For seven minutes, a youtube video displays quick cuts of nature photos, hyper-saturated logos and text listing various skills: Web design, photo editing, 3-D animation.
A screen of contact info for a dude named Jared Mysko intermittently flashes across the screen. It looks like someone's first foray into Windows MovieMaker, but what it represents is the next trend for ambitious job-hunters: online video resumés.
In Saskatoon, Mysko created a CV that exists solely on the Web on sites like YouTube and MySpace. When he meets prospective employers in graphic design or new media, he simply hands them a business card listing the link to the vid. He says he wasn't aiming for high production values.
"My videos look pretty cheap," Mysko admits. "The main thing I wanted to get out of it was experience."
He should feel at home in a generation testing this new idea of auditioning in front of a webcam. Typing "resumé" into the YouTube search bar yields more than 4,300 clips. A Facebook group powered by Jobster allows members to embed video resumés in their profiles.
Job board Vault.com recently concluded its first video resumé contest and awarded the lucky applicant a job at an investment bank. A new site called Workblast.com is dedicated to letting users create video resumés.
As the site gushes: "Our job seekers land more relevant interviews because they are able to show all of their strengths, not just the ones they can write down on paper."
So no longer will the 21st-century resumé simply list the applicant's leadership skills and devotion to punctuality and customer service. The video resumé can actually show, with or without special effects, relevant points of interest.
If the job hunter has average competence at shooting and editing video clips, this method has several advantages: it enables artists to flex their design muscle, wastes no paper and takes advantage of the upswing in video-sharing blogs and social networks. How cool would it be to apply for a bartending job by submitting a video resumé of Cocktail-type cutaway scenes? Okay, maybe not so cool.
On the downside, besides stamping applicants as geeks, video resumés also open a Pandora's box of HR issues. Paper resumés are egalitarian despite their blandness; video resumés blatantly reveal each applicant's race, age and attractiveness.
Employment lawyer Garry Wise says the trend allows discriminating in all senses of the word bosses to make decisions more quickly.
"An employer looking to hire someone without an accent will eventually hear it in a phone interview, but a video resumé makes it evident sooner."
The online video resumé is simply the in-person interview thrust into the process earlier. Bosses will eventually see an applicant's race and looks. Why are these wooden audition tapes causing such a fuss today?
One hint lies in a self-serving survey conducted by the site Careerbuilder. com : it found that 60 per cent of 2,200 U.S. hiring managers and human resource managers expressed some interest in watching video resumés.
Sounds promising, but note the phrase "expressed some interest." They haven't watched these videos yet, although they wouldn't mind doing so one of these days.
Employers tired of Word doc drudgery are getting curious. They're interested, but what's stopping them from embracing this format wholeheartedly?
Maybe shoddy quality is hurting the new-media CV. Examples on YouTube and MySpace list strengths and past positions with all the passion of someone who wakes up at 10 am.
Cheesy graphics detract from the resumés' visual allure, and thump-thump dance music forces the viewer to click away fast. Very few resumés have the pizzazz to justify their length.
Wise urges creators to invest significant thought in planning and implementation.
"If a creative person can put together an online portfolio that communicates with me that he's adept at using technologies, it's a far cry from someone reciting canned paragraphs," he says.
Now, if only employers could get into the game and start e-mailing job applicants innovative rejection or acceptance videos.