The following article was written by the team at Enlight, a membership community focused on supporting user’s growth and learning in esports as a career field. LenovoEDU members can save up to 30% off Enlight subscriptions. More information here.
Esports is a booming industry, but getting a job in the industry can be daunting because people don’t know what jobs exist and how their skills can fit into the right role. We are here to guide you through your first steps to getting a job in esports.
There are more opportunities in the business side of esports than publicized, so there is no shortage of demand. The industry is so competitive that a listed job posting will get hundreds and thousands of applicants. We can help you set yourself apart to become a more unique candidate.
Here are five steps that you can do right now to prepare to break into the job of your dream:
- Understand what jobs exist in the esports ecosystem
- Know your strengths and where you fit in esports
- Learn and improve your core skillsets for the job area you want
- Revise your resume to reflect your newfound skills (using our resume tips!)
- Network to learn from people who can help and teach you about esports
1. Understand what jobs exist in the esports ecosystem
The main issue is around the lack of understanding of what esports jobs exist. It’s not only about becoming a pro player, a commentator, or a streamer/content creator. 99% of the jobs exist behind the scenes of people and teams supporting these large-scale events and platforms that support the famous faces in front of the camera.
Without knowing what jobs exist and how they work, you can’t tailor your skills for those jobs. The key is learning how esports works so you can make informed decisions and have a direction to move forward in.
There are multiple esports conferences and events you can attend, as well as a variety of other resources online. At Enlight, we help with this by curating masterclasses around every job in esports to give you the most comprehensive understanding possible.
Our esports starter career guide walks you through disciplines like management, production, community engagement, marketing, and more. Then, look at some job titles that fall under those larger disciplines. You’ll start to get an understanding of where your experience can be applied to and where your strengths lie.
2. Know your skills and strengths and where you fit in
Many people can succeed in various positions and areas, but it’s important to know what you enjoy doing and how you enjoy doing it. It’s also important to understand that a discipline has multiple aspects to it that require multiple skill sets and different types of team members.
For example, if you love data and analytics, you probably would think that you’d hate being a salesperson or social media manager since that requires public interaction with others. However, if you learn more about sales and social media, especially through our Enlight masterclasses, you’d realize that every sales and social media team requires either a data analytics person (if the company and team is large enough), or data analytics work distributed among the team members. So, a job you may not have applied for in the past could actually be a viable career path for you after you understand the subtleties of how the esports disciplines and teams work.
There are also multiple types of companies, from publishers, game developers, esports teams, marketing agencies, brand agencies, talent agencies, management companies, service providers, platforms, and more. They all need your skill set in very different ways! A data analyst could mean a very different role at a publisher (for example on an eCommerce team evaluating the sale of in-game items) compared to a data analyst at a talent management agency (where you could be analyzing the success of a marketing campaign).
There’s many kinds of companies and disciplines that your strengths could fit into, so take the time to understand the different types of companies and areas!
3. Learn and improve your core skillsets for the job area you want
Once you’ve decided on what disciplines you want to focus on, you’ll want to learn as much about those jobs as you can. Read job postings, network (Step #5 below) with people who are already in those jobs to learn more about what they do, and watch and attend the Enlight masterclasses for direct advice from industry leaders! Knowledge is a powerful tool that will better prepare yourself, your skills, your resume, and your interviews.
The way to determine what skills to improve is to find a few job descriptions that describe your dream job and go through the skills they require. Compare those skills to what you currently have, so you can hone in on where you still need to improve so you can fulfill all the requirements of that role. Enlight members also have access to career and skill coaching masterclasses that ask you to think through your work, productivity, and time management styles.
Once you know what skill sets you want to improve or learn, find volunteer, intern, or part-time opportunities to help with events or start your own project to learn these skills. You can learn and improve hard skills by doing it on your own with online resources or by taking one of our career programs (where we teach you to promote and run a live tournament at the end of 6 weeks). Even if you’re doing a project or event on your own, that still counts as experience that will get you closer to your goal!
Employers love when you’ve already begun learning and honing your skills because then you bring something unique to the company. See if you can volunteer and help an amateur tournament organizer or write out an article and see if anyone wants to publish it on their website. There are plenty of simple ways to show potential employers that you are motivated and already knowledgeable.
If you already have a lot of prior experience, start making it work for you. If you are changing industries or simply changing disciplines, start looking at transferable skills that you can point out to employers. You’d be surprised how many skills you’ve picked up along your path once you put some thought towards it.
Revise your resume to reflect your newfound skills (using our resume tips!)
The top piece of advice in having a standout resume is ensuring that your skills match the job description’s required skills bullet point for bullet point.
Your resume needs to be tailored to the job description in this way so the hiring manager can skim through in 5 seconds and understand that you have the skills they are looking for.
Here’s an example. If the job description is looking for someone who ‘Communicates with partners to meet deadlines” you need to translate your current skills to match what they’re looking for. Your resume can showcase your transferable skill such as “Communicated with outside vendors and external talent to complete projects in tight timeframes” instead of “Worked with vendors.” Do you see the subtle difference? We will deep-dive into more details in our upcoming resume tips article.
5. Network to learn from people who can help and teach you about esports
People are the ones working in these jobs, and the more connections you can make, the more you can learn from them. This includes:
- people who are working in the positions you are looking to join,
- people doing interesting things in projects that you can volunteer for, and
- other people in the same position as you who are looking to enter esports!
To find people already working in esports or doing interesting projects, you can use LinkedIn or access our Enlight masterclass instructor directory. A great way to cold-email or cold-message someone is to use LinkedIn or Twitter with a message that includes a short intro of yourself, what you do, a specific question they can answer in less than 5 minutes (not an open-ended one that’s hard to answer), and why you’re interested in the answer or how it will help you.
To find others in the same position as you who are looking to enter esports, there are multiple communities online and in Discord and groups formed around certain interest topics or games. It’s important to network with peers who can share their experiences with you and build genuine connections because you will all be crossing paths and hiring/recommending each other in the future. Esports is a small industry and peer networking is often more beneficial than lateral networking (like trying to become friends with a CEO who may not have the time to build a relationship with you).
Making esports a career takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It also takes a lot of self-awareness and motivation to improve the skill sets you need to focus on overtime. Life and career is a marathon and a lifelong pursuit. We see people take months or years to get to the point where they can achieve their goals but the one thing they all have in common is perseverance.
You’re already on the right track by reading this guide! The hardest part is taking the first step and following the tips here are sure to jumpstart your journey into esports.
We are always here to help.
Go get ‘em!