indie publisher resume bullets

I'm putting this under directed promotion, since, well, I guess that's what it is.

So I'm looking for jobs now that May is approaching, and my resume is antedeluvian, written on papyrus and stuff. It predates the founding of Dog-eared Designs is how old it is. That's a thousand mayfly lifetimes.

Fellow indie publishers, you know well that designing and writing your game, getting it printed, working with artists and marketing it was hard work and one hell of a learning experience.

So if you have a moment, maybe you can help me brainstorm some bullets for a resume. Off the top of my head I'm imagining things like founding a company, coordinating with people, doing a fuckload of writing, etc.

Jason? Tony? I know you guys are often around. Anyone?


  • I'm no resume wizard. But some ideas...

    More focused:

    Coordinated all aspects of production for a small-press publisher. Duties included graphic design and layout, editing, print buying, and fulfillment services. (massage and edit based on your focus)

    More broad:

    Founder and owner, Dog Eared Designs. Small press publisher serving the game industry. Responsible for all aspects of product development, testing, marketing, and sales. Dog Eared Designs flagship product, Prime Time Adventures, has sold X copies in a competitive market and won numerous awards, including Y. (again with the massaging to taste)
  • It depends on the job, I always tailor a CV to the job I'm applying for. What qualities are they looking for, which of your small press publishing skills work to show those qualities in the best light?
  • What Matt said. I suggest writing an extra-long resume with just about everything, and then slicing it down when you apply to a particular job. Also, when you can, work parts of their job description into your resume.
  • Jason: you rock. Thanks!
  • I think the trick is to keep it professional, because everybody can see through "engineer responsible for scheduled maintenance of food service establishment rest room facilities" type entries, and "I made this game and I totally sell it to my friends" is not what you want to communicate in Big Words. So:

    You are a business professional who has created, owns, and operates a small business.
    You are a creative professional who has developed and marketed noteworthy products.
    You are a print industry professional who has handled all aspects of product creation and fulfillment.

    Personally I'd pick one, with ample evidence, based on the job you're after, and let the other two come out in the interview.
  • Matt (the non-Wilson variety) and Colin are spot-on, Matt (Wilson Variety). Totally write more than you will need for any one job, and then pare down what's irrelevant to the specific job when making the job-specific resume. Other things:
    * You should only be sending out job-specific resumes. Don't use generic resumes; their effectiveness is abyssmal.
    * You should have your name and the job you want right next to each other on the top of the page. Each resume should forge a strong association between YOU and JOB; use all of your graphic designer mojo to make that happen.
    * Unless you work in IT, your resume should never be longer than one side of one sheet of paper. Concentrate all your awesome into one place; most employers will not read more than that, anyway (they are sifting through tons of resumes).
    * Your resume should always be photocopiable. Nine times out of ten, your resume is going to get received and filed by an HR flunky and photocopies sent to the people who do the actual hiring decision making. How do I know this? I was that HR flunky.
    * Don't worry about complete sentences (this coming from me!); employers should be able to scan, not read, your qualifications.

    More indie-press related, if you've ever been on any of the game design panels at conventions, totally list that as being a panelist on a publishing seminar.

    I forget how long Dog-Eared Designs has been around, but if it's more than a year and a half, say how long you've been running AT A PROFIT. Those three words are important, and become more importatnt the smaller the company you're interviewing at (big companies will involve people further from the bottom line and with less appreciation).
  • Funny this thread should be floating about, as I too have need of it! My local newspaper is recruiting a sub-editor and I think I might apply. Problem is I have 0 journalism experience, but through my time in the rpg industry I have a helluva lot of hands on editing and project management experience. How can I brush that up to make me look desirable?
  • Just talk about what you've done in a neutral sort of way. You put together books. You coordinated between various people on the project. You laid out text and images. And so on.
  • As a hiring manager, lemme just add: the purpose of your resume is to get you the interview. It should be accurate / truthful, and absolutely customized to the position you are seeking.

    The one-page can be a non-starter; I get plenty of resumes which are two pages and it doesn't disqualify folks out of the gate.

    When I'm reviewing resumes, I'm interested in accomplishments, not tasks. Especially as positions move up the food chain, I'm looking for the impact a person has, and not a grocery list of their assignments. I also look for increasing levels of responsibility (again, for positions which aren't entry-level).

    Whenever humanly possible, get the resume to the hiring manager directly - they're the ones with the open position.

    And spell-check, spell-check, spell-check, spell-check, edit, spell-check. All of which should be old hand to any publisher, but you'd be amazed at the sloppy resumes I've seen. If I can't count on a candidate to put their own resume in the best light, I really don't expect them to do any better with the work I'd assign them.
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