How Pinterest Can Help Your Career

While some of us pin elaborate Italian getaways or lunch salads that we'll never, ever make onto Pinterest boards, those catchall galleries can actually be put to better use. (Not that Roma 2019 isn't important, mind you.) Funnel those hours pinning images and use Pinterest to help your career. While you might be wondering how a feed full of prettily staged photos can help you move on up from entry level pencil sharpener to corner office shark, it's actually highly effective. All you have to do is force yourself to think outside the box.

Not only does the platform allow you to share your personal work with a huge audience, but you can also explore different pockets of your industry in an attempt to get lurkers onto your page. For example, if you're a baker you can create boards for recipes, favorite pastry display windows, seasonal creations, and even window typography. Pinterest is a tool that you can use to hone your brand, polish your image, get you re-excited about your life's work, and share your own projects with the world. And the coolest part is it could be utilized by any career path — you don't just have to be in a creative field. Below are 11 ways you can use Pinterest for your career — get to pinning!

1. Create A Portfolio Board

If you're a writer, pin your articles. If you're a photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, brand strategist, baker, small business owner, (really anything,) bring together your favorite projects and create a visual portfolio out of them. "Not only can you find thousands of resume templates on Pinterest, but many are using Pinterest boards as their actual resume. The visual nature of Pinterest means that you are able to show, rather than tell, your work and accomplishments," Dara Fontein, social media writer at Hootesuite, offered. From pinning your resume to a snapshot of you speaking at a panel, this is a great way to show all your career experiences in one glance.

2. Rearrange Your Boards

Rather than just letting the oldest boards take up prime real estate at the top of the page, rearrange your boards so the ones that relate most to your career or business are the ones visitors first see. "Pinterest allows users to rearrange boards — use this to your advantage and place boards you want noticed first," Alyssa Barilar, a brand and social media strategist, shares with Bustle in an email interview.

3. Clearly Name Your Boards

While writing something witty might be tempting for your board titles, writing something clear and concise is the better route to go if you want clients and potential employers to find you. "Clearly naming your boards will help users easily find Pins they are most interested in," Barilar points out. So rather than writing something along the lines of "FASHUN" if you're a feminist fashion writer, change it to "Feminist Fashion Examples." Not only is that keyword heavy, but it also helps the pinner understand your niche at a glance.

4. Create An Arsenal Of Advice

Not sure on how to stand up to your boss? Need tips on how to become a morning person? Want pointers on how to network in a more meaningful way? You can find all of that on Pinterest. "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," Arnie Fertig, a job hunter coach from US News, shared in an article. You can then create a board of job tips that you can look back on whenever you feel lost or uncertain.

5. Don't Be Afraid o Break Your Boards Into Sub-Categories

If you're a fashion writer, you don't have to only have one board dedicated to fashion — you can easily separate them into sub-categories. Just like if you're a photographer, you can break your boards into photograph themes or events. Barilar breaks it down further, explaining, "Instead of 'Useful Tips for Social Media,' create multiple boards that are more concise like 'Pinterest Tips' and 'Twitter Tips.'" Just make sure you have a good amount of pins ready for each board.

6. Curate Article Boards

Pinterest isn't only for images — you can help create a sense of expertise around your name by curating articles that have to do with your niche. "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," Fertig suggested. Whether that's editing articles if you're a photographer or particularly awesome essays if you're a niche writer, having a board that underlines that interest gives you credibility.

7. Make A Reading List

People are always looking for recommendations on what to read next, so creating a book board will bring easy traffic to your page. "Create pinboards and Pin around what you are currently reading, or books and pieces you have previously enjoyed. This can help present you as a knowledgeable professional," Fontein suggested. You can also take it one step further and instead focus on pinning books that have to do with your niche and industry.

8. Follow Your Favorite Companies

Just how companies sometimes use social media to release information on opportunities, they sometimes use Pinterest to do the same. So follow your favorite companies and brands to stay in the loop. "Spend time each day to scour the pins of your favorite companies' accounts. You might discover that the event planning blog you follow religiously is hiring writers, or that your favorite movie studio is looking for interns," social media writer Heather Fischel from tech site Digiwonk explained.

9. Copy Your Favorite Companies

If you're after getting a particular gig in a specific company, see what their boards look like and try to copy their themes. It's the equivalent of using key words from a job listing in a resume: You'll feel more in line with their vision and mission. "Follow them, and when you find that they’ve posted something that interests you, share it on your own board," Fertig advised. Observing their boards also allow you to easily notice their culture, core themes, and things that they're most focused on, offering you a blueprint on how your boards should look.

10. Consider Making A Professional Account

Rather than pinning your dinner recipes and Halloween decor DIYs, consider making a professional account separate from your personal one. "If you’d rather not mix business with pleasure, design your Pinterest account to be strictly business and set up boards for each section of your resume — Experience, Education, Skills, Volunteering, etc.," You can also go further and expand those boards to include off-shoot topics from your career. For example, if you're a chef you'd also make a recipe board, something seasonal like a "Halloween Treats" board, and also pick cookbooks you love.

11. Show Your Real Side

In addition, use your Pinterest page to show your interests along with your credentials. "Include additional sections that don’t normally make the cut on a traditional resume. Things like the hobbies you enjoy, books you’re reading, or quotes you find inspiring all help to add depth and interest to you as a professional and as a person," career writer Brie Weiler Reynolds from Career Enlightenment offered. This will make anyone lurking imagine knowing and working with you, which gives a familiar touch a resume or portfolio doesn't.

So start pinning and get higher in your career!

Images: @inkwellpress/Instagram; Bustle