We’ve talked in the past about how leveling up your MMO character and playing endgame content can give you corporate and executive skills, but what about other geeky passions?
I got initially hired by Geek & Sundry for really loving miniature wargames and making a video about that love. But even before my gig at G&S (which isn’t necessarily a “normal” company), I’d gotten jobs using my passions as proof of qualifications. The fact of the matter is that being passionate and skilled about a geeky hobby makes you memorable to hiring managers, demonstrates engagement, shows dedication, and gives you the opportunity to develop skills for jobs that other candidates may never have been able to.
Let me be clear: listing all the geeky things you do on a resumé or job application won’t land you a job. It’s not about the stuff you do; it’s about how those activities have translatable on-the-job skills and how well you communicate that translation to the hiring manager.
Cover letters and job interviews are exceptional places to highlight how those passions translate into skills. It’s easier to tell the story of yourself in full paragraphs rather than bullet-pointed lists.
Here’s a few ways to bring your geeky activities into talking points during the job application process, and how to frame them so that they’re both relevant and memorable.
END-GAME MMO GUILD MEMBERSHIP
First of all, don’t start by talking about raid nights, instances, and epic gear; the chances are very high that those terms are meaningless jargon. Instead, talk about your dedication to a volunteer-run and organized social club whose common interest is gaming that gets together regularly. If you’re an officer, talk about organizing and leading weekly events, administrating membership, and updating and upholding the club’s policies and bylaws.
The point is to give the impression to the hiring manager that you’re involved and dedicated to something outside of work and that you can get along with people. You can also get an idea of the other kinds of skills you can take from our article about how MMO gaming can develop other corporate skills.
RUNNING REGULAR TABLETOP GAMING EVENTS
Whether you run organized events at your Friendly Local Game Store or GM a weekly RPG group, executing gaming events requires planning and organization, so you can talk up those skills. Working with spreadsheets, flowcharts, and other software is also something you can highlight. Finally, organizing regular events also demonstrates reliability, which is a big deal for every job.
VOLUNTEERING AT CONS
There’s a lot of fantastic reasons to volunteer at a convention, like free entry to the event, the chance to rub shoulder with celebrities, and a chance to hang out with people who are as geeky and passionate as you. Putting convention volunteering on your resume is a great way to show prospective employers that you can also represent a large, often recognizable, event organization.
Talk directly about your volunteer experience as if it was a previous job. It should be pretty obvious that if you’ve worked security, customer service, or handled special guests at a convention, you probably have the skills to be discreet, offer excellent customer service, or handle VIP clients well.
There are a ton of ways to support charities by being geeky, like doing charity gaming and charity streams. Having a proven track record of supporting charities is an easy way to convince a prospective employer you’re actually a good person (turns out being thought of as a douchebag by a hiring manager is bad for landing a job).
(Aside: if you’re interested in joining the group of Geek & Sundry fans who are real-life superhero do-gooders, do check out Team Hooman!)
BLOGGING, PODCASTING & VLOGGING/STREAMING
Call me a little biased, but sharing your passions with the world as a hobby is a great way to develop and demonstrate tons of job skills. Engaging blogging, podcasting, or vlogging and/or streaming may mean you’ve had the opportunity to develop communication, graphic design, sound editing, video editing, HTML coding, social media, and marketing skills. It also demonstrates that the work is of interest to you, if you’re already using the skills you’d need for the job in your hobby activities.
The ultimate lesson is to frame your passions in terms of how they make you better suited for the job you’re trying to land.
Have you gotten a job for showcasing your geeky passions? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: Geek & Sundry
Image Credits: Geek & Sundry (The Guild, Titansgrave, The Flog, G&S Twitch Stream)