The best resume is the one that gets you hired. But what does that look like in the gaming world? Is it formal or creative? Chronological order or by relevance? What keywords are best for the gaming industry? If you’re putting together a Game Developer resume — and hoping to land a job that could earn you a $101,644 annual salary! — it’s likely that at least one of these questions has crossed your mind.
Companies are looking to hire employees with relevant experience, skills, and passion for the gaming industry, and a solid resume will help you land an interview. Along with building your resume around your individual strengths and interests, there are a number of ways to up your chances of landing an interview for one of these creative jobs.
How to format a Game Developer resume
Formatting is an important part of a resume. It’s one way to make relevant skills and experience stand out. It’s also a way to grab the attention of the hiring manager in the hopes that they’ll spend an extra minute looking over your application.
Most resumes follow a standard format:
- Header and contact information
- Objective statement or summary
- Skills/core competencies
- Education and courses
Here’s what to include in these sections:
Header and contact Information
Your full name should appear in large print at the top of your resume, and you can follow it with your job title. For example, Kirsten S. Roberts, Game Programmer. If you’re applying for your first role in the industry, you could do something creative, like Kirsten S. Roberts, Computer Science College Senior with a Passion for Gaming, to catch the hiring manager’s eye.
Your contact information should also be at the top of the page. Include your name, phone number, and professional email address. While it’s not necessarily required to put your physical address, it’s often helpful for recruiters if you put your city and state (and/or country/territory). You can put links to your portfolio and LinkedIn profile here as well.
Objective statement or summary
An objective statement or summary is like a pitch to the hiring manager, and it should grab their attention. When writing your objective statement, imagine you’re answering the question, “what is your goal?” Also try to include a phrase that’s used in the job post or specific skills that are listed. Here’s an example:
After your objective statement, you’ll want a section that highlights the skills you have that are relevant to the job. Again, you can pull these directly from the job description — literally copy and paste the exact phrasing used in the post if you have that skill.
So, if the job post states that a required qualification is experience with the PS4 and Xbox One platforms, you should have “PS4 and Xbox One platforms” listed under your skills.
Another example: Let’s say you’re applying for a position with the NBA and they want someone with familiarity with basketball and basketball simulations/games, then put “basketball simulations” under your skills section.
You don’t want to go overboard here. Try to home in on the most relevant skills and aim for 10-15 skills in your list.
The experience section is where you can elaborate on your past roles and their similarities with this new position. You should list your work experience in reverse chronological order, including the time period when you worked for each employer.
Summarize your responsibilities for each role, and always highlight your accomplishments and achievements. Tip: Use a verb to start each line in your work experience section. This will put emphasis on your accomplishments. Words like “developed,” “created,” “wrote,” or “led” are good ones to use here. (Bonus tip: Make sure that the tense of the verbs makes sense. So if you’re talking about a previous job, use past-tense; if you’re talking about your current job, use present tense.)
The experience section is a good place to include your soft skills. Problem-solving, collaboration, communication, time management, leadership, and creativity are all examples of soft skills that you can include when discussing your prior roles.
Education and courses
In the education section, include your degree if you have one, even if it’s not directly related to game development. If your degree was more general, like engineering or computer science, you can use bullet points to highlight aspects of your coursework that relate to game development.
If you’ve taken any professional development courses or earned a certificate, be sure to include those here. List your degrees first and in reverse chronological order if you attended multiple schools, and then list your professional development work after.
If you’re further along in your career, a Projects section might not be necessary. But it can be great for entry-level professionals. You can pick one or two recent projects to highlight here and include a link to your portfolio for more samples of your work.
More Game Developer resume tips
If you’re getting hung up on phrasing or how to list a specific skill, pull up LinkedIn and search for a game developer in a similar role to the one you’re applying for or someone who has a background comparable to yours. You can check out how they listed their skills to get some ideas for your own resume.
If formatting isn’t one of your strengths, there are sites like Rezi with downloadable Game Developer templates. Google Drive also provides free resume templates you can easily customize and edit in Google Docs. And remember: Always save your resume as a PDF (unless the job description has different instructions) so your formatting is preserved. You never want to send a potential employer an editable document like a Google Doc or a Microsoft Word file.
Prepare for a Game Developer job
If you’re looking for ways to boost your credentials or fill in gaps in your experience, our game development courses include both beginner and intermediate options.
Hopefully your resume lands you an interview for your dream job. If that’s the case, check out our tips on how to prepare for the interview process, which will include both technical and behavioral questions. Good luck!