Pinterest isn’t just for twee wedding ideas, complicated crafts, and those overdone “Keep Calm And ___” memes. Ok, maybe it’s like 80% for that stuff. But I bet you didn’t know you can actually leverage a Pinterest presence as a way to get your dream job, especially if you’re in a creative field. Don’t believe me? Check out the tips below.
Think of your Pinterest presence as part of your personal brand: These days, any and all social media presences contribute to your overall online “footprint.” Who you are on the internet is likely a big part of who you will be to future employers, no matter how professional you happen to be in person. While it’s easy to think of Pinterest as a different monster than Twitter or Facebook, the truth is that it’s also a key part of your online identity. So use it to your advantage and make your Pinterest account and profile reflect your own personal brand. Thérése Cator has some good suggestions as to how, everything from uploading actual photos of yourself to creating pinboards your fans (if you have any!) can interact with. You can create private boards if you want to pin stuff you wouldn’t want hiring managers knowing about, as well.
Create a Pinterest portfolio or resume: This is especially helpful for people in creative fields. Since I’m a freelance writer, I need a place to gather all my clips. About a year ago, I created a “portfolio and resume” pinboard on Pinterest as a way to provide a visual representation of my writing work. I pin regularly from both my regular freelance work and my occasional work, creating an up-to-date repository for everything I write online. Alternatively, you can put your whole resume on Pinterest. This was more popular back when the social networking site was more novel and a bit less utilized for different purposes, but I still think a Pinterest resume makes you stand out from the Word attachment, Times New Roman-ed masses.
Think creatively: if you’re a teacher, can you pin lesson plans or photos of projects your students have completed? If you’re in marketing, pin images of campaigns you’ve worked on. Definitely pin things that represent your education, your past jobs, additional skills (like language…why not pin a photo from your trip to study Spanish in Guatemala?), volunteer work, and more. Have you been interviewed or quoted in an article or blog post? Pin that and use your quote as the text of the pin. Make your Pinterest resume and portfolio be a true visual reflection of the work you’ve done and the employee you are.
Pin smartly: Make sure you’re only pinning images that are well-done and visually-striking. Feel free to pin screen shots if necessary, but make sure the images you’re pinning make sense. If you have or are able to create infographics, those usually look great on a Pinterest resume or portfolio and are inherently repinnable, too. Make text bold and readable, if possible. And remember: Pinterest aggregates in reverse chronological order, so make sure you have the pins you want to be seen first at the top of your pinboard.
Follow the brands and companies you want to work for. Social media is a window into a company’s style, vibe and culture. You may learn a lot about a company by the pinboards they have and who they follow. If you’re just dying to work for Glamour or Udi’s Gluten Free or Edelman PR, make sure you’re following them. If you get an interview, it’ll make you stand out if you happen to mention something you saw on Pinterest, even if the interviewer doesn’t run the Pinterest account. In addition, there’s a chance companies might post job listings right on their Pinterest page.
Follow career experts and influencers in your field. Admire an awesome fashion blogger or love the work of a a certain journalist? Follow them on Pinterest. It may seem obvious, but having a direct window into their interests could help you learn more about your field and orient you in your job search. Career experts and people in the employee sector often pin useful articles or blog posts from all around the web, not just limited to their own work. This recruiter, for example, has pinned jobs in the Seattle area. Mashable has a great list of career-specific account you can be following, as well.
Do you have any other tips on how you might use Pinterest in a job search? Leave them in the comments!
Photo: Carrie Murphy