Centred Content

Dear Joanna,

I have been applying for work online using my resume and cover letter that I prepared with the help of my Reena job coach. However, I heard that some job seekers are posting video resumes on social media apps like TikTok. Should I be doing this instead of my traditional resume and cover letter? What’s your advice?

Signed: Social Media Applicant

Centred Content

Dear SMA,

You are definitely up-to-date with social media and technology! According to Lorenz’s (2021) article in “The New York Times” https://www.tiktok.com/@makena.yee/video/6958301625836375301?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F&referer_video_id=6958301625836375301&refer=embed many Gen Z-ers want more exposure (viewers or hits) on social media so they  started to apply for jobs using  TikTok resumes with a quick video. And employers are starting to pay attention! Will the TikTok video resume replace the traditional one? Lorenz showcases many examples of job seekers who use TikTok successfully including one 60 second video that had  over 182,000 views and hundreds of comments as well as 15 job leads! Lorenz recommends posting a video resume on TikTok as many companies use this format to recruit as more college students and recent graduates use this app to network and find work. But TikTok is not the first social platform that companies use to recruit candidates. Even WWE, Taco Bell and McDonalds let people apply for jobs with this app.  Facebook, Shopify, and LinkedIn also post job openings on this sites and apps.

There are a few challenges of the traditional resume adds Lorenz. They only focus on experience instead of skills and abilities as well as results which is what employers are interested in! This is hard to capture in a resume. The applicant tracking system (ATS)  is another challenge.  For example, the system doesn’t recognize creative and different job title names like  “success ambassador” and “office ninja,”. Also, it doesn’t recognize the keywords! Employers can’t figure out what the candidate does and can do. Lastly, resumes are static. Unless you update it each week, it becomes outdated quickly – and even by the time you need to apply for work.

I wouldn’t get rid of my resume and cover letter so quickly. Many companies still use the traditional online application route. However, the traditional resume is not the only way anymore to apply for work. For example, WWE, Taco Bell and McDonalds let people apply for jobs with this app.

How does the TikTok video resume work? Job applicants submit videos with the hashtag #TikTokResumes and through TikTokresumes.com to show off their skills, something like a personal essay of old.  They include their contact information and, if they want, their LinkedIn profile. Employers review the videos, which must be set to public, and schedule interviews with the applicants they find the most compelling.

There are some challenges with this way of posting your resume on TikTok as well as any other video resume. Lorenz cautions that this video format allows employers to potentially dismiss candidates based on how someone looks or acts. Much of the networking on TikTok also depends on getting “hits” You need to know how to create a successful video – content and video.

Now it’s up to you to decide if you would like to create and use a TikTok video as your resume instead of or in addition to a traditional resume and cover letter.


To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email jsamuels@reena.org