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Gaming: Creating a standout portfolio.

Category Guide
Date 14 Jan 2024
Read Time 4 mins
Author Tom Fieldhouse

Portfolio — Dan Mihaila (Senior Environment Artist)

Your CV can only get you so far if you work in one of the following Game Dev areas; art, animation, design.

Recruiters hear “Is there a portfolio we can review?” about as often as “Can this role be done remotely?” — why? Because a portfolio is your best chance of a good first impression. You know what, I’m going to say it — your portfolio is more important than your CV.

With that in mind, here are some top tips on making your portfolio pop so hard that the hiring manager (HM) falls off their ‘Herman Miller’.

Showcase your best work

Is that student project you did 7 years ago actively selling your current skillset? If the answer is no, remove it!

There’s a fine balance between too little and too much in a portfolio, but if you’re totalling over 20 pieces of content, it’s probably time to cut it down.

Portfolio — Dan Mihaila (Senior Environment Artist)

Curate the content to match the job you want

Dreaming of making VFX for WoW? It’s probably time to take off your explosions reel and focus on the abilities you made for that MMORPG.

Hiring managers want to see work that aligns closely with the work you’ll be doing if they hire you. If your work is all leaning toward a different art style, it becomes an easy no. “but what if I’ve never worked on an MMORPG? I just blow stuff up!” I hear you cry. Here it comes — and it’s a kicker. You’ll need to work on that content in your own time if you don’t have any relevant examples.

This sucks, right? But if you care deeply about switching up your art style, you may need to go the extra mile to compete with other applicants. Some of whom may have been doing MMORPG abilities 40 hours a week for the past 3 years (and have the reel/portfolio to boot).

Portfolio — Dan Mihaila (Senior Environment Artist)

Use a platform for hosting

Images = ArtStation or Bēhance Video = Vimeo or YouTube

I know you spent months building the perfect bespoke website back in 2019, and you’ve paid for hosting since then so you want to show the world your creation.

May I ask though, are you interviewing for a web design job?

Keep it simple — use one of the out-of-the-box platforms where possible. Hiring Managers know how to navigate it, they already know what to expect, and this speeds up reviews.

This part of the process is about making it as easy as possible for an HM to say “We need to get this person in for an interview ASAP”.

ArtStation and Vimeo are great for pooling content from the same project together, as well as cycling between different projects and assets.

Provide some commentary

Highlight which assets you’re responsible for, perhaps which software/engine you used, and any additional relevant info.

Portfolio — Dan Mihaila (Senior Environment Artist)

Make it easy to find

If your portfolio is harder to find than a secret tape in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, you’re doing something wrong.

Anybody should be able to find your work within a few clicks from the following sources:

  • Your CV
  • LinkedIn
  • ArtStation, Vimeo etc (wherever you’re hosting your portfolio)
  • Google

Make sure any links you provide on your CV are working (another reason to give up on your site).

Portfolio — Dan Mihaila (Senior Environment Artist)

Review it regularly

Check your portfolio at least every 6 months to make sure it reflects your best work. You may not decide to add to it every 6 months, but if your most recent examples are from 5 years ago and you’re starting to think about a move, this can be critical. Can you imagine sharing a CV that is 5 years out of date? — me neither.

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