In the competitive gaming industry, one way to attract the attention of hiring managers is by presenting a strong game design portfolio. A gaming portfolio goes beyond the experience you list in a resume or skills you highlight in a cover letter. It presents proof of your talent and gives hiring managers the opportunity to evaluate real projects you’ve worked on.
Wherever you are in your career, it’s vital to use a gaming portfolio when you apply to jobs today. It can help give you a winning advantage to get the job you want. Apply these tips to make your game design portfolio stand out.
1. Show a Variety of Skills
Depending on your specialty and expertise, you may have worked on different types of games or used different skills for games at various stages of their development. As you consider projects to include, try to look for a variety of examples that illustrate your range of skills.
For example, a portfolio might include samples that focus on:
- Game art, from sketch to final product
- Computer software used, such as 3D modeling software or video editing tools
- Diverse game projects, that include explanations for how the design process played out for each type of game
If you’re applying for technical roles, focus on making more recent projects the prominent samples, since they’ll have used the latest technology.
Before you select samples to feature, carefully read the job description. You may want to create a different portfolio for each job you’re applying for, as your expertise on some projects may match better for one job and so on.
2. Let Your Passion Shine Through
Your game design portfolio doesn’t have to be limited to “professional” work projects. If you’ve worked on projects for fun because you enjoy the work or subject matter, consider including those in your gaming portfolio. These are the projects you might really succeed at explaining in an interview, or that really showcase your skills the best.
Passion projects are also great to include in a gaming portfolio when you have limited professional experience. If you’re a student who’s about to graduate, or you’re new to the industry, these can still shine on a portfolio and demonstrate your skills.
3. Design Your Gaming Portfolio for the Hiring Manager
As we mentioned, you may want to have different gaming portfolios for different roles and jobs. Some job postings will even specify what to include in a portfolio. Your gaming portfolio may not be one-size-fits-all.
Read what an employer wants to see in a portfolio. The employer may request in-depth case studies or another type of work example.
With each example you present, make sure to explain:
- What your role was
- What your key contributions were
- Skills and tools used in the project
You can list these in bullet points to make them scannable and easier to read. Think about what made your work on the project so valuable. Highlight those contributions and skills next to each project so you stand out.
4. Pay Attention to Details
Just like a spelling error on a resume can turn employers off, so can mistakes in your gaming portfolio. Resume experts recommend avoiding the following errors when applying for jobs, since they could hurt your chance of being hired.
- Unprofessional or lack of contact information
- Grammatical mistakes
- Inconsistent layouts
- Lack of skills that match what the job requires
Before you present your gaming portfolio, make sure it includes professional contact information. Run it through a grammar- and spelling-checker to fix errors. Have someone you trust look over it and make suggestions for how to improve it.
In the gaming industry, you know how important impactful visuals are. You’ll also want your portfolio to look professional and eye-appealing, so you might want to work with a designer to nail down the presentation. There are also online portfolio creation tools like Carbonmade and Coroflot that can help you create a professionally designed gaming portfolio.
5. Edit Your Game Design Portfolio Before You Submit It
Even if you’re applying for similar jobs with similar games, you’ll still want to go through your portfolio before each job to ensure it aligns with the job description. You may have a single online portfolio somewhere like your website. But when you’re submitting physical copies of a portfolio or you submit a portfolio as an attachment when applying for a job, make sure you:
- Use examples that best fit the company’s product
- Highlight skills and tools that relate to the job you’re applying for
- Start with your strongest work examples that relate most to the job
- Remove any lewd or irrelevant pieces of work
A portfolio that speaks to a unique employer will have a better chance of capturing attention compared to a cookie cutter portfolio that wasn’t personalized for the role or company.
Get Extra Help from a Gaming Recruiter
In the gaming industry, portfolios play an essential role in getting professionals hired. Tailor yours to the job you’re applying for. Consider which projects you made meaningful contributions to, including passion projects, when you’re narrowing down what to include.
If you’re working with a gaming recruiter, ask them for their thoughts on your game design portfolio for the job you’re applying for. They’ll have great insights, since they know the client so well and have seen other candidates succeed or be rejected. They may suggest what to lead with for your portfolio for their client, or they could suggest examples of types of projects to include.Want to work with a recruiter to get your next gaming job? Contact ggLocators.