Leadership

Freakish resume makes the rounds of Wall Street


By now you've probably heard about Aleksey Vayner, the Yale student who made himself a laughingstock in Wall Street by sending an 11-page resume and a video to premier global financial services firm USB. The resume/video was then passed around from bank to bank, making investment bankers all over NYC do spit takes with their morning coffee.

Before I venture into the weirdness of the video, let me just say that most people who have been conscious in the last fifty years or so know that you never send an 11-page resume. You're pushing it at two pages. (Another resume no-no in case you're considering it: I once received a resume from a job candidate that was a glossy 4-color paper pizza. If you folded back one "slice," you got his educational history, another "slice" his work history. I am not kidding.)

Back to Aleksay: A VIDEO? Are you kidding me? This isn't Match.com! Nobody at the resume reading stage is interested in your view on life.

The video itself is horrendously embarrassing. It starts with an interview with Vayner in which he offers platitudes like "Failure cannot be considered an option" and "Impossible is nothing." Well, go Rambo! Vayner himself has all the charisma and warmth of John Michael Karr, so, yeah, video might not have been the best medium to choose.

And it gets worse, much worse. The video attempts to show off his "well-roundedness" and includes clips of him ballroom dancing and practicing karate. Maybe it was a publicity stunt. After all, he landed a spot on Inside Edition, where Deborah Norville practically jumped out of her chair shrieking at him, "What were you thinking?!" (By the way, if you've got Deborah Norville wanting to pimp-slap you, it might be time to take a step back and look at yourself good and hard.)

If it was a publicity stunt, he has to ask himself if his 15 minutes of fame was more important than finding gainful employment for the rest of his life. But I don't think it was a publicity stunt. I think he's a delusional product of the MySpace generation. I think that he may be the worst case scenario of the increasingly popular way of thinking that the manner in which one "markets" ones self is more important than having any actual talent or abilities. Hey, it worked for Paris Hilton.
OK, I won't suffer alone. Here's the link to Aleksay's video. Come back here and share your impression with me once the horror has worn off.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

122 comments
W.E.
W.E.

I find the author of this article to be lacking in professionalism. The tone, and choice of words show a lack of maturity as well. Demeaning an individual in an open forum is also a "My Space" mind set. And as for the comment about his resume being "passed around" wall street, I'd like to know what right wall street or anybody else has to take personal information submitted to a single company for employment consideration and pass it around. The author of this article showed as much a lack od sense as the kid.

cseebald
cseebald

I felt this article was quite appropriate. Did anyone else actually watch the entire video and read his resume? If I had received either, I would have thought it was - at best - a joke or possibly a hoax. Look at his resume and make note of his claims and the years he says he accomplished all this. This episode has earned him his own Wikipedia entry (go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Vayner) in which Wikipedia quite freely describes his plagarism, unbelievable claims, etc. One of the references is a 2-page article about him as a "prefrosh" in the May, 2002 Yale Rumpus (see http://www.yale.edu/rumpus/archives/pdf/rumpus_may02.pdf, pgs. 12-13) which less kindly calls him crazy and a liar. This is a good lesson for employers - check it out! Yes, Aleksey's claims are waaaaaaaaaay out there, but - when possible - even the claims of a good job candidate needs to be checked out.

MinJRB
MinJRB

In the age of email and computers, it appears that blacklisting can occur at fiber-optic speeds. This young man who, in an attempt to standout, has been categorically blacklisted by the financial community. An 11 page resume is a huge error. Laughing at someone's error as opposed to helping them is even worse. I agree with one commentor. There should be a lawsuit brewing because his resume, however erroneous, should have been treated as a confidential document. It should not have left the the confines of HR. Seeing as this gentleman was way off course, those in a position of power could have, at the least, pointed the young man in the correct direction regarding resume preparation. If you're not going to help someone, don't cause them any further harm.

JoeAv
JoeAv

Yea we laugh now, but this guy is going to run for office someday, you'll see..scary stuff. Dan Quill where are you when we need you?

dscearce
dscearce

This Shows Money Can't Buy Everything... Being that he went to Yale, it may also question the Standards Of Learning (SOL) at our prestigious schools of higher education within our nation. I can see the headlines now, "Yale Student SOL", while using their bought and paid for degree to chase the all mighty dollar in the real world.

marichin
marichin

WHAT WAS HE THINKING ? Is he was looking for a job at Wall Street or looking for the nearest unemployment office in NYC? I guess the Dean of studies at Yale would be fumming on him soon. This should go like this : Dean- What were you thinking ? You are here for your intelligence or dumbness? I think you should rethink and dropp out and try to get in again ( McMahon Grin here ).

waity85
waity85

can't really describe how I feel after that anyone else notice that the way the footage is shown the guy breaking bricks by hand probably isn't him?

pmclayton1
pmclayton1

I am really glad that this poor pathetic fuck has apparently stuck a barb up your ass. When and or if intellect happens to you, call you mom, just on the slight chance that she still loves you.

Craig_B
Craig_B

Let me reference a sentence from your review of the resume. "I think that he may be the worst case scenario of the increasingly popular way of thinking that the manner in which one "markets" ones self is more important than having any actual talent or abilities." Is this just being creative or is this just marketing oneself? How would you recomend how to get a job? How many CEO types are in this same class as your statement? Many people think that marketing or marketing their ego is the key to success when nothing could be further from the truth.

onbliss
onbliss

Saw parts of it on TV. Like "IT in Atl" said earlier, definitely it opens the door for the interview (at least). If "whoever" received it, did not think it was special, it would not have been circulated around this much. I would consider it as a "creative" attempt.

j.g.camp
j.g.camp

Even sending a page or two resume, you are going to find employers that won't even look at it, those that may call you and waste your time just the same with whatever goes on when it comes to hiring someone for a position and the interviewing process. The video showed creativity and initiative that delineated him from several candidates. Is it a prelude to what you'll see in his day to day ? Maybe, maybe not ? For every embarassing candidate, you'd be surprised how many hiring managers that are equally as embarassing. I had one VP interview me and complain about the guy who left his company after 6 months, made it sound like the accountant job he had that he was paying $ 12/hour for was incentive enough to commute 45 minutes to an hour one way, everyday. I wish the man had put what he was going to do to prospective candidates in the ad beforehand, that way as a job seeker at that time I wouldn't have wasted my time and gas to meet that loser. Life's too short, it goes both ways when it comes to a job. I'm certain that I, at one time or another, was a waste of someone's time too.

dawgit
dawgit

Was he applying for? A bodyguard position? (ok, enough people have asked "What was he thinking?") Nope not a good move. His dancing partner does have a chance at a job, even if she can only identify a key board. Sorry, but truth is truth. He might have a good shot in goverment (US) though. Would be shoe in in the present Adm.

Toni Bowers
Toni Bowers

First, it's a blog, not an article. Blogs as a medium are pretty much designed for self-expression. Second, I could have just posted the url to the video without writing anything and let it do the demeaning alone. It's that scary. I'm sorry, but there is a difference between having creativity and chutzpah and creating a video packed with lies and self-delusions meant to earn a job in lieu of any authentic experience and talent. I think that's a crime. I won't condone or support using a PR machine instead actually going out there and EARNING some job-related experience. And do you really think that a guy who taped himself ballroom dancing for a video resume to send to Wall Street would be dismayed that the video has "made the rounds"? My guess is that, negative or positive reactions aside, he's standing in front of a mirror right now giving himself a high-five.

Benevolence
Benevolence

It's just too funny to pass up. He should have been more careful about sending unsloicited material to people he doesn't know. Hey lets face it, he lives in the US, the most capotilist country around! Therefor, the only thing that matters are any legal issues. Capotilism doesn't allow for human needs, only business functionality. So just celebrate those 'Freedoms', and have a good laugh, because as I said, he sent the stuff unsolicited... and without any PRIVACY legal information attached.

dawgit
dawgit

After all we have to put up with the 'spudys' here too. it's only fair we get to see one for what he is. Personally I take it a 'learning' experiance. I had been thinking not so nice about the HR side of things, now I can just how rough they have it. (right, & I'm a Chop-Champ too, - Pork-Chop!)

axg
axg

I would give someone who submitted samples of work in different media an interview. We need staff who can challenge the status quo, think differently and be prepared to experiment. Who needs everyone to be conservative and boring?

jack.quinn
jack.quinn

plus 1 page cover ltr & an 8 pg writing sample

Welcha
Welcha

Here this thread has gone on for 2 days. Instead of taking the opportunity to discuss what good job hunting practices are (or some other worthy take on this story), you all waste the resources of TR and every member in carrying on a personal, vitriolic attack first on the young man and then each other. Other than MinJRB and a few others, please won't you all stay away from my offices? I've already looked in the mirror. Have you?

Benevolence
Benevolence

I don't think that he just used 'trick' photography, I think he just used the old trick of using Special FX bricks which are really sandy (sometimes contain polystyrene also), and break easily... And / or precuts on the side of the brick you can't see... And / or simply adding a small hard object between each brick at the center point, which makes them crack in the center. All that said... The way he strikes the bricks displays very little force and poor technique... it probably was him, but it aint so hard to do!

dbrooms
dbrooms

I thought the same thing when i saw it, this guy here is something else, from YALE are you serious? "They say when you girlfriend dumps a guy it makes him go stupid"

Benevolence
Benevolence

He isn't God, I am. I sent the old God an 1100 page resume and he liked it so much he gave me his job!

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

This guy reeks of paranoia and schizophrenia, or is a certified pathological liar at best. His claims of spending time in a Tibetan monestary, working for both the mafia and the CIA, and being certified to handle nuclear waste make even the nuttiest of schizophrenics stop and laugh. He must definitely be schizophrenic or on some kind of drug because his world is full of delusional psychosis which only he believes is real, while the rest of the world laughs at his pathetic dumb ass.

CMB from Omaha
CMB from Omaha

OK, this Russian (or maybe Ukrainian, I can never tell) kid is kinda clueless, bless his heart. But this old gal would give him an interview just for having the guts to risk making a complete fool of himself. I also admired his ability to work with a team in producing the video. Not sure I could have organized anything more complex than a beer bash, at his age. Or maybe I just have a soft spot for the socially awkward, 'cause I used to be their poster child!

Benevolence
Benevolence

please read this carefully: Conciseness and intelligence go hand in hand!

mollenhourb
mollenhourb

I used to work in the private sectore, and now I work in govenrment. Trust me; as wierd as it is in government, he still wouldn't have gotten a job like this.

ITinAtl
ITinAtl

... and a much funnier tone. Sarcastic but light. And yes, he could probably Spin for the administration better than Tony Snow, LOL.

Constantdrone
Constantdrone

I'm with you 100% on this one. This guy should have his own talk show or at least go on a book tour. The other posts stating he should be left alone or that we are somehow jealous of his boldness is BS. this guy is an ego with bad PR folks for support. With little work his video could go to AFV ( funny videos).

hlhowell
hlhowell

Respect is given before it is earned. I didn't see the name of the company to which he posted the resume. They are clearly proud of their actions, aren't they. Regardless of the legality of posting the material, it shows a clear lack of ethics, and if the financial firm's name were known, it would be really tough for them to get customers or applicants. I know I would not do business with them. Regards, Les H

Les Collins
Les Collins

When is the last time someone has tried getting an entry level or intern job? All I have to say is good luck! I personally have exhausted all avenues and was recently told by a Randstad agent that I need to be ?creative? and sell myself. Sure, whatever??. Granted, he did go over the top, but desperate people do desperate things.

Benevolence
Benevolence

Yep, that does add up to 11 pages. Do you send a copy of the local 'Phone Book' with your resume so that the prospective employer can find your number? The writing sample IS part of the resume. nuff said!

Benevolence
Benevolence

If you don't like the 'intellectual banter' (I realise the ironic side of using these words together) go away! While many ARE just being too critical, most are just adding a little bit of fun to there comments. You're a waste of the worlds resources! (:) just kiddin')

MGP2
MGP2

>>you all waste the resources of TR and every member in carrying on a personal, vitriolic attack first on the young man and then each other. Do as he says (Don't criticize each other) and not as he does, which is criticize everyone in the forum ("you all...")

South Florida PMP
South Florida PMP

I'd give him one chance..., that is one chance to say "no seriously,here is my real resume", and hand HR something other than the video and rez'. As for coming off Cocky, no doubt he is confident (strange enough) to do something off the wall like this but I sure wouldn't want to induce this loose cannon into my work force. Having the ability to think a little off the main stream is a valuable asset; Taking your fresh new career down a cat-4 rapids ride is just plain stupid.

DanLM
DanLM

nuff said. dan

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

but either way, his world is only real to him and nobody else. CIA agent my ass! What a laugh.

Constantdrone
Constantdrone

Calling this guy a loose cannon is like calling the titanic a fender bender. Where in the real world would you start an "A" type person like this. We have hired a few who started out meek and have progressed to this level over a year or so, and we still here from them at xmas time. As far as running the guy down for his actions, if he is the self proclaimed perfect one with all the insights to sucess, why would you start your ball rolling with crap like this?

Benevolence
Benevolence

Yes I am quite arrogant, thanks for noticing! Do you not understand sarcasm? I know a lot of you Nth Americans don't know what that is. (tease)

Benevolence
Benevolence

Dumbass... do your research better and read more carefully.

Kiltie
Kiltie

[b]"Oh BTW don't believe everything you read in Wiki mate.... any spacker can edit it anytime... even you"[/b] see the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Vayner Quote: [i]Because of recent vandalism or other disruption, editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Such users may discuss changes, request unprotection, or create an account.[/i] EndQuote

jack.quinn
jack.quinn

and so beneath what I thought Tech Republic was for...let me try explaining this again. the boy sent a cover letter which is not a resume. it is a cover letter. it was 1 page long. he sent a resume which is not a cover letter. the resume was 1 page and 1/3 page long, so at most 1 & 1/3 pages long. He was applying for a job in investment banking, so he attached a 7-8 page analysis article that he wrote on some hedging strategy. I don't know, my eyes glazed over reading it, we who are not involved do not know, what is likely is that the employer required a writing sample. He attached this writing sample. A writing sample is not a cover letter nor a resume. After all the hoopla about this I tuned in to see this 11 page resume, but seeing it is 1 & 1/3 pages, plus 1 cover page, plus 7-8 pages of the financial analysis report. I agree the video was over the top, but the submitted documents do not warrant being besmirched like this. it is not the same as an 11page resume. Attaching the phone book is not the same thing...

Benevolence
Benevolence

Yep, that does add up to 11 pages. Do you send a copy of the local 'Phone Book' with your resume so that the prospective employer can find your number? the writing sample IS part of the resume. nuff said!

jack.quinn
jack.quinn

people comment without investigating the facts. his 11 page submission to UBS, consisted of, 1 page cover letter, 1 1/4 page resume, and an 8 page writing sample article on hedge fund risk strategy. What's wrong with that? it wasn't an 11 page resume like everyone is saying. i don't know him but making this guy look like a fool without knowing the facts is pretty lame on the part of TR contributors to this thread.

Benevolence
Benevolence

Totally agree. He might shoot hazardous nuclear material from those deadly hands he supposedly has to 'register' at Airports. Also he says he can hit tennis balls at 140 miles per hour. Did you notice the bricks he supposedly smashes with his poorly held karate hand appear to be those fun extra sandy bricks created for special fx?

Benevolence
Benevolence

Oh... I never would have known ;) (smirk). Problem is, the Wiki entry comes from a good source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Vayner#_note-charnav there ya go... check the references (read: R E F E R E N C E S ! ! ! ) they are at the bottom of the page. Heheheh... coincidently, I have sold DVDs lately. Produced by ME, see thats part of what I do as a Multimedia Professional.

ITinAtl
ITinAtl

...in my knowledge of Vayner. Although, I wouldn't want to mess with a nuclear waste handling ex-CIA gladiator who's good at Tennis and Massage! LOL

iShango
iShango

You didn't post the link. IF he had sent the video to a prospective employer AND that employer had sent it around the traps it WOULD be a breach of confidentiality no matter how much of a Prat the guy may have been. Just because someone is a bit of a twat doesn't mean that you can openly ridicule his attempts to get a job. Hey so if its an attempt to get publicicity noe of his law suits will hold water. If it was a real attempt to get employment he'll crash and burn. Sold any DVD's lately?? Oh BTW don't believe everything you read in Wiki mate.... any spacker can edit it anytime... even you

Benevolence
Benevolence

Yay... some wisdom. I am glad someone noted the Wikipedia entries!

Benevolence
Benevolence

My diagnosis was that he displays many phychopathic traits. The good new for him is that studies have shown that a scary majority of the top leaders in business display such traits. It allows them to 'claw' there way to the top without being disquisitive in there techniques, goals etc.

dawgit
dawgit

... who would believe it? Could be a perfect decoy. :D (sort of like those little duckies to shoot at)

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