8 tips for a Pinterest social media resume

Last night in preparation for my USF Advanced Social Media Class, I put together an idea fairly quickly that got a lot of attention and reaction: a social media resume example for my students on Pinterest. Pinterest’s unique way of displaying content means it’s exceptionally good at conveying information visually in a very compact way.

The idea of a social media resume certainly is nothing new, even on Pinterest. However, most of the existing works are by artists, designers, and developers who are showing off designs and website work, rather than desk jockey careers like mine. The key to figuring out how to present effectively on Pinterest is to present visually for even non-visual stuff.

Let’s look at a few key pieces and how I assembled them so that you can do the same.

Social Media Resume Example

Items 1 and 2 are actually full-size slides from Keynote/Powerpoint, exported as images. Because Pinterest is so visual, think big, bold words that scale well even in thumbnail sizes, as well as eye catching colors for the backgrounds. Avoid clutter and artistic fonts that scale poorly.

Item 2 also highlights that putting any text that is formatting like a URL gets turned into a URL, so make sure any links you feature in the slide are placed below the image – they’re clickable.

Item 3 is a video I uploaded to YouTube. Playable video is a great way to introduce yourself, and it plays natively right inside Pinterest. Please take the time to shoot a better quality video than I did.

Item 4 is a recommendation from my LinkedIn profile, laid out on a slide again in Keynote/Powerpoint, then exported as an image. Take a recommendation or set of recommendations you’ve collected (Twitter favorites would work well too) and lay them out with a photo of some kind.

Item 5 is a QR code which contains the data from item 2. I use RACO Industries QR Code Generator, set to 15% error correction. Don’t skimp on error correction with QR codes! Remember that Pinterest will scale it down, so you’ll want that extra error correction to make sure the final result still scans correctly.

Item 6 is a professional headshot. Get one taken. There are so many people now with good digital cameras that getting a professional headshot should be relatively straightforward. Heck, find a local college that has a photography course and recruit a student, pay them for an hour of their time, and get several dozen taken.

Item 7 is my book. Keep in mind that for resume purposes, you don’t need to be a published author through a publisher – having a Kindle book up for sale on Amazon is enough to at least convey the heuristic that you’re able to write.

Item 8 is an example screenshot of the websites of companies I’ve worked at. Note that in all cases, I’m not focusing on the design of the site, but rather just using the home pages as visual anchors to read about what I did at those companies and organizations.

It’s not obvious, but when you upload items like the slides for items 1-2 and the QR code in item 5, there’s no URL assigned to those items. Take a few moments to put a link to your contact page on your website for those items so that anyone who clicks on them gets taken to a form where they can get in touch with you. If you don’t have a website with a contact form and you’re actively seeking work, then I might be so bold as to say you’re doing it wrong. At least get a free Tumblr or WordPress.com account and put a contact form on that.

One final note: as far as I can tell, there’s no obvious way to move the order of pins on a board. To rearrange a board, you have to move pins to and from another board in the reverse order of appearance. Let’s say I wanted to change the order of 1-5 in the example above. I’d move them all to another board, then bring them back to the resume board in reverse order. To recreate 1-5 above, I’d bring them back in this order: 5-4-3-2-1, where the last pin, 1, is the far left item. My recommendation would be to assemble all the pieces and components on a separate board and then move them once in the reverse order you want them to your actual Pinterest social media resume.

What order should they be in? Since there’s effectively a “fold” of about two rows before you have to scroll, I’d say make sure the top row of images are the most important things. Remember that comments left on an item will change the layout of rows below it, so the top row is the stuff that absolutely must be seen! I chose contact information and video as my top row. Choose whatever calls to action work best for you.

I hope this quick guide gives you some ideas about how to create a Pinterest social media resume for yourself, no matter what field you work in. You don’t have to be a designer, artist, or photographer to have a great looking board on Pinterest that showcases and highlights what you can do.

Click here to view the example on Pinterest.


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  • http://twitter.com/JJBaybee Zohare Haider

    Thanks for the insightful share. This is a very productive way to use pinterest and still keep things fresh. Great stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/AliHandscomb Ali Handscomb

    I am just learning to use Pinterest and this is enormously helpful. Thank you.

  • http://chippygee.tumblr.com/ chippygee

    great stuff…thank for sharing new ways to use pinterest!

  • http://www.aksindiblog.com Aswani

    Very interesting insight. I have joined Pinterest very recently and I think this information can be useful for me. Thanks a lot for sharing..!

  • Lauren

    This is a neat idea. Ironically, however, I tried to pin the post on phone (using the image as my thumbnail), and as you know, no pin it button can live upstairs on a toolbar, and pinterest has yet to fully integrate themselves into the standards of mobile sharing. I found you via podcaster (and am now a fan). I just wish there was a pin it button around here so I could share you!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/annelizhannan Anneliz Hannan

    Super ‘how to’ Chris..I pinned your entire board to my personal branding page as an example of excellence. 

    • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

      Thanks!