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Officers' Quarters: Padding your resume

Scott Andrews
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I'm not sure how, because I usually avoid the topic around "civilians," but the subject of Warcraft came up a few weeks ago as I was speaking with a co-worker in my department. I don't mean my glamorous position blogging for WoW Insider that has made me a globally recognized household name -- in this case, I'm talking about my corporate, Clark Kent job. When you talk about the Lich King there, people think it's some kind of organic fast-food restaurant.

During this conversation I started talking about my role as a guild leader. While I was explaining it, I realized just how much of this role I've applied to situations in my office life. Wouldn't a company value this type of training? The author of this week's e-mail asks just how to present your guild leadership experience to a potential employer.

It's not easy to be the GM/officer/leader in a successful guild, regardless of how you define 'successful.' We work hard to keep drama at a minimum, create an environment where our members are comfortable and having fun, recruit new folks, 'fire' bad seeds among many other duties and obligations. All while developing our own toons, often to be on par with the best of the rest.

To me, that sounds like a great resume builder for the real world. Employers are looking for that kind of leadership, discipline, and knowledge.

It strikes me that running a WoW guild would make a great addition to a resume, especially since many of these leaders are younger and may not have other resume options. But even folks with more 'established' careers might want to list their WoW work along with the investment club they've founded or the softball team they captain.

What would be the best way to list the benefits of WoW leadership on a resume?


I haven't applied for any new jobs since I've taken on the GL mantle, but when I do, I'm fairly certain that I'll include this background on my resume somewhere. Is that a good idea? IBM seems to think so. MMOs are finally breaking into mainstream consciousness -- mostly due to Warcraft's unprecedented success. The game was featured on an Emmy-winning episode of South Park, parodied on The Simpsons, and even The Alchemist (from The Venture Bros.) knows about it.

So it's not out of the question that the person reading your resume will have heard of this game, or at least be familiar with the concept of a perpetual online environment. They might even know what a guild is. Even so, you may be better off describing yourself as an "online community manager."

On a resume, I wouldn't list this type of position under employment experience. However, it does make a great item to put in those miscellaneous categories where you'd ordinarily list less relevant achievements like your competitive eating world records -- well, I suppose it all depends on the position you're looking for.

Space is always at a premium on a resume, so it's important to communicate the essential highlights of the role that have enhanced your corporate skills. Now of course you have to present these highlights in terms that a business manager can grasp. So, in the true spirit of a resume, we'll make them sound much more complex and difficult than they really are. Here are a few.
  • Conflict resolution: Sometimes I feel like I don't do anything else.
  • Crisis management: Ditto. And when there's no crisis, I'm trying to figure out where the next one is going to come from.
  • Partnership negotiation: If you've ever tried to make a guild alliance work, figuring out who gets what raid slots or who's going to lead raids and who's going to main tank, you've done this.
  • Personnel motivation: Every guild leader has to rally the troops now and then.
  • Personnel evaluation: Raid leaders do this constantly. Who's not putting out enough DPS? Who's not researching their class mechanics? Who shows up to every raid totally stoned?
  • Finance: All that gold in the guild bank wasn't put there just to rot. Is it better to invest in another bank vault, mats for resist gear, or epic gems? It's not exactly the stock market, but the wrong decisions can alienate your "investors" and reduce income.
  • Asset allocation: Somebody has to figure out who gets the loot, and that unpleasantness usually falls to us.
  • Entrepreneurship: It's a fancy word for starting a new business. Starting a new guild isn't much different!
  • Dynamic accountability: One of the hardest things to do as an officer, but one of the most important, is admitting when we screwed up. (And everything sounds better when you put "dynamic" in front of it. Observe: dynamic lettuce. There, doesn't that make lettuce sound more exciting?)
  • Corporate headhunting: Hmm, maybe it's better not to mention this one.
  • Marketing: Every guild needs to find an angle that's appealing to its "customers."
  • Ongoing recruitment: You've probably reviewed applications, and you may have even conducted an interview or two. You can sympathize with the poor schmo who has to read through all of our blatantly padded resumes.
Keep in mind that, during your eventual job interview, the manager might ask you to elaborate on what you've written. So make sure you can back up each skill that you list with a concrete example of how you applied your knowledge and experience to succeed.

When and if you are asked to share, make sure to describe the problem in real-world language. Don't expect anyone to understand MMO- or Warcraft-specific jargon like class balance, DKP, retn00bs, PUGs, specs, dailies, HOT rotations, welfare epics, L2P issues, or crowd control.

Never, ever use the phrases "grinding for mount money," "chain-pulling a heroic dungeon," or "constantly wiping on trash." You want your interviewer to be impressed by your savvy leadership, not mace you and call security.

Running a guild may be easier than shoving 66 hot dogs into your mouth in less than 12 minutes, but it's certainly more relevant to the business world!


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters! For more WoW Insider gameplay columns, click here.

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