Pinterest, with more than 11.7 million users and a recent value of $1.5 billion, is the fastest growing social network since Facebook. First used by a mostly female demographic to create and share online “pinboards” devoted to topics like fashion, food, event planning, and interior design, Pinterest is rapidly finding favor with other groups of people, including job seekers.
Pinterest allows users to create “pinboards” on specific topics. Users find images and videos that are relevant to the topic, and add them to the board. But can you “pin” your way to your next job? Or is saying you can merely a way to justify the hours you spend on this addicting new site? Recently, Salary.com spent some time using Pinterest to determine its value to the typical job seeker. The verdict? Pinterest is not the answer to unemployment, but used judiciously it does have some merit.
This article explores 8 smart ways to use Pinterest during your job search.
8. Follow Career Sites
It’s great to create your own pinboards, but you can also browse those made by others.
In addition to Salary.com, sites like CareerBliss, FlexJobs, and Brazen Careerist offer career advice, employment statistics, industry trends, and even inspiration via images, articles, videos, and infographics for job seekers who need support. Type keywords such as “career advice” into Pinterest’s search bar, and an almost endless supply of relevant pinboards will pop up.
7. Investigate Employers
More and more organizations are developing a Pinterest presence, giving you an additional opportunity to gather valuable information.
Want to know more about a company’s culture, priorities, business strategy, and objectives? Follow the Pinterest sites of organizations you’re interested in, and use what you see to hone training and education, custom-tailor your resume, and even dress for your interview.
6. Connect with Employers/Job Placement Companies
You can use Pinterest to establish a rapport with employers and job placement companies. Follow companies on Pinterest you’re interested in, and “re-pin” their content on a regular basis. Every time you do so, they will get notifications that include links to your Pinterest account.
Engaging with an organization’s pinboard is a great way to get on their radar, and is one more way to network.
5. Create a Digital Resume
Create a pinboard for your job search that includes your work experience, education, accomplishments, hobbies, and interests. Include graphics, powerpoint slides, and videos. Get creative, but be sure to remain appropriate. People in visually oriented, artistic fields such as fashion, graphic design, video production, or website design can take a few more risks than those in more traditional fields.
The best Pinterest boards are shared over and over again, increasing the chances they are seen by the right people.
4. Find Inspiration
Sometimes the job search is just, well — boring.
If you’re stuck in a rut and looking for ways to change things up a bit, browse Pinterest to see how other job seekers are presenting themselves. You may come across some great ideas that get you excited about resuming your search.
3. Build Your Brand
Build a board that represents who you are, both personally and professionally. But choose images and words carefully to make sure they are relevant and appropriate to the companies and industries you are targeting.
For example, if you are a CEO with 25 years of experience, a pinboard titled “Gimme a job, I need one bad” may not enforce your professionalism and experience.
2. Push Your Pinterest
Push your Pinterest to other social networks you’re engaged with, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
This is an easy, quick way to share and get noticed. That being said, remember that employers routinely check out social media sites of applicants. If you push, make sure everything you post is employer friendly.
1. Use Your Time Wisely
Statistics show the average person spends 1 hour and 17 minutes per day on Pinterest. While the correct use of Pinterest can increase your exposure, when all is said and done your job search will be much better served through traditional tactics.
Don’t let this — or other social media sites — take time away from what’s really important.
And the Verdict Is…
There’s no doubt that Pinterest is fun, but can you uses it to pin down a job? It’s too early to tell what kind of impact Pinterest will ultimately have on job seekers.
In the meantime, to increase the odds that Pinterest falls into the category of “helpful tool” and not “time-sucking distraction,” stick to the eight tactics outlined in this article. You never know when a potential employer will find you “pinteresting.”
Thank you for reading this article. As an added bonus, the Salary.com editorial staff has compiled a recommended reading list related to this topic. We hope you enjoy it: