The Most Infamous Video Resume On The Planet

I suppose I could not riff on video resumes without mentioning Aleksey Vayner.

So, what the story behind this guy? I think Wikipedia explains it best.

In October 2006, Yale University student Aleksey Vayner applied for a job with UBS AG. Amused by Vayner’s apparent puffery, an unknown member of UBS staff emailed his application materials to other investment banks. They were soon posted on various blogs, then YouTube, from where they became an immense viral Internet phenomenon.

The video opens with a staged interview between Vayner and an offscreen voice. However, the “interview” ultimately consists of a single question, to which Vayner gives a lengthy, rambling response. Using considerable amounts of business-speak jargon, Vayner praises himself and shares his various insights on success, talent, and overcoming adversity. Interspliced with the interview are clips of Vayner performing various feats designed to look impressive, including bench pressing, skiing, playing tennis, ballroom dancing, and finally karate-chopping a stack of bricks. The video ends with a dedication to Radomir Kovacevic, and a fairly lengthy credits sequence.

So what are the lessons learned from this whole debacle?

  1. If you’re going to create a video resume, understand that once its out there, its out there. So make sure that what you produce is something you can be proud of. That being said, try to keep it short and sweet. Think of it as a compelling movie trailer and not the movie itself. Vayner’s video resume was 6:47 which is a bit much for those of us with short attention spans.
  2. Stick to the facts! Sure, you want to sell the sizzle and not the steak, but don’t go overboard with your claims; especially if they are somewhat incredible. For example, Vayner has claimed that the Dalai Lama wrote his college recommendation letter, that he forged passports for the Russian Mafia, worked as an action stuntman and is one of four people in the state of Conneticut certified to handle nuclear waste.
  3. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Case in point, click here to read about Alex Vayner’s new book – “Millionaires’ Blueprint to Success.” Um… yeah.

I think there may be a few more things to learn from this episode. What do you think? Leave me a comment below and we’ll discuss it.

-Jim

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