Job seekers leveraging social media isn’t a new phenomenon.
Both Snapchat and Facebook added recruitment and job posting capabilities to their platforms in 2017, and LinkedIn has been a long-time platform for networking, job searching, and recruiting. So it should be no surprise that Gen-Z job seekers are now turning to TikTok to get their feet in the “real world” door.
Unlike resumes found on other social media platforms, TikTok resumes are entirely in video format. Condensed into 60-second short form videos, users are creating content that features their main skill-set, past experience, and future career goals. And it’s working. Users of the app are generating multiple job offers and big-name companies are turning to the app for their recruiting efforts.
So the question is, should you post your resume on TikTok?
The Birth of TikTok Resumes
What’s interesting about this new trend is both the job seekers’ initiative in posting video resumes and the platform’s response. TikTok recently launched a program that allows people to apply directly for jobs within the platform called “TikTok Resumes.”
The social media company explained that they’re trying to “enhance the utility of the platform as a channel for recruitment by teaming up with select companies and inviting job seekers to apply for a range of different positions, from entry-level to experienced roles.
The Benefits of a TikTok Resume
According to Glassdoor, on average, a corporate job opening will attract 250 resumes. While TikTok resumes are undeniably untraditional in the world of recruitment, there are some real benefits of using them to stand out from the crowd.
- Easily digestible: In the new attention economy, we are communicating more and more through short-form digital content such as video. Why should the recruiting process be any different? TikTok resumes are limited to 60 seconds, this forces applicants to summarize their experience and career goals into a concise, to-the-point snippet.
- Showcase your personality: TikTok videos allow potential candidates to showcase who they are, rather than simply what they’ve done. Traditional resumes and cover letters leave little room for personalization, especially when job seekers are up against an algorithm that scans resumes for keywords rather than personal flair.
- Relevant for specific positions: TikTok resumes are especially useful for assessing a candidate who is applying for a public-facing, content creation, or digital media position.
Talent Acquisition Team Lead at ZoomInfo Alison Dennison speaks to the importance of staying updated on social media recruiting trends.
“I do think it would be great for entry-level job seekers, as well as a talent acquisition team or recruiter to utilize TikTok. I think, with a company like ZoomInfo that needs to be competitive in that space, I think it would be beneficial,” Dennison says.
What are the Downsides?
Though many creators are gaining interviews, even job offers from posting their resumes on TikTok, doing so on the hyper-curated platform doesn’t come without downsides.
- Less anonymity = more potential for bias: The format takes away a level of anonymity that written resumes hold and carries the potential for employees to dismiss candidates based on appearance.
- Trading one algorithm for another: Much of this networking strategy is dependent on gaining views, making it difficult for those who have struggled to get equal distribution in the app’s feed.
“Do I see a downside in terms of discrimination or bias, when it comes to TikTok, yeah I do. When we do background checks I might go to Facebook or LinkedIn, I may go to Instagram just to see if there is anything that goes against corporate policy, but not to make a discriminatory bias on who they are. But I feel TikTok could open up that possibility a little bit more,” says Dennison.
TikTok Resumes: Social media Fad or Long-Term Recruitment Practice?
To answer the question we posed at the beginning of this article, the answer is a tentative “yes,” especially if you’re a Gen-Zer looking for entry-level positions.
What makes a video resume interesting and different from a traditional typed resume is that you are able to showcase skills that are becoming increasingly more important: content creation and public speaking. Whether you want to work in product marketing, customer success, or sales, being able to create visual assets and speak to a wider audience is key.
Dennison says she would undoubtedly accept a video resume as a legitimate candidate application if sent to her as an attachment to a job posting.
“If I’m hiring for a more creative position like a video editor, I would still be looking for their years of experience, their content, what they’ve done in past positions, and if you can speak to all of that in a video it’s definitely a consideration,” she says.
As to whether or not the TikTok resume is here to stay, we can look to the fact that over the last two decades, recruitment has become more digitized and more virtual.
“It used to be all paper when I started. Now we have great applicant tracking systems, it’s way more digital. LinkedIn has been really transformative. So I think social media and other tools and outlets for people to apply and showcase their skills is important,” says Dennison.
In another five years, maybe it won’t be TikTok, but there is sure to be another social media platform that is innovating the ways in which we seek new jobs and opportunities.