Create a ‘TikTok Résumé’ for Your Next Tech Job Hunt

Could TikTok land you a tech job? 

Over at Business Insider, there’s an interesting story about a 23-year-old graduate who built a “TikTok résumé” and used it to land a job… at TikTok. It’s just the latest example of job candidates using the micro-video social network to catch employers’ attention—encouraged by TikTok itself, which even pilot-tested a “TikTok Resumes” program last summer.  

In theory, a TikTok video demonstrating your background and skills could rack up hundreds of thousands of views in addition to some recruiter attention. “There are smart entrepreneurial technical people everywhere,” Farhan Thawar, Shopify’s vice president for engineering, told The New York Times about their company’s use of TikTok to find engineering candidates. “We have this thing where if you can’t explain a technical topic to a 5-year-old, then you probably don’t understand the topic. So having a medium like TikTok is perfect.”

What’s the trick to great job-centric TikTok content? That’s an excellent question, and the answer often hinges on the opportunities you want to pursue. For example, if you’re interested in a job that’s more public-facing, you’ll want your TikTok video to give recruiters and hiring managers a sense of your charisma and how you interact with others—you could grab a friend and set up a quick skit showing how you’d handle a particular challenge. Or you could take a few seconds to explain a highly technical concept (such as machine learning), demonstrating your knowledge. 

Many creators of “TikTok résumés” also create multiple videos breaking down different aspects of their background and experience. For example, you might want to create separate pieces of content related to your:

  • Current work
  • Educational background
  • Skills/qualifications
  • What you want in your next opportunity
  • Interests/hobbies/side hustles

You don’t want to create too many videos—anywhere from three to eight seems to be pretty standard. You’ll want to use TikTok’s text and effects; your video will be more impactful if it displays a list of your most up-to-date skills, for instance. And while a creative video will likely attract attention, you don’t want to be too weird; reciting your programming-language skills while dressed in a giant pink bunny suit might be too much for a recruiter to take.

Before you post the video, take a few minutes to do a social-media audit of TikTok and your profiles on other platforms. Is there any other content that a recruiter or hiring manager might find unprofessional or offensive? You may want to remove it; curating your online profiles is an important (and often overlooked) aspect of job-hunting. And always keep in mind that TikTok (like any social platform) is just one part of the job-hunt equation, used best in conjunction with other tools like a polished and up-to-date résumé.