As a game designer, did you know that…

Source: Statista

From the outside, the gaming industry is an interesting and fun place to work. In any case, if games are fun to play, isn’t developing the games fun too?

As a game designer, you work as part of a team. The game development team consists of different people all skilled in different areas. Some are programmers, others designers—like yourself—others specialize in creating characters etc.

If you’ve worked with people in the past, you know that it can be challenging. And if you’ve worked in a team mandated to develop a game, you know things can get tough.

One of the biggest risks is working hard only for the results to be rejected.

For you however, you know that you’re skilled enough to come up with the perfect game design.

Although you may be sure about your skills, you need someone else to agree with you before you get the opportunity to work in a studio. This person is the hiring manager of the studio who must be convinced of your expertise before hiring you.

The job market has many candidates seeking to be hired as game designers. That can only mean one thing: competition. If there’s competition, then you have to beat the others in order to get hired.

We know that writing a game designer resume may not be as easy or fun as designing a game. That’s why we wrote this article for you. This article aims to offer you practical advice on how to write the resume that will get you hired.

We’ll tell you about the different sections you must include in your resume. We show you the way to write those sections and at the end of the article, we have two resume samples for your reference.

These apply the advice provided and so you’ll be able to see how the final document will look like.

But before getting to the resume, let’s equip you with some industry insights. These will help you down the path in everything from negotiating your salary to planning for the future as a game designer.

Also, after the sample resumes, we have included a video for you to watch. The video is of different game developers sharing practical advice on how to get a job in the gaming industry.

GAME DESIGNER SALARY

One of the most important things to consider even before applying for a game designer job is the pay. You know that you’re good at what you do and are eager to earn from your skills.

But how much are you likely to be paid?

Although game developers pay differently depending on factors like company size and skills, there are figures which can guide you on this. Many game designers share information about their salaries anonymously. From such information, Glassdoor can give us an average.

According to their data, the average game designer’s annual salary is $59,000.

Source: Glassdoor

If joining at the entry-level, you could expect a salary of around $39K. If you have lots of skills and experiences, then you could end up earning $86K and above.

Of course, these figures are not standard across the whole industry.

If you get hired by a big game developer, you stand the chance of earning more. Something else that plays a role in salary matters is the demand for your skills.

The gaming industry is also affected by market forces like any other business. And whereas there are professional gamers and hard core enthusiasts, there are also those who game only in their spare time.

So, when the season is high, you can expect the demand for game designers to go up. That means there will be more companies hiring and the pay will be higher so as to attract the best talent.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. During a low season, things won’t be that good.

Here is a list of some of the top game developers and the average salaries they’re paying in 2020.

Source: Glassdoor

If you consider the amount of money paid by a company like Microsoft, it’s easy to decide to apply for a job in that company. As great as that would be, you’ll do well to realize that the high pay comes with more work.

But that’s okay, right? Aren’t you up to the task?

Game designer job satisfaction

Related to the salary you would enjoy as a game designer, there is the important bit of job satisfaction. Do you ever think about it?

To understand job satisfaction, consider that you won’t be working alone but under someone and as part of a team. This could mean stressful moments.

You have deadlines to meet, the design must be perfect, your collaboration with fellow team members must be great and so forth.

And while most teams work together to ensure cohesion and unity, at the end of the day, conflict is unavoidable. This is often one for the sources of stress; not to mention that you still have to deliver on time.

Career Explorer usually measures the level of job satisfaction employees have. For game designers, the rating stands at 4.2 out of 5 stars.

That’s not bad, is it?

All in all, if you love designing games, then you probably don’t have much to worry about.

Game designer job growth

And what about your occupation’s growth?

This is a serious factor to consider because it could mean everything for your career.

Job growth is usually projected based on data about past and current market performance. This could be anything from the cost of doing business in the gaming industry to the revenues realized. And as we initially pointed out, there are cycles in the gaming industry.

A good source of this information is the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data regarding the game designer occupation is categorized under the umbrella term “Multimedia Artists and Animators.”

The growth of your occupation as a game designer is projected to be 4% over the 2018 – 2028 decade. This is 1% lower than the projected growth for all occupations in the US economy.

This projection could be attributed to the increased intake of technology, especially the use of AI.

Although games are already being developed for AR and VR platforms, these are following the traditional path.

The use of AI promises a totally different experience. And since AI increases the dynamics of gaming and game design, this could see the birth of a new type of games.

As you design games, it would be wise to keep tabs on the technology being touted for the gaming industry. The faster you familiarize yourself with it and learn the necessary skills, the safer you’ll be.

This will help you secure your career and guarantee growth.

HOW TO WRITE A GAME DESIGNER RESUME

But all that has to start at the point of resume writing. Although your portfolio could help you land a job, the resume stage is often a must.

If your resume doesn’t impress, there’s a possibility that your portfolio would not even be looked at.

So why not take time and write the best game designer resume?

To make things easier for you, we provide you with resume templates for your use. Pick one and use it to present your game designer work experience and skills.

Let’s look at how you should write your resume so as to beat the competition.

Generally, there are five sections you must include in your resume. Apart from the first one, all the others help build your case before the hiring manager or lead game developer.

Here is a brief discussion of the sections. Afterwards, we’ll show you the game designer resume samples we promised so you can see the final document.

Personal information

This section is for introduction purposes, thus doesn’t have anything more than your name and contact information.

That said, it doesn’t mean that you should be sloppy about it. Keep in mind that there are many job applicants and the smallest mistake could get your resume rejected.

This is especially so considering that hiring managers work towards minimizing the time spent in the hiring process. As such, they’ve been reported to spend only 6 seconds on a single resume.

With such little time dedicated to your resume, you have to avoid any mistake.

Mistakes in this area often come at the point of writing your email address. Sometimes, it’s also your name.

What you need to understand is that despite game design being a creative role, professionalism is still necessary.

Don’t get creative with your name and email addresses. Make sure you write your official names and get a professional email address.

Summary or objective

The work or professional summary will play a key role in your game design resume. It’s possible that this is the furthest the hiring manager will go with your resume. And even if this is not the case, it’s best to work with this assumption.

This will help you focus on impressing both the lead developer and hiring manager or whoever else will be reading your resume.

The summary section is what will show your expertise and draw attention to your resume. The reason this section comes next after your personal information is because you must make an impact on the hiring manager as fast as possible.

There must be a subtle mention of your skills as well as a bold show of the difference you can make in the company.

Pro Tip
Pro tip:

You must always think from the perspective of the business owner. This is because the company isn’t looking for someone who necessarily wants to grow but one who will help the company grow.

Your summary should be a highlight of your best work so far. Therefore, get the information for this section from your work experience, skills and academic background.

And here’s the secret to increasing your chances of getting hired: use numbers to show the power of your abilities.

Numbers are used to measure the results you have achieved in the past. Don’t just say that you did this and that, show the change your actions brought about. And again, talk from a business point of view.

Here are examples of a bad and a good summary.

Ineffective professional summary

  • Designed games which received AAA status
  • Designed game levels in line with the overall vision of the game
  • Designed and implemented character behavior and scenarios

Wrong
Effective professional summary

  • Over 5 years experience designing games under tight deadlines
  • Helped design 13 games out of which 9 received AAA status
  • Created core game designs and gameplay functionality for over 50 games
  • Designed over 200 game characters

Right

Wondering about the career objective?

That is used for entry-level game designers. It serves pretty much the same purpose though it works differently.

A career objective will highlight smaller-scale projects such as academic game design projects and any relevant skills. You’ll basically be saying that you’ve studied game design and have the relevant skills to bring positive change into the company.

Your career objective must also show the results of your previous work. This work could be volunteer work or a game you designed in your own home.

And to get the necessary numbers, you could for example talk of the time you expected to spend and the actual time used.

Work experience

The work experience section carries all your work history, at least as much as you present. Note that this is the section which provides you with information for your summary or objective.

The most important thing to remember about this section is that it should never be blank. As a game designer, you cannot be lacking in work experience. Even as an entry-level game designer, you have done some work which is worth mentioning.

Pro Tip
Pro tip:

If you’re not sure about your game design work experience, then consider designing—or even developing—a game single-handedly, doing volunteer game design at a studio or even doing a freelance project.

As you write your work experience, make sure you include the name of the company, dates and location. The location helps to paint a picture of the scope of work you’ve done.

For example, working for a New York game developer will add weight to your resume compared to a developer in Blaine county in Nebraska.

Also, use bullet point lists to describe your work and the relevant achievements. 4-5 bullet points are good. And as you do that, remember to use the keywords from the job ad to make your resume relevant.

Keywords are the words used in the job ad to describe what is expected of the successful candidate. Using these words will also make your resume pass the ATS filters.

Here’s how to write this section.

Ineffective work experience

Game designer, Bell Studios
2017 – Present

  • Helped design several AAA games
  • Responsible for liaison between the design, UX and QC teams
  • Recognized for outstanding game environment design skills

Wrong
Effective work experience

Game designer, Bell Studios
2017 – Present

  • Collaborated with team members to design 8 AAA games
  • Managed a team of 5 game designers and collaborated with UX and QC teams to improve UX by at least 30% in all 8 games
  • Named game environment designer of the year 2 times in a row

Right

Education

Your education is pretty straightforward though it also carries its own weight.

If you have lots of working experience, that will help sell your resume. In that case, all you need to do is write the name of the school, location, degree and the graduation year.

If you’ve done any other relevant courses, that should be added too. Just remember to start with the most recent degree.

If you have little work experience or you just graduated, then you need to put more emphasis on this section. For you, this has to show more than just the university you attended and the degree.

Take things further by adding the relevant coursework which can show that you have the skills to design games. Mention any honors or academic achievements you have as well as your GPA it it’s higher than 3.5.

Ineffective education information

Bachelor’s Degree in Game
Illinois State University, Illinois
2012 – 2016

Wrong
Effective education information

Bachelor’s Degree in Game Development (GPA 3.9)
Illinois State University, Illinois
2012 – 2016
Relevant Coursework

  • 2D and 3D game character design and animation
  • Programming and scripting in games (C++, Blueprints, Python)
  • Game balancing and pacing
  • Game research and analysis

Right

Skills

What about your skills?

Your game design skills are very important. They are what set you apart from the rest and make it a delight to have you in a lead developer’s team.

The bets way to handle your game design skills is to first of all come up with a list of all your skills. After that, pick the most relevant to the job but also the ones you’re absolutely good at.

Don’t fall for the temptation to highlight a skill you’re not very good at. Lying in your resume can cost you a lot. You might be asked to prove it and lose the job on account of not meeting expectations.

Here are some skills you can pick from:

  • Game platforms (GameMaker: Studio, Unity, Unreal)
  • Prototype building
  • Programming languages (C, C++)
  • 2D and 3D art creation
  • Level building tools
  • Scripting languages (Blueprints, Python, Lua)
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Documentation writing
  • Time management
  • Decision making
  • Interpersonal skills

Remember that you don’t have to design your resume. Just use our resume templates. These are designed with professionalism and creativity in mind. They will help you save precious time and get you the results you need.

GAME DEVELOPER RESUME SAMPLES

And now that you’ve read that, it’s time you see how it all comes together.

We have two resumes for you. The first one is an entry-level game designer’s resume while the other one is an experienced game designer’s resume.

The entry-level game designer’s resume will show you how to tailor your education and university project for the resume. You’ll also notice that the newly-graduated game designer has been able to include measurable results in her resume.

The experienced game designer’s resume will show off the work experience and additional education which makes the candidate stand out.

Go through them and get the motivation you need to write your own.

Entry-level game designer resume

Right

Experienced game designer resume

Right

Do you see the difference it makes to write your game designer resume differently from the traditional ways? Now watch the below video for practical advice on getting hired by game developers.

CONCLUSION

You’ve seen what you need to do to edge out the competition in the job market. Now take the necessary action and write the game designer resume that will get you hired.

Game Designer Resume: Examples, Template, and Resume Tips

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