You may be wondering what red-hot social networking site, Pinterest, has to do with finding a job or changing careers. It’s just a hub for creating online picture boards, sharing recipes and providing a motivational quote or two, right? Wrong.
Boasting more than 70 million users and referring more website traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, Pinterest is a great place to showcase your personal brand, find a job or be a catalyst for those of you looking for a career change.
“Pinterest can be helpful in any job search specifically in searching for companies who you may want to interview with, in addition to learning about any common interests between you and the company,” said Tamryn Hennessy, national director of career development at Rasmussen College.
With more than 500,000 business accounts and countless users added every day, building your brand on Pinterest is a goldmine for future career success.
With that said, we have put together a guide to finding your dream job through Pinterest, and will take you step-by-step through the process so you can gain an edge on your competition, no matter which field you are looking to enter.
Step 1: Create a virtual resume
In addition to creating a Pinterest account, you’ll want to start creating boards within your account that will allow you to showcase your personality and interests. Start by adding a searchable name to your new board – think of names that are witty, fun, unique or all-encompassing. Think about it like you’re a hiring manager: What would you type into Google if you were looking to hire for a specific position?
Think of this board as your visual online resume. A few examples of searchable titles include My Living Resume, My Pinterest Resume and this board where the pinner created a campaign for their job search.
Remember that your job search board should be reflective of the personal brand you have already begun building through social media. Meaning, if you already have Facebook or Twitter accounts, what are you sharing there? If appropriate, replicate that in a visual medium.
In addition to your personal branding, think about the projects you have been involved in at work. If you create a lot of visual content as part of your job – think photography or graphic design – organize it chronologically to tell the story about the work you did and to demonstrate your professional development.
On the flip side, if your daily duties include less creative endeavors, you can still show off your work. A friend of mine, who happens to be a project manager with a marketing agency, asked me how to showcase her work.
When she told me that she oversaw a website template project and that she hired her organization’s content manager, I encouraged her to pin those examples to her resume board with an explanation of how she was involved in the process.
Step 2: Follow & network with desirable companies
After you have created a resume board that showcases your style, personality and professional accomplishments, it’s time to follow the companies for which you are hoping to work.
Start with the search bar in the upper left corner of your Pinterest account. Think about your current or desired area of expertise. Which companies are the big players in that space? Which ones do you really respect? Which ones align with your personal and professional goals? Type them into the search bar to find out if they have a Pinterest account you can follow.
By following their boards, you can gain attention of the company by repining, liking and commenting on their pins. Additionally, they may have a company-wide job board for new job openings – if so, be sure to comment on the job pins you are interested in and share the link to your Pinterest virtual resume board.
If they don’t have an account, don’t worry. You can still pin content from their website if it inspires you. Also note, once they eventually get a Pinterest account, they’ll certainly take notice of someone who has already been building their brand for them.
Step 3: Follow Pinterest job boards
In addition to following companies you are interested in working for, be sure to find and follow job placement companies who are using Pinterest to curate job listings.
Keep in mind that networking is vital in this stage of your search. By following these job placement companies and other recruiters, your home feed will start to fill up with a wide-variety of jobs that interest you.
For a more direct approach, enter into the search bar the specific careers or job titles you’re seeking. I conducted a test to see what Pinterest would share for someone interested in a career in “early childhood education”. My search returned results that included job listings, interviews with current teachers about their career and statistics about the education field.
The bottom line
No matter how you choose to conduct your online job search, now you now know Pinterest can be a valuable tool in helping you find your dream job. Remember to use the information you have learned, but also know that it will only get you so far. To gain a true competitive advantage, consider internships within your field, look to find a mentor for valuable career advice and network with potential employers.
Do you have a success story to share about using Pinterest to find a job? Let us know in the comments below.