How To Plan Your Pivot Into A Gaming Career

Starting a new gaming career is hard, especially when you’ve been working a while elsewhere. Joining a new professional field presents unique challenges, such as identifying and conveying relevant abilities and accomplishments. We wrote this post to offer advice. Start here if you want to switch to gaming or esports.

First, where are gaming opportunities? Popular job sites like Indeed,  Zip Recruiter, and LinkedIn all have some esports listing and positions within game developers too. Newcomer to the jobs market, Hitmarker has over 10,000 global job postings in the gaming industry and is a great place to start looking.

Job seeking in the gaming industry works just like any other industry. Professionalism, a strong resume, and hard work matter here, too. Consider the following areas while applying for jobs as you did before.

Here are some suggestions for job seekers looking to turn their love of gaming into a profession they can be passionate about.

Doing your research

Researching the company

In any job-seeking process, researching a company is crucial. Gaming and esports are the same, but you might look in some different places for that information.

News searches and company websites remain essential. However, video game companies have more social media information than most other businesses. Spend time on Twitter and Reddit, reading the company’s official announcements as well as customer comments and reactions about particular games or the studio itself or what’s happening in an esports league. Check out what they put on LinkedIn in their company listing, too as there is different information across platforms based on their business goals. Using social media as an information-gathering source gives you access to the latest information, events, and customer feedback, always useful in an interview, showing potential employers that you are personally invested and aware of what the company is doing and dealing with at that moment.

The tone of your application

In gaming, too much formality in your cover letter or other communications can hurt your application. Professional and politeness is always important but remove “To whom it may concern” or “pursuant to your job posting”. The gaming industry tends towards a more casual tone, attitude, attire and atmosphere.

You can research the company’s culture, but generally opening with opening with “Hello” or “Hi there,” works. You do not have to use nearly as much formal language when applying for a job in the gaming industry, but you should remain professional — after all these companies typically get 2-4x the number of applicants, so you still want to stand out.

Gaming career preparation for older candidate job interview

Talking about interests

Any application, video game or otherwise, should focus on your qualifications for the job, on why you are the right candidate for the position, and your personal interest in the industry at large and even this company in particular. Communicating this with a quick paragraph in your cover letter and a brief mention in your professional summary start to develop a rapport and show that you fit in with the organization. Explaining why you want to switch fields helps employers learn something about you and helps close any perceived gaps between you and endemic applicants.

Providing this type of information helps you stand out from a sea of applicants who simply send stock resumes out to every job posting they find.

Adjusting for interview differences

Understanding how interviews within the gaming industry differ from other more formal settings, you should adjust your expectations in preparation.

People often assume their non-gaming experience is not valuable, but it is. Like other industries, the video game industry needs skilled, passionate workers. Gaming careers can be highly rewarding and also need high-level skills which often are first gained elsewhere.

Not all skills or jobs required in the gaming industry are games-industry specific. All businesses value finance, marketing, sales, or other experience if applying for a similar job, so include your former sales experience, for example, even though it was not in gaming. If you have skills or experience in areas the game company needs, highlight those during the application process and in interviews.

While you should prioritize any current or recent employment and activities that meet the job description on your resume, some gaming-specific jobs will require unique experience and skills. If you seek a job in game development or level design, for example, you will have no job experience to offer. This does not mean that breaking into those fields is impossible, but be prepared for pushback. Depending on your previous jobs, you might even find some crossover skills. Do not forget any hobbies or gaming interests, such as modding, either. Such sideline activities show your natural interest in the gaming industry and that you have at least some kind of experience in the field. Some jobs, however, absolutely require specific and advanced knowledge. In these cases, if you can create work samples, even if you didn’t create them while working at a company, interviewers can assess your skills.

Level designers need game engine experience, while game developers use C++. Artists and animators have their set of particular skills, including the use of creative software. C++ is not exclusive to gaming, and most game engines are available as free downloads, letting you learn and practice with them. This is where you can build a demo to show them what you know. YouTube has guides in art, tutorials on using software creation tools, and more. You can learn on your own and so improve your chances of getting the job.

Keep in mind that while the game industry can be fun and dynamic, it is not all about playing video games or watching tournaments. If you do not like finance, then you will not like finance in the gaming industry, either. Just like any other business, the gaming industry is a job – it takes work to be successful. Keep this in mind when considering moving to this new field. If you expect to find an easy gaming career or job by switching to the games industry, think again.

That said, many jobs and skills transfer well to the gaming industry. Video game development is a large and growing field, forcing many studios to look outside of the games industry for talent. By understanding the differences in the application process and leveraging your experiences and past career, you can maximize your chances of getting noticed and finding the right job for you. Remember to have a look at our feed of live jobs to find your next opportunity.


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