One of the hottest topics today in the career marketing arena is TikTok résumés, posing the question,
are they a creative way for job seekers to present themselves to employers, are they ineffective, or
worse, do they create a poor impression on employers and raise issues about legal compliance in hiring?
With 689M monthly users worldwide and 100M daily users in the US with over 1B video views per day,
TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020 and is reported to be valued at over $50B, so job seekers and
companies are taking note of its impact and potential.
Even if you have not used the app yourself, you likely have heard of it and may have even see video
postings. For those that may not be aware of what it is, TikTok is a video sharing social networking service
created and based in China and allows members to create shareable video clips ranging from fifteen
seconds to three minutes.
While it is true today’s job search needs to keep pace with technology, not all technology or social media
platforms are created equal and would likely reach a candidate’s target audience. In addition to
understanding who the target audience for content on any given social platform is, I advise job seekers
to be aware of who owns the technology and make an informed decision about who they share their
information with and who controls that information.
Functionally, it makes sense that TikTok résumés will be appreciated and sought after for those in creative
industries or startups that tend to be on the cutting edge of social technology and streamlining the way
they consume content.
For job seekers in traditional, conservative, compliance heavy industries such as banking or human
resources, unless specifically requested, as a career coach, I recommend my clients stick to specifically
what they are being asked for, and as of today, this is likely to be a traditional résumé and fully optimized
LinkedIn profile. Remember the video is for your audience, not you. Just because you can, does not mean
you should if it alienates your audience
While TikTok may be a helpful hiring tool for niche industries or certain types of jobs, there are several
social platforms that are a great vehicle for just about every job seeker to communicate their personal
brand and unique value offering.
The best of these is LinkedIn, which is specifically designed for this purpose and set up to enhance
networking and the job search process. I tell my job seeking clients to consider their LinkedIn profile as
their own personal website. The functionality is there but few job seekers are using it to its full
One of LinkedIn’s newest features, its Cover Story, is close in function and form to a TikTok video and
can be used to frame a member’s value story in 30 seconds
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile whether you are on the hunt for a new job or gloriously happy where
you are is one of the best things you can do for your career development today. If you’re not sure what
to do or how to present your information, there are many resources available online or through
LinkedIn’s own library of searchable help tips.
Despite the role of technology in job searching, interviewing, making hiring decisions, and onboarding,
people still hire people. All social media platforms are tools that can be used to build your brand, expand
your network, and attract recruiter attention, but networking – personal interaction – is still the best
way to land a job. It can be tempting to hide behind social media or assume it translates your value
appropriately or effectively, but human relationships trump social media when it comes to influencing
an employer to take a chance on hiring you.
Robust career management and job search strategies should include a strong social media component
with platforms intentionally chosen for their alignment with your target audience and the value it
creates in showcasing your personal brand.
Recently I conducted a poll on LinkedIn, asking the question of my network, “How is your employer
handling TikTok résumés? Does it welcome TikTok resumes from job candidates?” Over 50% of the
respondents indicated their employers were not (yet) welcoming Tik Tok résumés from job candidates. A
slim 5% said Yes and with Success! Check out the poll results below:
Taking a Yay Position
TikTok allows a job seeker to communicate their value offering with feeling and active body language
allowing them to be more spontaneous and let their personality show through. Since hiring
differentiators often lie in personality traits and organizational fit vs. skill set, this can be a great
advantage to help employers get to know job search candidates at a more relatable level.
Concerns Driving a Nay Opinion
Issues of hiring compliance is the prevalent concern in this category, though an HR director for a large
medical practice in the Buffalo area commented on the poll by saying that he felt the concept of TikTok
videos was “interesting and that compliance issues could be worked out.”
The age of the average TikTok user also presents a concern from a hiring perspective for employers.
With approximately 50% of TikTok’s global audience reportedly being under the age of 34, the pool of
older millennials, gen X’ers and baby boomers still in the job market is starkly reduced, potentially
promoting age bias in hiring candidates that share their résumés via TikTok.
Employer concerns aside, data sharing concerns drive the nay camp for those not willing to share their
data with China.
Ultimately, the needs and preferences of your audience should be the driver of your decisions when it
comes to marketing yourself for a position. Employer preferences and application guidelines still rule.
So, what do you think? Yay or Nay?
Want more great tips? https://www.inspirecareers.com/in-the-media/ for recent career-related information I’ve shared on numerous podcasts, television outlets, and radio shows.
Visit the Inspire Careers YouTube channel to enjoy short bursts of content I share through video https://www.inspirecareers.com/inspire-careers-youtube-channel/ and don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when new content is added.
Tik Tok statistics source https://www.omnicoreagency.com/tiktok-statistics/