Friday, August 15, 2014

Is It Okay To Put Your Gaming Skills On Your Resume?

Good question. While it would make sense if you were pieing for a job within the gaming industry, what if you are outside of that bubble, where the majority of us work? Where phrases like "corporate casual" and "synergize" roll off the tongue, would being a gamer be acceptable?

Where I currently work, it's a semi-conservative environment. I don't make it known that I am a gamer because it's not acceptable within the office environment. I do have two Prinny's on my desk, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. And they were gifts from my boyfriend, which makes them extra special and gives me some sense of sanity throughout the day. Prinny's and sanity should not belong in the same sentence. But there is a stigma to video games, even as it grows to become more inclusive. CEO's may be playing Angry Birds on their iPhones more commonly then they would have even 5 years ago, but most people still equate gaming to immaturity and laziness. They don't see Angry Birds as a video game, but as a fun time waster.

If you're applying to a website or a trendy start-up company, your managerial skills in World of Warcraft raids might get you bonus points. But if you're trying to get hired for an HR position in Bausch and Lomb, it won't fly. Which does kind of suck. For a number of us gamers, our first experience in a work-environment is through video games, particularly MMORPG's. Setting up raids, managing guilds, creating task forces, maintaining friendly player relations -- these all can easily transfer over into the workplace. For 4-5 hours a day no less. Many of us are already primed to take a leadership position, such as a supervisor over a customer service team, or a project manager for an architecture firm. Why? Because we're wrangling anywhere from 50 to 500 people at a time in an MMO and keeping them on task. That's a lot of work for digital rewards, that we're more then happy to take into the real world for, well, real rewards.

Maybe in a few decades it'll become normal to discuss your gaming skills in a job interview, when video games have become ingrained into our society. As it stands, I don't even put my film credits on a resume if I'm applying for a normal 8-5 job. People see it as a time waster, even though the skills I have learned can easily transfer to their work-place. The same applies to video games. You can boast that you handle 500 man guilds and raids on a nightly basis, but most companies see it as "a kid playing video games" and move on to the next applicant.

What it comes down to is knowing your audience. If you're expected to wear a suit and tie everyday, leave your MMO experience off the paper. If it's Google, then sure. Why the heck not.

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