Members of Gen Z have faced an unusual hiring landscape. They’ve been challenged with launching careers in the midst of a global pandemic, which ushered in remote work and hiring freezes, then watched as the Great Resignation left a wake of job openings.
This recent shift has tilted the hiring leverage in favor of job hunters, especially those with a unique or creative portfolio. And yet, finding just the right opportunity can be challenging when you’re standing at the starting line with little experience and few professional connections.
With more than one billion active global users, TikTok is rich in the priceless currency of attention. While it’s predominantly a hangout for Gen Z, older generations, specifically Millennials, have begun migrating towards it. It’s a connector to short sound bites of entertainment and information, but more than that, it’s becoming a networking goldmine.
On TikTok’s individualized FYP, a curated landing page that showcases videos selected by the app’s algorithm, users are introduced to faces and ideas that they aren’t following, but might be interested in discovering. It’s through this avenue that many Gen Z job hunters have found success finding work that aligns with their goals or passions.
Through uploaded video résumés, aspiring employees share their portfolios in ways that range from traditional résumés posted with onscreen text to cinematic explanations complete with themed costumes and soundtracks.
This video résumé approach is something TikTok has formally pursued as well, with the launch of a pilot version of TikTok Résumés last year. Powerhouse brands like Target and Chipotle teamed up with the feature to allow entry-level job applicants to apply directly through the social platform. And yes, many Gen Z TikTok users have created eye-catching video resumes that snagged them jobs by putting them in front of brands, celebrities or hiring managers that they would not have otherwise met. But interestingly, even TikTok Résumés expected applicants to provide a link to their LinkedIn profile. It’s a trend to watch, for sure, but it’s important to remember that the lion’s share of the hiring process—even that which is initiated on TikTok—is still happening on LinkedIn.
There are significant concerns to factor into the video résumé process as well, including unconscious bias that might filter out talented people based on snap judgements, and broader concerns about social platform algorithms that could introduce bias through deciding which clips have the opportunity to go viral.
For Gen Z job hunters eager to impress Millennial, Gen X or even Baby Boomer hiring managers, following a more traditional route, which now includes LinkedIn, appears to remain king. But hiring managers would be wise to consider diving into TikTok Résumés and TikTok hashtags (like #TikTokResumes, #CareerTok and #HireMe) as an opportunity to discover a potential star employee.