A couple weeks ago I had the honor of speaking at IGDA Chicago’s how-to session entitled “You’ve Graduated: Now What?”. The premise of the evening was to have a series of experts speak to recent graduates looking for work with advice on job hunting, networking, interviewing, etc.
After the panel I had quite a few people ask if I would share my opening remarks with them. Although it was just in a free-form set of notes, I’ve cleaned them up the best I could and put them here in this blog post so that they can be easily shared and referred to in the future.
Hope this helps!
My opening notes/remarks for the attendees at the You’ve Graduated: Now What? Session:
Websites To Check Out: http://sherirubin.com, http://sheriforigda.org, and sherigranerray.com for Sheri Graner Ray’s and mynetworking articles including tips on using social media, interviewing, attending GDC, working with recruiters, and business cards.
Speaking Of Business Cards… How many here have them? Why don’t you have them? Do you carry some around everywhere? I carry some around in a special card holder, in my padfolio, in my wallet so even if that’s the only thing I have on me at the time I can still hand them my card.
GDC/Casual Connect: How many here have attended GDC? It’s kind of the conference for most developers. If you’re planning to go to Casual/Social/Mobile games consider looking into Casual Connect’s conference series as well.
Attending Events Smartly: How many of you are attending your first IGDA Chicago Meeting? Attend as many conferences and networking events as possible, but be professional and smart:
Interview Attire: Ask HR/your hiring contact what the appropriate attire is for the interview. They may tell you a suit/dress but they also may just tell you business casual (e.g. khakis and a nice shirt). Flip-flops with shorts and a t-shirt is NOT ok. Also, please shower and groom yourself appropriately. No one is going to want to give you a job if they feel like you’re going to smell every day.
Job Qualifications: Don’t apply for jobs you don’t qualify for – you waste the hiring manager/HR person’s time and they may remember that the next time you apply for a job you DO qualify for.
Bashing Games: DO NOT bash games at events or interviews. You can, sometimes, constructively criticize games (VERY CAREFULLY), but you never know what games the person on the other side of the table has worked on or loved.
THIS INDUSTRY IS SMALL! Seriously – we will find out about you and possibly if you lied. Once had a person drop off a demo reel at a company I worked at and one of her old coworkers was now working with us, he proceeded to point to everything in the reel that she didn’t do but others did. Don’t burn bridges as best as possible. There aren’t many people in this industry that I’m not one or two degrees away from if I really look into it (and that includes Will Wright, John Romero, Brenda Garno Brathwaite, Raph Koster, Ernest Adams, and many many more.)
There was a lot more shared in that panel and hopefully we’ll have a video up soon but in the end the main point we all agreed on was: Don’t be stupid, don’t smell, don’t lie, and proofread.
- Sheri Rubin joined the IGDA in 1999 which inspired her to become the advocate and community builder for the global video game industry that she is today.