Gone are the days of Pinterest having a measly 10 million users, in fact, recent statistics show that the site now has more than 176 million registered members, with 100 million of these regularly posting and sharing content. With such impressive growth over the last couple of years, Pinterest offers some great opportunities for chef job seekers to market themselves and explore careers opportunities and potential employers.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it works on the principle of letting users save photos or images from news stories, blog posts or other online content in the form of pins that are organised into folders called boards. You can follow other people and re-pin, comment or “Like” their pins. You also can link your Pinterest boards to other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
Here are 10 top tips for how to use Pinterest as part of your chef job search:
1. Optimise your Pinterest profile
Once you’ve joined Pinterest adjust your account settings to allow your profile to appear in search results on Google and other search engines. Load your profile description with keywords that match the chef job you want. Include a recent photograph and links to your LinkedIn profile so potential employers can learn more about you.
2. Set up an online CV and portfolio
Post an up to date CV on to a board on its own. Also, gather pictures of your best plates of food and create boards that you can post these to as well. Keep the naming of your boards simple and easy to understand i.e for pictures of your dishes consider using the same headings you would see on a menu – starters, mains etc.
3. Dedicate a board to chef jobs / careers you’re interested in
Use Pinterest to find information on chef jobs / careers. Use the search box to enter related words or phrases. Pin anything that comes up that you want to save for future reference, and don’t forget if you want to keep this information private just create a ‘secret’ board.
4. Create boards for companies you’d like to know more about
Pinterest can give you a glimpse into a company’s culture that you can’t get from reading their “About Us” page. You’ll be surprised by how many of the companies you might like to work at, or how many chefs you would like to work for are on Pinterest, so get searching.
5. Follow the experts
Keep up with high-profile industry chefs, relevant industry bodies such as the Institute of Hospitality and other industry influencers. By searching for boards and pinners to follow you’ll help to increase the amount of content that is available to you, as well as building useful online connections. Most Pinterest users are happy to follow members back, so with a little bit of effort you can build a solid and relevant network via the site in no time at all.
6. Leave comments
Strike up a conversation with someone who works at a company you’re interested in by commenting on one of their pins. As with any other type of online or real-world networking, you never know where it could lead. Don’t be spammy though, think about each comment you post rather than just repeating the same one across lots of similar pins.
7. Take a look around
Do some browsing to see what’s out there. If you’re constantly coming back to the same boards or pinners, or something keeps popping out at you, if might be worth exploring further. The food and drink categories on Pinterest are some of the biggest / most visited across all of the site, so spending some time having a browse will definitely be worth it.
8. Protect your work
If you’re sharing photography or other original work on your boards, use some sort of mark to protect individual images. It will be great if images of your food get shared with your peers and industry influencers on Pinterest, but less great if somebody else tries to pass these images off as their own. If you come up with a simple way to protect your work from the off-set then you won’t have to worry about it at a later date!
9. Be professional
If all you do on Pinterest is share pictures of puppies, think twice about sharing your Pinterest profile with potential employers. If you’re using it to help you find your next chef job, it’s going to represent who you are (in the eyes of an employer), so when you’re creating your boards, make sure they align with your professional appearance / values.
10. Watch out for spammers
The bigger Pinterest grows, the more spammers it’s attracting. To prevent unwittingly passing along spam disguised as a normal pin, be sure to click through on images to see where they lead before re-pinning them. This will also help your followers trust the content you share with them, which in turn will help strengthen your online Pinterest presence.