Your Portfolio Gave Me Diarrhea

Friday, October 1, 2021

When we advertise for jobs we get a lot of applications. It can be frustrating to go through job applications and to be honest I really hate it, but I love finding new talented people to work with so I do it.

We don't have a job application email address now because they are frustrating to go through. It's easy to be flippant and annoyed, but each application is a person aspiring to move forward with their life, and then you get their resume and you can immediately see 5 things they're doing wrong. And the fact they're doing it wrong in this applcation probably means they're spending all day applying for jobs, getting it wrong all over the place.

Ideally we'd email each person back and let them know where they're going wrong. Ideally we'd at least email back to say hey thanks but your application was unsuccessful, here's some ways you can improve your application and please try again in 6 months. But we'd spend all day replying to emails if we did that. We probably need to hire someone to do it, but who is going to go through the applications for that?

So here's some of the biggest problems I've found when going through applications.

Accepting Applications?

Don't email asking if we're accepting applications. Just send your portfolio.

Include Nothing

You can't expect to apply for a job as a 3D Artist with a PDF containing just your home address and the name of your school. Show me what you can do. Show me your art.

Two Second Videos

Instead of linking me to thirty short videos can you put them all in one big video please.

Passwords

Please don't link to 10 videos and have a password on each one. Don't make me copy and paste a password to view a video.

I appreciate that some of the stuff you're linking to is confidential, but isn't an unlisted video just as good?

Zips

Why are you zipping up 4 pictures instead of just attaching them in the email. Why has the zip got a password on it. Why is the password in a pdf.

Game Saves

I'm not going to blindly download your game save files, put them in a game, load the game and walk around.

At least put screenshots of what you created, something to convince me to go to all that effort.

Done Nothing

If you're applying for a job as a modeller I'd expect your portfolio to be full of models. It's your job - you're going to have done it a lot. If you're only showing two models I'm going to wonder how much you like doing this.

If you're applying for a job as a concept artist you should have more than 2 drawings on your portfolio.

Maybe you're taking your older work down because you have evolved since then and think it looks bad. Keep it up. Make it obvious that it is historical. I like seeing people get better.

Photos

I don't need to know what you look like.

Vimeo

For some reason Vimeo takes 20 seconds to start a video for me. I've got 1gb internet and it takes 20 seconds to start a video. And even then it stops to buffer. I think this is more of a problem when videos are rarely viewed - like portfolio videos.

I'm sure there's a good reason people prefer uploading their videos to Vimeo over Youtube but I'm not convinced. Please upload your videos to YouTube.

School Grades

I don't need to know your school grades. I don't need to know that you worked at Aldi when you were 17.

If you're including a resume I'm only going to look at it to see what other game studio experience you have. If you don't have any then you're best off not including it and focusing me on your portfolio.

Broken Links

Make sure your links work! Click them before you send the email!

Copy and Paste

If you're copying and pasting your application to a bunch of different companies be careful. If you're mentioning the company name in the email you're probably going to mess up and forget to change it. Don't mention it.

Don't send the email to a ton of companies all together - it looks bad. If you have to just use BCC so it's at least less obvious.

In Engine

If you're applying as an animator or 3D artist then I want to see your work in a game engine.

Your renders are nice and show that you understand how to compose an image, but I also want to know you have a basic understanding of how game engines work - because that's the job.

Twitter Baby

Don't include a link to your twitter if it's just arguing with other twitter users over nothing.

Do link to your twitter if it's pages of you showing off your art and skills.

Out Of Date

Here's a link to my portfolio I have done a lot since then just ask if you want to see it.

LODs

If you're applying as a modeller I want to see your ability to made LODs.

At a minimum I want to know that you know what a LOD is.

Overboard

Please don't make a special personalised website or a personalised video for your application. It's really nice that you want to put that much effort into selling yourself.. but it's a job application - not a talent show. The way to sell yourself is to show what you can do.

It makes us feel terrible when we don't hire you.

Bad Fit

Are we a fit for you? Have you played our games? Do you understand what we do?

If your portfolio is full of cutesey 2D games but you're applying to work on Rust we're going to wonder why. Maybe get ahead of that and call it out.

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