When you think of a job search, your mind will automatically direct you towards a few online sites known to many as job search staples, like LinkedIn, Monster, Careerbuilder; and if you’re creative, you might be hunting on Facebook or Twitter. But if you want to impress a potential employer, use a pin and a board. Pinterest’s traffic has increased tenfold in the last six months to 10 million visitors a month, according to Forbes—but don’t expect employers to discover you on a Pinterest; instead, lead them to you and your personal brand, by directing them to your secret Pinterest board. This will give you a competitive edge and make you stand out.
1. Create, Pin and then Search and Pin Some More
To kick off your job search, you’ll want to create a public board on the industry/career you’re curious about. Use the search box to enter key words and phrases to pull up relevant pins. Having a board solely dedicated on a new career or industry will increase your job search motivation, because having direct access to job “eye candy” will super-charge your visual cortex.
2. Shh, and Keep a Secret
Discover and maximize the use of the three secret pin boards Pinterest gives you access to. Log in, go to your boards’ section, and scroll to the bottom and activate your imagination. You’ll want to dedicate one board to the specific company you’re targeting. (Three boards = three different companies.) And don’t worry, it’s called a secret board because only people you give the link to will have access—just make sure you don’t give the wrong link to the wrong employer, as you will not be deemed a creative super star, but instead be seen as confused.
3. What to Pin?
You want the focus to be on you, your personal brand and your experience. Pin your resume, and make sure it links to your LinkedIn profile, but that’s just the beginning; you’ll want to dissect your background in order to inspire the “ooh” factor in potential employers and recruiters. Pick your resume apart and pin your past employers, your educational institution and past volunteer experiences. For each item, use the description box to add a little spice and flavor to your pin, describe your experience at each company, a memorable project, or the reason you left.
Don’t forget to pin certifications or awards you’ve received. And to inspire the “aah” factor, pin projects you worked on that reflect your leadership style or contribution. Make your descriptions count, instead of pinning a picture of your last company and inserting text like, “I worked here for five years and I was promoted twice,” make your description accomplishment-based, “In the five years I worked at company X, I increased sales by 20%, had a close-out rate of 18% on new business, and was recognized by senior leadership with two separate promotions.”
4. What to Pin, Part II
Once you’ve defined your experience through the appropriate pins, it’s time to show off your social media acumen by pinning information about the company, to prove you’ve done your research. Pin some of the company’s greatest accomplishments that have inspired you—and in the description, add text that reflects your reasons why you’d like to work for that company. You’ll also want to pin social causes the company participates and/or believes in—this will show alignment all around.
5. Don’t Keep Your Secret Board a Secret (well, sort of)
Once your have created your board, work the link into your cover letter (if you’re still in 1955), job application, or even in a follow-up to an interview that you didn’t have the opportunity to showcase any earlier.
If you follow all five steps, not only will you be showcasing your brand, experience, and value, you will be as tasty as a deep-fried Twinkie.