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How to Refine Your Game Design Resume to Get More Interviews (Part 3)

Michael Breese

Michael Breese

Mike Breese is currently a senior game systems designer working on Wild Rift at Riot Games, where he has worked on the Elemental Rift update, along with several champions, modes, and systems releases. Previously, he also worked on Hogwarts Legacy.

Your game design resume is the often gateway to your portfolio. Meaning that’s the first thing recruiters and hiring managers evaluate before they consider looking at your portfolio.

In addition to optimizing your resume, I recommend you to check out rest of the series so you can improve your chances of passing the talent filters of the game studios’ hiring process:

  1. How to Apply and Increase Your Odds (Part 1)
  2. Game Design Cover Letter (Part 2)
  3. Game Design Resume (Part 3) – this post
  4. Game Design Portfolio (Part 4)
  5. Game Design Tests (Part 5)
  6. Game Design Job Interview Guide (Part 6)
  7. Game Design Job Interview Questions (Part 7)

By the way, as you read this post, feel free to join #career-guidance channel in Funsmith Club Discord where you can seek advice from game devs of all levels including me on

  • Breaking into the industry
  • Your resume/CV, Portfolio, design skill test, interviews, negotiations
  • Navigating your current career path

You can also get notified each week on the latest game design job listings and actionable tips here 👇

So let’s go over how you can optimize your resume to what the studios are actually looking for.

Prepare and Optimize Your Game Design Resume

The main goal of your game design resume is to capture enough interest so your portfolio gets reviewed.

While you will want to tailor your resume to each studio and each position you are applying to, building a template will give you an easy starting point.

Stick with the following fundamental elements, and your resume should perform well:

1. Contact information is usually up top, and can include links to your LinkedIn and portfolio site as well as your email and phone number.

Make sure you emphasize your portfolio and make sure it’s a clickable hyperlinked text that directs viewers to your portfolio with a single click.

Again, this is the whole point of your resume or CV.

2. Keywords and skills. These days a large studio typically starts by having a ATS machine or a hiring manager quickly review resumes for relevant skills. Typically, this section is a bullet point list for ease of reading.

Update this section for each position you apply to based on the skills the game studio is looking for. These skills can include general game design tasks (like PvP balancing or level design), as well as familiarity with specific software or programming languages.

Don’t lie here, as you’ll get found out quickly and burn some bridges along the way.

3. Work experience. If you haven’t worked in games yet, you can still include positions where you had significant responsibilities.

This section can also include personal projects that you did on your own time, whether that’s game design work or something else you’re proud of that shows relevant skills.

Bonus tip: Under each of experience sections, embed clickable links in your text to lead straight to your respective portfolio pages or Steam/Itch pages that is relevant to the specific set of experience, so it’s very easy to access proof of your experience.

You should generally list your work experience in chronological order, with the most recent jobs first. That said, if you have a wide variety of jobs, it’s okay to put your most relevant, game-related work first.

Your resume is a snapshot of your professional experience, but also a great place to make yourself stand out from the get-go. If you hosted events or have experience as an actor or musician, mention it.

They might not be the most relevant points, but they help paint you as a real person.

4. Education is fine to include but don’t make it a large focus. Schooling can give a better idea of your skillset and helps show that you are driven, but it isn’t a requirement for being a good designer.

5. Keep your resume onto a single page. The hiring side has to review resumes at scale, which means you want to make it as easy for them to digest the information on your resume as possible.

So there is no reason why you need more than one page to get the summarized information about your experience and background.

Wrapping Up

Have friends review your resume for typos and wording improvements.

Next part of the series, we’ll dive into how to build a game design portfolio that’ll get you hired.

If you want feedback on your game design resume template, feel free to share it in the Funsmith Club Discord.

By the way, whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways to help you start or level-up your game design career:

1. First Principles of Game Design: Skill Development Program: Join game devs who got hired or promoted across 51 AAA and Indie game studios including Riot, Blizzard, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and etc.

Improve player retention and word of mouth by learning to accurately diagnose why the players are losing interest in any game and how to adjust accordingly – one of the main skills studios hire for.

2. Game Design Mentorship – Get access to live weekly video calls and chat feedback support directly from veteran game designer with 25 years of industry experience (see example sessions).

3. Game Design Career Goal Strategy Workshop: A live workshop to help you figure out exact action steps to reach your goal, whether you aim to

  • Break into the video game industry
  • Get promoted (or pivot) from your current position
  • Ship a successful Indie game

Join the Funsmith Tavern to get exclusive game dev tips that I don’t share anywhere else

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If somehow it turns out this isn’t for you, unsubscribe any time.

EXPERIENCE & BACKGROUND:

[STUDIO] Blizzard Entertainment: Content, mechanics, and systems designer

(Creator of Apex Legends & former Creative Director at Respawn)

[GAME] World of Warcraft: MMORPG with 8.5 million average monthly players, won Gamer’s Choice Award – Fan Favorite MMORPG, VGX Award for Best PC Game, Best RPG, and Most Addictive Video Game.

  • Classic:
    • Designed Cosmos UI
    • Designed part of Raid Team for Naxxramas
  • Burning Crusade:
    • Designed the raid bosses Karazhan, Black Temple, Zul’Aman
    • Designed the Outlands content
    • Designed The Underbog including bosses:
      • Hungarfen, Ghaz’an, Swamplord Musel’ik, and The Black Stalker
    • Designed the Hellfire Ramparts final bosses Nazan & Vazruden
    • Designed the Return to Karazhan bosses: Attumen the Huntsman, Big Bad Wolf, Shades of Aran, Netherspite, Nightbane
  • Wrath of the Lich King:
    • Designed quest content, events and PvP areas of Wintergrasp
    • Designed Vehicle system
    • Designed the Death Knight talent trees
    • Designed the Lord Marrowgar raid
  • Cataclysm:
    • Designed quest content
    • Designed Deathwing Overworld encounters
    • Designed Morchok and Rhyolith raid fights
  • Mists of Pandaria: 
    • Overhauled the entire Warlock class – Best player rated version through all expansion packs
    • Designed pet battle combat engine and scripted client scene

[GAME] StarCraft 2: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Diablo 3: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Overwatch: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[GAME] Hearthstone: Playtested and provided design feedback during prototyping and development

[STUDIO] Riot Games: Systems designer, in-studio game design instructor

(Former Global Communications Lead for League of Legends)
(Former Technical Game Designer at Riot Games)

[GAME] League of Legends: Team-based strategy MOBA with 152 million average active monthly players, won The Game Award for Best Esports Game and BAFTA Best Persistent Game Award.

  • Redesigned Xerath Champion by interfacing with community
  • Reworked the support income system for season 4
  • Redesigned the Ward system
  • Assisted in development of new trinket system
  • Heavily expanded internal tools and features for design team
  • Improved UI indicators to improve clarity of allied behaviour

[OTHER GAMES] Under NDA: Developed multiple unreleased projects in R&D

Game Design Instructor: Coached and mentored associate designers on gameplay and mechanics

[STUDIO] Moon Studios: Senior game designer

(Former Lead Game Designer at Moon Studios)

[GAME] Ori & The Will of The Wisps: 2m total players (423k people finished it) with average 92.8/100 ratings by 23 top game rating sites (including Steam and Nintendo Switch).

  • Designed the weapon and Shard systems
  • Worked on combat balance
  • Designed most of the User Interface

[GAME] Unreleased RPG project

  • Designed core combat
  • High-level design content planning
  • Game systems design
  • Game design documentation
  • Gameplay systems engineering
  • Tools design
  • Photon Quantum implementation of gameplay

[VC FUNDED STARTUP] SnackPass: Social food ordering platform with 500k active users $400m+ valuation

[PROJECT] Tochi: Creative director (hybrid of game design, production and leading the product team)

  • Lead artists, engineers, and animators on the release the gamification system to incentivize long-term customers with social bonds and a shared experience through the app

[CONSULTING] Atomech: Founder / Game Design Consultant

[STUDIOS] Studio Pixanoh + 13 other indie game studios (under NDA):

  • Helped build, train and establish the design teams
  • Established unique combat niche and overall design philosophy
  • Tracked quality, consistency and feedback methods
  • Established company meeting structure and culture

Game Design Keynotes:

(Former Global Head of HR for Wargaming and Riot Games)
  • Tencent Studio
  • Wargaming
  • USC (University of Southern California)
  • RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • US AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association)
  • UFIEA (University of Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy)
  • West Gaming Foundation
  • Kyoto Computer Gakuin – Kyoto, Japan