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4/1/12 - Pinterest - For your job search

Below are two articles about Pinterest.

 

5 Ways to Use Pinterest To Wow Your Dream Employer By Brie Reynolds
http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2012/03/12/5-ways-to-use-pinterest-to-wow-your-dream-employer/

If you’re on Pinterest, don’t forget to connect with Brazen Careerist!

If you haven’t yet discovered the addictive time-suck that is Pinterest, here’s the deal: it’s a web-based bulletin board where users pin beautiful, inspirational pictures.

Most people use it to pin pictures of pretty clothes, interesting home decor, and drool-inducing food, but we’ve got another idea — use Pinterest for your job search.

Here are five ideas of how to do just that:

1. Find companies you want to work for
Companies large and small quickly figured out the value of Pinterest for their sales and marketing (see Zappos and Whole Foods). Those pin boards can help job seekers get a sense of the company’s culture, priorities, outreach strategies and overall tone.

Are they buttoned-up or casual? What’s their main marketing focus? What language do they use to talk about themselves and their products? These insights can help you craft stand-out, tailored job applications that show you’ve done your homework and understand the company.

2. Put your resume on Pinterest as a portfolio
We love this idea from Mashable suggesting Pinterest as a way to create a visual representation of your resume or professional experience.

Create boards for your work experience, awards and accomplishments, degrees or classes, a portfolio of your work, and even your hobbies and interests. As long as you have or can find pictures demonstrating these things visually, you can create an eye-catching Pinterest portfolio to share with employers.

3. Follow college career offices
Some college career folks are brilliantly using Pinterest to give expert job advice to college students and recent grads. Even if your school’s career office isn’t on Pinterest yet, you can follow any of those who are, like the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Bucknell University. These offices have pin boards for professional dress, job search tips,  and career research.

4. Follow career experts
Independent career experts are using Pinterest to help job seekers (or, perhaps, to make themselves feel better about being pin addicts).

Sites like Career Bliss, The 405 Club, FlexJobs and of course, Brazen Careerist, offer career advice and inspiration, from touchy-feely quotes which (thank goodness you’re alone) bring a tear to your eye, to laughable cartoons to help get you over an appalling job interview.

5. Use Pinterest to inspire yourself
If nothing else, Pinterest is an easy way to overload your senses with the things you love. And when you’re in the middle of a job search, or just trying to figure out what you might want to do in life, it’s easy to forget about what makes you happy.

Create pin boards to make yourself smile giddily, laugh loudly and simply feel GOOD. Stare at your motivational eye candy for a few minutes before going to a job interview to put your mind in a happy, confident place.

For your job search or career exploration, the more networking the better. Pinterest is another, albeit prettier, way to connect with people, learn about companies and their cultures, and pump yourself up for career success.

And the best thing about Pinterest is you can’t do it wrong. As long as you’re inspiring yourself, and maybe some employers, you’re on the right track.

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Social Media and Content Manager for FlexJobs, the leading site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. Her work days are spent providing career advice and mingling with job seekers on Facebook and yes, Pinterest.

 

Is Pinterest The New LinkedIn For Job Seekers?Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff
http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/03/20/is-pinterest-the-new-linkedin-for-job-seekers/

Pinterest, for the uninitiated minority, is an online bulletin board for “pinning” images you like from around the web. It is also the fastest growing social network since Facebook.

But is it the answer to your unemployment?

What started as an addictive platform embraced by ladies, who commonly posted fashon, interior design and recipes (guilty as charged), was quickly descended upon by companies hoping to gain traction in the new social space that boasted more than 3% of all referral traffic online. That’s more than Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn and Myspace combined. We use the site at Forbes to highlight some of our more visually stunning real-estate and car coverage, as well as to archive some of the awesome photos taken for the issue. Seems about right.

In a post this morning, contributor Erica Swallow warned companies (including ours) against “haphazardly joining Pinterest” without a smart, well-considered strategy. Namely, “posting visually stimulating, marketing-free content” intended for the site’s key demographic of “mature female consumers.” Keep that in mind, she wrote, and you should be golden. I’m with you, Erica. But when the Brazen Careerist told job searchers that the “it-girl” of social media could be just the ticket to landing your dream job, I actually laughed at my editor.

Oh, heck no, I thought. A quick check-in with my own Pinterest feed (boards include: Stripes, Dream Rooms and Foods To Eat), unless I was hoping to land a job at Martha Stewart Living, I can’t see how my keen eye for design and delicious things would pique the interest of a headhunter or human resource executive.

But digging further, it seems my own user habits might be blinding me from all Pinterest has to offer. On his blog, Career Enlightenment, Joshua Waldman, the author of Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies writes that it’s best to consider Pinterest as just another outlet for exposure—and one with an audience of 11 million users and counting. His tips include how to perfect your “about me” section and curate your interests through pins and repins to build your personal brand on the site. On whether it works:

Can Pinterest get you a job? As with any kind of business decision, you have to consider the ROI. In our case, the ROI of social media is landing a job. So: is Pinterest worth it?

In sum: Yes. When you look into the data that’s flying around about the success of Pinterest, leveraging those stats will help get your personal brand in front of more eyes and more people who will hire you for your talents.

Social media educator Jason Keath agrees that Pinterest could possibly help with exposure, but warns against it being the “next big thing” in job seekers hoping to embrace social media. “Every time something new comes out, people are looking to leverage its elements in different ways to stand out,” he says. “It could definitely be used as a visual resume, especially in fields like marketing where people are already highly active on Pinterest. It adds a new element.” But will Pinterest be the answer to our unemployment problem? He says no. “If people are really using Pinterest as a job-searching tool, I don’t think it’s any more than a handful of users.”

On the Brazen Careerist, Brie Reynolds posits that Pinterest can be used for more than just exposure on the job-hunt, and says that users should take advantage of the fact that many big (albeit trendier) companies—including Whole Foods and Zappos—have boards to follow. These boards can be used for intel. “Are they buttoned-up or casual? What’s their main marketing focus? What language do they use to talk about themselves and their products,” she writes. “These insights can help you craft stand-out, tailored job applications that show you’ve done your homework and understand the company.”

Fair enough, social media experts. You may have shown me the light. I understand creating a persona out there for all the world to see, and I can appreciate the need for inside information on a company before interviewing. But while putting your interests on display and learning how to speak to a prospective employer are important, can either trick actually land you a job? Sure, both Reynolds and Waldman say it’s a good move to put your portfolio—and even resume—up on a board, but are employers really combing Pinterest for candidates?

I would posit no (although Martha Stewart, if you’re looking, follow me @Meg_Casserly), at least not yet. Still, consider Waldman’s initial question of return on investment: American users of Pinterest spend an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes trolling the site, well ahead of LinkedIn (17 minutes), where over 150 million professionals have posted their hopes for career advancement.

Suddenly spending 17 minutes creating a professional Pinterest board suddenly seems like a great use of time.