Reasons I'm going to delete your email (As an employer)

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PeterK polycounter lvl 14
I get a lot of email from potential candidates; And for the life of me I try to respond to every one, even when the emails are awful. As part of a conscious effort to take back my personal time from people who shoot off an email without thinking, I've decided to just start deleting useless inquiries.

The reason I bother posting about this is because I'm sure lots of people (students/recent grads) here are applying for positions at many studios, and these are some of the reasons you're not hearing back.

I'm going to keep updating this list, and I encourage others who have this experience to contribute.

Here are the Reasons I'm going to delete your email (As an employer)
  1. You didn't include a portfolio link
  2. You are profoundly unqualified for the job and you know it. (check out your competition here: www.Artstation.com)
  3. You bad-mouth other studios. (I have zero interest in hearing you talk shit about other people - you do it to them, you'll do it to me)
  4. You do strange stuff with the text  (Too small, too big, weird colors)
  5. Asking if I have "any" positions available. ("Any" is not a position at my studio, what job do you want? Artist, coder, writer, etc ?)
  6. You write a novel.


Replies

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor hero character
    Sounds good. If possible, can you share emails (with sensitive info redacted, of course) from people who nailed it?
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown polycounter
    I appreciate this Peter. As goofy as it may seem, I feel like I stumble when it comes time to write the tiny intro email though I think my resume itself is well worded. Totally stealing a template!
  • PeterK
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    PeterK polycounter lvl 14
    Hi Taylor, Thank you. You have great work in your folio, and I'm hopeful this template is of use to you and you land a great gig!
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter
    I think this thread would be an extremely useful addition too the selection of Industry Resources over on the Careers/Education board
    :Thumbsup::
  • adrxzero
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    adrxzero Polycount Sponsor
    Yes! well said @PeterK , golden advice here. 

    As a recruiter, I can certainly relate! Thank you for bringing up this problem and sharing excellent solutions. 
  • corinne_10x
    Thank you Peter, this is great advice! I've definitely been writing too much.
    I noticed the line for games worked on in the template. Do you have any suggestions for someone trying to break into the industry and hasn't worked on any games yet? I only have experience at an advertising agency.
  • PeterK
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    PeterK polycounter lvl 14
    Hi Corinne, Just replace that part with a very brief description of relevant experience. Nothing over a line or two. I'll be honest with you though, unless their portfolio is killer, I usually skip people without gamedev experience.

    mind you, a great portfolio excuses most technical/business concerns, but it never excuses a bad attitude or arrogance; which one tries to find out about in an interview or probationary period.

    Edit: Btw Corinne, you have very high quality work in your folio. I'd make a few more game specific assets and apply anywhere you like. I think you have a nice shot if you can show some more game-spec models. Preferably at least 3 more assets; I bet you'd make a killer character artist for a studio,
  • corinne_10x
    Thank you so much Peter. That means a lot
  • HectorLucas
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    HectorLucas polycounter lvl 2
    PeterK said:
    I'll do you one better, here's a template to contact potential employers with:

    Template:

    Hi, I'm <Put your name here>,

    I'd like to apply for the <Position> position. Here is my portfolio: <portfolio link>

    I have <#> years experience as a <job title>, and have worked on the following titles <Name a few>, Etc.  My area of focus is <Focus area> , but I have secondary skills in <Secondary focus area>

    I am currently located in < Place >, but I'm willing to relocate.

    regards
    <name>
    <Skype/Discord/whatever>

    My Cover Letters are pretty similar to this but I add one more paragraph explaining why I'm interested in this company, which projects that they made catch my eye and basically praising them and another paragraph explaining why I'm passionate about this industry, my childhood dreams, my favourite games, bla bla bla. Both of them are around 3-4 lines.

    Is this actually doing me any favour? Should I stop glorifying both them and me and keep a simple CL like this template? On one hand, less is more and on the other hand I feel it's a little cold and direct. I heard companies likes to pick persons not robots and it's good to show your personality but it's also true that the recruiter recieves gargantual amounts of emails and probably gives a s*** about my dreams or why I liked the company.

    I'm a little bit confused :D
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown polycounter
    I think those sorts of things might be better off said during an interview
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR greentooth
    PeterK said:
    I'll do you one better, here's a template to contact potential employers with:

    Template:

    Hi, I'm <Put your name here>,

    I'd like to apply for the <Position> position. Here is my portfolio: <portfolio link>

    I have <#> years experience as a <job title>, and have worked on the following titles <Name a few>, Etc.  My area of focus is <Focus area> , but I have secondary skills in <Secondary focus area>

    I am currently located in < Place >, but I'm willing to relocate.

    regards
    <name>
    <Skype/Discord/whatever>

    My Cover Letters are pretty similar to this but I add one more paragraph explaining why I'm interested in this company, which projects that they made catch my eye and basically praising them and another paragraph explaining why I'm passionate about this industry, my childhood dreams, my favourite games, bla bla bla. Both of them are around 3-4 lines.

    Is this actually doing me any favour? Should I stop glorifying both them and me and keep a simple CL like this template? On one hand, less is more and on the other hand I feel it's a little cold and direct. I heard companies likes to pick persons not robots and it's good to show your personality but it's also true that the recruiter recieves gargantual amounts of emails and probably gives a s*** about my dreams or why I liked the company.

    I'm a little bit confused :D

    I'm curious about this as well. Perhaps its different with applications to outsourcing companies that are more concerned with the artwork you're putting out for them to sell rather than knowing you as a person prior to hiring you? (Bizarre way to judge a candidate but maybe in this line it applies, since game development (especially artwise) can be rather cookie cutter as far as AAA goes in several cases)

    I personally would value reading more into a candidates background since its a person I'm working with not a robot.

    That said I am wondering if cover letters are necessary for reapplications, since they do keep them on file (I think) unless of course there's more info to add to your application. 
    Some companies are better at managing this over others.

    I think those sorts of things might be better off said during an interview
    I've heard that a lot of cover letters seen as "cookie cutter" may not get the same amount of attention and hence may not lead to an interview. 

    But there are so many factors that influence getting work. Most times you just have to keep going and making art despite all the bs.

    Honestly everything is speculation at this point. even the quality of your artwork in several cases.
    Competent recruiters and clients do however make smarter choices and often see potential beyond what is expected of you.
  • PeterK
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    PeterK polycounter lvl 14
    Hi Hector,  That stuff will come out in an interview; when we're trying to get a sense of who you are and if we can work well together. I don't need that info from the get go, and it comes off as amateur to include your childhood hopes and dreams.

    Another issue with lofty paragraphs about the developer and your dreams is that you're probably copy/pasting it into every email you're sending out, and you ARE going to slip up and forget to replace a studio name at some point. I get those all the time, Someone forgot to change "Ubisoft" to "Exis" and it reads as disingenuous.

    People don't read your whole email, so the more stuff you add unrelated to the pertinent points, the more they will skim/skip/maybe not read. If you do want to include a one line bit of "flair", just say something like: "I enjoy your work and I'd like to be part of your team".

    The overriding theme is to just keep it simple and professional, and then be a good person in follow-ups and interviews.
  • artbychien
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    artbychien polycounter lvl 3
    Hi PeterK,

    Thank you so much for bringing this up and sharing your insight.
    I always struggle about writing the intro about myself. (stealing the template for sure)
    Thank you again. 

  • AGoodFella
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    AGoodFella polycounter lvl 3
    Some good info here, thanks!
  • Alekay57
    I'm new to Game Art,
    How much do employers care about your education in this industry,
    Is your Portfolio the only thing that matters?
  • CrackRockSteady
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    CrackRockSteady Polycount Sponsor
    Alekay57 said:
    I'm new to Game Art,
    How much do employers care about your education in this industry,
    Is your Portfolio the only thing that matters?
    education is only important if you're planning to work outside of your own country as that will be important for visa purposes.  Developers could not care less where you went to school, portfolio is king
  • TheGabmeister
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    TheGabmeister polycounter lvl 2
    Just wanted to add information that might be useful to students here sending emails to employers.

    As an employer myself, I occasionally receive emails from students looking for internships. There were times when I received more than 5 emails from students coming from the same school (there was a case where I received 40 emails). Reading their messages and checking their portfolio, it becomes pretty obvious that they're using some kind of template their college professor gave them. I could even tell which of their artworks, even though they look different, came from the same class assignment.

    My advice is to avoid these templates if you can. I understand that in some cases, your teachers require you to follow the template to pass a subject or whatever. Just be aware that employers read countless emails all the time and patterns are easy to spot. As mentioned by PeterK, just keep it simple, professional, and put the best of your work in your portfolio. Try not to make it too similar to your classmate's portfolio.
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