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How not to get hired at Insomniac Games

Getting a job at a well-known developer is a dream for many people, and by all accounts Insomniac Games is a pretty great place to work. The problem is that so many people are eager to get that job that they'll apply for any position posted, hoping that their "real" skills will shine through and they'll be magically moved to their preferred department.

It's kind of a silly idea, as if Insomniac wants to spending its collective time making sure people in accounting aren't Will Hunting-style prodigies when it comes to animation or design. The reality is that studios need talented people in every position, and many of those positions may not have much to do with the actual art of creating a game.

"We had animators apply, artists apply, and marketing people apply – for an entry level HR spot. Don’t get me wrong — HR IS where it’s at — but just because you want to work in games, heck, just because you want to work at INSOMNIAC GAMES, doesn’t mean you should apply to every position we have available," Angela Baker wrote on the Baker's Dozen blog, which deals with HR issues for Insomniac. "With a shotgun approach you’re only going to end up shooting yourself in the foot!"

They have an interesting strategy for dealing with this problem: If you apply for a job and are turned down, you're essentially dead to them for an entire year.

"If we reject your application, as being unqualified, we won’t review your resume for another 12 months," Baker wrote. "Think we’re taking a hard line? Perhaps we are but this is what it looks like on our side of the fence … we are going to see that you applied for HR, and art, and animation, and programming — all just hoping to get your resume seen by someone — anyone. What it shows us is that you are confused and perhaps a spammer of resumes."

You wasted your shot at getting a job because you spammed your resume to a position you didn't actually want, just hoping to get their attention. Instead you wasted everyone's time, including your own.

The Baker's Dozen blog is an interesting read because it shows the nuts and bolts of hiring and human resources at a place like Insomniac, and it drives home the point that game studios are just like any other job, albeit one in an industry that interests you. If you've ever been interested in the nuts and bolts of getting hired at a developer, it's a great place to read some interesting stories and gain some insight into the process.

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