Boston — TikTok has evolved over the last few years to become so much more than just a platform for viral dance challenges, tutorials and funny videos. Today, the platform serves as a lifeline in anything and everything for its users.
While Google or YouTube might have been the internet’s go-to for help in assorted categories, Gen Z is increasingly turning to TikTok for any and all of their questions and concerns, with the platform surpassing Google as a popular search engine for younger generations. As the most media-literate generation, it's not surprising that Gen Zers are also swiping through the app for professional guidance.
It’s not just the video format that creates more trust for Gen Z, it’s the platform itself too. Some Gen Zers are well aware of Google's flaws as a search engine, and they believe the search results are irrelevant to their needs.
A 2021 Nielsen study shows that users find TikTok content more authentic and more unique than other platforms.
For professional guidance, typical things you can find on TikTok include simple things such as how to develop an email signature and messaging language to use as a reference when interacting with recruiters during the application process.
More complex topics include what to expect in specific lines of work, the meaning of each interview round, navigating the job search based on subject interests and career transitions.
There's also information on the job market, as well as statistics regarding economic history and developments since the COVID-19 pandemic struck our world.
TikTok creators who identify as hiring managers, recruiters, or talent acquisition professionals tend to use their personal experience to demonstrate the reality of the job application process as we know it today while remaining truthful with platform users. This boosts growth and reach.
Recruiters with active TikTok accounts are frequently able to give insider information to assist you in getting your application read, reviewed and to the interview stage. This is especially valuable because while teachers and other professionals in your life may mean well, it is highly recommended that you engage with current human resources staff members who are willing to provide expertise in your best professional interest.
Hiring managers on TikTok know what prominent skills that others like them may be looking for in a job search. It's important to remember that as much as you're looking for your greatest fit at work, companies are looking for theirs as well.
When TikTok creators work from this framework, they often offer sample post-interview questions to ask so the conversations flow more fluidly, rather than being primarily one-sided. They also advise certain things to listen out for or look for when doing research about an organization to encourage professional clarity.
For those who have irrelevant experience, recruiters on TikTok have shared how to highlight those skills on your resume, in your cover letter and during interviews in a way that is applicable to the position you’re applying for at the time. These strategies and tactics can set you apart and make you stand out in the interview process.
The comment sections on TikTok are often safe spaces for users to share their experiences, provide networking possibilities and for creators to provide more situation-specific advice. This is especially useful because there is no single unique experience, and learning from experts is always the best way to make sure Gen Z members optimize their candidacy.
The professional development searches will always be endless, and TikTok seems like it has answers or perspectives for any scenario that is bound to arise.
As internship application season is upon us and job applications are at our fingertips, so is TikTok — and it should be used resourcefully and accordingly.
Trinity Alicia (she/her/hers) is a Boston-based journalist. Follow her on X: @trinityaliciaa.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett