Erin Berthon

Erin Berthon, MA Career Advisor, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, at Chapman University

TikTok offers much more than showing off killer dance moves or clever videos; it is helping students and recent grads land internships, jobs, and offers career advice. Although TikTok does not have a recruitment tool yet, there are many ways to navigate your way to landing that internship or job. Let’s explore all the different ways to use TikTok to your advantage.

First, using TikTok to build your personal brand is brilliant for Gen Z. During the pandemic, TikTok has been more popular than ever, and it has allowed many students to be creative with video CVs and resumes. People are jumping onto TikTok and flipping traditional CV’s on their heads by producing uber-creative clips showing off their skills, experience, and industry knowledge. Gone are the long-form video clips of job seekers explaining what they did as a Corporate Manager. Now, we’re seeing quickfire explainer videos and funny introduction clips from job seekers instead.

TikTok can help you search for specific industry-related jobs or internships by using hashtags. Employees or recruiters at companies DO post open positions on TikTok. Damian Ochoa, a junior political science major, told me about the internship he found on TikTok. Ochoa explains, “Tik-Tok has a neat algorithm where they investigate what you research. It could be not reassuring to some people, but for me, it has been beneficial. So, I was looking into sports agencies in Orange County and scrolling through my feed. An OC sports agent came up as an internship I may be interested in, so I commented and asked about internships. She guided me to her company. Tik-Tok has become very popular for young kids and people of my age group. I use Tik-Tok for techniques on marketing, resume building, and interviewing tips.” Damian instantly got an interview by responding through a direct message about the internship.

As for students wanting to improve their skills, Tik-Tok cultivates career-related videos on interview tips, honing job skills, and other “how-to” content. Some examples include what to wear to an interview, what questions to ask and how to answer questions, and even specific skills you would need to know for a particular position. In a recent Washington Post article on how Gen Z is using TikTok or Instagram Reels accounts to advance their careers, Ben Huffman, CEO of Contra, noted that TikTok is “not just the latest dance trend. It’s how do I land a remote job? What am I going to do after graduation? It’s evolving.”

A journalism alumna created a TikTok video and shared it on Twitter. A few weeks later, she landed a digital producer role on Channel 5 News, thanks to TikTok. For our creative students, putting yourself out there on TikTok can be the perfect niche to show your passion. It shows personality, and TikTok feels like a judgment-free platform, while it can sometimes feel hard to show off your true self on a paper resume (even though you still need one!). If you don’t like being in front of the camera, you can use TikTok’s exciting sounds and hashtags to record projects that will still highlight your personality.

It will be exciting to see the future TikTok and how it uses its platform, not just for entertainment, but for companies to recruit interns and workers. Career searching on TikTok is still a fresh idea, so now is the time to start creating and learning.