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10 Steps to Becoming a Video Game Tester (Part 1)

by: MD Weems ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

A gamer's dream is to get paid to play, and becoming a video game tester usually ranks right up there on the top of their list. But, do you know how to get a job as a video game tester?

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    Paid To Play

    For gamers, becoming a video game tester sounds like the ultimate job title. But, getting to that point can sometimes be harder than you think. So, this two-part article series will show you 10 steps to becoming a video game tester so that you can soon be on your way to being paid to play.

    1. Know your stuff - This means that you need to know about the gaming industry. It doesn't matter if you are an expert or not, you just need to be in the know about it in general. Do some research on the process that games are created from start to finish. You want to make sure that you understand the process that deals with game testing, so that you will be familiar with the jargon and words when you are speaking to someone in a gaming company about a testing position. If you have no clue what they are talking about, they will know and you will find yourself losing that position. And, the more familiar you are with the gaming industry and the testing process, the better that you will look to the gaming company when they are considering hiring you for a position.
    2. Keep your computer skills up – This means that you need to take any classes that you can which cover computer languages, programming, graphic arts, game design, web design, or any thing else that will help you add to your skills for a game testing position. If you have already taken these classes, make sure that you brush up on them all the time, from simple web design to creating small games to just re-reading books or articles over the topic so that you stay on top of the market and the area so that you are always prepared to use those skills when you need them.
    3. Create a winning resume – You can easily find several articles and tips online on how to create a great resume when you are ready to apply for a video game tester job. But, there is a bit more to it than that. You want to make sure that you spell check the document and it is always a great idea to have another person look it over for you. Make sure that the person who looks over your resume will give you an honest opinion; you don't want someone that will just tell you it looks ok. Instead, you want an honest opinion on what you can do to improve on it and how you can make it better. Another set of eyes can always find problems or wording that might not look right or can offer a point of view that you didn't think of when you were reading your finished resume over.
    4. Create a cover letter that will knock their socks off – This will be the main thing that will pull in a potential game tester position. You want to stand out among the masses that apply for the position, without being rude or obnoxious. By creating a unique cover letter that will stand out from the thousands of other resumes, you will stand a much better chance of getting that interview and getting the position over the other candidates. And, by providing a really cool cover letter, you automatically let the potential employer see that you have a personality and that you are a real person and not just another resume sitting on their desk.
    5. Do your homework – When you are ready to apply for a game testing position, make sure that you research the company you are applying for. Check out their web site completely, look at older games and try to play them (download demos if you don't want to shell out the money for a new game), check out some of their news releases to find information about new games or upcoming events, and basically soak up anything that you possibly can about the company and the games that they create. By knowing everything you can, you will be ready to go when you write your cover letter to them and you will be able to personalize it so that they know you have done your home work. And, when you get the interview with them, they will see that you know what you are talking about when they ask you questions.

    The next part of this article will show you the last five steps in becoming a paid video game tester.

How To Become A Video Game Tester

In these two articles, I'll tell you a few secrets on how to become a paid video game tester.
  1. 10 Steps to Becoming a Video Game Tester (Part 1)
  2. 10 Steps to Becoming a Video Game Tester (Part 2)

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