How to find the perfect games job for you

How to find the perfect games job for you

By Alex Shepherd

January 7th 2014 at 11:30AM

Gamesys' recruitment manager Alex Shepherd reveals the hidden tricks to searching for the best new career opportunities

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, our month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.

In a technology market where there is a significant skills shortage, high industry growth and demand, and a clear oversaturation of recruitment agencies, the process of finding your next opportunity, for whatever reason, has become a full-time job in itself.

Those of you who like to take a proactive role in your career search will have undoubtedly taken the plunge into the world of posting your CV to job boards, applying to adverts and updating your LinkedIn profile. Yet the return to your investment comes in the form of 40 missed calls before 10am, a full answerphone inbox and a whole host of emails ranging from irrelevant job specs to the more common “I’m interested in your profile, please call me”.

So, what can the discerning job seeker do to avoid the generic and find the opportunity right for them? 

Be Specific

If you’re looking to move on from your current role and take the next step in your career, there are more than likely clear reasons – otherwise why would you move? Whether it is a lack of growth potential, skill stagnation, or even just remuneration, take some time to assess what it is you’re missing and what it is you need.

However, you should always remember and reflect on what you enjoy about your current role. Why trade off one gain for a loss in another? By being specific and only pursuing the roles you really want you’ll find that you spend less time in wasted interviews and conversations.

In addition, it is always worth seeking out the right agencies and job boards for your chosen profession. A specialist service will help you be more specific.

Don’t be afraid to say Hi!

Ask anyone who they’d love to work for and they’ll reel off a couple of companies straight away. Ask them if they’ve ever approached any of them and the likely response is “no”.

Reasons can often be in the realms of being “scared” or thinking it not appropriate. However, candidates expressing a specific interest in a company are always of worth and are often considered when roles are unavailable.

Ultimately the main reason most people don’t do this is because they don't know who to say “Hi” to. The wonderful world of social networking, Google and in particular LinkedIn can enable you to dig out whoever you want.

Firstly, have a think about who you know that works there, a referral is always the best way in. Your next option should be approaching both the HR/Recruitment team and the hiring manager at the same time. Finding these couldn’t be easier using a widely unused tool on LinkedIn: the Advanced Search. The Advanced People search will give you the ability to track down whoever you want. Should you find their name hidden due to being outside your network, simply putting the person’s title and company into Google followed by "LinkedIn" and the name will magically appear.

Finding the direct employers

Job board advertising is an obvious resource to use but once registered you can find a hoard of agencies advertising the same position, job specs that are three lines long and a general feeling of not knowing who or what you are applying for.

Hidden amongst this ,however, are the rare gems and the companies themselves advertising directly, but how do you get to them? There are places such as career.stackoverflow.com, workinstartups.com and other next generation “direct only” job boards which are great to use but many of the more mainstream also have ways to help you out. Totaljobs, CWJobs, Guardian Jobs, Indeed and Jobserve – to name a few – all have often missed advanced search options where you can filter for only the direct employers.

Getting Technical

Company career sites are obviously a great place to take a look for your next move but who wants to trawl through hundreds of sites in the hope they may have an opening. Getting clever with Google can deliver some great results. Try a site search like this and see what comes up:

"Site:*/careers [your desired job title] [Location]"

Or try some Boolean searching. Filling parentheses with an array of all the companies you can think of and add in your skills plus the words "careers" or "jobs". For example:

"(Gamesys OR Google OR IBM OR Facebook) AND (C# OR Unity3d) AND games AND (careers or jobs)"

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, our month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.