April 30, 2009
By J.T. O'Donnell Michael Spafferty ( his real name is John Henion) sent me his video resume (see above) and I laughed so hard that I cried. The good news is he intended it to be funny. (Whew!) John produced the video as an example of what NOT to do - and I couldn't agree more. In my opinion, video resumes fall under the 'good in theory, bad in practice' category for 90% of the working population. Besides making funny videos, John also happens to be co-founder of the website, www.Unemploymentality.com, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the lifestyle of the out-of-work. As a freelancing filmmaker who was recently laid off, John has first-hand experience to pull from. When I asked John what he really thought of video resumes, he had this to say:
I think that a video resume is a good tool if and only if the job you're going after demands that you have a personal presence that can only be conveyed 'in the flesh' - like an actor, an MC, maybe promotional people - that sort of thing. If not, well then I think it's really hard to make a video resume that doesn't come off as either vein or desperate. Most HR people that I've shown my parody video resume to seem to agree.
I second that! Unless the job you are seeking requires you to be on camera, I don't think there's any compelling reasons to submit your credentials in this format. In fact, given that most people aren't very A) natural, or B) effective on film, one would argue that this medium best be left to the experts. And yet, people are paying good money to have these videos produced. I guess I can see where the rationalization could occur - YouTube and reality TV have created a society that believes everyone should have their 15 minutes of fame. Not to mention, recent studies show narcissism is on the rise too. So, a video resume might make complete sense to those who feel their expertise and uniqueness are not being done justice by a simple paper or electronic format.
And yet, I've spoken to hiring managers in law firms who say they won't touch video resumes, or even resumes with photos for that matter - they go straight in the trash. Why? They don't want to be accused of discrimination. I see their point. A whole new set of "it's not fair" complaints could arise should someone claim they were discriminated against, based on the video they submitted for a job. Yikes!
So, I have to ask, "Do you think video resumes are here to stay?" Better still, "Are all careers/job seekers worthy of a video resume?" Tell me...what am I missing? What are your thoughts? What are the pros and cons to having a video resume?