TikTok. You know it, I know it. It’s everywhere.
But this is no longer just a platform for short videos of dancing or cuddly dogs, the app’s been evolving right under our noses. It has changed to serve the needs of its many viewers, now hosting all sorts of content, from political commentary to educational videos. Not only that but, it has become a vital news source for some, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when it even provided information from doctors.
It’s clear that the platform can be used for a variety of applications, including employment services.
The job market is currently more confusing and convoluted than ever. With Generation Z entering the workforce at this highly tumultuous time, and the current labor shortage we need to rethink how employers relate to potential employees, and how talent can best showcase themselves.
‘Gen Z’ is the largest user base on TikTok, followed closely by Millenials. Data shows that people between the ages of 10 to 29 make up almost half of TikTok’s 80 million monthly users. On the other hand employment for teens is also at its highest level since 2008 and connecting these young people with open positions could prove imperative to struggling businesses.
This July, amongst the current labor shortages and many industries in crisis, TikTok launched a pilot program that solidified its place in the rising employment economy. It is allowed people to upload short video resumes which could be publicly viewed, potentially by big employers. Instead of phone interviews and CVs, some applicants opted to immediately embrace this new way of standing out. Desperate and understaffed, restaurants like Chipotle and Sweetgreen were some of the first to implement this tool.
At its core, TikTok’s resume program is merely recycling and improving upon an age-old means of recruitment: lead generation. The bare bones of this tactic you might recognize.
If you’ve ever had to endure a long grueling job hunt you might know the feeling, but it can be hard to go on sending applications day after day with no responses. Sometimes you might never know if an employer even read your application. It’s not fun. It’s soul-crushing. Nobody likes to waste their precious time and sell themselves over and over facing rejection with no guarantee. That is especially true for young people who may not have the confidence or years of experience that would otherwise save them from getting discouraged.
Tik Tok blends tech with creativity.
Tools like Applicant Tracking Systems are well known now too, these programs block most applications from ever even making it to a real person. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or feel like a cog in the machine, unseen and invisible. TikTok on the other hand is entertaining and trendy.
On TikTok you can showcase your personality. You can convey emotions. And it appears that employers just come to you. When you receive a request for an interview or even an offer, it feels like it’s because they selected you, for you, and not for the accolades on your belt. It’s no wonder to some people, it just sounds like a better way.
Applicants personalities become a tool for hire.
21-year-old college student Makena Yee is one of those people. In her TikTok resume she said, “These are the reasons why you should hire me! I’m driven with confidence, I love keeping organized, I’m adaptive and I’m a team player!” She used the app’s green screen function to display images of companies where she had worked behind her in the video. She racked up almost 200,000 views in just a few days. Yee said she also got over one-dozen job leads, all from that one- minute video.
So how exactly did she do it? Well, the video aspect can be really beneficial for applicants to appeal to employers, Yee included, as she caomes across in the video as very personable. In a workforce where soft skills matter, being able to express this side of yourself is something that simply can’t be done on a sheet of paper. Video resumesIt allows employers to assess applicants like Yee’s attributes quickly.
I highly recommend that if you ever find yourself filming a video resume and have a special talent, or have a passion you should highlight it.! That really shines through. Somehow people can intuitively feel a humility and excitement in an applicant. Your passion will shine through and could be what lands you that dream job. that can really blow them away.
In service industries especially, a winning smile and a genuine desire to serve the public is far more marketable than any hard skill that might be listed on a traditional resume. Employers can see a sense of humanity of an applicant, and use good judgment to assess an applicant’s potential fit. It doesn’t take much longer than a few seconds to assess some major service industry staples like eye contact, confidence, cadence and bedside manner. Applicants can also feel more free to be themselves, and they are not just reduced to a few brief lines on a page.
The perks come with consideration.
Unfortunately there are always going to be downsides to this short video application. While the whole thing sounds idyllic, there have been a few concerns raised. One being that video resumes leave the door open for discrimination.
There are continued also always concerns about the safety of sharing personal information publicly online. Not to mention depending on the situation, posting a public video could put someone at odds with their current employer or be a conflict of interest.
I would always recommend keeping your personal security as a number one priority and never share any information online that you wouldn’t want to be permanent and public.
Video resumes also require applicants to cast a very wide net, not knowing the audience that might view their content. It may result in a disconnect in tone or result in an unprofessional first even if you watch your words closely.Many high-level impression opportunities are also not generally the current demographic of jobs one might attain in this manner. So far, mostly large corporations seeking entry to mid level employees are recruiting this way.
However, there are some.
While retail and social media opportunities dominate the app, some outliers are jumping into the pool like the Detroit Pistonswho searched for a video producer via TikTok video applications. World Wrestling Entertainment also used the site to find their next future strong and charismatic star. More and more employers every day are getting the hint and getting with it.
Although the TikTok resume program was just a one-month pilot, I suspect it will become a regular feature of the app in the near future. It may even drive some to predominantly ustalize the app for that purpose, expanding its user base.
Will you be one of them? It would be an awful shame to sit back and let someone’s 60-second video beat you to the job of your dreams. Give it a try, these short videos might just be the future of job hunting.