GDC Tips for n00bs

I’ve been posting some tips for first-time GDC attendees in the GDC app, but I thought I should compile and share them all together. Here goes…


GDC Tips for n00bs #1: To everyone looking for the lowdown on the GDC Parties: find our FB group The Fellowship of the GDC Parties. Pocketgamer also has a good list here.

GDC Tips for n00bs #2: bring enough business cards! I mean like 300-500. I HATE when people say they ran out. Seriously? You want to network with no cards? You want me to write down your email? Bye.

Tip #2a: make sure you clearly state your name, contact info, website, and what the heck you do in the industry. Otherwise you’ll be forgotten later.

GDC Tips for n00bs #3: If you’re job hunting this GDC, research the companies you’re interested in. Go through the exhibitor list to find companies making games that match your skill set. Find them on gamedevmap.com to see where their offices are–if you don’t want to work Michigan, don’t bother with that company!
Pick your target companies, and request meetings right in the GDC app.

GDC Tips for n00bs #4: Annotate business cards as you get them. A simple thing like “met outside Humble party” will help you remember who they are. (It will help them too, when you contact them later and remind them where you met.)
As a person always looking for freelance music gigs, I would always put a star in the corner of a dev that said they will be needing music in the future so I’d remember to reach out later.
Trust me-if you’re doing it right, you’ll end up with HUNDREDS of cards networking at GDC. You’ll thank me later.

Tip #4a: Also, grabbing the app Cardmunch is a great way to collect and hold all the cards. Auto-transcribes the info as well, and makes it easy to send linkedin requests. You can add notes about the person right in the app.


DC Tips for n00bs #5: After you research the companies you want to get hired by (see #3), make sure you target your resume and cover letter. Tailor it for that company specifically. Remember that companies like Blizzard just have 2 lines for applicants: one for students and one for professionals. All resumes just drop into one box or another after a brief word with a booth staffer. If you make that application specifically for that company, it will help you stand out.

I’m not saying to not drop off plain resumes to booths–just make sure you take a few target companies seriously, since EVERYONE will be simply dropping resumes everywhere.

GDC Tips for n00bs #6: NETWORK ALL THE TIME. You’re grabbing lunch and see people with badges? Chat for a few minutes. You’re having a smoke outside? Bum a lighter and start a conversation. Waiting in line for the bathroom? Seriously, network. Having a good network of people you’ve met, even if they can’t immediately help you get a job or fill a need on your team is crucial. Connect people you’ve met at an event. Are you an audio guy that met an artist, and later met someone needing an artist? Connect them. Your network brings you clout in the industry, and those people may be in a position to help you later. Hopefully you brought enough business cards (see #2) and annotated the ones you received (see #4) so you remember who they are later (when your buzz wears off the next morning).

GDC Tips for n00bs #7: Please tell me you’re already on LinkedIn. After I get your card and look you up, that’s where you’re going, since LinkedIn is how I organize my professional contacts. It’s like a Rolodex that auto-updates when you get a new job. I get

Cardmunch Rolodex

about 350 cards per GDC conference, some from people asking for audio jobs. There’s no way those are going into my physical Rolodex (as if I had one)!

The other thing is that LinkedIn owns the app Cardmunch (see #4), which I use to scan in my business cards,and actually acts as a virtual Rolodex for the card images. I send LinkedIn invites right through the app.

Bottom line- your website may be beautiful, but I hope there’s a link to it on your LinkedIn profile!

Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to you guys. If anyone has any more questions, feel free to ping me on twitter: @AznBanjoPlaya. Have a great GDC!


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