Paper Resumes: So Last Year!

Lisa Caverly
March 26, 2007

(Editor's Note: This story appeared originally in The Daily Evergreen.)

One day you're just sitting in class, when all of the sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks: Come graduation, I'll need a real job.

It's nothing to be ashamed of. But thanks to YouTube and a recent WSU grad by the name of Benjamin Hampton, your slide into the real world may have just become a bit easier. It's no surprise that when someone stumbles across a new way to accomplish and old task, it gains some attention. So, when Hampton, 23, decided to jump on the bandwagon and make a video resume to post on YouTube, interest and controversy streamed in from a multitude of sources.

"I wanted a way to give my resume to some big companies and get some attention," Hampton said. The communication major and his brother shot a 5-minute 50-second video resume and posted it on YouTube in October. The video begins with a sharply dressed Hampton introducing himself while standing in the entrance of an equally sharp-looking home. The video continues with Hampton playing a short song on a piano, information about his job experiences, as well as his summer internship with CH2M Hill, all accompanied with a background song by Coldplay.

"We shot the footage, edited the video and posted it," Hampton said. "Then I e-mailed the URL to anyone I knew and asked them to pass the video on." It wasn't long before online news channels, as well as the public relations firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, became interested in the video. "Waggener got a hold of it and sent it to Time magazine," he said. The Time article, titled "It's a Wrap. You're Hired!" by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, was published the Feb. 22 issue. Along with a complimentary blurb about Hampton's success on YouTube, the article delves into topics such as where the video resume originated, which Web sites may be best to post resumes on, controversy associated with videos, and what the future may hold. "I can see a day when video as part of the resume is the norm," Jason Goldberg, CEO of Jobster.com, said in the article.

Hampton, who is working two jobs, one of which is for the Washington State Department of Ecology, said he "got a couple of job offers" as well as an interview with Waggener out of the deal. "It's a different type of attention," Hampton said. "It sparks a lot of conversation and controversy because discrimination laws are definitely an issue [with online resumes]." Because video resumes eliminate the anonymity that paper resumes have, companies are able to clearly see characteristics such as the age, sex and ethnicity of anyone vying for a space in the working world. For fear of becoming wrapped up in legal issues associated with discrimination in the workplace, many companies will not accept resumes via video just yet.

"When people come around, I think they'll see that it's a good way to get to know a candidate rather than through a piece of paper," Hampton said. As of March 18, YouTube had 1,840 entries listed under resume.

"Companies are always looking for people with imagination, so go with your gut and try new things," Hampton advised WSU undergraduates.


Lisa Caverly is a Sophomore Interior Design student currently studying at Washington State University. She writes for the The Evergreen, as a hobby.


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"When people come around, I think they&;ll see that it&;s a good way to get to know a candidate rather than through a piece of paper," Hampton said. As of March 18, YouTube had 1,840 entries listed under resume.<br />
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