He was a laggard, but the Prime Minister is now demonstrating he is a modern man with a MySpace page (sort of) and a YouTube clip. They may be the beginnings of his online resume, arguing why he is the best candidate for a three-year contract job.

As a recruiter, I see many resumes. Around our office, there is a belief that candidates who include their photo in a resume are almost invariably those who most definitely should not. However, we recently wondered whether we might have glimpsed the future when we received our first job application containing a link to a video resume on YouTube.

The video resume is standard fare in some sectors. Elijah Wood is said to have won the Lord of the Rings gig by sending a video of himself in total Hobbitness. Video posts suit web and graphic designers who can show a whole portfolio in a minute. There was a minor masterpiece on YouTube by Joel Green, a little doco that looked like an application for a job at SBS. Unfortunately it has been taken down.

Could video resume be the magic new tool to win a job in sales, hairdressing, academia or politics?

There are many resumes on YouTube, but most, including the Prime Minister’s, demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the medium.

Most of the clips contain nothing that could not be put in a written version and read in a fraction of the time. Almost everything I can find is anodyne or soporific. There is an absence of lighting, focus, framing or fun. Leo is fairly typical.

Ego is more common than production values, as in Impossible is Nothing and this presentation that borders on manic. Allen Ulbricht says he has no experience in making movies, and sets about proving it. Ethan and his wife know how to turn the camera on, but no idea about editing. We found the candidate who says she is creative, but just sits in front a blank wall reading cue cards that are clearly below the camera. Most of these resumes have much in common with those films of hostages denouncing US imperialism with a jihadist AK47 in their ear.

A little secret. Many recruiters use a resume to rule people OUT. The video resume will also be used to rule people out – with a bit of a laugh while the novelty lasts.

We have now expanded our belief. People who include a photo or video with their application are generally those who most definitely should NOT — and that probably includes the PM.

A footnote. Maybe there are so many poor video resumes because the good ones result in job offers and get taken down, leaving just the rubbish on YouTube. And Joel Green whose resume has been removed? His 6-minute video had high production values, a good script and held my attention for 4 minutes. Joel’s clip was directed by Merkin789. There is a career awaiting the poet who can tastefully rhyme merkin with firkin and gherkin.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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