Including your Smash experience in your resume

As originally posted in 2019 on the new-defunct SmashAdvice blog.

Smash is usually a hobby, not a job. Tournament organizers in Europe don’t get paid for their hard work and even go in debt to cover unplanned fees. An overwhelming majority of players won’t be financially independant with cash prizes. Therefore, you need to find a job. The good news is, what you do in Smash can help you get that job. This may become a series of posts, but in this post, we will focus on how you can add your Smash experience to your resume.

Why add Smash experience to my resume?

You aren’t just a player, or a commentator, or a tournament organizer. You are someone with a passion and a drive for success, someone who has made a difference in a community they care about.

This is very precious to a company. Your Smash experience shows that you can work hard to get what you want, and if you’re more than “just” a player, it also shows that you can be organizeed and have valuable technical and soft skills.

How should you talk about what you do in you rresume?

If you’ve organized tournaments

Let’s start with the most intuitive one. Organizing a tournament is the most gratifying work for your job search. It shows that you have soft skills, organization skills, and dedication.

If you’ve organised one, just one, tournament, then you can say you coordinated things. It makes you sound very cool and important. Nobody needs to know that your tournament was a 12-player smashfest at your place

If you can afford to be specific about something impressive, then by all means, be specific! My resume used to include:

Organized HFLAN Melee Edition 2017, the largest Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament in French history, gathering 233 players from 3 continents.

Exile’s resume in 2017-2018

If you don’t have a lot of work experience, you can also add it like you would add a job, instead of putting it into your Hobbies.

2016 – 2018, Tournament Organizer at PLO Smash

Organized a weekly tournament series in Partatouille-les-Oies, averaging 40 players. Grew the local scene from 12 to 44 active players over the course of 2 years. Worked with the city council to find a venue.

A TO resume example

Having organized tournaments shows that you have the following skills:

  • Community organization, getting players to come to your tournament
  • Interpersonal skills, dealing with conflict between players for example
  • Budget, venue, logistics management
  • Being able to commit to a valuable project for several months

If you’re a player

Are you ranked in your country’s Power Ranking? Congratulations!

Since you still can’t make a living wage from playing, you’ll want to add it to your resume. The hard thing here is to add it without looking like a basement-dwelling nerd – you know the type. Unless you’re applying to be a software developer, companies won’t like that.

As a player, you can say something like:

Super Smash Bros. Melee: currently ranked 14th in Germany

A “Hobbies and Interests” one-liner about being a player

It shows that you like this video game, but more importantly, it shows that you’ve committed and worked hard to be one of the best.

If you lack work experience, show it as a full-time job. Nobody needs to know that Smash doesn’t pay as much as Fortnite does.

This image looks polished and professional, right? Well, so are you.

2015 – 2018, Super Smash Bros. Melee professional player
Trained 18 hours a week on average and attended tournaments in 8 countries including Canada and Japan. Ranked 4th in Spain in 2014 and consistently was in top 15.

A “Work experience” description about being a player

Adding your player experience to your resume means that you have the following skills:

  • Interpersonal, as you meet with people in real life and train with them
  • Drive for success
  • Commitment and resilience, because nobody becomes a top player in one day
  • Language skills if you’re not a native English speaker: use that to show that you’ve travelled and that you interact a lot with international people!

If you’ve streamed some Smash

Now, on to the less common Smash roles. Have you streamed some games? Congratulations, you are now a high-level streamer with great technical skills.

Being a streamer shows that you have:

  • Technical A/V skills and computer skills
  • Willingness to learn and improve on your own
  • Communication and community managing skills, as you get people to watch your stream
  • Curiosity

In most cases, you’ll want to add it as a hobby:

Super Smash Bros. Melee: managed live tournament broadcasts, peaking at XXXX simultaneous viewers

One-liner about streaming some Smash

As you may have noticed, I said “broadcasts” instead of “streams”. That’s simply because older people, like recruiters, understand what “broadcasts” are, because it’s a TV word. “Streams” might not be clear to everyone and you don’t want to take that risk!

If you’ve done research and writing about Smash

First of all, thank you for being one of the unsung Smash heroes.

Now, depending on what you’ve done exactly:

  • You’ve written for blogs and esports news outlets: mark that as a job in your Work Experience section, giving the name of your employers (even unpaid) and a link to some posts
  • You’ve written on social media: share your account and give a broad overview of your topics
  • You’ve labbed new techniques: somethings like “did technical research leading to the discovery of a glitch/technique” will do the trick, no need to go deeper since the person you’re talking to is most likely not a Smasher. If they’re interested, they’ll ask you during the interview!

If you’re a developer

That’s the easy one. If you’ve created a netplay community build, modded your version of Faster Melee, built a ranking algorithm or really anything else, add it as a job and don’t forget to put a link leading to your (obviously open-sourced, right?) project.

It’s just like for any freelance developer gig you could have done, except this time, it’s Smash.

If you’re an artist

Modded or custom controllers, posters, pins, drawings, music… There’s so much artistic talent in the Smash community!

You should really add it to the Interests section of your resume, with a link to your online shop. Maybe your recruiter will want a sample too, you never know… More importantly, you get to showcase your e-commerce, sales, technical and communications skills, and that’s great!


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