Job Search Strategies for Game Developers: Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


Jumping into the job hunt as a video game developer can feel like stepping into the arena in Street Fighter—exciting, nerve-wracking, and packed with potential challenges. But just like mastering a new fighting combo, the right job search strategies for video game developers can make all the difference. Let's unpack some top-notch strategies to power up your job hunt.

Expand Your Network

Think of your network like an open-world game map. The more you explore, the more opportunities you uncover. Here's how you can expand your professional network:

  • Connect with peers: Reach out to other game developers. You might meet them in online forums, social media groups, or at game developer meetups. They're not just potential friends—they're allies in your job search journey.
  • Engage with industry leaders: Follow and engage with game design gurus, like Hideo Kojima or Amy Hennig, on social platforms. Don't be shy to comment on their posts or share their work. They might not respond every time, but you're getting your name out there.
  • Join game development communities: Websites like or communities like Unity Connect are great places to meet like-minded developers and learn about job openings.
  • Build relationships with recruiters: Recruiters can be a valuable source of job leads and advice. Start by connecting with them on LinkedIn. Remember, it's not just about asking for jobs—share interesting industry news and engage with their posts.

Expanding your network doesn't mean just adding people on LinkedIn. It's about building authentic relationships. Share your passion for game development, offer help when you can, and don't be afraid to ask for advice. This is one of the most effective job search strategies for video game developers, adding both depth and breadth to your job search quest.

Improve Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is like a playable demo of your skills—it gives potential employers a taste of what you can do. Consider these strategies to make your portfolio shine:

  • Showcase a variety of work: Have you created a retro-style platformer, a VR puzzle game, or an AR mobile game? Show it off! The more diverse your portfolio, the more potential employers can see your adaptability and range.
  • Highlight your process: Just like a game's behind-the-scenes commentary, showcasing your process—from brainstorming to coding—can give employers insight into how you work. Did you overcome a particular coding challenge in your RPG game? Share that story.
  • Keep it updated: Just as game developers release updates to improve their games, regularly refresh your portfolio with your latest projects. It keeps things current and demonstrates your ongoing commitment to your craft.
  • Make it accessible: Think of your portfolio like a game's user interface—it should be easy to navigate. Use clear categories, concise descriptions, and make sure it's available online so anyone can access it, anytime.

Remember, your portfolio is a testament to your skills and creativity, but also to your passion for game development. It's one of the key job search strategies for video game developers and can make a big difference in catching the eye of your dream employer.

Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter

Let's talk about another key factor in your job search strategy for video game developers—your resume and cover letter. Think of them as the game manual that comes with your portfolio. They outline what you can do and why you're the best fit for the role. Here are tips to tailor them effectively:

  • Match the job description: If a job post mentions a specific programming language or game engine, make sure you highlight your experience with these technologies. It's like finding a power-up that matches the context of a game level—it can make all the difference.
  • Showcase your achievements: Don't just say you've designed games. Instead, mention the successful project you led, the innovative gameplay mechanic you designed, or the player feedback you've incorporated. It's all about showing your impact.
  • Keep it concise: Just as a game doesn't burden players with unnecessary information, keep your resume and cover letter short and sweet. Prioritize your most impressive and relevant experiences.
  • Inject some personality: Game developers are creative folks, so let that shine through in your writing. A dash of humor or a personal anecdote can help you stand out from the crowd.

Remember, your resume and cover letter are extensions of you. They should not only highlight your skills and experiences, but also your passion and personality. Tailoring them for each job application can significantly boost your chances in your job search as a video game developer.

Alright, so you've got your tailored resume and cover letter ready to roll. Now, let's move on to the next level of your job search strategy for video game developers—staying updated with industry trends. It's like staying ahead in a multiplayer game. Here's how you can do it:

  • Read industry publications: Websites and magazines like "Game Developer" or "Gamasutra" are treasure troves of recent trends, game reviews, and developer interviews. Reading them is like gathering intel for your next mission.
  • Listen to podcasts: Podcasts such as "Game Dev Breakdown" and "The Game Design Round Table" provide rich insights from industry veterans. It's like having a strategy guide for your career.
  • Follow industry leaders: Following game designers and producers on social media platforms can give you a glimpse of the latest news and trends. It's like having a radar on the game map—always showing you where to head next.
  • Play games: Yes, you read that right. Playing a variety of games can help you understand current trends, player preferences, and successful design techniques. So, go ahead and turn your gaming sessions into research—you're just leveling up your career!

Staying updated with industry trends empowers you to understand the market, innovate, and anticipate changes. It's an important part of your job search strategy for video game developers. So, keep your eyes and ears open, pick up your controller, and dive into the gaming industry trends—your dream job awaits!

Practice Coding Tests and Interviews

Practicing coding tests and interviews can be as thrilling as playing a new game for the first time. You're not quite sure what you're up against, but you're ready to dive in and give it your best shot. But remember, every game requires strategy—and so does your job search as a video game developer. Here's how you can get better at it:

  • Use online platforms: Websites like "LeetCode" or "HackerRank" can help you practice coding challenges. It's like running through a game tutorial before you start the real thing.
  • Mock interviews: Try platforms like "Pramp" or "" for free mock interviews. Consider it as a scrimmage before your championship game.
  • Understand algorithms and data structures: Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of algorithms and data structures. It's like knowing the controls before you start playing.
  • Learn from others: Review coding test experiences and interview questions shared by others online. It's like learning gameplay strategies from other gamers.
  • Project your passion: During the interview, express your passion for gaming and developing. Don't just say you love games; explain why. It's like sharing your high score and the strategy that got you there.

Practice makes perfect, whether you're shooting for a high score or acing a coding test. So, gear up and keep practicing—it's a key part of your job search strategy for video game developers. Before you know it, you'll be nailing those interviews and landing your dream job in game development.

Find Mentorship and Guidance

Mentorship in the gaming industry is like having a seasoned player guiding you through a tough level. They’ve been there, done that, and can help you navigate the tricky parts. So, how can you find this guiding light in the game development world?

  • Reach out to industry professionals: Don't be shy! Reach out to experienced game developers or designers you admire. They might share some insider tips, like a secret shortcut in a game. Remember, most successful people had mentors themselves, and they understand the importance of passing on the knowledge.
  • Join online communities: Platforms like "LinkedIn Groups," "," or "Reddit" have communities for game developers. It's like joining a gamer's guild, where you can learn from others, get feedback, and share your progress.
  • Attend webinars or workshops: You can find mentorship in places like "GDC Webinars," "Unity Workshops," or "Unreal Engine Training." It's like attending a game tutorial led by the developers themselves.
  • Start a mentorship program at work: If you're already working in a game development company, why not start an in-house mentorship program? It's like forming a team in a multiplayer game to share strategies and level up together.

Finding a mentor is an effective job search strategy for video game developers. A mentor can give you the cheat codes to level up your career. They can provide guidance, share experiences, and even help you build a better game plan for your job search. So, are you ready to find your mentor and power-up your career?

Apply Strategically

Just like a well-planned game strategy can lead you to victory, a well-thought-out job application strategy can get you the game developer job you want. But how exactly do you "apply strategically?"

  • Know your target: In a game, you wouldn't run in blindly without knowing your opponent, would you? Similarly, research the companies you're applying to. Understand their games, their values, and what they're looking for in a developer. It helps you tailor your application and stand out.
  • Quality over quantity: It's not about how many enemies you can defeat, but how you can defeat the toughest ones. Instead of mass-applying, focus on a few companies that really align with your interests and skills. Customize your application for each of them.
  • Follow up: After you've applied, don't just sit back and wait. Just like in a game, sometimes you need to make the first move. Send a polite follow-up email after a week or two. It shows your interest and initiative.
  • Use different tactics: Remember, there's more than one way to win a game. Similarly, don't limit yourself to just job postings. Reach out directly to companies, network with industry professionals, or even show off your skills at industry events. Diversify your strategies to increase your chances of success.

Strategically applying to jobs is a key part of job search strategies for video game developers. It's not about applying everywhere, but applying smart. So, think of your job search as a strategic game. What's your next move going to be?

Attend Industry Events and Webinars

Picture this: You're playing a multiplayer game and you're in the lobby waiting for the match to start. Do you sit quietly or do you chat with the other players? Most likely, you engage in conversation, exchange tips, and build camaraderie. In the game of job hunting, industry events and webinars are your multiplayer lobbies.

  • Learn from the pros: Webinars and talks by seasoned game developers are a treasure trove of insights. You get to hear about their experiences, their mistakes, and their strategies—all of which can guide you in your job search and in your career.
  • Network, network, network: Events and webinars are also great places to connect with fellow game developers, professionals, and even hiring managers. These connections can open doors for job opportunities and collaborations. Remember, your network is your net worth.
  • Showcase your skills: Some events have coding competitions, game jams, or opportunities to showcase your work. This is your chance to get noticed by potential employers and make a name for yourself in the industry.
  • Stay updated: These events often discuss the latest trends and developments in the gaming industry. By staying updated, you can ensure you have the right skills and knowledge that employers are looking for.

Attending industry events and webinars is like leveling up in a game. With every event, you gain experience points in the form of knowledge, skills, and connections. So, as part of your job search strategies for video game developers, make sure to join these events and keep leveling up.

Take Part in Game Jams and Competitions

Ever heard of a game jam? No, it's not a fruit preserve for gamers. It's actually a hackathon for video game development. Sounds fun, right? It's also one of the most effective job search strategies for video game developers.

  • Hone your skills: Game jams and competitions provide an intense, time-boxed environment where you can really push your abilities to the limit. You often have to create a game from scratch in a short period of time, which tests and improves your coding, design, and problem-solving skills.
  • Create something unique: The best part about game jams is that you get to work on your own unique project, outside of the constraints of commercial or academic work. This can lead to innovative and creative games that can really catch the eye of potential employers.
  • Work as a team: Most game jams involve working in a team, which can help you develop your collaboration and communication skills. Remember, video game development is a team sport.
  • Get noticed: Many game jams and competitions are sponsored by game development companies. Winning or simply participating can get your name in front of the right people.

Think of game jams and competitions as boss battles. They're challenging, but they're also opportunities to show what you've got. And who knows? Your next job offer might just be the reward for your victory.

Stay Motivated and Determined

Some people say that the secret to success is talent or luck. But let's be real, it's really all about perseverance, especially when it comes to job search strategies for video game developers.

  • Expect setbacks: You will face obstacles, whether it's a coding problem you can't crack or a job interview that didn't go as planned. But don't let these temporary setbacks get you down. Pick yourself up and keep going. You've got this!
  • Set realistic goals: It's easy to get overwhelmed if you're aiming for the moon right out of the gate. Start with smaller, achievable goals and work your way up. You might not be the lead designer on the next big AAA title yet, but you could be working on a cool indie game.
  • Find your passion: What do you love about game development? Is it the coding? The storytelling? The graphics? Find what drives you and let it fuel your job search. Passion is contagious, and employers will notice.
  • Remember why you started: When the job search gets tough, remember why you chose this path. You love games. You love creating worlds and bringing characters to life. Don't lose sight of that.

Remember, even the most successful game developers had to start somewhere. And they probably faced a lot of the same challenges you're facing now. So stay motivated, stay determined, and keep pushing forward. Your dream job is out there waiting for you.

If you're a game developer looking to improve your job search strategies, don't miss out on the workshop 'Different Ways To Showcase Your Portfolio' by lolilaboureau. This workshop will teach you innovative ways to present your work and make your portfolio stand out to potential employers in the gaming industry. Boost your chances of landing your dream job by joining this valuable workshop!