4 Job Search Lessons Learned from Our Favorite Video Games

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jan 04

Last year, Jane McGonigal, a game designer and researcher gave a TED Talk about the gaming industry’s contributions to the world.

McGonigal speculated that committed gamers are equipped with an “epic win” passion that gives them a sense of purpose and focus.

McGonigal’s theory can be extended to job seekers. After all, if job seekers approach their hunt with the focus and direction that they do with their favorite video game, how awesome would that be?

In addition to McGonigal’s “epic win” theory, I would like to add on these four job search lessons learned from some of our favorite video games:

Don’t just do it for the money (Super Mario Brothers)

In this game, the plumber Mario goes on an epic adventure to save the Princess Peach while collecting gold coins along the way. He might be making money, but he’s doing what he does best to save the princess.

While this economy makes it hard to not do things solely for the money, figure out another reason for why you’re working in a particular job. Whether it’s experience, a good work environment, or a solid product, if you have another reason in addition to the paycheck, you’ll be a lot happier and fulfilled in your career.

Maneuver yourself for the perfect fit (Tetris)

Like dating, employers want to feel special when it comes to hiring a new employee. Just like maneuvering bricks in Tetris, you’ll want to tailor your job search efforts to each and every employer you apply to.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to re-write your resume from scratch for each employer, but using the employer’s language and proving you did a little research about the company can go a long way.

See it from the other side (Grand Theft Auto)

Grand Theft Auto is an interesting game because it allows the player to see things from (hopefully) the other side of the law. Thanks to GTA, the average do-gooder can get a glimpse of the criminal underworld.

In your job search, try putting yourself on the other side of the hiring table. Imagine what life is like for a hiring manager and how they see you as a job seeker. Simply thinking about it from a new perspective can help you write your cover letter, interact via social media, and present yourself in an interview.

Always stay one step ahead (Pac-Man)

In Pac-Man, you are chased by ghosts in a maze. In your job search, you are chased by competitors, unemployment stress, and expectant employers. You might not be in a maze, but you catch my drift.

The key to winning Pac-Man is staying ahead by always planning your next move. So, in your job search, anticipate the next move. When sending your resume, prepare for a response from the employer, at the end of an interview, bring up when you can expect to hear back. Not only does this keep you on top of things, but it also tells employers that you are a capable and always thinking ahead.

What do you think? What other video games can job seekers learn from? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a guest post from Gerrit Hall. Gerrit is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.