Landing your dream job in the Games Industry can be trying at the best of times and why wouldn’t it be? It’s the best industry in the world!
You know that any of your applications will be sitting alongside numerous equally eager, ambitious and skilled applicants. You try your best to show off a range of skills and your personality in your CV/portfolio in hope of nailing down that job that you’ve always wanted.
The immediate connection here between job applications and the Battle Royale genre is plain to see - the ‘last person standing’ ultimately lands the place everyone else is fighting over.
After digging a little deeper (playing Fortnite for at least 2 hours daily for the past 12 months) my research into Battle Royale games brought me to the conclusion that there are more than a few job hunting lessons to learn from Epic’s biggest hit...
1. The Battle Bus - Square 1
Image credit: ArtStation.com
You’ve committed, you’ve decided to get into the game and get a new job. Along with many other likeminded Designers, Producers, Artists, Engineers etc. you all have the common goal of ‘getting that dub’ and securing the best position for you.
The list of things to consider and potential avenues to explore appear endless and can feel overwhelming but you’re all in the same boat (or bus) and just need to decide when to jump…
2. Land Smart - Pick the right roles to apply for
Image Credit: IGN
Along with the other ‘opponents’, it’s now up to you to zero in on the best early strategy in the application process.
The last thing you want to do is jump out of the Battle Bus too early on, landing with 20 other ‘players’ and get blown straight back to the lobby before you could even get started. Or even worse take a late landing at Tilted Towers with not enough experience and be shot out of the sky without your application even being acknowledged.
So when you’re job hunting it’s essential you find a number of roles that catch your eye and make a shortlist. Really focus in on those that are of most interest to you – if you apply for things you don’t want then you’ll end up with a job you don’t want!
Take your time and pinpoint exactly the area you’re looking to get into. An example could be ‘Systems Design at a f2p studio working on a fps game in Germany, France or the UK’. You don’t want to limit yourself too much but make sure you identify which elements of future jobs/studios are important to you and stick to that.
Creating consistent, concise and punchy applications will be a lot easier once you know what you want.
3. Loot Up - Do your research
Image Credit: Fortnite Insider
You’ve avoided Tilted Towers, landed somewhere that suits your profile/skillset and are still alive. Now you’ve got to loot up. That means acquiring what you might need to ensure you have the best chance of seeing your name under the glowing ‘Victory Royale’ lights. You need Guns, Healing Items, Explosives, Balloons or even the odd Boogie Bomb, the list is endless. However you only have 5 slots to use so it’s vital you fill these 5 slots with whatever suits your play-style best, so do your research!
This goes for any potential studio you apply to, research them, research them like crazy!
Don’t stop after finding a job spec. Everyone will have that so it’s time to dig deeper.
You need to be researching…
- Studio culture - check out Glassdoor. Talk to people that have worked there. Do their responses make it seem like somewhere you’d like to work?
- People who work at the studio - Where did they come from? Is your profile a similar level to those in the area you’re interested in?
- Projects they’re working on – probably most importantly, are these the kind of projects you’d like to work on?
And don’t forget...
- What salary can you expect - there’s nothing worse than getting all the way to the final 2, expecting a salary to come that simply isn’t in their budget and being left disappointed and trapped in the storm. To avoid disappointment take a look at our 2018 Salary Survey Results for Game Designers, Artists & Designers and Programmers to see what numbers you could be looking at.
Not only will this level of research give you an increased chance of impressing the company and answering difficult questions at interview stage, but it will also further instill that this position is a genuine option for you and something you’d likely be happy to accept.
4. Launch Pad - Discuss relocation
Image Credit: Fandom
The zone is shrinking, you’re stuck in the storm 50mtrs away from safety with your health at 35 and going down by 5 points per second due to storm damage… If you cannot make the zone in time, you might as well back out of the game immediately.
Such is the cool nature of our industry, Games studios are based all over the world. That’s no secret, I know that... you know that, but does anyone you’re planning to relocate with know that?
If you want to apply to a role that requires you moving to a new location don’t be a noob and make sure you get yourself a metaphorical ‘launch pad’ (Probably the worst link I have made to Fortnite but arguably the most important).
It’s vital to discuss your relocation options with any significant others at the earliest possible moment. There is no point in even starting an application for a role if it will ultimately require relocating to a place that you cannot move to.
Once you (and everyone important to you) are on board with the location of the studio then you’re ready to crack on.
The good news about the majority of studios in the Games Industry is that if relocation is required they will actually provide you with a relocation package and the support you need to ensure the move is as seamless as possible.
5. Engage Opponents - Start the application process
Image Credit: Epic Games
You’re looted up, you’ve got all the weapons and materials you need, and even a launch pad if necessary. Now it’s time to get to the good (if slightly daunting) stuff!
As you’ve seen, a great portion of nailing the application process happens before any application takes place. All of this time spent ‘looting' and researching all facets of the new role will give you many of the tools required to blow the competition out of the water or tactically build above them when they least expect it and send a rocket launch missile to their face.
You’ve got the knowledge you need and your CV is in tip-top condition... so get it out there and start applying!
It might take a bit of time but armed with your arsenal, you’ll manage to reach…
6. Close Quarters - Interviews
Image Credit: ZerkaaPlays
You’re one of the last few alive. At this point, the zone has shrunk to a point where you’re just a touching distance away from the Victory Royale everyone came here for. You’ve made it to the dreaded interview process.
The good news… You’re ready! You know the company likes your profile on paper so it’s time to bring that application to life. You’re completely clued up on the studio, their culture, who it is you’re speaking with, studios their employees have come from and the projects they are currently working on. Use this knowledge in the interview – show them the work you’ve done!
The bad news… Not every interview will go your way. Each studio will be looking for different qualities in an individual and that won’t always be you. But on the flip side, you might find that after the interview, your views have changed and you don’t want to progress either.
This is where it’s important to remember to keep your options open. By no means apply to as many studios as humanly possible (no one should jump out of the Battle Bus within 0.004 seconds) but we’ve all seen places that look incredible online and don’t match up in person. Through a tailored and measured approach, you should aim to end up with a few interviews with studios that have the special something that piques your interest.
Who knows, after the first interview you may end up with an offer but it is best to keep your options open to increase the chances of securing something you’re happy with.
7. Victory Royale - The Offer(s)
Image Credit: YaBoyPsycho
You’re in the final 2, You have the high ground and your opponent can’t see where you are, now take him out with one clean sniper shot to the head and get the win!
At this point, you have likely met the team, had a studio visit and got acquainted with what life entails at the studio on a day to day basis. You hear that you’re getting an offer and you know it’s something you would like to accept.
When the offer comes through, you get absolutely everything you were expecting – the perfect salary, relocation, project, and general package.
Now, we would love that to be the case but it’s not always that simple is it?
8. Anyone for Duos? Can recruiters actually help?
Image Credit: Epic games
Put it this way, my 10-year-old nephew has come 2nd on Fortnite solos games countless times. ‘Anyone can camp their way to a top 10 finish but you’ll very rarely win a Solos game doing that’. And while coming in second in Fortnite is commendable, missing the top spot at a company where there’s only one job going, isn’t quite as helpful.
Whether you’re looking to win a game of Fortnite or secure a great role in the Games Industry it often helps to have the right people in your corner so… it could be time for Duos!
A good recruiter who knows what they are doing and has your best interests at heart is a great choice to partner up with. They can make the whole application process so much easier and increase your chances of securing your dream role significantly.
For each job you apply to through a recruiter, you’ll have someone on your side who knows inside out how to impress the studio in ways you may not have even begun to think of. So, preparation-wise it will give you an extra couple of feathers to your cap ensuring you an increased chance of securing the role.
A good recruiter goes far beyond this though.
A recent candidate and dare I say 'friend' of mine, Marchiano Loen described his experience of working with a ‘pretty great’ recruiter in his recent pursuit of securing his next role in the Games Industry.
“I could not be more happy and excited about the opportunity Stan brought to me and now that the ink on the contract is dry and I look back on his role in getting this all done, which went above and beyond what I ever expected.
He was aware of my ambitions to make a big step in my career and his #1 quality is his personable approach, showing a genuine interest in his candidates, getting to know them as people so he can match them up with the right studios. His approach is warm and his starting point is you, the person.
With Stan, it really feels more like working with a friend you can trust and who unquestionably has your best interests at heart.”
Through the help of a good recruiter not only can you accelerate securing a great position but also have access to many options you didn’t even know existed.
Conclusion – Match Report
I hope that some of the points here may help you land your next job or at least improve your KD ratio. Or maybe this whole article was a subconscious attempt for me to justify 200 hours of Fortnite game time?!
As for my nephew, it’ll be a bit of a wait until he gets his first Solos win on Fornite but for the time being, he seems pretty happy landing his wins in 2 player Duos games with me.
How long are you willing to wait for your dream job in the Games Industry?
If you’re looking for a ‘Job Search Duos Partner’ get in touch today and let’s get ready to jump!