<a href="http://pinterest.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Pinterest</strong></a>. Pinterest. Pinterest. It's the popular kid on the social media block, showing enormous growth and attracting the interest—and usage–of big brands including Nike, Kraft, Whole Foods, and HGTV. From boards centering on arts & crafts to interior decor and jobs boards, Pinterest can serve as a vital resource in not only your life but specifically, your career.
Check out five ways you can utilize Pinterest for professional development and advancement. <em>—Sirita Wright</em>
<strong>VISUAL RESUME: </strong>You can post (or "pin") photos of (or related) to the work you do and include links to your online portfolio, especially if you're in the digital, arts, education, beauty, fashion and other creative industries. Use boards as a way to showcase your inspirations and what you offer to an employer or client. For example, if you're a graphic designer, post (or "pin") a pic of a logo you've done and link to your branded Website. If you're an educator, you can post images and links that make up your lesson plans or a particular curriculum outline. If you're a makeup artist or stylist, you could pin photos of clients, along with boards for the products you use to create specific looks, and link to products or your professional resume. You can also find Pinterest boards that give ideas for posting your resume on the Web.
<strong>CANDIDATE MARKETABILITY</strong>: Find out what human resource directors and recruiters want simply by following their Pinterest boards or the Pinterest boards of their companies. Some companies post boards centered on human resource and management tips, which in turn can give you insight on the types of professional they favor or might be interested in attracting. Some also post boards featuring insight on types of candidates they like working at their companies, the qualifications they're looking for and even individual boards for job titles.
<strong>PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS:</strong> Professionals use Pinterest boards to tell stories of their likes and interests, much of which relates to their lives in and out of the office. You can follow other "pinners" and find out what makes them tick, just like when you can connect with people via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Pinterest can be yet another way to connect with a professional in your industry or field by getting to know what inspires them, what they do, and their passions via their boards. Pinterest can be the springboard for conversations on other social media platforms as well.
<strong>JOB SEEKING: </strong>Universities, media companies, recruiters and other organizations are using Pinterest to post job leads and job seeker resources. Since it's a visual tool, usually a photo will be pinned along with an accompanying link. Check out the Pinterest boards of companies like <a href="http://pinterest.com/flexjobs/" target="_blank"><strong>FlexJobs</strong></a> or educational institutions such as the <a href="http://pinterest.com/csucareerctr/" target="_blank"><strong>Coppin State University Career Services Center</strong></a> to find information on recruiters, links to job boards, and other relevant information for those looking for new opportunities.
<strong>INSPIRATION: </strong>From what to wear to an interview to articles and resources on how to make yourself more marketable, you can find it all on Pinterest. Users have created boards for interviewing tips, <a href="http://pinterest.com/carouselconsult/" target="_blank"><strong>skills development resources</strong></a>, infographics on hiring and social media stats, and career books and blogs. You can also gather your own professional inspiration by pinning images and adding links that will keep you motivated and driven throughout the workday.