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Gen Z Gets Career Advice, One TikTok at a Time

Jackie Cuevas has read a lot of lackluster emails from job seekers. One particularly uninspired entry last May prompted the 30-year-old human-resources manager to take to TikTok.

In a 55-second video posted to her account, she explained why the phrase, “Hello, I was wondering if you guys were looking to hire,” isn’t the way to grab a potential employer’s attention. Her video garnered 11,000 views—a lot at the time for Ms. Cuevas, whose previous posts mostly featured her cat or her lip-syncing talents.

She now posts career advice multiple times a week as “Jackie, your friend in HR,” fielding questions from nearly 150,000 followers on everything from phone-interview tips to getting a résumé through an applicant-tracking system. In her videos, she often speaks into a tiny rose-gold microphone that has become her trademark.

“Of course there’s a career center and counselors, but upon getting closer to the real world, they’re like, ‘I have no idea what I want to do or need to do,’” says Ms. Cuevas of her predominantly 20-something TikTok audience.

To the casual observer, TikTok is an app known for animal videos, choreographed dances or those weeks in January when everyone was inexplicably performing sea shanties. Click on #HRTikTok, #careeradvice or even #recruitersbelike, and a universe of career advice—from “How to quit like a pro” to “3 things you never wanna say in an interview” to “Stop saying I’m sorry in the workplace!!”—awaits.

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