By Kathleen Furore

I’ve written a lot about the important role LinkedIn can play in the career search. But recently, I’ve learned that TikTok is becoming a key part of that process. In fact, a recent story in The Washington Post said TikTok “is fast emerging as a force in the job search ecosystem.” With that in mind, I asked some industry experts to weigh in on how anyone (no matter their generation) can use TikTok to their advantage in a job search.

“When people think of TikTok, they think of 15-year-old girls dancing. However, there is a wide variety of groups on TikTok, including professional communities in many industries,” says Chloe Sisson, outreach coordinator at digital marketing and PR agency Zen Media. “TikTok can be a great tool to get your name out there. There definitely is an opportunity to network and build professional relationships via TikTok. Just because it’s a more fun platform doesn’t mean people don’t take the content seriously.”

Phil Strazzulla, CEO of SelectSoftware Reviews, agrees. “TikTok really has taken the world by storm in ways that we didn’t think possible. Not only is it an excellent marketing platform, its changing how many businesses network with new employment candidates,” Strazzulla says. “While most TikTok users use it for short, silly videos, it’s also a place where thought leaders can connect with their audiences in a way that feels more genuine than Facebook or Instagram. That authentic reception makes it perfect for businesses to reach out and connect with potential job candidates.”

Caroline Vernon, career transition practice leader at Intoo USA, says TikTok is replacing video CVs in the application process.

“Creating video CVs is no longer on the cutting edge of job-search strategies. Sharing your value to a prospective employer in 60 seconds or less has become an increasingly popular way to make yourself stand out – for all age groups,” Vernon says. “Some companies have even ditched the long, monotonous application process, asking job seekers to instead share why they are the ‘perfect fit’ via a video post accompanied by a specific hashtag for increased searchability. With the over 689 million monthly users monthly of TikTok alone, companies are increasingly trying to tap into this vast audience to source open positions in even more creative ways.”

So how can you or a job seeker you know start using TikTok? Here are some tips:

  • Catch your desired employers’ attention. “Are you looking for voiceover work? Show your skills in action on your profile. Looking to break into the tech industry? Dazzle your heroes with impressive skills in a TikTok video,” says Justin Kline, co-founder of the influencer marketing firm Markerly. “Sometimes the best way to get work is to show you can already do it.”
  • Be brief. “TikTok is all about brevity, so you would want to use it to illustrate a job-related skill or experience as succinctly and creatively as possible,” says Trevor Larson, CEO of HR software developer Nectar. “If you are a talented graphic designer, for example, you could show off a time lapse video of you completing a project from scratch. TikTok is a visual medium, so it is ideal for industries where you need to showcase a portfolio of work in order for hiring managers to even consider you.”
  • Make sure your content is clean and devoid of controversy. “This has been tried and true advice since the rise of Facebook in the late 2000s,” says Kline. “Of course, there are some industries where bold rhetoric is appropriate, but that’s a tightrope one must walk carefully.”
  • Follow and interact with your desired employers. “It’s important to know you can’t just put the content out there and twiddle your thumbs, waiting for a bigwig at Pixar to take notice,” Kline says. “Use the right hashtags. Follow the right hashtags. LinkedIn isn’t the only social media platform where you can network: Try to collaborate with content creators in your space who have a little more of a following than you. Duet their videos, stitch their videos; whatever you can do to catch more eyeballs.”

The way TikTok is designed means the more you interact the better.

“Your feed is curated toward what you like, so the more you interact with videos from people within your industry, the more you’ll see their videos on your feed,” Sisson says.

Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at kfurore@yahoo.com.

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