When you’re applying to jobs, one of the best ways to make your application stand out is by highlighting your experience and accomplishments that show you’re the top candidate for the role without explicitly having to say it. The idea? Show, don’t tell. And you can accomplish this with your portfolio, a key piece of your application.
If you’re specifically searching for a job in game development, an industry that’s booming — it’s projected to bring in over $250 billion by 2025 — it’s likely that there’s a huge crowd of people applying to every good job. So creating a portfolio that showcases your best work is crucial to landing your next role. But it can be hard to know exactly what pieces of information you need in your portfolio, as well as what types of games to highlight.
Just like a resume or cover letter, there are a few key sections to include in your portfolio. Let’s take a closer look.
Unlike the short bios on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you’ll be able to write a mid-length bio for your portfolio. This is your chance to give more details about your professional background, experience, and achievements, as well as any additional information you want to cover about your current role.
You can also use this space to convey a bit about who you are — think about including your hobbies or an interesting fact about yourself.
Contact information and resume
You’ll want to include contact information, such as your name and professional email address, at the top of your portfolio so the hiring manager can find it easily. You can also include a link to your Linkedin account here, and any other professional social media accounts and/or a blog, if you want.
Your resume, whether it’s a PDF download or a link to another page, is another piece of information you should make available and easy to find.
Projects and experience
Along with your professional experience, you’ll have the chance to pick and choose which games/projects you want to highlight in this section. And it’s a good idea to include games that showcase your range of skills. That way, you can show the hiring manager all of the different types of games you’re capable of building.
For example, since games are used for more than just fun, especially in today’s fast-paced business environment, companies hire Game Developers for all sorts of reasons: to help generate revenue, increase customer engagement, establish the brand, and reach new target markets, to name a few. So when you’re deciding which games to include in your portfolio, it could benefit you to include ones that show you can build games that meet a range of goals, on top of ones that are simply fun and engaging.
Looking for more options to include in your portfolio? Check out our Create Video Games with Phaser.js Skill Path, which includes a final project that you might want to use for your portfolio.
For each game you include in your portfolio, make sure you give some background details about how and why you developed the game. This helps the hiring manager understand the project and learn more about you as a developer. Also, don’t be afraid to discuss any challenges or issues you faced while working on a game. This is part of game development and hiring managers like to see how you work through problems, since they’ll definitely come up on the job.
Should you include games you’re currently working on?
For many games, coding is one of the last steps. Creating the world of the game, the characters, each person’s story in the game, and the origin story takes tons of work and creativity. Showing your thinking process behind a game you’re still working on gives you a chance to showcase those skills. So if you want to include a game that you’re still working on that shows your skills in a positive way, go for it.
Also, throwing in a side project or two shows how passionate you are about game development. Game Developers often have side projects they’re chipping away at, so don’t hesitate to include these, especially if they show off a specific skill that you want to highlight.
Even though your skills will be listed on your resume, you’ll also want to pick out some of your strongest skills to include in your portfolio, or ones that make you stand out as a Game Developer. This might include a list of all the programming languages and gaming engines you know, or your math and physics background. When you’re applying for a job, you can update this list so it aligns with the specific job requirements.
Curious about what other skills you could list in your portfolio? Learn more about what a Game Developer does and the skills they typically have.
Don’t hesitate to include a section for awards and recognition. For example, if you were quoted in an industry article or won an award for a game you created, that’s something that’ll likely catch the hiring manager’s eye. You can also include links to any articles you’ve written in this section. While you might feel like this is bragging, just remember that your goal is to land a job that likely has a bunch of other highly qualified gamers applying to it, so you’ll need to show off all your accomplishments to stand out in that crowd.
Looking for ways to beef up your game development portfolio?
If you’re new to game development and looking for ways to add to your portfolio, check out our Game Development courses. In the Learn Game Development with Phaser.js course, you’ll build eight games that you can use in your portfolio; and the Create Video Games with Phaser.js Skill Path will also teach you how to build games from scratch. You can also check out Build Basic Android Apps with Java, Build iOS Apps with SwiftUI, and Build Connect Four Using Python.