TikTok Resumes

TikTok Resumes were hailed as an opportunity to stand out—a replacement for cumbersome applications, stuffy resumes, and buttoned-up LinkedIn profiles. They thought it would be a great method to source DEI candidates who wouldn’t rate well through traditional talent funnels. Others said Gen Z hate applications, so we’ll search TikTok for those tough-to-fill service roles.


TikTok Resumes faced backlash due to fears of prejudice stemming from revealing protected class status early in the sourcing process. After working so hard to remove prejudicial content in resumes and leaning on ATS to avoid discrimination related to race, gender, etc., TikTok suggests we lead with our authentic, fun selves—ideally with a great backing track and lighting. However, what feeds the TikTok content machine might not be what works best for job seekers.


Asking job seekers to create a TikTok Resume puts creators (and extroverts) at a distinct advantage. A larger portion of TikTok users consume content than create content. Many exceptional candidates just won’t read well onscreen, much less have the time, energy, and resources to put together a video resume for the platform.


Even if the stars align and you’re great on camera, not at risk for discrimination, and you have the time/tools, you could have some problems with audience. How many hiring managers or recruiters hang out on TikTok? Will they be the right ones?


Marketing and Creatives seem uniquely well-suited to the advantage of the platform. We’ve seen anecdotes about viral posts and hundreds of offers. It could happen! But what are the odds and is it worth the risk?


Thomas Powner of Career Thinker Inc. noted on LinkedIn that China’s ownership of ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, may keep companies from utilizing it as a sourcing tool (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tompowner_do-you-need-a-digital-resume-in-2021-college-activity-6848936899260899328-nMEn). What company would want to relinquish ownership of their data when safer sourcing avenues exist?


If you decide it’s worth the risk, keep your TikTok Resume simple. Clearly pronounce your name and brand yourself or share your mission. Briefly list 3 strengths, accomplishments, or reasons someone should hire you. Some like to end by including a call to action, like reaching out in the near future.


If you’re uncomfortable with the TikTok platform, consider using LinkedIn Cover Story or posting a video resume on your professional website/portfolio. Possible benefits of a video resume include an opportunity to build rapport and humanize the candidate. Prerecording your introduction and value offering also allows you to control the narrative.


Almost all hiring organizations will conduct a background check and find your LinkedIn profile and any other supplementary content. The top 3-5 hits are generally perceived as true, so curate content that reflects well upon you.


Uncomfortable with the whole idea? Try another route altogether! If you decide to opt out, at this stage of the game, you’re probably not missing much.