How to build a strong resume to land your dream job in esports

We know how it goes. You find that job listing that sounds like the job of your dreams. You are excited and start visualizing what it would be like to work for that company, to do that job. Then you snap back to reality and start to think of what it will take to get the attention of the company. Unless you have a direct connection to the company, you’ll need to go through the traditional channels of submitting a resume and cover letter, and for some people that process is grueling because it is hard to know exactly what to put in a resume to show to the person evaluating candidates that you are definitely qualified and can do this job better than anyone else.

So in an effort to alleviate some of that stress, we asked a few resume experts how you can get your resume noticed by the decision-makers.

When building your resume, you should always include clear keywords that can pass either what the human resources department or the applicant tracking system has been tasked to identify. That is why Melanie Winograd of the IMPACT Group gave the following advice, “Don’t under estimate the importance of keywords. Technology has had a profound impact on the resume screening process, and incorporating keywords is crucial to moving your resume to the top of the electronic pile. Secure your spot by optimizing your resume for an applicant tracking system (ATS). Hundreds of candidates will be eliminated before the action even starts. These sophisticated systems will parse through your information to determine your track record, strength of competencies, and RPI – resume and performance impressiveness. Getting through the system is key.” Take for example the job listing below for the Marketing Manager and Analyst position for Underdogs eSports. The keywords that would be great to add to your resume would be planned, designed, developed, strategies, cold-calling, pitched, independent, and campaigns. Why? Because they used the words in the job listing, which means that is exactly the type of language they would be running through an applicant tracking system. Including keywords like this drastically increases your chances to get past the first gatekeeper.

underdogs job listing

(click for bigger image)

Maybe you are going after a job in production where you will run and promote a broadcast for an organization. If you have any experience within that field, you should include any numbers that indicate how well you could increase the performance of the broadcast for that organization. HR Strategy Consultant, Michael Barbera adds to this line of thought, “Cause and effect are one of the most significant attributes of a resume once it has passed all keyword queries. Showing what you have done and how it improved the organization is key. It proves self-worth and your value to the organization. If you have numbers, percentages and data towards analytics for what you’ve accomplished – add them!”

However, the resume should not be boring. If you want to get people’s attention, tell a story while also providing relevant information. Vicky Oliver, author of five best-selling books on career advancement, gave the following advice on telling a story on your resume, “A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a story. For those with chronological resumes, hopefully the story yours tells is how you continually got promoted through your fine work. If that’s not the story of your career, think of other stories that are. Did you win buckets of awards? Put them on your resume.” Maybe your story is that you have worked from a volunteer for a small esports organization to a freelance contractor in six months and now you are aspiring to move into full-time work for a major organization. Your story needs to showcase how your competency elevates you above everyone. Show that you are a winner and someone that you want on the team because good things happen when you are involved.

Sometimes you feel like if you submit a creative masterpiece as your resume that it will have a better shot of getting noticed in the sea of applicants. However, sometimes this can have the opposite outcome, Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes confirmed with, “Be creative within the standard expectations of a resume. Being creative for creative sake without a purpose can have an adverse effect. Recruiters expect to see contact information in the beginning of a resume, the education at the end, and experience clearly labeled. When a recruiter has to look for this standard information it annoys them, putting the resume review at risk. Applicant tracking systems are also programmed to digest information in this standard format. Demonstrate creativity with subtle color, font size, font choice, white space and concise writing to be viewed as different.” If you are a designer that wants to showcase your work, do it on a portfolio website with a link to it in your resume or cover letter.

Most of you are searching for jobs in the esports industry, which is an industry born in the digital world. If you aren’t utilizing all the digital tools to achieve employment in this industry, then you aren’t doing enough. I’m talking about social media, blogging, networks, and anything else that can help to market your skills to companies in this industry. Karen Leland frequently coaches executives on their personal brand as it relates to their career advancement, and she provides the following advice when it comes to using social media in your resume, “Highlight their LinkedIn Profile and give a link on the resume. As obvious as this seems, the vast majority of people do not provide a link or URL for their LinkedIn profile on a resume. It’s estimated that up to 77 percent of people who get in contact with someone in a professional capacity will use LinkedIn to check out their LinkedIn first. In order for the profile to make a positive impression it must contain: a fully fleshed out summary that shows, rather than tell, the person’s value, an up to date and professional photo, at least 10 recommendations, and key word optimized headlines. These are just a few of the critical things to have in place before starting a job search.” In this industry, you should expect the people in charge of hiring to be just as, if not more, digital savvy than you are. So be sure to think about all the different mediums a hiring manager can look up information about you and if that information will help or hinder you in the qualification process.

A huge thank you to the experts that contributed their knowledge on resume building. Hopefully these tips will help you build a strong resume and land your dream job.