Calling all recruiters!” Makena Yee, 21, a college student in Seattle, shouted into her camera in a recent TikTok video. “These are the reasons why you should hire me!” Yee went on to outline her qualifications. “I’m driven with confidence, I love being organised, I’m adaptive and a team player,” she said, as images of companies she had worked for flashed up on a green screen behind her.
The 60-second video quickly racked up over 182,000 views and hundreds of comments. Users tagged potential employers. “Someone hire herrrr!” one commenter implored. Yee said she had received more than 15 job leads, which she plans to pursue after a summer internship. In modern job searches, tidy one-page resumes are increasingly going the way of the fax machine. That may be accelerated by an app known for viral lip-syncing and dance videos, which is popularising the TikTok resume. As more college students and recent graduates use TikTok to network and find work, the company has introduced a program allowing people to apply directly for jobs. And employers, many facing labor shortages, are interested. Chipotle, Target, Alo Yoga, Sweetgreen and more than three dozen other companies have started hiring people via the app.
The TikTok resume is central to these efforts. Job applicants submit videos with the hashtag #TikTokResumes and through TikTokresumes.com to show off their skills, something like a personal essay of old. They include their contact information and, if they want, their LinkedIn profile. Employers review the videos, which must be set to public, and schedule interviews with the applicants they find the most compelling. The resumes are an effort to help young people “get the bag” and get paid, Kayla Dixon, a marketing manager at TikTok who developed the program, said.
They are also an outgrowth of a part of TikTok called careertok, where people share job hunting advice, resume tips and job opportunities. Videos with the hashtag #edutokcareer have amassed over 1.2 bn views since TikTok was introduced in the US in 2018. But the video resumes have also raised concerns. The format strips away a level of anonymity, allowing employers to potentially dismiss candidates based on how someone looks or acts. Much of the networking on TikTok also depends on amassing views, which can be hard for those who aren’t adept at creating content or who have struggled to get equal distribution in the app’s feed.
TikTok is not the first social platform that companies have sought to leverage for recruiting. LinkedIn, the professional networking site owned by Microsoft, is heavily used by both job seekers and recruiters. In 2015, Taco Bell advertised internship opportunities on Snapchat, and in 2017, McDonald’s let people apply for jobs through a Snapchat tool known as “Snaplications.” That same year, Facebook began allowing companies to post job openings to their pages and to communicate with applicants through Facebook Messenger. TikTok is now taking it further with video applications, rather than a swipe up to a more traditional application page. Though TikTok resumes are open to people of all ages, top videos submitted through the hashtag are from Gen Z users, most of whom are in college. The app said over 800 applicants had submitted TikTok resumes in the past week. “Hiring people or sourcing candidates through video just feels like a natural evolution of where we are in a society,” said Karyn Spencer, global chief marketing officer of Whalar, an influencer company that recently hired an employee off TikTok.
Lorenz is a reporter with NYT©2021
The New York Times