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Resume Woes!

TornaydoTornaydo Registered User
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Help!

I'm wrapping up my final term of college and I'm trying to get a resume together. I'm really wanting to go into the video game journalism field. I know it's a competitive industry and that it's hard to get your resume noticed in the vast sea of applicants. So, I decided that when I sent resumes into the video game industry I'd do something to get noticed.

Under my past work experience I would post the following amongst my other real work experience:


2007 • Pastry Chef, Aperture Science
Made cakes for test subjects. Dismissed with all other staff after a safety
incident involving nerve gasses. Made life or death decisions and
troubleshot for the GLaDOS AI system.


Now, some people I talk to love the idea. They agree that most people in the industry would get the joke and appreciate the humor.

Others think it's not such a great idea because it's either not serious enough or too kitchy.

Well F! What do I do?

Tornaydo on

Posts

  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Long shot mang, long shot.

    I think its funny but keep in mind the people reading your resume are not necessarily the people you're working with. They're the people in the HR department of the company that owns the publication you'd be working for.

    Shogun on
  • starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If you don't have the experience to get a job there, I highly doubt something that may or may not be funny on a serious document will get you noticed or the job.

    If you do have the experience, I think it would hurt more than help.

    If you want to be noticed, write a good cover letter and don't do something stupid with your resume.

    Cover Letter, do AIDA. Gain attention, build interest, build their desire, and give them a way to take action. Four paragraphs, one for each.

    These people are professionals. Save your "wit" for your pieces.

    EDIT: Also, as shogun said, these people are not the people you will be working with. They may not have played portal. They will look at your resume, see one of the things you listed has nothing to do with video games (IE Pastry Chef) and wonder what other stuff you padded into your resume to add length. But by the time they wonder, your app will be in the trash.

    starmanbrand on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Not a good idea for a begining business resume. Aside from the fact that it's well, stupid... it's also refrencing a crazy popular thing.
    Might as well handle your interviews as such...


    What is your strongest attribute you can bring to our company?
    Well, I just gotta catch em all!

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Firstly I don't get it.

    Secondly how would it look if you were called in for an interview and they asked about it?

    You would have to explain to them that you A) lied to them B) told an extremely unfunny joke (if they don't get the reference).

    Really the basic hard and fast rule is don't lie on your resume.

    Blake T on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    If I read a resume like that, it would make me laugh, sure.

    Afterwards I'd throw it in the trash.

    ege02 on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Firstly I don't get it.

    Secondly how would it look if you were called in for an interview and they asked about it?

    You would have to explain to them that you A) lied to them B) told an extremely unfunny joke (if they don't get the reference).

    Really the basic hard and fast rule is don't lie on your resume.

    Played Portal?


    That was my main point. If the lead editor of whatever gaming publication saw this he'd probably get a good laugh out of it. But the lead editor isn't who hires people. For example if he was going for a job at GameSpot he would be interviewed by someone in the HR department of Cnet media. They probably would not get the reference at all and they would most definitely ask about it since it looks so odd 'life and death decisions' and whatnot.

    Shogun on
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    There's also the whole "if anything on your resume turns out to be false, it's grounds for immediate dismissal" clause that practically every company uses.

    Don't do it.

    Marty81 on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    Marty81 wrote: »
    There's also the whole "if anything on your resume turns out to be false, it's grounds for immediate dismissal" clause that practically every company uses.

    Don't do it.

    It's not only false information.

    It's the fact that employers, when they look at a pile of resumes, are in elimination mode - during the first round, they are looking at resumes not to find out potential candidates but to eliminate shitty ones. The typical HR motto when it comes to resumes is "when in doubt, throw it out". Do not give them any reason to eliminate you.

    ege02 on
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Another 'no' vote. Not that it's the unfunniest thing I've ever read. It's just that it screams "TRYING TOO HARD!" The best way to distinguish yourself on a resume is, well, to actually do something that distinguishes you.

    An additional thing to watch out for through the process: extreme passion for gaming may well help you in your job hunt, but it may actually work against you in certain circumstances. Some people involved in the hiring process, who are in the business because they really care about the subject matter, will like that characteristic. However, you're equally likely to run across someone who is really in it for the business.

    Remember that today, journalism companies aren't journalism companies anymore. They're advertising companies. Your articles are not the company's product. The readers are not its customers. It's all backwards. The readers are the company's product. The company's customers are the advertisers, and what they're selling isn't articles, it's eyeballs. The journalists are primarily responsible for procuring those products - those eyeballs.

    If you run across somebody that really internalizes this mindset, and they are out there, the primary question on their mind will be "how will hiring this person help me sell more ads?"

    Good luck!

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    Don't do gimmicks on your CV. Gimmicks never work.

    Plus, HR will be reading this CV. HR are actually robots who take everything totally literally. If a job description asks for experience using MS Office, it doesn't matter if you could build an MS Office beating application from scratch and so could naturally learn MS Office in five minutes even if you'd never touched it before, if it doesn't say MS Office on your CV, you won't be considered.

    If you go putting crap about nerve gas accidents on your CV, you will not progress to interview.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    CV?

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    CV?

    Curriculum Vitae, a fancy European word for resume. Not used often in the U.S., although there is a connotative difference in certain circles, e.g., academia. In Academia, your resume might only be one or two pages long listing employment histories, degrees, and vital statistics, but your CV might be 10-20 pages long detailing all your publications, service activities, references, and so on.

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • BabsBabs Registered User
    edited November 2007
    CV = Curicculum Vitae , the latin words for résumé.

    Back to the topic at hand, another big no-no for me. I've worked with a lot of HR peoples. Witty inserts like those means immediate termination of the résumé, all other consideration aside.

    What should be in a résumé is clearly defined, your stuides and work experience plus your hobbies. Aside from a good and clever presentation of those items, there is really no room for anything else. Heck, even a dry, black and white résumé will go better than a lively, fancy colored one.

    Is it sad? i dunno. But it's just the way it goes.

    Best of luck tho.

    edit : i'm just too sloooooow

    Babs on
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Curriculum Vitae

    Fancy word for resume.

    Another no vote on the funny document. If you must show you have a sense of humor, do so during the face to face interview, and keep it to one or two at the most. If the guy comes across as extremely professional/serious don't even try. He'll just think you're frivilous and not mature enough for the position.

    Edit: Beat! Curses...
    What should be in a résumé is clearly defined, your stuides and work experience plus your hobbies

    If I have to see one more person say that 'watching tv' is their hobby... I'm going to use their CV to commit seppuku.

    Falx on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    Babs wrote: »
    What should be in a résumé is clearly defined, your stuides and work experience plus your hobbies. Aside from a good and clever presentation of those items, there is really no room for anything else. Heck, even a dry, black and white résumé will go better than a lively, fancy colored one.

    Any design elements should be considered solely on the grounds of improved legibility and enhanced communication. The problem is, most people are not expert graphic designers or typographers, so are doomed to getting it wrong (hell, even plenty of designers get it wrong). There is also the fact that familiarity is naturally more legible, so even although you might come up with a better layout than standard resume templates, as it is unfamiliar to HRbots, they may not be able to process it. Then you have to consider legibility degradation from photocopying and faxing and how colours are going to behave when copied to black and white which involves a basic understanding of the luminance of colours. Then there's typeface legibility which involves both an understanding again of familiarity of common fonts as well as design elements of the typefaces and formating methods that make individual typefaces more or less legible and the affect this has on their performance under reproductive conditions.

    If you don't know what you're doing, stick to familiar fonts (times new roman or arial/helvetica), black and white and whatever template Word throws at you.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Nitsuj82Nitsuj82 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If anything, if you get a first interview and they ask for a writing sample, just present it then. Use your cover letter to grab them, then make them realize you have the creativity.

    Nitsuj82 on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Falx wrote: »
    If I have to see one more person say that 'watching tv' is their hobby... I'm going to use their CV to commit seppuku.

    I take it you've reviewed CV's before...people actually say that?!

    Marty81 on
  • TornaydoTornaydo Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Thanks everyone.

    I've been putting more thought into it to and I'm pretty sure I'll cut it. Thanks for all your input!

    Tornaydo on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Talk to some teachers for some advice, maybe see their resumes.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I look at a number of resumes on a regular basis, these days.

    Echoing the above sentiment, I may laugh, then wonder how the hell it made it through the screeners.

    Not the best idea.

    Morskittar on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Talk to some teachers for some advice, maybe see their resumes.

    Teachers are probably the worst people to ask resume advice for. Most of them can't see past the academic context and their job-hunting experience tends to be limited to one area: education. Unless you're applying to become a teacher, there is no reason you should seek out their advice specifically.

    I'd check out your school's career center instead, if it has one. People there actually specialize in people like you, so your chances of getting tips that have no basis in reality are much lower.

    Run your resume through as many people as possible, but pay attention only to hints and tips from the ones who have extensive job-hunting experience. People who have professional jobs, for example, especially if they are employed in the industry you're aiming for. Hell, if you can get in touch with actual employers, they are the best ones to get resume advice from because they know what they are looking for. Some schools have resume workshops given by employers. I'd ask around in colleges in your area and go to one of them.

    ege02 on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The career center is a good idea, but to completely dismiss the chance that some of his teachers have worked professionaly for a number of years is fairly unfounded.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • MotherFireflyMotherFirefly Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I've been doing tons of interviews lately and one thing employers definitely appreciate is a good sense of humor.

    I'm pretty sure that I got the attention of the Revision3 guys by having the main subjectline of my email being "Blow it out your ass"

    for some reason they thought it was hilarious.

    This works.

    MotherFirefly on
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you want to get into video game journalism, show your wit and humor in your sample pieces. That's really what they will be looking for. Knowledge of games is great, but you want to be able to write effectively, clearly, and with accuracy regarding a variety of games ranging from brilliant to rubbish.

    In other words, use powerful and engaging language on your resume, but keep the off-beat humor for your samples. You want to take the application process seriously and professional, which is something I'm guessing lots of aspiring video game journalists don't always do. Have a professional, polished image to present.
    ege02 wrote:
    Teachers are probably the worst people to ask resume advice for. Most of them can't see past the academic context and their job-hunting experience tends to be limited to one area: education. Unless you're applying to become a teacher, there is no reason you should seek out their advice specifically.

    The worst people? What?

    Teachers are constantly in a position in which they review resumes and write letters of recommendation for students. In this particular case, I can absolutely guarantee if the OP wants to shore up his presentation for journalism he'd be hard pressed to find better resources than in his English/journalism department. Plenty of these people have worked in other fields, or have worked to place students in related jobs. Many professors/teachers also have networking connections in the field.

    So no, not the worst people. Perhaps some of the absolute best available.

    Hewn on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Hewn wrote: »
    ege02 wrote:
    Teachers are probably the worst people to ask resume advice for. Most of them can't see past the academic context and their job-hunting experience tends to be limited to one area: education. Unless you're applying to become a teacher, there is no reason you should seek out their advice specifically.

    The worst people? What?

    Teachers are constantly in a position in which they review resumes and write letters of recommendation for students. In this particular case, I can absolutely guarantee if the OP wants to shore up his presentation for journalism he'd be hard pressed to find better resources than in his English/journalism department. Plenty of these people have worked in other fields, or have worked to place students in related jobs. Many professors/teachers also have networking connections in the field.

    So no, not the worst people. Perhaps some of the absolute best available.

    Reviewing lots of resumes doesn't make one good at giving effective tips. There was a professor in my department who thought it was a good idea to use bold fonts for things you want to highlight in a resume. Yeah, stupid. Turned out he hadn't applied to a job in the private sector for two decades.

    We'll have to agree to disagree.

    A good book to read on the topic of job-hunting is What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Bolles. Literally every single thing one needs to know about the whole process, from deciding on a career to negotiating job offers.

    ege02 on
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Your one bad experience shouldn't make you think teacher are the worst source to run this sort of thing by. I still stand quite firm to my conviction that he'd gain excellent insight talking to a journalism professor, who likely not only has worked in the field but also knows people that have - be it colleges or former students.

    It seems likely that a person who studies and teaches journalism professionally might have an idea of where the industry is at currently and what employers in the field look for.

    Hewn on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ask multiple people to get varrying opinions, and choose what to listen to based on what you like, and what gets repeated often.

    Improvolone on
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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hewn wrote: »
    ege02 wrote:
    Teachers are probably the worst people to ask resume advice for. Most of them can't see past the academic context and their job-hunting experience tends to be limited to one area: education. Unless you're applying to become a teacher, there is no reason you should seek out their advice specifically.

    The worst people? What?

    Teachers are constantly in a position in which they review resumes and write letters of recommendation for students. In this particular case, I can absolutely guarantee if the OP wants to shore up his presentation for journalism he'd be hard pressed to find better resources than in his English/journalism department. Plenty of these people have worked in other fields, or have worked to place students in related jobs. Many professors/teachers also have networking connections in the field.

    So no, not the worst people. Perhaps some of the absolute best available.

    Reviewing lots of resumes doesn't make one good at giving effective tips. There was a professor in my department who thought it was a good idea to use bold fonts for things you want to highlight in a resume. Yeah, stupid.

    What's wrong with that?

    Szechuanosaurus on
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