First Aleksey Vayner's video résumé made him infamous. Now it may have spawned a niche market.
Vayner's almost seven-minute film, dubbed "Impossible is Nothing," showcased the then-Yale student smashing bricks barehanded, ballroom dancing with a scantily clad female and opining on 'personal development." Leaked last year by someone at UBS, where Vayner was gunning for a gig, the video made its way to many an inbox, as well as to YouTube. He didn't get the job; instead, he got jeered in the mainstream media and the blogosphere, where some questioned his lofty claims.
But months later, the business world is realizing that Vayner may have been on to something. CareerBuilder.com, Jobster, WorkBlast.com and other job sites are now promoting video résumés as a new way for job seekers to get noticed. Applicants have also posted two- to three-minute videos on YouTube and MySpace to accompany their text resumes.
"In our quickly changing and highly competitive world, people must anticipate what will work tomorrow, not cling to what worked yesterday," Vayner said in an e-mail to CIO Insight.
And apparently, it's happening: Sixty percent of hiring managers and human resources professionals expressed interest in using video resumes to evaluate job candidates, according to a November-December 2006 survey by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com.
But Vayner, who is still at Yale and looking for a job, warns recent grads and job hunters that, while video can illustrate your positives in ways paper cannot, it can also be misunderstood or taken less than seriously. Consider as well the lack of standards for format and length, and the fact that HR people don't have all day to watch applicants' tapes, and it becomes clear that video resumes may not be ready for their close-up.
Still, stay tuned. Wasn't it only yesterday people were saying reality TV would never survive?