Sunday, October 18, 2009

SGD Resumé Panel Recap

This past Thursday, the Student Game Developers hosted a resumé workshop to aid SGD members in the creation and editing of their respective resumés. Panel members included SGD President Chris Dodge, senior computer science and economics double major Steven Mond, and University of Virginia computer science professor Aaron Bloomfield.

Following is a list of important points that came out of the discussion regarding resumé construction:
  • Items that are useful to include in your resumé are: your experience in the field; technical skills and qualifications; examples of projects you have completed, through academic pursuits or otherwise; what specifically differentiates you from other potential job candidates (i.e. "how are you special?"; and finally your education (referring only to your college education).
  • The first line of the body text of the resumé is by far the most important. In addition, place your most pertinent achievements close to the top of the document.
  • Place key terms on the left side of the document; typically resumé screeners will quickly scan the document for key terms, and putting pertinent keywords with regard to your qualifications on the left side are more likely to be seen.
  • Avoid poor grammar and spelling errors at all costs. In addition, do not construct a resumé that is longer than one page, and try not to be overly verbose or flowery with your writing.
  • Use action verbs. NEVER use passive voice.
  • Do embellish your qualifications a bit; however, don't go too far as you can be held accountable for anything you list on your resumé during an interview.
With regard to cover letters:
  • When writing the cover letter, keep in mind that the point of the letter is to interest the screener to read your resumé.
  • Sell yourself! Explain why you want the job and what you offer to the company you are applying to.
  • Be sincere in your cover letter, but sell yourself. Again, however, keep in mind that you will be responsible for anything you write down in the cover letter in an interview setting.
  • Use jargon from the field, and, again, avoid passive voice.
  • The cover letter should be all about you, all the time.
Finally, two useful websites were introduced:
  • ; this is a map of all game development companies world-wide, with links to each company's website provided
  • ; the International Game Developers Assocation

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