From Resume to Interview: The Ultimate Guide to Securing a UX Design Role in Video Games

The Acagamic Tip Tuesday #55

Design sketches of job applicants. Job Applicants on the Game UX Job Market

UX Resume Tips and Tricks

It is crucial to create a captivating and compelling CV that highlights your abilities, experiences, and accomplishments if you are a UX design professional looking for employment in the video game industry. Your resume should be customized for the position you’re seeking and emphasize pertinent details that will grab the attention of hiring managers.

To craft a remarkable resume, you must remember that UX design is centred around streamlining detailed information. You want to showcase your proficiency in simplifying complex information while positioning yourself as a thought leader in user experience design. To showcase your design skills, you should highlight specific projects or case studies where you were able to improve user engagement through innovative designs or interactions. Through sharing such cases, you can demonstrate your ability to create impactful designs that drive results. Take the time to curate a portfolio that showcases your best work, and be sure to highlight the specific ways in which your designs improved user engagement.

Use clear headings and bullet points when structuring your CV so crucial information stands out at first glance. Highlight any relevant certifications or training courses related to UX design or video game development. Additionally, demonstrate proficiency in simplifying complex material throughout every aspect of your application so that you will stand out from other candidates vying for UX roles within the highly competitive video game industry. Here are six quick tips for resume writing:

  1. One-page resume: Employers don’t have much time to skim through resumes, so ensure yours is concise and fits on one page.

  2. Customize your resume: Tailor your resume to the specific job description and company you’re applying to. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that align with the company’s needs and the type of games they create.

  3. Be mindful of ATS algorithms: Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes, so ensure your resume is ATS-friendly by using a Word or PDF format and including relevant keywords, avoid using unusual fonts, colours, or graphics, as the ATS may not recognize them, avoid images and tables because ATS systems can have difficulty parsing information within images or tables, so stick to plain text to ensure all your content is read.

  4. Clearly state your aspirations: Begin your resume with a statement that shows your passion for the specific area of game design or research that interests you. For example, you could write: “As a fervent advocate for accessibility and inclusivity in gaming, I am committed to designing game mechanics that cater to diverse player needs, fostering a more engaging and enjoyable experience for all.” Or if you have a background in Virtual Reality (VR), you could write: “With a keen interest in the fusion of technology and art, I am devoted to pushing the boundaries of game design by incorporating cutting-edge virtual reality techniques to create groundbreaking, immersive gameplay experiences.”

  5. Structure your resume: Prioritize your professional experience, followed by personal projects, student projects, and relevant skills and tools. List only the most relevant tools and skills for the job you’re applying for. For example, programming skills like C++, C#, or Python, would be critical for a programming job. Version control skills (like Git or SVN) are often like soft skills and expected for many tech jobs.

  6. Mention the games you play: Employers want to see that you’re passionate about gaming, so discuss your favourite genres and the games you’re most familiar with. You could highlight the specific game mechanics and aspects that fascinate you about these games. This would show your analytical mind.

Creating a Portfolio and Website

If you’re a designer with no professional experience, consider doing some exercises to showcase your skills, such as redesigning a game system or conducting a heuristic evaluation. Be humble and acknowledge the limitations of your work, and make sure to explain your thought process and design decisions. Once you have completed your exercises and have a few strong pieces, it’s time to create a portfolio and website to showcase your work. Make sure your portfolio is well-organized and easy to navigate, and include a variety of projects that demonstrate your range of skills. Your website should also be visually appealing and easy to use, with clear information about your background, skills, and experience. Don’t forget to update your portfolio and website regularly as you complete new projects and gain more experience. For researchers, consider creating a blog where you can write about your thoughts on game design, share your work, and engage with the community.

Whether you’re a designer or a researcher, creating a portfolio and website is crucial to showcasing your skills and experience. Include a variety of projects in your portfolio/website, and keep it updated regularly. Consider creating a newsletter to share your thoughts on game design and engage with the community. This will increase your chances of landing your dream job in the gaming industry.

Preparing for Interviews

  1. Research the company: Demonstrate your genuine enthusiasm for the organization by immersing yourself in their game portfolio, comprehending the underlying design philosophies, and appreciating the distinguishing characteristics of their company culture.

  2. Ask questions: Approach your interview armed with thoughtful questions about the organization, touching on aspects such as the equilibrium between personal and professional life, avenues for skill development and mentorship, and their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

  3. Design tests: When presented with a design test, prioritize not only showcasing your technical prowess but also demonstrating your creative thought process and the rationale behind your design choices, emphasizing your ability to think critically and adapt to different scenarios.

Networking and Building Your Presence

Cultivate a thriving presence within the UX community by actively engaging on various social and professional platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Discord, and Slack. Participate in insightful discussions, share your perspectives, and learn from industry experts to broaden your understanding of UX trends and best practices. Seek out experienced mentors who can offer guidance, support, and valuable feedback on your work, helping you refine your skills and advance your career. Don’t forget to attend conferences, workshops, and webinars in the UX field (a good example is our upcoming 24 hours of UX event, use our promo code: 24HOUX2023UXS), where you can connect with like-minded professionals, expand your network, and stay informed about the latest industry developments. You’ll not only gain valuable knowledge but also establish relationships that can open doors to exciting career opportunities if you immerse yourself in the UX community.

24 hours of UX with Prof Lennart.

Defending UX Pillars

As you advance in your UX profession, it is imperative to uphold a steadfast dedication to ethical standards and give priority to the user experience in all endeavours. It is imperative to adopt the principles of accessibility, inclusivity, and robust design methodologies to guarantee that your output accommodates a broad spectrum of users, irrespective of their capabilities or social backgrounds.

Basically, making things look good and work well for everyone is what we’re all about. This way helps make the digital world more inclusive, making it easier for people from all kinds of backgrounds to use technology and cool new designs.

Also, it’s critical to remember that the your primary goal as a UX professional is to improve people’s lives through technology and design. So basically, you must keep that goal in mind and let it direct your cognitive processes and mould your imaginative outlook. If you follow these ethical principles, you can boost your professional reputation and make the online world more fair and user-friendly.

Lennart Nacke, PhD
Lennart Nacke, PhD

Hey there, I am a Professor and the Research Director of the HCI Games Group at the University of Waterloo in Canada. I am a world-leading expert on what makes games engaging and how we can use them to improve products, systems, and services. My research is widely discussed and recognized by the New Yorker, Forbes, MIT Technology Review, CTV News, New Scientist, The Daily Mail, PC Gamer Magazine, and elsewhere. I have edited a textbook on Games User Research and authored hundreds of academic articles in gamification, user experience research, human-computer interaction, and game design.