Resumes & Portfolios: The Naughty Dog Way
Let the Naughty Dog recruiting team guide you through the ins and outs of resume and portfolio creation for Kennel-ready candidates.
Greetings, folks! Welcome to Naughty Dog’s new Recruiting blog. We’re Candace and Areia, the people responsible for hiring the best talent in the industry to work and play with us here at the Kennel.
If you’re interested in joining the Naughty Dog team, then you’re probably wondering what it takes to get a foot in the door here. What precisely are the gatekeepers at Naughty Dog looking for in a resume and portfolio? Scour the internet for this kind of info if you’d like, but you’re better off going right to the source – and that’s us!
Allow us to be your guides to not only opening the door to the Kennel, but blowing it straight off the hinges. We proudly present:
The Naughty Dog Guide to Resumes & Portfolios
1.) WHO YOU ARE
These are the basics, but you’d be surprised how often people leave off essentials like their full name, address, phone number, email, and website (if you have one). We can’t get in touch unless we know who and where you are, so please be thorough!
2.) WHAT YOU WANT
Let us know what position you’re applying for. After all, at any given time we’ve got anywhere from 15-20 positions open. Try to be focused and targeted and you’ll help us help you. (Example: “I am currently seeking a position as a game designer at Naughty Dog.”)
3.) WHAT YOU CAN DO
What platforms have you developed for and what operating systems are you familiar with? The more technical information you provide us, the better! If you’re an artist, let us know the art packages, programming languages, level editors, and other development tools and API that you have experience with. And if you don’t know what those things are…well, you might want to get back to us when you’ve brushed up on your knowledge a bit.
4.) WHAT YOU’VE DONE
Resumes vary, but we recommend the reverse chronological format when you submit. Begin with your most recent employer and list all the companies you have worked for. Be sure to include the name and location of each company, the dates of your employment, the name of the project you worked on, and the platform(s) the project was for.
Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, CA
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
- Added animation features, including channels, in-verse cinematics, and extracted motion
- Improved character behavior and motion while focusing on visual quality and responsiveness
5.) WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED
Your education was probably a big investment, so don’t neglect to put it on your resume! If applicable, list any college degrees, advanced degrees, or professional programs that you’ve completed. For each one, include the name of the school and the program, and its start and completion dates.
6.) WHAT YOU’VE WON
That prestigious industry accolade shouldn’t just gather dust on your shelf – we definitely want to know about it. Be sure to include any awards that you have received, professional organizations that you are a member of and your interests and hobbies. Trust us, it’s okay to have a life outside of game development!
And for the artists among you, we’ve got some extra advice...
1.) HOW TO DO IT
We strongly prefer to receive online submissions. Several people will review your portfolio, so having it online will allow us to evaluate it in a timelier manner. It’s also more environmentally friendly to submit your work online, and you don’t have to worry about expensive printing costs! Physical reels and resumes will not be returned, which gives another point of advantage to submitting electronically.
2.) HOW TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Artists need resumes, too! Make sure to include your resume in the online submission. It’s very helpful for us to know your experience when we view your reel, so we can better put your work into context.
3.) HOW TO FORMAT (AND WHAT TO INCLUDE)
We prefer reels to be no more than 4 minutes in length. We strongly recommend putting your best work first, since (as they say) you only have one chance to make a first impression. Your reel and/or portfolio should give examples of your abilities and style – don’t be afraid to highlight what truly makes you shine! And please keep download sizes small so your reel loads quickly. Lastly, you should only include material that is approved for release.
4.) HOW TO SHOW OFF YOUR NON-TECHNICAL TALENTS
We know that art doesn’t begin an end with a Wacom tablet, so feel free to include traditional work such as life drawings and concept art (as long as they pertain to the position you’re applying for).
5.) HOW TO BREAK IT DOWN FOR US
A shot breakdown is a MUST! Include an explanation of what you did and describe what software you used to achieve the effects. It works in your favor to assume we know nothing…about your process, at any rate.
6.) HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH
So you’re awesome and we love your work – great! It won’t do you much good if we don’t have your address, phone number and email address, so it’s critical you include these with your submission.
Were you able to make this guide work for you? We want to see the results! Send your resumes and portfolios to firstname.lastname@example.org, because there’s no point in opening the door if you don’t stride on through it...