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27th Jan 2021

Hitmarker CV walkthrough

An in-depth guide to creating the best possible version of your Hitmarker CV for applying to esports and video game industry jobs.

Welcome to our in-depth guide to creating your Hitmarker CV at hitmarker.cv!

What follows are our recommendations for a good video game industry CV. Not every recommendation will be relevant to everyone who reads this, but we’ll do our best to cover exceptions in the text and to look at things from more than one point of view throughout.

To begin with, we just want to highlight that the order of this article follows our recommended order for your Hitmarker CV. However, by using the = drag and drop functionality on the left of the CV builder, you can drag and drop sections wherever you like!

It’s also worth us reiterating that your Hitmarker CV is publicly visible and, as such, you should be mindful of the information you share on it.

And just to further clarify, any changes you make to your Hitmarker CV will not reflect on your Hitmarker profile. If you wish to update your profile separately, you can do so here.

Finally, and for fear of stating the obvious, the URL of your Hitmarker CV will always be https://hitmarker.cv/username. If you’re yet to claim your username, you can do so here. It only takes a moment.

Now, let’s get into it…

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GENERAL

“Tell people who you are, how to reach you, and where they can learn more about you.”

Sounds simple enough, right? But let’s break it down bit by bit:

Photo

We know that not everybody is comfortable adding a photograph to their CV, but it can help add a splash of color and personality.

As such, if you have an official headshot—ideally where you’re smiling—you should definitely include it to get your Hitmarker CV off to the best possible start.

If you don’t have an official headshot, it’s perfectly fine to use another photograph that you like, but please, please, please keep it professional!

Another benefit of adding a headshot is that it instantly makes your CV more memorable, and one of the main tasks for your CV is to help you stand out from the crowd.

On the negative side of things, we often hear that people don’t like including a headshot for fear of discrimination. This is an awful position to find yourself in, but our response tends to be along the lines of: “if a company or hiring manager is going to discriminate against you for how you look, is that really somewhere you’d want to work, anyway?”

We know we’re idealizing things here and that the world we all live in is far from ideal, but it’s our firm belief that people should be accepted for who they are and identify as.

A final point of order: if you do decide to add a photo, keep in mind that it should be a square JPG or PNG file and that the file size should be less than 1MB.

Full Name

Our recommendation here is to add your real, full name rather than your alias or gamertag.

This is the video game industry, though, so by all means feel free to include your alias or gamertag in speech marks in between your real first and last name, or in brackets afterward.

This can be another way to help make your CV more memorable, but as with everything else you have to be sure that your alias or gamertag doesn’t give the wrong impression.

Interestingly, there are certain sectors of the video game industry where an alias or gamertag is the norm, particularly on the talent side. So if that’s where you operate, please feel free to go with your “stage name” at the top of your CV.

As with the headshot, we know of people who prefer to use aliases to avoid discrimination against their name’s heritage. Again, we say, “if a company or hiring manager is going to discriminate against you because of your name’s heritage, is that really somewhere you’d want to work?”

It’d be their loss, not yours.

Profession

It can be difficult for some people to assign just one profession like “Coach”, “Community Manager”, “Customer Service Specialist”, “Graphic Designer”, or “Social Media Manager” to themselves. That’s why we’ve allowed for enough characters to add at least two here.

It’s perfectly reasonable to be a combination of two or three things, but be mindful of coming across as too much of a “generalist” (a person with a wide array of knowledge on a variety of subjects) and not enough of a “specialist” (a person who concentrates on a particular subject or activity). Most job descriptions are aimed at specialists, rather than generalists, though having additional skills is always a bonus.

Be honest and go with what you think best describes you as a professional and, if you can, keep it as specific as possible. This will help to ensure you show up in the right places if and when we allow people to look through CVs on Hitmarker.

Location

We have a section called “Relocation” coming up a little bit later on, so for this input box please just go with the city, town, or village where you currently live.

Don’t add a house number, street address, or zip/postal code, though. This is part of being mindful of the data you’re sharing on this public document.

Most employers and hiring managers will assume that you’re available and legally able to work at your current location permanently, as you’re already living there, but if this isn’t the case then please be sure to mention that in your relocation section when you come to it.

Email Address

Keep this professional, even if it means changing the email address you used to sign up to Hitmarker in the first place.

We always recommend [email protected], as it looks clean and professional and is another easy way of getting your name in front of a hiring manager.

Discord Username

We don’t advise sharing your telephone number on a public document, but it could be a good idea to share your Discord username (including the four-digit code!) to give employers and hiring managers an easy way to reach you. This is the video game industry, after all! Input your full Discord username (Username#0000) into this box if you’d like your Hitmarker CV to display it.

Links

If you’re a creative professional like a Designer, Photographer, Video Editor, Web Developer, or Writer, this is the section where you should link your blog, portfolio, repository, or similar. Make it as easy as possible for people to see what you can do.

If you’re feeling brave and have nothing to hide, then no matter your profession you should strongly consider adding your social media links here. Most hiring managers will look you up on LinkedIn and Twitter as a minimum, so why not save them some valuable time?

We’ve tried to keep this section quite open-ended and are excited to see what sort of links you all add!

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SUMMARY

“Also called a personal statement, these may be the most important characters on your CV.”

The summary is often the hardest part of a CV to write, and as such our recommendation is to do it last. Fill out the rest of your CV first, then skip back to this section to finish everything off. It’s much easier to summarize a CV once it’s complete. We’ll add a reminder at the end to help you with this.

You can write your summary in full sentences or you can break it up into bullet points. Both ways are perfectly acceptable, but we’d stress the importance of being concise. We have recommended character limits coming a bit later to help you avoid overwhelming a hiring manager.

We think a summary comes across most naturally when written in first-person using “I”, rather than third-person using “he/she/they”. Some people can pull off third-person, though it’s rare to see, and we can’t think it comes across as a little strange and disconnected when a person is clearly writing about themself in a way that makes it seem like they’re writing about someone else.

Whatever you decide on in terms of first or third-person, please ensure you remain consistent throughout the rest of your CV too! Attention to detail is always a good thing.

A final general point here: take a few minutes to read your summary out loud after writing it to make sure you like how it flows. This is a sure-fire way to spot spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, too, so don’t be afraid to give it a try! If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member who’s a strong writer, it’s always worth asking them to do the same so they can help you make it the best it can be.

To get more specific, a common problem people have is understanding what to include in their summary. What follows here is Hitmarker’s recommended structure which, while not being all-encompassing, should work for the majority of people:

Beginning (~250 characters)

Start off by stating who you are, what you specialize in, and what you’ve done. Use strong adjectives like “creative”, “dependable”, and “motivated” wherever possible, and make it very clear what your specific profession, skill-set, or specialty is.

It can also be a good idea to mention your total sector experience in years, or to mention your most recent or relevant qualification if you don’t have much (or any) experience just yet. It also never hurts to include esports or video game industry experience early on.

Middle (~350 characters)

Expand on the things that make you excel in your profession and/or in our industry by linking two or three elements of your past experiences, skills, and education to the most common requirements you see in job descriptions in your sector.

Use action verbs like “accomplished”, “built”, and “delivered” to add purpose and impact to your writing wherever possible. Again, try to keep this both job-specific and industry-specific. Many companies are looking for people who love and understand video games as a priority, but they obviously want to hire people capable of doing the job first and foremost.

End (~150 characters)

Finish strong by explaining why you’re job hunting and what your overall professional objective is. It’s great to have an overall career objective to show that you’re goal-oriented and driven, and if you’re looking for the next step on your path it shows you have a clear idea of where you’re currently at and where you’re heading in the future.

Be honest and show confidence here. This is a great chance to sell your passion and to clearly communicate your reason for having a CV. And never forget that hiring is as much about what you want in a job as it is about what a company wants from you. If there’s something you’d really like your next job to incorporate, don’t be afraid to say it.

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SKILLS

“You have a very particular set of skills, it’s time to let the world know what they are.”

We hope this is the first and only CV guide you’ve seen that quotes Liam Neeson in “Taken”.

On a more serious note, this section is all about listing up to 10 hard and soft skills that are most relevant to your sector. But what do we mean when we say “hard skills” and “soft skills”?

“Hard skills” are teachable abilities that are easy to measure and evaluate, like coding ability, software proficiency, and writing ability. It tends to be simple to show evidence of hard skills and easy for an employer or hiring manager to recognize them.

“Soft skills” are subjective abilities that are difficult to measure and evaluate, like communication, teamwork, and work ethic. These can be harder to show evidence of and can also be more difficult for an employer or hiring manager to recognize.

There’s value in adding both hard and soft skills to this section, but always rank each skill by importance to your profession, and list them with the most important at the top.

An easy way to uncover the importance of different skills is to read a number of job descriptions from your sector and see what hiring companies tend to ask for at the top of their requirement lists. Most jobs ask for the same things, so this shouldn’t take long to do.

Finally, just a courtesy note to let you know that we have a section called “Language” coming up soon, so please don’t add any foreign language skills here (if you have them).

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EXPERIENCE

“Try to highlight everything you’ve achieved, don’t just list what you did day-to-day.”

Up there with the summary in terms of how difficult it is to execute well, the experience section is often looked at like a laundry list of job titles and role responsibilities. But it should be so much more than that to help you stand out from the crowd.

In terms of the fundamentals of getting this section right, it’s best to use bullet points and to put your most recent bit of experience first, and then work backward from there. It’s also fine to include any unpaid experience you might have here, especially if you’re new to the industry.

Using accurate dates to avoid any role overlap or gaps in your timeline is another top tip, as is including company website URLs to allow employers and hiring managers to easily learn more about the places you’ve worked.

The real challenge here isn’t the fundamentals, though. It’s showing off your achievements and the hard and soft skills you demonstrated in each position.

This means that instead of writing that you did X, Y, and Z day-to-day, you should be writing about the difference you made, the things you learned, and the skills you put to use.

You should always have keywords in your head when writing this section, many of which you can find in job descriptions from the biggest and best companies/organizations hiring in your profession. As with your skills section, a little bit of research can go a long way.

Think about answering questions like, “What did you build?”, “What did you grow?”, “What did you sell?”, “What projects were you most proud of?”, and “What accolades or promotions did you earn?” rather than just “What did you do?”.

Anything you can include here that has a tangible, numerical element to it is fantastic (dollar amount of sales, the percentage growth of a follower count, the overall company growth in value while you were there). Talking about any past successes will get a hiring manager excited about the value you can bring to them!

Our final top tip for this section is to write fewer characters per role as you work down the page while aiming to max out the input box on your most recent piece of experience. More recent equals more relevant, so that’s where you want to dedicate most of your text.

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EDUCATION

“If you don’t have much experience to show just yet, here’s a chance to make up for that.”

The vast majority of what we’ve just recommended for the experience section applies here, too. This is especially true if you don’t have much experience to rely on and are hoping your education is what will separate you from other candidates.

Most people should list their education section below their experience section, but if you feel like you’re relying on your education more than your experience, it’s fine to switch the order.

As with experience, keep to the approach of using bullet points and putting your most recent education first, and then working backward. Also, don’t be afraid to include online courses and short courses here in addition to school and college programs, especially if they’re relevant to video gaming or to your profession.

Don’t forget to add school or institution website URLs to make it easy for employers and hiring managers to learn more about where and what you’ve studied, too.

And just like experience, the real challenge here is bringing your achievements and demonstrated skills to the forefront ahead of just simply laying out what you studied and what your results were.

Did you participate in any extracurricular activities or clubs relating to video games, if you haven’t studied anything to do with the industry? Failing that, were you a part of any other clubs where you were able to demonstrate things like communication, leadership, or organizational ability?

Did you put any of your hard skills to use as part of your studies or in an extracurricular capacity? Maybe you wrote for the school paper or website? Maybe you did some marketing designs for events? Or maybe you were a high-achieving athlete?

You might be surprised how many of the skills you demonstrated during your studies can translate to the video game industry. Finally, and again just like with your experience, anything you can include here that has a numerical element to it will work really well.

Always keep in mind that you’re trying to give the employer or hiring manager a full and positive picture of you as a person and a professional. If they can see you were a highly committed student with a lot of outside interests, that always comes across well.

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LANGUAGE

“We’re looking for “English”, “Spanish”, “Chinese” here, not “Python”, Javascript”, “C#“.”

Language is so critical that we felt it deserved its own section on the Hitmarker CV.

Ultimately, every job advertised on Hitmarker comes with some form of language requirement on there (even if it’s unspoken). If the description is in English, you can bet they’re looking for someone who speaks at least proficient English, for example.

As such, even if you only speak one language natively, then please be sure to include it here. It might seem totally obvious, but it will still help to make sure you qualify for roles.

There are of course jobs where having more than one language is vital to success in the position. If you’re one of those super-talented people who can read/speak more than one language, this section is your chance to shine!

Our definitions of language proficiency are as follows:

  • Beginner: you have little knowledge of vocabulary and can speak simple phrases.

  • Intermediate: you can handle basic and communicative tasks and social situations.

  • Proficient: you’re skilled in the language but have to really focus to read/speak it.

  • Fluent: you’re capable of using the language accurately, easily, and with fluidity.

  • Native: your primary language, which you read/speak without a second thought.

Be honest with your skill levels, put your most proficient at the top, and work down. And if you read/speak more than 10 languages, then please be sure to reach out to us at [email protected] so we can increase the number of potential inputs for you…

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RELOCATION

“If you’re willing (and able) to move city, state, or country for work, this section’s for you.”

Relocation is a difficult subject in the video game industry, as very few jobs offer relocation assistance or provide visa sponsorship for people looking to move countries for work.

However, it does happen occasionally, so we wanted to make sure that you had a place where you could clearly show all of the places you’re legally able to work, and all of the places you’d be happy to relocate to (even if you’re not legally able to work there yet).

As such, if you aren’t tied to the current location you added back in the general section, then it’s really important for you to fill out this section in detail.

We allow a maximum of 10 locations to be added here, and there’s no character limit on how you write each one. This means it may work best for you to group countries into continents or regions if it’s possible to do so, such as Europe or North America. It’s also perfectly acceptable to write “Anywhere” here if that’s genuinely the case for you.

Think carefully before committing to anything, though, and be sure to update this section as and when things change. You don’t want to be receiving job offers that waste both yours and the employer or hiring manager’s time because you no longer have the ability or desire to relocate to a specific place.

A final point here for absolute clarification: please only tick “I am legally authorized to work here.” if you already have the citizenship/green card/visa necessary.

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REFERENCES

“Make it known that you have references, should anyone wish to request them from you.”

We’ve prevented you from being able to add specific details about your referees here for data protection reasons, since this is a public document.

Our compromise is just to give you the option of having a simple line on your Hitmarker CV that states “Available upon request.” under the heading of “References”. This means you can still show off that you’ve got references in case they are required later on.

Typically, companies/organizations hiring in the video game industry don’t request references until later on in the application process, if at all. As such, we hope our compromise is an acceptable one.

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THEME

“Stand out from the crowd by selecting your theme and personalizing its color scheme.”

Hitmarker CV is still in BETA at the time of writing and this is why there’s only our “minimal” theme for you to select. Don’t worry, though, we’ll be adding more for you to choose from in the near future.

In the meantime, the best way to customize your Hitmarker CV is by adding specific hex codes or clicking the color picker squares to make the colors your own.

Always ensure that your CV has good contrast and is easy for people to read, and please keep in mind that your custom colors are only shown on the web version of your Hitmarker CV and not on the downloadable PDF version.

We want to ensure that PDFs have good readability and are printable, so are keeping them standardized in terms of their color scheme.

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If you’ve made it this far, we salute you. It’s now time to jump back and complete your “Summary” section if you haven’t done so already. (We told you we’d remind you!)

Then, when you’re done, it’s time to put your Hitmarker CV to use.

You’ll be able to apply to jobs that are hiring directly through our platform with your CV easily and quickly.

You’ll also be able to share your CV’s URL on social media or on Discord to highlight your availability and/or to get feedback on how you’ve presented it.

You’ll also be able to download your Hitmarker CV as a PDF by clicking the “More” button at the top-right of the CV page. You can also delete it here, too, just so you know.

We hope you’ll be able to benefit from having a Hitmarker CV and that it makes your job search in the video game industry much easier. It is intended to save you time, first and foremost, because we know how demanding the job search can be.

If you have any comments or feedback for us, you can reach us at [email protected]. We want to give you the best experience possible, so we’d really encourage you to get in touch if you feel like something is missing or could be done better.

We guess all that’s left to say is thanks for reading and good luck out there!

Best wishes,

The Hitmarker Team

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