TikTok Video Resumes May Be the Next Big Thing in the Job Market — But the Trend Raises Concerns

An expert suspects other companies will soon be clamoring to launch their own version of a video resume

Young professional social video
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A new TikTok feature that allows users to pitch "video resumes" to potential employers is proving popular — and could transform the way companies find talent.

In July, the social media platform launched TikTok Resumes, a pilot program designed to help connect its user to companies such as Chipotle, Target, WWE, Alo Yoga and Shopify.

According to TikTok, the idea came to fruition thanks to the popularity of the #CareerTikTok channel, which is made up of user-submitted videos touting career advice (such as the best ways to ask for a raise). Clips on the channel have been viewed over 340 million times.

"Like many, college students were impacted by the pandemic and have displayed a resilience and unwavering optimism that's truly been inspiring," said Kayla Dixon, marketing manager at TikTok, in a statement at the program's launch.

The company said a new round of submissions is forthcoming after the initial program ended in July. Yet Nicole Penn, president of marketing agency EGC Group, said it may have left a lasting effect on the industry despite its brief introduction.

"The advantage for applicants is it's a time to show your creativity," Penn told CNET. "The upside for employers is that you're getting access to a digital native, which is what so many employers want."

TikTok
TikTok. Drew Angerer/Getty

Penn suspects other companies will soon be clamoring to launch their own version of a video resume, such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

In a survey conducted by LinkedIn earlier this year, the company found 62 percent of job seekers believed sharing videos of themselves increased the likelihood of landing a new position.

Brianna Seaberg, a 21-year-old job seeker who uploaded a video resume through TikTok, said her submission resonated with employers.

"I just used my resume as [a] reference and let my own personality shine through. I didn't have to write it all out — it came out naturally," she told Good Morning America.

"I got about 15 plus emails or messages across my social media or on my personal email sending job descriptions, asking me if I wanted to interview, offering me roles and freelance work," she continued. "Creating the video was 100 percent worth it."

But, as one career strategist told the outlet, video resumes can put many applicants at a disadvantage.

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"I have a lot of concerns about how this will perpetuate a lot of racism and bias in hiring," feminist career strategist Cynthia Pong told GMA. "TikTok resumes being a visual thing, I worry that people aren't going to be hired because they're a person of color, because they're queer, trans, or gender-nonconformimg, or because of fatphobia."

Pong added that there's a chance employers will favor users who have more "likes" or comments on their video resumes, which will make things harder for people with smaller audiences.

This may also affect older job seekers, who may not use social platforms as much as their younger counterparts. According to a March survey from Statista, people over the age of 50 made up only 11 percent of TikTok's user base.

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