick look, DOCX is very compatible with recruiting software, and PDF is easy for everyone to open, even from their inbox).
- If you are applying for different vacancies, don’t forget to customize the document name of your resume (for example, Smith_John_Producer_CV, Smith_John_Product_Manger_CV).
- Write a cover letter. This is important. This is your chance to draw attention to your application. Like your resume, it should also be short. Demonstrate your interest in the games industry, why you want to work in this particular company, what motivates you, and what benefit you can provide the employer.
- Make sure that you send the letter from the email that you indicate on your resume.
What happens in real life?
Olga Barlet, Recruiter / HR Generalist at TinyBuild
The first thing we look for in a resume is relevant experience. We appreciate when a candidate doesn’t just write the name of the company they worked for, but also the tasks they performed. Indicating projects in your resume helps us to understand the genres and platforms that you’ve worked on, and that’s important. Other big pluses are work on your own projects and participation in game jams.For us, alarm bells in a candidate’s resume are frequent changes of workplace (less than a year in each job) and grammar mistakes.
It’s great when candidates write a cover letter. There have been cases when a candidate’s experience wasn’t entirely suitable, but they managed to convince us in their cover letter that they were exactly the person we were looking for.
Alyona Mironova, Recruitment Specialist / Ubisoft Ukraine
We pay attention to the technology the candidate has worked with, and to their experience in terms of quality, not quantity.Whatever level the position may be, for us the candidate’s level of English is important, as it’s the main language for communication. That’s true both for professional and informal communication, as Ubisoft is a multinational company.
Sometimes a candidate doesn’t put their contact details in the resume, and then the recruiter just can’t contact them. Red flags for Ubisoft recruiters are frequent changes of workplace, as we are looking to build long-term partnerships.
We hope this article was useful for you!