[Resume / Cover Letter Critique request] Riot Games

insane polycounter
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Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
Hi Polycount:

Deadline for the Riot Games Art Intern application is coming up on March 15th. On top of the Mushroom Guy I'm trying to get done by the 14th, I was wondering if Polycount could help me refine my resume and cover letter more. I know, artists don't usually get asked for cover letters, but for some reason Riot wants one. I'd imagine it helps the recruiters to sift the chaff from the wheat in some way shape or form. Thank you so much in advance for the critiques! :)

Position posting is clickable here. I think it's pretty vague what they want the intern to do, or whatever expectation there might be, but I think that's intentional. Asked on LinkedIn, got a similar response.

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Resume here. (PDF download, under a meg)

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(And the following is the draft of the cover letter in its current iteration, minus additional formatting fluff)

Riot Games
(Address pending)

Dear Riot Games,

League of Legends manages to combine the best of fantasy, science fiction, and imagination in an awesome, eclectic world. It has always been my dream since elementary school to contribute to such strong game universes like League of Legends as a game artist. My current educational quest, professional experience, and work as a 3D artist on multiple game development projects are ideal for your qualifications as an Art Intern at Riot Games.

Honing and crafting the best player experiences possible with other like-minded teammates has been something I’ve been striving for ever since I entered USC to make video games as a game artist. Our Student Advisor said Freshmen internships were unlikely, but she didn’t say “impossible.” Working with Blizzard Entertainment’s Platform Services on Diablo III my freshman summer gave me boots-on the-ground experience on what it took to polish a quality game. With Reverge Labs, I got to learn what it meant to be part of a small, tightly-woven, agile team. With incredibly talented teammates, we poured into a game prototype while I tangoed with both 2D and 3D art. Working in this range of professional game development environments has taught me much about what it takes to be a team player both large and small situations, while learning from extremely talented mentors.

Making effective game art didn’t stop with the summers, fortunately. Working as a game artist on multiple Final Games here at USC has been ludicrously fun and challenging, from directing the visual aesthetic of the spaceship MOBA Core Overload, to working on an IGF Student Showcase Honorable Mention, Tales from the Minus Lab, as a Level Artist. And I’ve been blessed enough to work with fellow awesome students, from hungry engineers to really adaptive designers, spending many hours after class polishing and building our “student games” to greater heights. These intimate moments just making awesome moments of play are something I’d love to continue during the upcoming summer, and after a short tour through Riot Games’ offices in February, I know for sure Riot Games is a culture I’d love to contribute with.

My combined experiences are ideal for an opportunity to work with Riot Games as an Art Intern, enriching the fabulously awesome League of Legends universe while learning from an incredible team of artists. I would love the opportunity to discuss the position at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for considering my application.

Sincerely,

Brian Choi

Enclosure

Replies

  • Eric Chadwick
    Your cover letter is way too long. Make it short and snappy. Remember, hiring managers have to review a metric ton of applications. Make it easy for them! The great advice in Your Portfolio Repels Jobs can also be applied to cover letters.

    Some resume advice.
    http://wiki.polycount.com/CategoryGameIndustry#Resumes
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt polycounter lvl 14
    Here's a sample of a typical cover letter from me:

    "I am interested in the position XXXX. I believe I have the skills for the job and would be ideal for the position. Attached is my resume and you can see my portfolio here: (URL) "

    Sometimes I mention a game I worked on that I think is relevant - but only sometimes.
  • Blaisoid
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    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    Sprunghunt, what you wrote is suitable for a cover letter that is contained in the email.
    Some studios require it as a separate document, i guess that this is the case here.
    In some countries, like mine, it's a customary practice to for employers to request it like that, which annoys the hell out of me.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm interpolator
    yup, better keep it short. For a lead position it can be long, because you'd like to talk about some stuff that cannot be put in the resume to catch some attention.

    If you want to shorten it, just remove all the stuff they can find in your resume and folio anyway (e.g. where you worked before, what other skills you have). For lead positions you could talk about management style, your idea of leadership and teamwork (as long as its short), but for an intern job you can get away with 1 paragraph. If they really want you to talk, go for 2. But keep the filler words out. Short and sweet always wins!

    As artist, talk about achievements - don't waste time praising everything else, including Riot Games. Flattery is okay but if you rub it in too much it starts looking weird. Focus on talking what you can do for them, but other than the obvious stuff that is just redundant info from your resume.

    E.g. if you have teaching or mentoring experience teaching other classmates, mention that, mention how you helped them achieve their goals, how it helped you. Tell a little story that shows the human side of yourself. Everyone can put "teamplayer" behind a bulletpoint in the resume. but a short story makes it so much more believable (and it allows me to follow up on it in an interview; and since you know that I might follow up on it because you put it in the cover letter you can prepare better for the interview. win-win). But again keep it short and sweet. Not too much bla bla and filler words.

    Or tell how you pulled your weight in the games projects you mentioned. How you contributed! Because I as the decision maker would like to hear this - I will ask you in the interview, but if you mention it before the interview the chance will be higher that I will interview you at all.

    If you could shorten the whole student games thing you did to about two sentences you could use that to catch some attention, and it could be a good opener for a possible interview. But right now it's just very long winded.

    Also I realized I must be like a HR person... I just glanced over everything but other than you wanting an Internship I dunno what you want. Are you a concepter, animator, modeller? There's 3D packages on your resume, but the experience seems not to match right away? You really need to label yourself as something somewhere and make it VERY visible so it pops in my eye right away.... I am a XXX and I apply for position XXX ( to do XXX (* if its not apparent what the position is for ))

    P.S. I really do make hiring decisions, so yeah... blame me for not spending hours on reading a resume :(
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    Tell them you got offered an internship at Valve to work on DOTA2, but would rather work for them, and so are offering your 'unmatched talent' to them.

    Also, include alot of Riot jokes, like "people say I mask excellent coffee and my jokes cause a hearty RIOT of laughter", or "My username is so, because I like to cause PANDEMONIUM".

    Also, end the letter with "and I hope this letter ends for both parties in GG".
  • Dylan Brady
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    Dylan Brady polycounter lvl 8
    Dear riot games,
    if you hire me I will always stay in my lane and NEVER DC.

    But no fer reals I usually write really long cover letters involving personal stories and I make sure to say the word passionate at least 5 times.
    Thanks for the advice springhunt, i need to get over myself.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    @Kwramm: with the wording of the Art Intern listing, it's realy vague unfortunately. Should I just assert that I'm a character focused artist, but I'm applying to the Art Intern position to work mostly on characters? The listing mentions things ranging from splash art to animating, which is really wide.


    Gonna glean through it and see what I can cut.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm interpolator
    They do expect that you have some specialization (see "...depending on your specialization...") and they seem to offer multiple internships. That's the tough question you have to answer now - market yourself as generalist - or do you look stronger just presenting a certain side of yourself.
    What do you want to do most? Does what you want to do most match with the strongest skill you have? Maybe you got some feedback already on your artwork from other Polycount members. This could give you an idea where your strengths lie.

    In any case, HR people usually don't like matching you to a position. Many of them don't even have enough art knowledge to do that. An Art Director could match you, but HR usually gets the resume first. So if they don't know where to put you you may be out of luck and they don't even forward your stuff. Also it makes a better impression if you know what you want. As long as your work makes it through to an Art Director or some artist it's good.
    The AD might still put you somewhere else. I once applied for an env artist position because that was all that was listed as open and I got hired as character artist because the AD checked my work.
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi interpolator
    Not much to add.

    I really like your diffuse textures (told you that before)!




    GL man!
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    @Everyone: Is this better? Cut out as much as I can and reworded some things.
    =============================================

    (Error: brb)
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    (Error solved)

    Dear Rioters,

    It has always been a dream to contribute to such strong game universes like League of Legends with other artists. My current educational pursuit, professional experience, and work as a game artist on multiple game development projects are ideal for qualifications as a Character Art Intern at Riot Games.

    Honing and crafting the best player experiences possible with other like-minded teammates has been something I’ve been striving for since entering USC to make video games as a game artist. Freshman year, I gained an internship with Blizzard Entertainment’s Platform Services on Diablo III, making sure items, icons, and armor assets were bug-free and of prime quality. With Reverge Labs, I learned what it meant to be part of a small, tightly-woven, agile team. With incredibly talented colleagues, we poured into a game prototype while I contributed character animation inking, 3D assets, and even some 2D VFX. Working in this range of professional game development environments has taught me much about what it takes to be a team player in both large and small studios, while learning from knowledgeable mentors.

    Between summers, working as a game artist on multiple Final Games at USC has been ludicrously fun and challenging. Art directing Core Overload has been intense, making sure an eclectic universe was visually unified, even with thousands of custom player-ship possibilities. On Tales from the Minus Lab, making sure the world art was effective from multiple levels of player sizes became an intense collaboration with our graphics engineer. These bonding moments just making awesome play experiences are something I’d love to continue during the upcoming summer. After a short tour through Riot Games’ offices in February, I know Riot Games is a culture I’d love to contribute with.

    My combined experiences are ideal for an opportunity to work with Riot Games as a Character Art Intern, enriching the awesome League of Legends universe while learning from an incredible team of artists. I would love the opportunity to discuss the position at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for considering my application.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Choi

    Enclosure
  • D.Carmine
    This should help give you a good jumping off point. I based my cover letter off of these templates and I never got any complaints. Just be sure to adjust it for a game company. Short, simple and manageable.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Cover-Letter

    Hope this helps?

    - D. Carmine
  • Torch
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    Torch greentooth
    Ace-Angel wrote: »
    Tell them you got offered an internship at Valve to work on DOTA2, but would rather work for them, and so are offering your 'unmatched talent' to them.

    Also, include alot of Riot jokes, like "people say I mask excellent coffee and my jokes cause a hearty RIOT of laughter", or "My username is so, because I like to cause PANDEMONIUM".

    Also, end the letter with "and I hope this letter ends for both parties in GG".

    Two wrongs can make a Riot? :shifty:
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    @D.Carmine: Wow . . . those are SUPER short (formatting is cool, of course). I don't know if I can cram what Riot wants in that amount of space. O.o
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    Torch wrote: »
    Two wrongs can make a Riot? :shifty:

    Oh Lord :P
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