Pinterest is known as a popular online pin board for photos of fashion, food recipes, and arts and crafts projects, but it has also become a place to find creative job resumes.
Not the old-fashioned, text-only lists of job titles and experience. These are digital resumes that include eye-catching graphics, YouTube videos and PowerPoint slides.
One man’s resume making the rounds on Pinterest presents previous jobs as steps along Darwin’s theory of evolution, while another lists a woman’s work experience as “entrees” on a restaurant menu.
And there’s even a resume that is actually a playlist of songs on Spotify, with the titles bearing the job seeker’s message:
— “Your Company” (Marketa Irglova),
— “Should Have” (Cloud Nothings),
— “Someone Like Me” (Röyksopp),
— “A Real Hero” (College and Electric Youth).
So far, it’s unclear whether anyone has actually landed a new job by posting their resume on Pinterest. The site, which has captured a niche of the social-networking market, is being used by its members to share interesting resume styles they have found elsewhere.
But that viral sharing in itself can provide job seekers some much needed inspiration.
“Job searching can be energy draining and boring,” said Brie Reynolds of employment-search site FlexJobs. “It gives you a little energy, a little motivation to continue. It’s one more thing to add to your arsenal.”
While Facebook has the lion’s share of attention in social networking, Palo Alto’s Pinterest has quickly burst onto the scene and now has more than 11.7 million users. Earlier this month, Tokyo Internet service firm Rakuten led a $100 million investment round in Pinterest, valuing the company some are calling “the next Facebook” at $1.5 billion.
Find and screen
Job recruiters are already using social-networking services like Facebook and LinkedIn to find and screen potential candidates. And job seekers can use social networks to accelerate their search, said Christopher Penn, who teaches an online advanced social media class for the University of San Francisco.
He said Pinterest has the potential to add another dimension to job searching, because it allows people who are seeking more visually oriented jobs – such as graphics or website designers or video producer – a method to pin actual examples of their work.
There are other companies such as San Francisco’s WorkSimple, and Behance and CarbonMode of New York that offer similar ways to post a professional resume or curriculum vitae online.
While Pinterest isn’t designed for professional use, “it really at the end of the day is a media network for distribution of visually oriented media,” Penn said. “As long as you have stuff you can visually represent, that’s the heart of it. If you’re an accountant, you’d have to do some pretty fancy footwork with graphics to show the X percent of a ROI,” or return on investment.
For his classes, Penn recently posted a demonstration resume that uses Pinterest’s system of online pin boards, which members normally use to post photos of whatever they’re passionate about, such as dresses, shoes, food or ballparks.
Instead, Penn used the virtual boards to post screen shots showing his career stops, such as when he was chief technology officer for the Student Loan Network and his current job as director of inbound marketing for online marketing firm WhatCounts.
He also posted an introductory YouTube video, a photo with a recommendation culled from his LinkedIn profile and a QR code that links to his contact information.
A job at Pinterest?
One Harvard University MBA student recently posted a Pinterest resume aimed solely at getting a job at Pinterest. It included a photo of herself skydiving (“risk-taker”) and reasons why she was passionate about the company.
A Pinterest spokeswoman said the company wouldn’t comment on whether they hired her or even took notice but said a number of current employees were active pinners before they were hired. The online news site the Next Web reported that a Pinterest analytics firm offered to hire the student if Pinterest didn’t.
Jimmy Moore of Columbia, Mo., said he did land the job he wanted with a local cable access television station because of his unusual resume, which depicted his skills evolving from a monkey walking on all fours after his college graduation to a man walking upright holding a camera when he worked for a commercial TV station.
“I used it as a sort of litmus test about whether I wanted to work for a company,” Moore said. “Some people were very unreceptive. They wanted to know why I didn’t give them a Word document. I told them if you’re so offended by this, then I probably don’t want to work there.”
The resume was designed by Moore’s wife, Kate, a self-described “graphic designer-furniture maker.” Moore said she shared it on Pinterest “just for grins and apparently after that it seemed to get some legs and went all over the place.”
Moore said that while he used more traditional networking methods to find his current job, interest from Pinterest in his resume caught the attention of other video industry recruiters who contacted him to find other people he might know who were also looking for jobs.
And thinking creatively and gaining attention is helping Brian Einarsen, whose “I’m looking for a new job and this is my job application” playlist resume on Spotify has also been shared on Pinterest.
Einarsen, who lives in Sweden, said in a Facebook message that he’s in the interview process for two jobs thanks to the attention he’s received.
Reynolds believes Pinterest has “huge potential” as a job-searching tool. She has pinned some examples on a board on FlexJobs’ site on Pinterest.
“I have seen a lot of fascinating, well-designed and interesting-looking resumes that take on an infographic look,” she said. “The best ones are shared over and over.”