Millennials have had the wild, weird (dis)pleasure of growing up with social media. First, we blogged on Xanga. Then, we wrote code and answered surveys on Myspace.
From Facebook and Tumblr to Twitter and Instagram, social media has changed a lot since the 90s. But throughout it all, we’ve mostly regarded these sites as just a space for fun. But that could all change for good, thanks to TikTok’s resumes feature.
Here’s What A TikTok Resume Is
I’ll be honest. When I first heard about TikTok resumes, my mind immediately flashed to the cringe-tastic spectacle that used to be my Vine profile. Social media was (er, is) my outlet to express myself and not worry about the watchful eye of an employer.
So, how do TikTok resumes even work and what are they? Are employers scrolling from resume to dancing video to shitposting to back again? What does a digital resume look like? My millennial brain needed answers.
Thankfully, TikTok answers a lot of the most pressing questions on its website.
Ultimately, TikTok resumes are video resumes. Furthermore, the app suggests using its green-screen feature to showcase experience and portfolios.
The TikTok Resumes homepage also has a handy “do’s & don’ts” video. Some “do’s” include letting your personality shine through, keeping videos up and public for one month and using the hashtag #TikTokResumes.
(To be clear, anyone posting a TikTok resume needs a public TikTok profile. So, yes, in theory, your future boss could be watching you and your friends do dance routines in the street. That’s something to keep in mind.)
The video also advises job seekers not to include full names and e-mail addresses. You can safely share contact information after a company has reached out to you.
Revamping The Elevator Pitch
The app’s new feature piggybacks off of the elevator pitch. With TikTok Resumes, everyone can benefit from the ultra-personalized, modern recruitment experience.
According to the company’s website, users are “encouraged to creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences” in their TikTok resumes.
In addition to uploading their resumes, job seekers can search job listings. Users can also find examples of strong digital resumes and browse career-related content.
“We are encouraging our users to turn their traditional paper resume into a digital video resume or elevator pitch,” TikTok wrote.
TikTok Resumes Was Inspired By #CareerTok
While TikTok Resumes sounds completely new and groundbreaking, it’s not the social media platform’s first dip into the professional audience pool.
“#CareerTok is already a thriving subculture on the platform,” Global Head of Marketing Nick Tran wrote on TikTok’s website. “We can’t wait to see how the community embraces TikTok Resumes.”
The #CareerTok hashtag on TikTok currently has over 65 million views. Content ranges from how to fluff up your resume to providing interview questions for employers.
The New York Times reported on this back in November 2020. The publication interviewed Shadé Zahrai, a career strategist with more than 450K TikTok followers. Zahrai told NYT that her firm was fielding requests from CEOs and Fortune 500 companies who had seen her TikTok videos.
“What I’m finding is there’s this real desire to seek guidance from someone who they can trust,” Zahrai said. Seeking guidance through TikTok, she says, is “almost like having a mentor or counselor in your pocket.”
Solving The National Labor Shortage
Chipotle is one of the brands utilizing the new “professional” side of TikTok, and the company cited the national labor shortage as its reasoning for trying it out.
“Due to the competitive labor market, Chipotle is continuing to experiment with new methods of meeting its potential applicants where they are,” the food chain told CBS News.
Indeed, the labor market is on unsteady ground. “The worker shortage is a national economic emergency. And it poses an imminent threat to… America’s great resurgence,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clark told Business Insider.
And while this might account for some job loss, there are more pressing issues at hand. Despite the food service and accommodation industries adding a record number of jobs this spring, workers aren’t biting. Why? Workers want a living wage.
Many of these jobs crying “labor shortage” don’t provide a living wage or benefits. Therefore, I would argue there is no labor shortage. There is a fair compensation shortage.
What This Means For Brands Using TikTok Resumes
Over half of TikTok’s user base is younger than 24. Under 20% of LinkedIn users are of the same age range. The internet doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. So, TikTok Resumes is a logical next step.
Generally speaking, TikTok Resumes is a cue to older generations to adapt. “Tweeter,” “Face-gram” and “Click Clock” are capable of enacting great change. To keep up with the times is to adjust to the new.
At the same time, employers should heed the labor shortage as a warning. And, yes, while companies like Chipotle and Target are trying to stay hip, unless those companies provide livable wages, benefits and equitable work, it’s all performative.