Inside the CareerAdvice TikTok trend, where creators have driven more than 1 billion views and are helping Gen Z users land jobs

  • A growing number of #CareersAdvice and #JobTok creators are building huge followings on TikTok.
  • Some creators are making money by offering career guides or sponsored job vacancy postings.
  • David Paykin, a popular creator in the careers niche, has more than 1 million followers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When David Paykin, 25, was laid off from his job as an insurance associate in an accounting firm last year, the obvious next move would be to try and find a new role at another company.

Instead, Paykin started a TikTok account. He told Insider he now spends 15 hours a day creating careers advice content, and in less than six months the account has gained more than 1 million followers.

“I’m just going to try to put as much free content as I can in as many free resources as possible, so that the folks who don’t have the means to be able to go in and pay for that knowledge and resources can actually have a place to go,” said Paykin, who goes live at 8pm CST everyday for a Q&A session with his followers.

Grateful for my Besties 🥺🙏 ##foryou ##viral ##jobtips ##college

Paykin is one of a growing cohort of career coaches on TikTok who help job seekers on the app land interviews and offers. Videos under the “CareersAdvice” hashtag have reached more than 1 billion views, while videos posted using the “#JobTok” hashtag have racked up more than 24 million views. With COVID-19 disrupting more traditional in-person career guidance, some “JobTok” creators have seen their followings on the app soar over the past year. Some have forged also partnerships with brands, while others focus more on offering paid-for services off the app.

Insider spoke to some of the most popular “JobTok” creators, as well as social media and recruitment experts who outlined how creators in this niche are honing their own careers on TikTok.

TikTok is fuelling a demand for non-conventional career advice

Alexa Shoen, TikTok career coach and CEO of career platform “Entry Level Boss,” launched her account in January. She hit the access requirements for TikTok’s Creator Fund in her first week of posting to the app after accumulating 38,000 followers in her first seven days. Her account now has more than 120,000 followers. (The Creator Fund is TikTok’s program to compensate creators who are over 18, from the US and Europe with at least 10,000 followers and 10,000 views.)

Alexa Shoen’s book “Entry Level Boss” had a spike in sales after she started posting on TikTok, where she now has more than 120,000 followers.Courtesy of Alexa Shoen

Shoen’s first Creator Fund payment, for £112.05 ($154.78), hit her account in March. Insider verified Shoen’s earnings by viewing a screenshot of her Creator Fund Dashboard.

Shoen generates income through coaching programs and university partnerships that help students as they enter the job market. Private coaching on her website is listed at $450 for two 75-minute sessions, and $750 for three sessions at 135 minutes each. Shoen declined the comment on the fees she receives from universities, though she said interest in those partnerships, particularly from US colleges, has increased since she launched her TikTok account.

Shoen’s TikTok has helped her outside of the app too. Sales of her book “Entry Level Boss,” which she published in May last year, spiked between December and January. “We sold more copies in the first three weeks of being on TikTok than we did for the whole of 2020,” Shoen said.

Bernadette Levv is a brand partnerships coordinator at casting and production company City Media who has leaned into the “JobTok” niche with her TikTok account, which has 45,000 followers.

Bernie Levi has 45,000 followers on TikTok where she posts about her life as a “multi-hyphenate.”Courtesy of Bernie Levv

Her content focuses on being a ‘multi-hyphenate’ — a label used for people who follow different career paths at the same time – and how to navigate freelance work. She offers resume and cover letter templates on her website that are downloadable for free.

“My life is based on not picking one thing. And so I posted a video saying, ‘Hey everyone, this is what I do and you can do it too,’ and it kind of blew up,” she told Insider. “My lack of niche became my niche.”

Career platform Work It Daily is using TikTok to reach young job hunters

“JobTok” isn’t just a destination for individual creators — pre-existing career coaching platforms have also been creating content and seeking out new audiences on TikTok.

Kaitlyn Manktelow began posting consistently on career coaching and job search platform Work It Daily’s TikTok in November 2020, and the account now has more than 250,000 followers. Manktelow spends between two and four hours a week researching job opportunities to include in Work It Daily’s TikTok videos.

Kaitlyn Manktelow runs career coaching platform Work It Daily’s TikTok account – it’s gained more than 250,000 followers since November 2020.Courtesy of Kaitlyn Manktelow

Some companies pay Work It Daily to promote their positions to its followers, though they must meet requirements such as having multiple positions open and a ranking of at least 3.5 stars on the Glassdoor job and company reviews portal.

“It can be discouraging to see a company hiring for only five positions when there are 250,000 people that will see the videos, and only a few jobs,” she said.

Reply to @dm_travelerhiring worldwide! ##workitdaily ##remotework ##jobportalabroad ##jobtok ##hiring##findajob ##remotejobs ##remotejob ##jobsearch ##work

Some of Work It Daily’s TikTok followers are also using its videos to help their parents find employment.

“On every other video I’ll see a comment that says, ‘Hey, my mom’s looking for a job and has experience in, say, content writing – is there a job that might work for her?’,” said Manktelow.

Around 5,000 visits to Work It Daily’s website came directly from TikTok since the beginning of March.  The account is also eligible for TikTok’s Creator Fund and has earned $164.72 from the program so far. Insider verified the earnings by viewing a screenshots of each dashboard.

JobTok is helping TikTok users level up their careers, but experts advise job seekers to also research official channels

Josh Roelofs was working in a restaurant after moving from California to Florida but wanted to move into a a more corporate job. He had no industry work experience or degree.

Roelofs had been spending four to five hours a day applying for jobs, and estimates he’d applied to one-hundred a week but failed to get through to any interviews. After after watching Paykin’s job advice content every day on TikTok, he reached out to Paykin for help.

“I asked David, ‘Are you sure we’ll find something?’ I really doubted myself,” said Roelofs, whose details were provided to Insider by Paykin.

Roelofs said Paykin took note of his pre-existing skills and showed him how to adapt his resume to highlight that he had transferable experience.

He landed a job interview four days later. Within four weeks he had two job offers and now works as a healthcare recruiter. Roelofs credits Paykin with helping him gain the confidence to change industry.

Social media can open up opportunities and provide inspiration for people who might never have thought about a particular role, company, or career path, which is “encouraging and valuable,” said Caitlyn Storhaug, director of global recruiting communications and brand at McKinsey & Company.

However, she advised, “Career advice on any platform is not necessarily incorrect but job seekers may find more relevant information on LinkedIn or channels of prospective employers.”

Georgina Brazier also advised that students and graduates should steer clear of directly comparing their own experiences or successes with that of a TikTok creator.”It’s important to ensure a balance and that they are also listening to official careers advice,” she said.

Paykin, who is currently living off his pre-TikTok savings, said he is firmly committed to his TikTok mission and doesn’t see himself making moves to monetize his content anytime soon.

“I have 11 months before I go broke,” he said. “I’m going to do this for as long as I possibly can, and then I’ll figure it out.”

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