Brittany Berger is a 20-something blogger with a crazy obsession with social media and and is currently the Content Coordinator at eZanga.com. During the few minutes of each day she’s offline, she’s probably glued to the TV or her Kindle instead. To learn more about her, find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.
For some reason, a lot of people pigeonhole Pinterest. “It’s for finding crafts,” “it’s for finding recipes,” “it’s for planning weddings.” People have this idea in their mind of what the social network is good for, and can’t imagine it being used for any other purpose. Well, those people are missing out.
Pinterest probably has pictures of anything you can imagine already on it. And if not, you can add your own pins. And it’s not just for bookmarking pictures or websites for later. It can also be a powerful tool in your job search. A Pinterest board, or even an entire Pinterest account, can be a visual resume that will stand out both in uniqueness and aesthetic appeal.
If you decide to use Pinterest as a resume or portfolio tool, you have two options: create a board or whole account to showcase your skills. If you create a board, it will be one URL and one stream with all of your resume/portfolio items. If you have enough items that pulling them into one stream could be too cluttered, you could create a dedicated Pinterest account with several boards to organize your items into. What your best option is will depend on your profession and experience level.
But regardless of which route you choose, keep these four things in mind:
One annoying thing about Pinterest boards is that you can’t rearrange the pins. The pins will automatically be displayed on the grid in reverse-chronological order. The layout of your visual resume is important, so you want to make sure you pin things in the order you want them to be displayed. Since people are used to seeing experience displayed in reverse chronological order on traditional resumes (most recent first), I recommend taking this same route on your Pinterest board. This means pinning items in the order they occurred.
2. Always include a link
A great thing about Pinterest is that each pin, even those uploaded from a computer and not pinned from a website, can serve as a link to another website. For your job boards, you want to make sure every pin links to a URL that can provide more information about that resume item. Don’t be afraid to pin an image from one page and change the link to one that better showcases your experience. For example, if you managed a company’s blog, you can pin something from their homepage, but explain in the pin’s description that you managed the blog and link the pin to that URL.
3. Get creative with your images
Not all of your experience needs to be represented by a company’s logo. This is a visual resume, so to keep a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention, the visuals need to be interesting. If you have photos from when you worked for a certain company, use one of those to represent that job. If you were on the board of an organization at your school, use a picture of the board or organization. You can also use screenshots of web pages. Whenever possible, avoid using a company or organization’s logo to show your experience instead of just telling people about it.
4. Include more traditional resumes
Your Pinterest resume should intrigue people so much that they want to learn more about you. That’s when you introduce your traditional resume, website, or portfolio. Even though a traditional text resume may not be the most visually appealing document, you can still include it on your pin board to give prospective employers more information about you. As you update it, create new pins so that people can see the different versions and compare them. If you need to convert your PDF resume into a file type compatible with Pinterest, try this website.
For some inspiration for your Pinterest resume or portfolio (“pinspiration,” if you prefer), some of my favorite examples are by Rachael King, Kavita Chintapalli, Christopher Penn, Richard Gonzales, and Jeanne Hwang.
Are you using Pinterest to brand yourself in your job search? If so, link to your board or profile in the comments to give others ideas for their own!