If you’re on TikTok, the popular social media app featuring brief videos, you may be accustomed to thinking of it as entertainment, with a dash of news and information. But as with other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, TikTok can also be woven into your job search. For instance, following hashtags like #careertok and #jobsearch leads to an endless stream of TikToks offering advice and tips.
To help you determine if TikTok is a valuable tool for your career path, we’ll discuss the TikTok Resumes tool, the pros and cons of posting your resume on the social network, and tips for doing so.
- You don’t have to post your resume on TikTok. It may not be the most viable recruiting tool for employers (for now), so if you’re more comfortable with a paper resume, stick with that.
- TikTok resumes can be fun to create, better highlight your strengths, and get attention. However, posting resumes on the platform can be time-consuming, provide limited space to promote yourself, lead to bias, and not suit your personality.
- Like just about anything related to your job search, you’ll want to plan and prepare before getting started. Know what you’re going to say, brainstorm visuals, and make sure you’re in a good setting before filming and sharing.
Many users don’t just passively scan TikTok for advice—they use the app as an application tool and for sharing video resumes. In July 2021, TikTok launched a pilot program known as TikTok Resumes to encourage these efforts, and well-known companies such as Chipotle and Target invited people to apply for entry-level positions through the app.1
“If you start using the TikTok Resumes feature, you’ll cut the line and be considered for interviews faster than countless job seekers who think this is a fad,” said Rob Barnett, executive search consultant and author of Next Job, Best Job: A Headhunters’ 11 Strategies to Get Hired Now, in an email interview with The Balance.
Social media platforms can be a huge asset to your job search—just make sure to keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.
But there are some potential downsides to posting your resume on TikTok—the tactic is not for everyone. For instance, if you’re not a user on the platform, it may not be worth creating an account just to apply for jobs.
Find out more of the pros and cons of posting your resume on TikTok, along with tips to keep in mind if you use the app in your job search.
Pros and Cons of Posting a Resume on TikTok
Here’s what to keep in mind before posting your resume on TikTok. Pros
- Can be fun to create
- Does a better job at highlighting your strengths
- Could be relevant
- Can be attention-grabbing
- Potential for bias
- Could be time-consuming
- Space is limited
- Might not even be seen
- Not for everyone
- Could go viral
- They can be fun to create. If you have an active TikTok presence and love using the platform, it may be relatively easy for you to create a TikTok and might even be something that feels more fun than the usual routine of writing cover letters.
- TikTok resumes may do a better job at highlighting your strengths. “Videos help your personality and confidence come across—unlike a standard resume,” Andrew Fennell, former recruiter and director at StandOut CV, a resume and career advice service, told The Balance via email.
- It could be relevant. Certainly, if you’re looking to work in social media or in roles that involve public relations or marketing, having a TikTok resume can be a way to show off your strengths to hiring managers. It could almost act as an audition or portfolio. “Many modern jobs require significant technical know-how, looking for those who can edit videos, cut together audio, and make things entertaining. Crafting a pixel-perfect TikTok showcases your creative expertise,” said Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism, a TikTok marketing agency, in an email to The Balance.
- TikTok resumes can be attention-grabbing. Post a resume video on TikTok, and “it has the chance to go viral, be shared, and possibly seen by people in the industry you’re targeting,” Fennell said. Plus, you can connect with your dream company by using hashtags and relevant tags, he says.
- Beware of the potential for bias. When you share a paper resume, employers don’t see what you look like. (With rare exceptions, such as for people applying for modeling or acting jobs, it’s not appropriate to include photos with your resume.) “Many employers have started actively working to reduce bias in resumes, utilizing hiring processes that remove gender, names, or even educational background to reduce systemic bias,” Zaiger said. But with a video resume, employers will see your appearance from the get-go. This can allow conscious or unconscious bias on the part of hiring managers—the way you look could then be a factor in whether or not employers reach out.
- It could be time-consuming. TikTok videos are brief, but getting across a coherent, work-appropriate message in that short amount of time can be challenging. That seconds-long video may take hours to create.
- Space is limited. On regular resumes on paper, people sometimes struggle to trim their experience down. At some point in your career, a single-page resume may become impossible. Now think about highlighting your experience in mere seconds. That can be difficult, particularly with more granular, serious details. “While TikTok can showcase your personality, it’s a little harder to employ the more serious aspects of your portfolio or experience in such a short clip,” Zaiger said.
- Employers and hiring managers might not even see it. A lot of people might see your TikTok resume. But will they be the right people? If company recruiters and hiring managers aren’t spending time on the app with hiring in mind, you might not be able to grab their attention. And some industries may not see a TikTok resume as a professional gambit—think law, medicine, finance, Fennell notes.
- It’s not for everyone. A video resume may not be the best fit for you. “If you’re not confident on camera, it’s best not to use this method,” Fennell said.
- You could go viral. This could be a pro if it leads to grabbing the attention of hiring managers at companies where you’d like to work. The flip side, according to Fennell, is if the video is shared widely, you may receive some negative feedback.
If posting your resume on TikTok feels a bit uncomfortable, you’re not alone.
In an August 2021 Gen Z survey conducted by Tallo, an online platform connecting students with colleges and companies, 48% felt comfortable with the idea of making a video resume—and 48% did not. And only 26% of respondents said they’d post their resume on TikTok’s platform.2
Tips for Posting Your Resume on TikTok
If you’re posting your resume on TikTok, make sure to keep the following tactics in mind.
Practice Before You Post
Don’t create your TikTok resume without practicing first, Fennell recommends. You’ll want your words to be “succinct” and “well structured,” he said, aiming to project your personality but keep your appearance professional.
It can be helpful to create a script. “While some of the best TikToks can feel spontaneous, TikTok resumes should be planned,” Zaiger said, noting that writing down what you want to say means you won’t forget anything important.
But even if you’re working off a script, strive to sound natural—not stiff and overly rehearsed. “Don’t talk like a person on camera. Communicate exactly as you would if you’re sitting face to face with your next boss,” Barnett said.
Make sure your account is public so that companies can view your resume.
Take Advantage of the Visuals
Go beyond speaking to the camera and use all the visuals you can to support your candidacy. “Include pictures of your career achievements (awards, press coverage, photos, etc.) as well as visuals, to reinforce what you’re saying,” Fennell said.
Set the Stage
Think about what you’re wearing, what’s in your background, and the general appearance of the video, too. Obviously, TikTok is a casual medium for posting a resume. Still, be thoughtful about what kind of impression you’re sending with the video.
That might mean making some minor investments. “A ring light, or better background, can make the difference between an amateur and a professional-looking TikTok resume,” Zaiger said.
Be Cautious About What You Present
Remember, your TikTok could be seen by a handful of people—but it could also go viral. Make sure it represents you the right way and that if it does get the attention of a large audience, there’s nothing that can embarrass you or cause you any danger. According to Fennell, you’ll want to be sure your resume video doesn’t contain personal details that can be used by identity thieves.