In its very brief five-year history, Pinterest was (and still is) originally a form of recreational digital scrapbooking, but as its user base has evolved, the free-to-use website has grown into something more.
For those of you using social networking platforms to find a job (the obvious ones are Twitter and LinkedIn) Pinterest has its own advantages you should be aware of. As a highly visual platform, you can really show off your talents to potential employers and hopefully land that job.
Firstly, you don’t have to have had months of Pinterest experience to know how to utilise the site for your job-hunting needs. However, if you don’t understand a thing about it after having a quick look round, here’s a quick guide on what you need to know:
What is Pinterest?
As the website puts it, ‘Pins’ are visual bookmarks. You can scout the internet and share things that interest you via the digital scrapbook to your followers. If you’re a lover of #hashtags, then you’ll be glad to know that hashtags are widely used on Pinterest, and you may be able to use them to drill down your particular industry when searching. If you find something on Pinterest that you find fascinating, you can ‘re-pin’ it. It sort of works like retweeting on Twitter: You share the information you’ve seen to your follower base.
The visual bookmarks are just that. If you find a pin that for example has an interesting recipe, you can save it to your boards and go back to it later when you need it. You’ll then be taken to an external site where the recipe is based. That’s one of the good things about Pinterest. If you find something you want to share, you don’t have to fill out a long uploading form. You can simply click on the Pinterest icon (found on most websites in the sharing icon section) and it’ll share to your Pinterest community on your behalf.
You can have various ‘boards’ on Pinterest, such as travel, food, weddings, tattoos and whatever else you like. If you already have a personal account but don’t want your followers to see your job seeking ways, then you can choose to make boards private. This means only certain people can see them, which is a good and bad thing in terms of trying to attract employers.
Generally speaking, Pinterest is better for more creative jobs such as photography and design. However, engineers and those in such jobs don’t need to be excluded. If you have done anything in your own time (or at work, if it was a large project with something visual to show for it) you can upload images to one of your boards on Pinterest and make your very own digital portfolio.
The best way to make use of Pinterest is to take the visual element of the website and use it to your advantage. If you have any images from projects you’ve been on, before and after pictures are always winners. If you have an interesting poster for an event you’re speaking at or attending, share it. Think about any projects you’ve undergone in your spare time, and if they make for interesting pictures, upload them! However, make sure you stay relevant. Pinterest has a habit of being really distracting, and a picture of your newly-washed car isn’t going to get you the job you want (unless of course it’s relevant to your industry).
Have a look at what others in your chosen field have posted recently. You’ll most likely harbour similar interests to them so you should connect and re-pin some of their posts. Unlike Twitter and LinkedIn, Pinterest relies a lot on engagement rather than the ‘here are my skills, now I’ll wait while you come to me’ approach. You need to stay active and engaged on Pinterest.
Infographics are always a good idea. People love them because they’re attractive and mentally easy to digest. There’s plenty of infographic builders online if you haven’t got time to create one yourself, but an infographic builder is a great way of showcasing your CV. Instead of uploading a black and white page document (which will look boring and probably low quality) get creative! When it’s complete, the image of your CV can be shared on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms too.
If you have a company in mind who you’d like to work for, then Pinterest may be your friend in this. You can see if the company has a Pinterest account (if you can’t find them, a link to it may be on their website along with their Twitter and Facebook links) and see what the company’s culture is like. They may have uploaded pictures from the latest events they hosted or attended. However, if the company hasn’t been active on Pinterest for a long time, then chances are they have abandoned it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for them, but don’t take note of anything they’ve uploaded because it’s probably inaccurate due to being out of date.
If the company you’re following on Pinterest is active, then be sure to engage with them. Leave comments and re-pin some of their pins. This can be a short and effective way of getting them to know your name.
As with any social media platform, Pinterest has its downsides. You need to be careful with what you share and post yourself. Unless relevant, avoid posting religious or political images on Pinterest that could be seen as controversial.
Conversely, as a job seeker, you want to come across as professional but also a human being. Don’t be afraid to upload personal things such as recipes or travel ideas. The employer wants to hire a person, not a robot behind another screen.
It’s important not to get too addicted to Pinterest! Exploring such a vibrant platform can be incredibly time consuming and distracting, which will impede on your job search. Don’t forget to continue traditional methods of job hunting that you already know. Pinterest is simply an extra way of getting your work out there and to get it appreciated by the right people.
Enjoy job hunting on a shiny new social media platform! If you’ve had Pinterest job successes stories, we want to know. Email email@example.com