Ever been asked to submit a video resume? Probably not, right? Well, that soon might become a common practice in the job search. That’s right, TikTok — the world’s current most popular social media platform — has piloted a program specifically for job-seekers and recruiters called TikTok Resumes to help people find jobs. Though the program only spanned the month of July, it’s got people (and employers) buzzing all across the globe, with talks of it being the way forward in all kinds of job applications in the future.
A recent press release reads: “Designed to continue expanding and enhancing TikTok as a new channel for recruitment and job discovery. We're teaming up with select companies and inviting job seekers to apply for entry-level to experienced positions with some of the world's most sought-after employers with a TikTok video resume. Interested candidates are encouraged to creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences.”
Some of these companies include corporate giants like Target, Chipotle, Shopify, and even the WWE. How cool is that? #CareerTikTok anyone?
OK, so what IS a video resume?
It might be easy to confuse a video resume with the likes of a pre-recorded video interview — which is a separate beast in itself. However, a video resume is exactly what it sounds like. You’re listing off your experience, background, and qualifications. This, of course, would come before a potential job interview (pre-recorded or not), meaning you’re not yet answering an employers’ questions, but rather pitching yourself as a qualified candidate for them to consider. The best part? Your video resume instantly brings your qualifications to life – showing the viewer not only what you can do but also who you are. You instantly are able to highlight your personal and unique differentiator that sets you apart from other jobseekers.
What are some tips for creating a video resume?
Just like you would with a written resume, it’s important to highlight everything you think will be relevant to the employer (and job) that you’re applying for. Instead of writing about your past, you’re talking about it on camera which immediately becomes more interesting than a black and white piece of A4 paper. Talk about your work history, your educational background, your overall career objective, and your skillsets. Easy, right? Well, perhaps not for everyone…
There’s an entirely brand-new element to making a video resume, which is: being on tape. Intimidating, right? Or perhaps it isn’t. You might be a natural in front of the camera’s eye, which is fantastic! But for those who aren’t, worry not. The best you can be is yourself. If it helps, find a private space to record and tell that hiring manager exactly why you are the ideal fit for the IT, marketing, or accounting role they are recruiting for.
If you’re still feeling a little lost, or shy, remember these tips:
- Maintain eye contact with your camera as if you were in an interview
- Create good lighting with natural light or a selfie ring light
- Make sure you don’t mumble and can be heard loud and clear, with no background noise
- Be confident and show enthusiasm about your accomplishments — employers love that
- Don’t be robotic. If you seem keen and show some personality, it makes a better first impression
- Check out other video resumes online
- Consider your background and what you are wearing. How might your background and attire reflect your professional personality?
How long should my video resume be?
Whether you are sending your video resume to a recruitment agency or a potential future employer, most people struggle to identify the most ideal length of a video resume. This is where the good old-fashioned “elevator pitch” comes in.
An elevator pitch is simple. It’s a quick and effective speech used to introduce yourself (or a business, or a concept, or an idea). It’s meant to capture the attention of the listener — in this case, the watcher — without wasting too much of their time. You fit all the important details which matter to them while establishing a coherent and convincing story.
Being concise is key. Avoid run-on sentences, tangents, or hyper-focusing on one thing in particular; be concise and coherent. Your pitch should be about as long as an elevator ride in the CN Tower; one minute maximum. Write your pitch down, edit it ruthlessly, and practice until it is fluid and natural. Your friends and family are great practice audience members!
Am I too old, or experienced to create a video resume?
Sure, this concept may currently appeal more to Millennials or members of Gen Z — as they, quite literally, dominate the TikTok demographic — but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate if you’re older, more experienced, or further along with your personal career progression. The TikTok Resumes pilot program incorporated users of all ages, whether they were looking for entry-level jobs or senior-level work. It’s likely that the recent success of the pilot program will inspire not just other social media platforms to promote video resumes, but employers all across the globe too. It was launched to help not just graduates looking for their first jobs, but for anyone to find their next job!
This exciting approach to resumes might soon become the norm, meaning fewer applications to complete or resumes to email, or even print (more trees to save) … that is if you still actually print your resumes.
So when will video resumes become the norm?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when any trend kicks off. Considering the great initial response, feedback from TikTok, and the companies/employers who participated in the video resume pilot program, it’s inevitable that this may take off sooner rather than later.
Before this concept becomes the norm — and it’s likely that it might — you should try creating a few of your own video resumes and gather feedback from some recruiters (or people in your network), so that you’re prepared for when an opportunity like this arrives.
Tick tock, the clock is ticking!