43

Over the past 4 years while at school I've been almost fully responsible with running the ins and outs of my guild.

Its been a full time job managing literally hundreds of people ranking from the lowliest of peons all the way up the chain. We are one of the top guilds in the US and this has been through almost my own effort the entire time. I've interviewed many candidates personally before relegating this duty to another subordinate.

Is this a suitable skill to put on my resume? Should I list it as my most recent employment? How should I include this on my resume if so? This has given me many valuable leadership activities.

  • 3
    Potential duplicates: Volunteer work, Hobbies, Side projects – David K Apr 24 '15 at 13:11
  • 1
    I would list it under activities or organization. Like if you are on the board of a museum or HOA it is work related skills. If you served as a moderator on SO that is something else you might list. – paparazzo Apr 24 '15 at 13:13
  • 1
    It's stEVE, isn't it? – Calculus Knight Apr 24 '15 at 16:19
  • 13
    A general note for wording this on your resume that applies to most of the answers below: emphasize the community aspect, downplay the gaming angle. – Lilienthal Apr 24 '15 at 20:59
  • 1
    Looks like I'm alone in this, but I would not put this on your resume at all. Sorry, but it's just a game. Gaming achievements(no pun intended) should not be on a resume. – jmorc Apr 27 '15 at 19:12
64

Is this a suitable skill to put on my resume? Should I list it as my most recent employment? How should I include this on my resume if so? This has given me many valuable leadership activities.

You could put it in a section for "Leadership." I have played similar games, though not to the extent you have - the skills you learn coordinating dozens or hundreds of people in a game like this are directly transferable into many jobs.

You want to word this in ways which minimize the "gamer..." effect and maximize the "what did I do that's meaningful?" effect.

Something like:

Leader - XXX Guild (40 hours/week, 2 years)

  • Grew guild from X members in 2011 to Y in 2015
  • Grew to #1 ranked guild of 2403 total guilds
  • Managed and coordinated activities of 200 multi-national members
  • Responsible for recruiting and onboarding of new members

This shows relevant experiences and benefit to a new employer but avoids making it sound like you just played video games.

Note that if you are a current full-time employee you may not wish to put the total hours on your resume. As a student you have a lot of free time which is unique to being a student.

  • 4
    I sure don't know why this was down voted. +1 – paparazzo Apr 24 '15 at 13:50
  • 28
    I'd avoid the 40 hours/week thing - that might put people off "is he going to have time to do proper work if he's doing 40 hours/week on his guild". The rest of this is good though. – Tim B Apr 24 '15 at 16:45
  • 7
    TimB, I'd put "proper" in quotes. Some games, like running a corp or alliance in EVE is about as close to running a real world company as you can get. – NotMe Apr 24 '15 at 17:07
  • 8
    Also be careful that what you write is comprehensible to someone who has never heard of computer games, but is vaguely aware that a "guild" has to do with medieval craftsmen. Not that I'm saying your readers are that ignorant of online gaming, but that it's easy to lose your audience if you just go around assuming they know what you're talking about. So for example "recruited 2000 new members" is an impressive feat of organisation if they've all been vetted and interviewed, but profoundly unimpressive if I imagine it's like getting 2000 page likes on Facebook. – Steve Jessop Apr 24 '15 at 17:11
  • 7
    I understand why you put "40 hours / week" (to show this was a real commitment and experience somewhat comparable to a full-time job), but it risks encouraging unhelpful speculation (many know little of gaming beyond negative media stereotypes and may react negatively to someone who played games "full time"). I'd focus purely on the achievements in relatable terms. – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 24 '15 at 17:25
10

I suggest you take a slightly different path than putting that in CV. Putting a gaming achievement could be an instant turn off for many recruiters especially if they do not play video games. Especially if they have kids playing lots of video games. And let's be clear about this, they don't care about your boss kills.

What do they care about? Well depends what position you are after. Are you applying for a position where you'd work alone maintaining some IT services? I'm not sure they put much price on leadership skills. Are you applying on a position where you'll be part of a team expected to take responsibility and step up? Suddenly your experience is relevant.

What you write and how you write it should be tailored on the position you're applying. What are the skills the company wants to find in the candidates and how can this experience be relevant for them so you can demonstrate you're up for the challenge. Gets even more valuable if you are after positions in gaming industry. A lot more valuable.

I would personally mention this in the CV as a relevant hobby and won't go into much details there. Stick to facts and number: number of people, timespan, major ranking or achievements. Short but powerful. If someone not knowing you is reading that part they should instantly say How? Where? Give me more details! For the rest of the CV I wouldn't want anyone to think of me as someone that plays video games all day long and believe I am not capable of working so I want to make sure in the CV that I am a match for their profile. I would stick with things they required explicitly and are relevant. Schools, courses, side projects, small jobs and so on.

The letter of intent is the place where I would go a bit more in details. And yes, every application I send has a letter of intent. From my letter of intent, which I already know it will be read after my CV, I want to back up my CV with clear experiences but also demonstrate how I am over other applicants. And here is where references to my skills obtained in the virtual world go. But I would still be sure to not make those the highlight of my experience. I would exploit the diversity, the difficulty of coordination over the internet and to some extent the leadership capabilities. Aim, where possible, to back it up with other experiences as well. I am supposed to work with people from multiple countries? Well here is what I did before and here are the results of that. Happens to be in a video game, nevertheless, the same skill can be easily identified in both examples.

The interview, this is another story; I already have a much more flexibility and I can work with the interviewer to ensure my experience is not misunderstood. Here I can briefly go over difficulties encountered and how did I used my skills to solve them. It is easy to specify that even in a virtual environment the responsibilities and skills are very similar with any other project. I could demonstrate some of them and even go together over some important past example. Maybe how you solved a major conflict or how did you deal with an especially important problem. And always translate that to their job. You coordinated a group of 25 people and got a realm first kill (or whatever achievements that game has)? First find out whether such a situation exists in their company. There are cases where short term coordination would be need? If yes, go into the details on how you did that in the past. Lastly come back to their situations and show exactly how that would translate nicely for their need. BAM you solved the company need, you bring value, you are suddenly relevant.

Example:

"You: There are people in the team working remotely?

Recruiter: Yes, our company is present in 8 countries and often collaboration between different people on different time zones is needed?

Y: It happens to face issues because of this? or Would you say it is important for a future employee to be able to handle such tasks / communications?

R: Yes, for us this is vastly important [bla bla]

Y: I can understand why this is such important. As it happens during the past 5 years [your experience]. Such skills could definitely be handy here because [how you can handle their problem]. I am glad to see the job presents an opportunity for me to further polish my [targeted skills]"

Bring value. As long as you bring value, any skill or experience is relevant. Good luck!

  • I think it's a really bad idea to try to pass off experience playing a video game as work experience. – Patrick Collins Apr 25 '15 at 20:50
  • Is a bit dangerous, I'd agree with that but wouldn't go as fast as saying is a bad idea. Obviously the OP is in a case where there isn't much experience he can use in which case using the gaming experience has two big advantages. First the obvious experience, what I detailed in my answer. Secondly he can pretty much ensure that the company is somehow ok with the gaming philosophy which is one of his main hobbies. – Memleak Apr 27 '15 at 5:57
5

Gaming is tough call. A non gamer would not even know what a guild is. So you would need to be careful on how you word it. It would not be "work". List it under activities or organizations. Yes it is some skills that transfer to the workplace. But the problem you have there is that many older people don't understand gaming. If you are applying with a younger hip company or software developer then yes. Even then the risk you take is they may think guild activities will compete with work time.

Something like playing on college sports team or on the debate team is an easier call. You learn work type skills and is a positive reflection on you character. You are (wrongly) going to have some people that think gaming is a negative reflection on your character. You might run into a manager who has teenage son addicted to gaming.

  • I suspect that it will depend heavily on the target audience. If the hiring team is younger, technically savvy, they will recognize this. On the other hand if the team or job is primarily stuffy old fuddleduds then it will be less well received. – Bill Leeper Apr 24 '15 at 14:15
3

I thought you were simply joking or being nuts the first time I read your question, but the second time I started thinking that your question is actually very legitimated.

Should experience from a virtual world be mentioned in the real world as experience that can be reflected on?

Computer games have always been a joke to the real world; your life is not going anywhere while you're just playing video games, until in the last few years when people started making a living out of being professional gamers.

You're not a professional gamer, but that doesn't mean that other aspects of the play can't be extracted into the real world.

I think that you should extract what you've learned from being a leader in this context, and show examples of how your leadership made a difference. Note that it doesn't matter whether it's a virtual world or the real world, if you can't extract experience that you can reflect on then the experience was no good.

Experience is experience as long as you can reflect on it.

If you think that this experience has made you better at what you wish to do then you should include it. But, while prejudice towards professionalism in computer games has decreased it's very important that you include this as professionally as possible. Don't focus on the fact that it was a video game, focus on the matter that it was a virtual world but just like in any other volunteer organization you did bring something out of it that real world organizations have use for.

Where to include it is a matter of perspective, but I'm leaning towards @Blam's comment on putting it under activities or organization.

  • 1
    Having sat in on several interviews myself, I can say that unless you're planning on working as a contracted professional moderator (which usually requires a lot of sysadmin IT skills to go with it), this sort of thing would likely result in the resume being tossed to the shredder. Leading a bunch of random strangers using a matchmaking service built into an MMO is not leadership in any meaningful sense. We look for people who start small businesses, KickStarters, have an active GitHub account, or publish their own projects. Games do not translate to real skills that earn the big bucks. – Cloud Apr 24 '15 at 13:26
  • @Dogbert That's true, but if a candidate has all of those things then having some extra moderator experience can't possibly hurt. I'm not saying that this would be a deal breaker, but if one truly believes that he's a better candidate with this extra experience then it should be included in one way or another. – Jonast92 Apr 24 '15 at 13:29
  • That is true, in the specific case you mentioned. My suggestion would be to only add the skill if OP is applying for a specific job where the skill could complement a larger, more significant skill. Kind of like the "core skills" vs "nice to have skills" section you see on a job description. I see games as a hobby rather than a negative trait or deal breaker, and I've even allowed people to setup a LAN party in a shop I managed once (good PR, as it turned out), but to say gaming is a skill is laughable, and modding it as a clan leader is only a half-step above to most hiring managers. – Cloud Apr 24 '15 at 13:37
3

Yes, but I'd suggest you place this in the Extras / hobbies section.
I'm not a recruiter, but I doubt you will be taken serieusly if you'd add that as work experience.

However, what you're writing could be an important part to add to your CV. It could show a form of responsibility, teamwork, orginizing skills, dedication, etcetera.

The harsh part is that's gaming and many people underrate the skills gaming can provide. Instead they'll asume you have nothing to mention, "So I'll just add some random game info".
Wether they're correct or not is a completely different discussion.

I suggest you write your part and ask a non-gamer friend to read it. This person can see the text from an "average" point of view and indicate which parts are too 'gamy'.
Try to translate it all to real world skills, eg: Use team instead of guild.

*I'm asumming you're applying to a job which could appreciate this values! If not, don't add it.

  • It could probably be counted as work experience IF he was paid for what he did, like a professional gamer. That seems to be the situation at least in Finland: If you don't get paid for what you did (this includes "real" practical training, internship, etc), it will not be counted as work experience. – Juha Untinen Apr 24 '15 at 13:29
  • 1
    Though if your section were actually titled "Extra's" with the apostrophe mistake, that wouldn't look good on the resume. :) – Almo Apr 24 '15 at 15:05
  • Not native english :) – Martijn Apr 25 '15 at 9:43
-1

I personally have had my game organization experiences on my resume for quite a while. This did not only include MGO experience, but additional side projects as well.

The problem is you need to sound professional due to the way people think about gaming. Adding relations to well known third parties and asking for proper recommendations (from adults) can increase the value of that particular resume item.

See for instance my online resume at http://linkedin.com/in/luceos ; even though the gaming experiences have recently moved backwards on my timeline and I made the decision to stale some projects. I must confess I did land one job with the mentioned gaming experience, but it was mostly a matter of luck. Even then, you'll never know who you'll meet with the same passion or interests like you.

Another interesting fact is that 50% of my current colleagues are gamers.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.