One thing that was all TOO consistent was that they tend to be… um… BORING! Ugh! I couldn’t stand it. It would be kind of rude to show video resumes that I don’t like, but let me the majority of them up.
Somebody in a suit smiles at a camera.
Somebody starts rambling on and on about their qualifications as if they are reading their resume from a teleprompter.
A graphic pops up with their contact information
Please, please, puhleezz… Stand out from the crowd and do something different! Like what? Like… this nerd girl – NixiePixel.
NixiePixel blogs about linux (a lot), gaming, technology and her enduring love for Llamas. Yes.. Llamas. When I skimmed through some of her videos, her passion for Linux shined through. She had a sparkle in her eye and with great enthusiasm she explained it in simple terms and gave a demo on how certain functions worked. I know nothing about linux, but for a few seconds there I was into it. (Her love for the penguin is somewhat infectious.) Now, if I were looking on YouTube for someone to hire with a background in linux, who would I choose between NixiePixel vs somebody reading their resume from a teleprompter? I would hope the answer would be obvious, but just in case – NixiePixel. Why?
She is not shy about sharing her love for tech.
She demonstrates her skills in every other video so I know that she knows what she is doing.
She has built a following with other people who share her interest in linux (and llamas) and what can be better validation to a recruiter than peer validation from other linux geeks who have nothing personal to gain by praising her tech skills? Just saying…
So, my recommendation to anyone considering a video resume, is to develop a channel on YouTube. Think of it as a way to build and further validate your own career brand on the web. Just a thought, what’s yours?
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?
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.
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.
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.
The debut of The Jim Stroud Show is barely a week away and I can barely stand it. I really believe it will be a big help to jobseekers and I thank you (in advance) for your help in spreading the word about it. As such, I am posting a few tips (see below) based on what you will see in the first two episodes of my show, plus a whole lot more. If you would, check it out, download it and pass it on to other jobseekers in your network? I would really appreciate it. Cool? Thanks!
Yesterday, I shared what was my favorite video resume (of all time). This round, I want to share my second most favorite video – Graeme Anthony C.V.I.V.
What is there to NOT like about this video? Its simple, creative and engaging without being too pushy. Instead of bragging about himself (which is sort of what you have to do), he details his skills in a clear, concise manner in an interactive format that you don’t see (at least, I haven’t) on other resumes. What is also interesting to note are the stats connected with his video. If you go to his YouTube channel, you will notice that there are no videos listed. When I click on the video and am taken to YouTube, I see that it has been viewed (at this writing) 48,263 times. It was uploaded on August 24, 2010, so that is indeed an impressive number for a video resume. (Trust me)
So, if his video is unlisted on YouTube (which means you have to know the URL to see the video), how did I initially see it? Someone passed me a link and no doubt, I wasn’t the only one to get it via Facebook or Twitter. This suggests to me that Mr. Anthony gets the viral nature of the web and I would wager, that most of the people who have viewed his video resume are people in his industry. (Am I right? Do tell me Graeme.)
I have always been a bit squeamish when it comes to video resumes. Speaking from a HR perspective, I don’t want to worry about the specter of discrimination or (worse yet) flip through hours of video when I barely have time to sift through piles of paper resumes. All that being said however, to me, the video resume makes sense in this case. If your field is in publicity, it would speak well of your skills if you could generate buzz around your resume. Make sense? Yeah, I think so too.
My favorite YouTube video resume (of all time) is Killer Appz by Daveberzack. Check it out for yourself and see why I say that this guy has mad skillz.
At this writing, this video has been viewed 131,040 times! That is a lot of video plays, but did it turn into a job? I wanted to find out, so I reached out to Dave Berzack for the answer.
Yo’ Dave Whaddup?! .
Sup, dawg. .
You got mad skillz! I totally dig your video. .
Thanks, man. I appreciate you sharing it with people. .
How did you come up with the idea to do this? How did it inspire you? .
Actually, an old friend of mine named David Warner did something like this a few years ago. It was very home-made, but he still got a good response. I wanted to see what would happen if I produced something more high-end. .
How long did it take you to plan it out and put it all together? .
I wrote the song quickly, and I recorded it in a few hours. The video took about a week of shooting and editing, but it was spread out over a few months because of scheduling issues. Doing it on a shoestring budget, we had to be flexible. .
It looked like an expensive production. Was it worth it? Did you get a lot of job offers? Actually, a better question to ask is, “Did companies take you seriously?” .
Actually the whole thing cost around $500, most of which paid for recording time at Patchwerk, an A-list hip-hop studio. I got the video produced in exchange for building the videographer a portfolio website. All the other people in the video are my friends. We had a really good time with it.
Did companies take me seriously? I’m sure lots didn’t, and I haven’t heard from them. But the ones that do obviously value creativity and individual thought, and those are the companies I want to work for. Was it worth it? Well, I’m working freelance and I’ve had enough projects to able to turn down projects, which is very helpful. It means I can focus on the work I want to do (Flash games and experiential microsites) and I can say no to projects when I have that bad feeling in my gut. .
Your video has been seen over 130,000 times since July and based on the stats in YouTube the traffic is not decreasing anytime soon. How did you make that happen? .
Well, I compiled a list of award-winning firms around the world, all the agencies in Atlanta, and the top industry bloggers. Then I sent out a few hundred emails, which hit the core audience. A lot of people obviously liked the video because it went viral very quickly. Then it was featured on Attack of the Show – a mainstream TV program that features funny web videos. That was the kiss of death. You’d think that would cause a spike in views, but it didn’t and the view count slowed down after that. .
Would you advise other jobseekers to go this route? .
I think it’s a good strategy to be unique. What that means depends on who they are, what industry they’re in, and what they’re looking for. In my case, I’m an amateur musician, so I’m using those skills out of context to do something novel. And I work in a creative field that deals with marketing, so the video is relevant. It doesn’t just grab attention – it also proves that I have a knack for creating and producing something that grabs attention. I doubt that a goofy music spoof would be helpful in applying for, say, a financial analyst job. But I’m sure some other unconventional approach would. .
What’s next for you? Are you going to focus on the Nerdcore scene or stick with the day job?
I really enjoy my day job. I’d miss the creative challenge of working in Adobe Flash. But I’m also going to pursue the music thing more, getting into broader subject matter. Actually, I’ll be back in the studio tonight to record a little ditty about the Wikileaks debacle… .