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So I'm thinking about applying for a entry level position in the software industry but my limited experience working and all my notable experience in college is with game technologies. Sure, the languages transfer over well but most of the technologies I have experience with are all related to graphics programming, engines of various types, and such, and do not transfer over at all.

I feel like it would be inappropriate to just take my game programming resume and basically replace the word game with software for the reasons mentioned but on the other hand if I take them out I will only have languages and some technologies that I have some small passing experience with- which will obviously not reflect well on me.

Should I leave them out or put them in, and if so how can I spin them to be appropriate?

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closed as off-topic by MichaelT, Dan Pichelman, Corbin March, Robert Harvey, Kilian Foth Sep 2 '13 at 8:50

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2 Answers

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Spin your skills the best way you can without lying. That's how this game is played.

If you are so interested in games, I presume you are applying to game companies? If you are a whiz with the graphics, what about video card manufacturers? 3D Modeling software? If you are into the game engine, what about financial modeling? Serious game programming puts a lot of 9-5 suit-and-tie drudgery programming to shame. I'd look for places where your interests and skills will be best appreciated.

If you do list games on your resume (and it will probably come out in the interview anyway) you need to convince an employer that you will do your work and not play games. Just be careful how you handle that in the interview.

One other thing that has worked for me is I always go on interviews with recruiters. Many won't get you a job, but they will all give you feedback if you ask, about how you present yourself in person and on your resume. Listen to the feedback and change accordingly. Presenting yourself well is a game that less qualified people than you are playing, so you might as well play to win.

There are a lot of career references about how to make a resume when changing careers. It's like your old career is game programming. Go to the library and check out 3 different books on resumes.

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Your development experience counts and it would be better to present that on your resume. Thus, stating your goal and achievements on any project or term paper shows your accomplishments, which is a plus to have.

Regarding the switch to the software development from gaming, it is very feasible and i don't see any reasons, why not ?

The trends of software development are changing pretty fast, and showing interest and passion to learn and improve is something that you may want to show. Thus, having good understanding of SDLC and at least having hands-on experience with one OO programming language would be necessary and enough to land a job.

Also start creating your own little projects, creating new things everyday would help you gain confidence and hand-on practice with programming language/frameworks that you use.

In addition, look and learn from open-source projects which are hosted free for curious programmers. They would really help you understand on how to use best practices while doing your coding and how decide on design. In addition, try to get involved in open-source project development, it will boost your self-learning and improvement dramatically.

Even-though you are a beginner programmer, you may get up-to speed on what skills are in demand for programmers. I would recommend to attend local community events to help with that. You may find some of these groups in communitymegaphone.com.

Talk with local buddy programmers, they are mostly good people who would not mind to help a college.

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