As I've mentioned here before, I am in the process of an entry-level career search. I won't go into the details about what I've been up to, but let's just say that the employment environment is about as rough as every media account and "scariest jobs chart ever" post makes of it. Or to put it another way, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that people are leaving the labor force because they are becoming discouraged, I completely understand why these people are feeling so down.

So I'm stepping up my game. I created a video resume.

A few weeks ago a friend of the blog tipped me off to this article about Tufts University's admissions department encouraging short videos to accompany undergraduate applications. At first I just wrote it off as another experiment in the world of Web 2.0. Then I started thinking more about it. An elite school like Tufts gets thousands upon thousands of applications. The applicants probably all look exactly the same on paper: perfect GPA, perfect standardized test scores, perfect recommendation letters, the presidents of every student council in America, etc. Maybe paper resumes have outlived their usefulness? And perhaps the same applies to the employment market? With so many qualified candidates out there, how can anyone distinguish between them on paper?

What pushed me over the edge was this post by Rich of Corn on the Job. After watching Brian's video and reading the comments, like this one: "The video was great and makes me want to hire the dude," I thought that I could make something at least this good.

My concern is simple. I live in a metro area with an employment environment that's probably worse than average. Many awesome jobs that are great mutual fits are located elsewhere; but recruiters have less incentive than ever to bring in out-of-town applicants for an interview. It's a frustrating catch-22 for anyone willing to relocate, but momentarily tied to a particular place.

So what I've tried to accomplish is to say, "look, I know it's usually not worth taking a risk and bringing in somebody from out of town to interview for an entry-level position, so I want to go ahead and say a few things that might change your mind." Beyond that, I hope someone realizes that I can communicate decently, that I have technical skills sufficiently advanced to edit the video, and that I am sufficiently creative and entrepreneurial.

That's a lot of words to say, here's my video resume:

Will it work? Will it make any difference? Will it get me an interview I otherwise wouldn't have had a shot at? I don't know, honestly. But I've come to realize that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. A college degree, plethora of internship experience, intelligence, interview skills... everything the ubiquitous "they" once promised would be the master key to a sweet career and big bucks isn't enough anymore. The game has truly changed.


    On March 22, 2010 Mel said...

    Rob, I wanted to commend you for doing something different! The video is great, and I feel it really makes you stand out from other candidates.

    For what it's worth, I find your experience as a soon-to-be grad envious.