Standing out from the crowd
I often hear from students and those starting out in the industry that it's really tough to get a foot in the door. But actually, with increasingly specialised skills sought after, new technologies and a growing number of developers in the UK, there are more opportunities than ever before.
From my perspective, what it really comes down to is how you show off your skills.
We get a lot of applications to work at Creative Assembly. In fact, in 2016, we had around 7,500 of them. This is testament to our studio’s reputation, and the desire to work with our talented team. However, don't disregard your application as being lost in a sea of talent!
All 7,500 of these CV’s aren’t feverishly filtered and reviewed by key members of the development team. They are looking for someone who stands out, who shows the potential for brilliance.
That could be done by having a well laid out CV, a knock-out portfolio or showreel, and a covering letter which shows a true passion for games. Our hiring managers are looking for a glimmer of something exceptional. This could be anything from a stunning piece of animation, an outstanding case study of anatomy on a character, a piece of concept art with a crafted scene that completely draws you into the story, to an idea for a game that takes an unusual angle. Remember to always say why you feel you would be a good fit for CA and don’t forget to double check before you submit, the last thing you want to do is tell us why working at a different studio would be your dream job (yes, that's happened before!).
Breaking into the industry, an example:
When he applied to join CA, Leif Walter talked about his enthusiasm for RTS and his experience in AI development for professional poker players and missile defence research. While this sits outside the traditional games industry experience, he also made games in his spare time and was a huge Total War fan. His experience was very leftfield and we could see just how refreshing it would be to add those skills to our design team. Leif's been with CA over a year now, as part of the Total War Design Team.
We know that the quality gaming experiences we make are down to the talent and energy of our creative team and new talent equals new ideas, new innovation and fresh content. This comes from all levels; from graduates through to more senior seasoned professionals. The most important thing is to show off your skills and your passion, show us examples of a game or a project you have put together. Through the experienced lens of the hiring managers at CA, we aim to find that uniqueness that fits with our creative studio culture, and we nurture it.
While there are lots of tips on how to craft a CV and what exactly to put in it, what we are looking for is the person that goes over and above this. Make sure the first time our developers hear about you, they see that flash of creative brilliance and passion for gaming in your application that they won’t forget.
Emma Smith is Creative Assembly's Talent Manager and Lead of our Legacy Project. She has been with Creative Assembly for over 8 years, seeing the studio grow to over 500 people strong. Her recruitment team has contributed a lot to that growth, seeking out the top talent from across the globe to compliment our team of creatives.