“Calling all recruiters!” Makena Yee, 21, a college student in Seattle, shouted into her camera in a recent TikTok video. “These are the reasons you’re hiring me!”
Yee went on to outline his qualifications. “I’m driven with confidence, I love to keep order, I’m adaptable and I’m a team player,” she said, while photos of companies she had worked for flashed on a green screen behind her.
The 60-second video quickly garnered over 182,000 views and hundreds of comments. Users tagged potential employers. “Someone hires sir!”
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In modern job search, neat CV pages are increasingly like the fax machine. It can be accelerated by an app known for viral lip syncing and dance videos, which popularize TikTok resumes.
As more students and graduates use TikTok to build networks and find work, the company has introduced a program that allows people to apply directly for jobs. And employers, many of whom are unemployed, are interested. Chipotle, Target, Alo Yoga, Sweetgreen and more than three dozen other companies have started hiring people via the app.
TikTok-CV is central to this effort. Job seekers submit videos with the hashtag #TikTokResumes and through TikTokresumes.com to showcase their skills, something like a personal essay from before. They include the contact information and, if they want, the LinkedIn profile. Employers review the videos, which must be made public, and schedule interviews with applicants they find most compelling.
The summaries are an attempt to help young people “get the bag” and get paid, said Kayla Dixon, marketing manager at TikTok, which developed the program, in a statement.
They are also an outgrowth of a part of TikTok called careertok, where people share advice on job hunting, summary tips and job opportunities. Videos with the hashtag #edutokcareer have garnered more than 1.2 billion views since TikTok was introduced in the US in 2018.
But the video recordings have also caused concern. The format removes a level of anonymity so that employers can potentially dismiss candidates based on how someone looks or acts. Much of the network on TikTok also depends on collecting impressions, which can be difficult for those who are not good 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 utilize for recruitment. LinkedIn, the professional networking site owned by Microsoft, is widely used by both job seekers and recruiters. In 2015, Taco Bell announced internship opportunities on Snapchat, and in 2017, McDonald’s people applied for jobs through a Snapchat tool known as “Snaplications.” That same year, Facebook began allowing companies to post vacancies on their pages and communicate with applicants via Facebook Messenger.
TikTok is now taking it further with video applications, instead of sweeping up to a more traditional application page. Although the TikTok resume is open to people of all ages, top videos are sent through the hashtag from Gen Z users, most of whom are in college. The app said that over 800 applicants had submitted their TikTok CV in the last week.
“Hiring people or getting candidates through video just feels like a natural development of where we are in a society,” said Karyn Spencer, global head of marketing for Whalar, an influential company that recently hired a TikTok employee. “We all communicate more and more through video and photos, but still as many resumes as our hiring team gets, it feels like 1985.”
Kalli Roberts, 23, a student at Brigham Young University in Utah, said the 2001 film “Legally Blonde” had inspired her TikTok resume. She recreated the famous application video that the main character, Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, submitted in an attempt to attend Harvard Law School.
“Please accept this as my formal Elle Woods-style video application,” Roberts wrote in the caption. Her TikTok went viral, and she is now an intern in TikTok’s global business department.
“I did not feel that my personality or who I really am was captured in my resume,” Roberts said. TikTok let her showcase skills, such as video editing and speech, that may have been line items in a written application, she said, adding: “I had 10 other companies outside of TikTok who said, ‘If they do not want you, we do.’ ‘”
Many recruiters look beyond standardized applications online or through networking sites such as LinkedIn, said Sherveen Mashayekhi, co-founder and CEO of Free Agency, a startup focused on hiring in the technology industry.
“Cover letters are not read and CVs are not predictable, so alternative formats are needed,” he said. “Over the next five to ten years, it will not just be video. It will be these other assessments that play into the early stages of the hiring process. ”
Some companies said that TikTok summaries were a useful way to evaluate candidates for public facing roles. Chipotle has so far posted more than 100 vacancies to the app to hire members of the restaurant team, said Tressie Lieberman, the chain’s vice president of digital marketing.
“We really cook in our restaurants,” she said. “We are excited to see people’s cooking skills, whether it’s putting chicken on the grill, knife skills or people making guacamole at home and bringing these opportunities into the restaurant.”
World Wrestling Entertainment also uses TikTok to recruit, said Paul Levesque, WWE’s executive vice president of global talent strategy and development, better known as Triple H wrestler. .
“For us, it’s a little different than a regular office position where you look at someone’s background,” he said. “We’re really looking for charisma.”
Shopify, an e-commerce platform, said it had begun contacting TikTok to find engineers.
“There are smart entrepreneurial people everywhere,” said Farhan Thawar, Shopify’s vice president of engineering. “We have this thing that if you can not explain a technical topic to a 5-year-old, you probably do not understand the topic. So having a medium like TikTok is perfect. ”
Other employers raised questions about relying on virality to determine a candidate’s dignity. Adore Me, an lingerie company, began experimenting with recruitment through TikTok in January. Chloé Chanudet, marketing manager at Adore Me, said she was concerned about who got the most distribution in the feed.
“Plus size or women of color are much more likely that their videos will not be published or evaluated for several days,” she said. “We have the same concern that their TikTok resumes may be biased by the algorithm.”
TikTok said it “does not moderate content based on form, size or ability.”
Some Gen Z job hunters said they were not deterred. Christian Medina, 24, an ambitious product manager who graduated from college last year, said he had been given six senior positions since posting a TikTok video last month to apply for a product management role.
“Finding a job to a new degree is almost impossible, and LinkedIn was not the most useful for me,” he said. “I will definitely continue to use the TikTok resume.”
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