If you asked 100 gamers what their dream job would be, I’d bet that a very large percentage of them would put video game tester at number one. Getting access to the hottest new games and consoles months before they’re released, spending all day playing those games, and getting paid for the privilege certainly ticks all the boxes for many people. While the realities of game testing sometime don’t quite live up to the dream, with extremely long hours, highly repetitive testing procedures, and frustrations at not having bugs fixed, there is no shortage of people competing for game testing jobs. Here are the 5 top tips to help you land a job as a games tester:1. Contacts are the keyThe old saying of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” certainly applies to the games industry. Simply writing a letter or email to a development company, or calling them on the telephone will rarely get you so much as an interview. Knowing exactly who to contact at a company, and their preferred methods of contact is essential. Getting that contact information from an inside source, such as an existing games tester or developer will have the single biggest effect on your chances of becoming a games tester yourself.2. Sell yourselfWhat differentiates you from every other applicant? In order to get your “foot in the door” you need to sell yourself, show off your potential and explain why you’re the best person for the job. The way to do that is with a well written resume. A resume for a games tester job is different to a resume for a typical office job, and more focus should be on your enthusiasm and ability to put in long hours playing difficult and frustrating games, and your ability to communicate the bugs you find, than on more traditional business attributes. Again, finding a games tester, or developer who can share their inside knowledge with you is your best chance at success, but failing that take advice from anyone in business or management and ask what they would want to see in a resume. Just make sure you get three key points across – your versatility, your creativity, and your burning passion to play games!3. Be flexibleIf you want to work as a games tester you’ll need to be flexible. That means testing whatever games the company is currently developing, and that won’t always be the ones you enjoy playing. You’ll need to stay focussed, and put as much effort in when given an assignment to test a puzzle game or a word game as when you’re testing the latest and greatest FPS or RPG.4. Work on your communication skillsEven more important than your ability to play games and find bugs, is your skill in communicating what you found to the development team. That means carefully logging your play and the bugs you find, and clearly and specifically telling the developers where you find those bugs. While you don’t need to be a word class writer, being able to get your message across is essential so work on your writing and typing skills to prove to your potential employer that you can be taken seriously! If working from home you’ll be communicating via email so it’s essential that your writing is clear and won’t be misunderstood by the developers.5. Get educatedGame testing is one of the only ways to get your “foot in the door” of the games industry without a college degree. Enthusiasm, good communication skills and an ability to work long hours is more important than a formal education, but that doesn’t mean a lack of education is a positive thing. It’s always good to get more education, whether it’s a college degree or an evening course. Even a part time or evening course will show to your potential employer that you’re serious about personal development and commitment.Testing games really is a dream job. Whether you’re working on site at a development company, or working from home and getting paid to play games in your spare time, it’s a great way to make a living. Getting started is the hardest part, but by following these tips you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting accepted as a games tester.