Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Video Resume Wreck: Barney Stinson

CBS’ How I Met Your Mother’s character, Barney Stinson, is “legend – wait for it – ary.” His personality is repulsive, but his taglines are comic gold. While he floats through life without regard to anyone else’s feelings or needs, everything seems to work out for him. He has an amazing job, the ultimate bachelor pad and a suit for every day of the year, it seems.

So how did Barney Stinson get to be where he is professionally? He attributes his success to his video resume. In Season 4, episode 14, Barney showcases his video resume, stating that it not only got him countless job interviews but also job offers. And in some cases, the potential employers hadn’t even met Barney.

But while Barney’s video resume is great for a few laughs, it’s not recommended for today’s job seekers. Let’s decode Barney Stinson’s video resume to see why it doesn’t work.

1. Busy backgrounds. When filming your video resume, it’s best to find a background that isn’t too busy or complicated, like a messy room or a crowded coffeehouse. While Barney doesn’t necessarily have busy backdrops, he does change them frequently. We see him in what appears to be his home, the desert and on a ranch.

2. Made up words. Barney’s video resume can be summed up with one word: possimpible – which may sound impressive, but it doesn’t actually exist. A hybrid between “possible” and “impossible,” the word is meant to signify the state of mind and performance at which Barney operates. While made up words may turn some heads and score some points for creativity, they won’t help potential employers take you seriously.

3. A lost message. Between busy backgrounds and non-existent words, the message is lost as to what Barney Stinson can provide potential employers as a new hire. He takes his lost messaging even further at the end with a silly song and images that have nothing to do with Barney or his work ethic.

While there is a great deal that Barney does wrong, there are a few things he does get right. His delivery is impeccable – he articulates his “points,” looks confident and dresses nice, though somewhat unprofessionally. His video resume is full of adjectives that identify the qualities and characteristics that make him a great employee.

Finally, Barney’s resume stands out. Though it can’t be taken seriously, it does get him noticed. Potential employers will remember his resume amongst the sea of others they receive or see, and that’s the point of the video resume. It’s not meant to replace your paper resume but enhance it. And with a video resume that stands out, it will surely serve its purpose.

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.