8 ways Pinterest can advance your career

Pinterest Launching New Visual Search Tool
Pinterest Launching New Visual Search Tool

You've likely heard the steady drumbeat: LinkedIn has become an indispensable element of any successful job search. And it is true: This platform is unequaled in the multiplicity of ways you can put yourself "out there" to be discovered as well as find opportunities to further your career.

But it's likely that you've played down or ignored the value of other social media sites like Pinterest. Chances are, you think of Pinterest as a place to find recipes or ideas for crafts projects. Here are eight ways it can help your career:

1.Get career and job-search advice. A recent Pinterest search of "career advice" leads to articles on everything from tips to boost your career to specialized advice for young women to ways to make a great impression on the first day at a new job. And, on the top of the results page, you'll find buttons you can push for suggested refinements on your search for "ideas," "student," "resumes," "work tips," "for women," "infographics" and more.

You can take any of the results and pin them to a board you create and either keep private or open to be viewed by others. You can search others' boards, too, and follow people who pin sites and articles of interest to you. This way, you can actively use Pinterest to enlarge your own network, or simply keep parts of your activity on a private board that you can easily access in the future.

2. Check out career sites and their Pinterest boards. There are many companies and organizations, including U.S. News, that have Pinterest boards with well-curated articles of interest to job hunters. Also check out boards from CareerBliss, FlexJobs, Glassdoor and many others.

3. Research possible careers. If you do a Pinterest search for careers in your field of interest, you'll find many pins that will highlight everything from what it is like to work in that field to salary ranges.

4. Pin your own resume, and make it easy to find. Can you imagine how many people name their document simply "resume.docx" or "myresume.docx"? Instead, use words that describe you that someone might use for a search. Examples: "Florida-based golf pro resume.doc," "pharmaceutical sales resume.doc" and so on.

5. Create and curate boards that will draw people's interest. It's easy enough to show your professional expertise by demonstrating what you read. Create pins for online articles that relate to your job or skill set. Your boards will appear on Google search results, so make an effort to use high-level, relevant words when describing the articles you pin.

6. See what other people in your location, profession and industry are posting. Follow them, and when you find that they've posted something that interests you, share it on your own board.

7. Add Pinterest to your Web browser. It is easy to include a Pinterest button on the ribbon of your Firefox, Safari or Chrome browser. Then, when you come upon a site or page you want to share, click the button to add the pin to your page.

8. Once you begin, keep at it. It's important to keep your boards updated with fresh articles, ideas and insights. It's not one of those things you should do once and forget about. To be effective, it takes some effort.

As the labor market tightens, employers are under pressure to use creative means to find the top talent they need to move their organizations forward. More and more, you'll likely see them going beyond standard job boards and LinkedIn in their efforts to reinvigorate their brand and engage with job seekers. Now is the time to step up your game as well and add Pinterest to your quiver of job-search arrows.

Happy hunting!

Arnie Fertig, MPA, is passionate about helping hisJobhuntercoach clients advance their careers by transforming frantic "I'll apply to anything" searches into focused hunts for "great fit" opportunities. He brings to each client the extensive knowledge he gained when working in HR staffing and managing his boutique recruiting firm.

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