How TikTok and Instagram are Helping College Students Find Jobs

Are resumes dead? Not yet, but they may be soon. Students and other young job-seekers are finding ways to use their social media accounts to stand out to companies. This new approach could upend traditional recruiting and hiring. 

Companies appear to be responding in kind. The vast majority of brands make use of social media in their recruiting efforts. 

Creating a Professional Brand Beyond LinkedIn

LinkedIn is still the premier social media outlet when it comes to professional networking. In fact, it’s powerful enough that most job seekers would be foolish to ignore it.

With that being said, it isn’t the only option. For many people, it may not even be the best choice. There are endless ways for people to use Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create a professional presence online. 

How are Students Using Social Media?

Students are making the most of their presence on social media to connect with employers and build their personal brands. Here are just a few things they’re doing:

Making Connections Outside the Recruiting Sphere

When People use traditional channels to contact companies, they generally connect with HR or other recruiting staff. That’s a good way to pursue jobs that have been “officially” opened for applications. However, many students have found that this isn’t the only way to get their foot in the door.

To get around slow, often frustrating recruiting practices, students often use social media to connect with other people in the company. Once they do that, they can begin building relationships, learning more about company culture, and pitch themselves directly to the people they want to work with. 

Showcase Recent Work and Accomplishments

There are features on both Instagram and TikTok that students can use to show their best works and talk about recent achievements. This approach is especially valuable for students who may not have much work experience but have something of value to show in their work on student and personal projects.

One initiative that’s really standing out now is the TikTok resume pilot program. TikTok has invited users to post 60-second resumes with the hashtag #tiktokresume. The social media platform intends to use this program as a starting point for other efforts to encourage people to use TikTok to recruit workers and find jobs.

Over on Instagram, students can use stories and video posts to display completed projects and recent works. There’s also a permanent story feature on Instagram that young job seekers can use to create a montage of best examples of their work or of honors they’ve received.

How Companies can Recruit on TikTok and Instagram

Brands that want to attract top talent need to go where that talent is. However, to do that, they may need to rethink some of their standard talent acquisition practices. 

Tips for TikTok Recruiting 

Like any other social media platform, the first step any brand needs to take is to create an engaging, active presence on TikTok. This process may mean returning to your recruitment marketing strategy and determining exactly how you want to integrate this up-and-coming social media site.

Once that’s been done, try the following approach to connect with new workers, promote your company as an employer, and sell your employee value proposition:

  • Share thought leadership content giving career advice and job search tips
  • Create TikTok challenges that boost brand awareness
  • Search for job seekers using industry related hashtags or #tiktokresume
  • Post behind the scenes videos and employee spotlights
  • Use branded hashtags to promote jobs at your company
  • Reach a very specific audience with paid recruiting ads

At its current growth rate, TikTok could reach two billion users sooner than later. That’s an unprecedented pool of talent.

What are the Benefits of Recruiting on TikTok?

This reality may change in the future, but one of the best reasons to use TikTok for recruiting today is its newness. Many brands aren’t actively on TikTok yet. Those that are may not be using it to reach out to prospects. Here are a few other benefits:

  • You can reach a younger talent pool
  • TikTok content reveals more about personality than a resume 
  • You’ll be able to showcase your company culture in a new way
  • TikTok is a great platform for employee brand advocacy

Before you get started, keep in mind that TikTok can be a useful tool. However, it has its limitations. Not every position you are recruiting for is going to be a good fit. Also, not everyone is particularly suited to the kind of content that works on TikTok. Use other platforms to cast a wider recruiting net.

Tips for Recruiting on Instagram

There’s a better chance that you have a brand presence on Instagram than that you have one on TikTok. Still, if that branding focuses only on the consumer-facing side of things, you might want to consider elevating your employer brand on Instagram as well. 

Once that’s done, try these Instagram recruiting techniques:

  • Use hashtags like #recruitment to mark posts about open positions
  • Share plenty of content about your brand and company culture
  • Use location tags to search out job seekers in a specific region
  • Reach out to passive talent who are sharing content that is relevant to your brand

Instagram doesn’t just have a large community of users. It has a very active community. This activity and the platform’s connection with Facebook make it an obvious target for your recruiting efforts.

What are the Benefits of Recruiting on Instagram?

Because of its visual nature and wide reach, Instagram is an excellent platform for communicating your employer brand. It’s also a great place to find talent that may be actively seeking work or simply waiting to be discovered.

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