TikTok Resumes could reflect larger shift to video-first job applications

Companies could increasingly look to social media to find their dream candidates.

Abrar Al-Heeti
Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
2 min read

When TikTok launched its resumes platform last month, it came as a surprise to many. Why would an app famous for quick, often quirky videos now let people upload video resumes to be seen by major businesses like Target or the NBA?

Well, it turns out video resumes, as well as social media, could play an increasingly significant role in helping people land jobs. TikTok's resumes tool was part of a pilot program that wrapped up at the end of July, but it may not be the last major effort by a social network to connect employers to job candidates. Video resumes are being touted by the social video app as a way for applicants to "creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences," and apps like TikTok and Instagram offer intriguing platforms for sharing and creating that kind of content. 

"The advantage for applicants is it's a time to show your creativity," said Nicole Penn, president of marketing agency EGC Group. "The upside for employers is that you're getting access to a digital native, which is what so many employers want." 

Because social media companies tend to borrow (steal?) features from one another, Penn predicts it's only a matter of time before other sites hop on the video resume bandwagon.

"We first predict that LinkedIn will have a video resume feature," she said. "Next, we do see Instagram already being used for recruitment, so it's just a matter of time before they have a similar feature. And of course Facebook, being part of Instagram, will do the same."

Already, businesses like WWE have launched initiatives that build on TikTok's job recruitment capabilities; the entertainment giant is using TikTok to search for its next great ring announcer for SummerSlam, WWE's biggest event of the year.

Where else will we see video resumes being used, and what are the privacy and bias implications that come with that? Penn discusses these considerations and more in our interview above.