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 standout, 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 that are, like those at 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.