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Members of Gen Z are using TikTok for career and job-interview advice. TikTok is probably the last place other generations would think of to seek professional help. However, the sensational app is making headlines for its viral content featuring quick and easily digestible advice on everything from getting your resume past application-screening software to the best questions to ask in your interview.
Yes, TikTok is how Gen Z — along with a variety of other age groups — are getting their career tips. In 2021, this shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Instagram started out as a photo-sharing platform and quickly evolved into what it is today: a spot where you can seek life advice from your favorite creators, shop your favorite stores and maybe share a photo or two of your own. Facebook began as a way for college students to connect and is now an entirely different beast; the networking app is a hotspot for a myriad of content. You can connect with your favorite brands on Facebook, get your fill of trending news — and you can even find your dream job on the site. Facebook already took the lead in incorporating job postings directly inside the app, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock to see TikTok following suit.
Is TikTok the new LinkedIn? Of course not. However, it is becoming far more personal and helpful than ever anticipated.
It starts with a hashtag
The hashtag #careeradvice went viral in the beginning of 2021, with more than 80 million video views a day by mid-February. Next came the job postings. Companies like HBO and Hollister utilized hashtags to seek applicants via video submission — and it worked. TikTok made the application process more creative, allowing for a personal touch not typically found in traditional applications.
TikTok also allowed for hiring reps to reach exactly who they were looking for: Gen Z — with a bonus millennial here and there. According to researchers Sarah Weise and AJ Wilcox, “Right now, Gen Z is the largest living generation, representing nearly two of every five American consumers. This year alone, millions of early 20-somethings will seek to enter the workforce: well-educated, hard-working job seekers who are tech-savvy and highly accustomed to online communities and social media … and yet they’re not using LinkedIn.”
The study concluded people aged 19-24 across the country were entering the workforce without the help of LinkedIn; they just aren’t interested in the site. The most critical discovery is that LinkedIn makes young job seekers “feel inadequate, insecure, and overwhelmed.” So, they flock to where they feel most comfortable, and in this case, it’s apparently TikTok.
Direct and effective career tips
Most young job seekers haven’t sat through dozens of successful interviews. The process itself is daunting for anyone, so the ability to quickly open your favorite app and get a stream of helpful advice from creators in your dream industry is ideal. Users can find help with everything from interview prep to work-life balance.
Contra, a new job platform for freelance workers, says up to 90% of the Gen Z users who have utilized its service arrived via TikTok accounts that posted content about entry-level job ads. Contra’s CEO Ben Huffman said of TikTok, “It’s 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.”
Related: Reasons TikTok Is Here to Stay
Short, sweet and trending
Career-advice content is certainly not a new trend; LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for reading up on interview tips and advice from CEOs and HR experts. But in lieu of a lengthy blog post, TikTok users opt for the short and sweet route. Using just one-minute time frames, creators upload their content to the app and use the appropriate hashtags to reach their target audience.
This new generation entering the workforce isn’t interested in watching 15-minute videos on YouTube or sifting through blog after blog on LinkedIn. They want relatable content, and they want it delivered quickly and conveniently.
Helping you shape your brand
When you don’t know where to start, how to act or what to wear, following the creatives you most look up to and want to emulate can expedite the anxiety-inducing process of figuring it all out. We get inspired when we see someone doing what we most want to be doing. The right creators can help shape young minds and foster growth. It is, after all, why creators are often referred to as “influencers.”
Finding comfort and reassurance
Everyone has mucked up an interview or four, and TikTok offers tips for how to recover as well as some reassurance for young applicants who feel discouraged. With an easy tap on the comments section, users can find a plethora of others in their exact same shoes sharing their own stories on videos. Gen Z spends about six hours a day on social media. It’s where they connect with like-minded individuals, and it’s where they often seek comfort. This is crucial for young and impressionable minds who are deeply affected by the negative outcomes from botching their first major job interview.
But TikTok creators and their followers keep it positive. There will be more interviews in your future, and they want to support you along the way. Creators give the advice, and their followers get to share their own stories of success.
So, is LinkedIn the new TikTok? Well, not exactly. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site on the Internet, and TikTok is not, nor does it intend to be. It is, however, a gold mine for discovering advice, and who knows where this #careeradvice trend will take the wildly popular social-media app. If you’re looking to reach the biggest generation entering the workforce, you’d better sign up and do your research.