Best Ways to Use Pinterest for Your
Career Development Services

Welcome to this online course designed to help you incorporate one of the fastest growing social networks into your career development practice and resources. Whether you’re a private practitioner, a college or university professional, whether you are employed in workforce development or in our elementary or secondary education systems, this is a trend that you need to explore. 

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand what Pinterest is and how it can be used in the career development field (Part 1)
  • Evaluate others’ use of Pinterest in the career field and adapt these uses to their own needs (Part 2)
  • Know the terminology unique to Pinterest (Part 3)
  • Set up your own Pinterest account and relevant boards (Part 4)

This course has four major parts with each part related to the learning objectives stated above. As you move through each part, you will be asked to read information, view videos, and answer questions on your worksheet.  

WorksheetDownload the worksheet now and save it on your computer; complete the items as you go through the course.  

Specific directions to view a video, read some article, or answer questions are listed in RED.

You will be asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the course. One of the questions relates to the time it took you to complete the course requirements. Please be sure and keep track of the time so that we have an accurate reflection of the workload.

Completion of this course will earn you 6.5 clock hours for your professional development. You have 30 days to complete the requirements. The best way to assure completion is to set aside 1-2 blocks of time when you can fully concentrate on the course requirements. Just as a reminder, the materials in this course are copyrighted and are available for your use in the course only.

Most importantly, you’ll learn about some exciting new ways to share information with your clientele and to teach them ways that they can get in on this new trend as well. Now go to part 1 to start the course.

Part 1What is Pinterest?

Only the HOTTEST social media platform around! Plain and simple, Pinterest is an image-sharing social networking website. It can be used for social or visual bookmarking or for curating content. Many people have difficulty explaining or understanding exactly what Pinterest is but it’s not difficult to track its huge growth and popularity.

From a design standpoint, it resembles a huge bulletin board on which “pinners” post images of interest to them from other websites or from other individuals. It is set up in a grid-type pattern which makes it easier to view. A Pinterest board is very easy to create even for those that don’t consider themselves very tech-savvy.

Watch this video to see

  • Why it’s so hot
  • Why it’s important
  • How it can be used

View this video, What is Pinterest? 


Since it’s launch in 2010, Pinterest has grown exponentially. And there is every expectation that it will continue to grow. In this brief article, “Pinterest to hit 50 million active users in US next year, new data says” you can see what the estimates are for the next few years.

Review this interesting infographic from which looks at several different aspects of Pinterest:

In “I Need to Try This!: A Statistical Overview of Pinterest” the authors defined three research questions to explore: What drives activity on Pinterest? What distinguishes Pinterest from other social networks? What role does gender play? They view their work as “an early snapshot of Pinterest that later work can leverage.” They have some very interesting results.

READ I need to try this a statistical overview of Pinterest

In the article, “The Pin-Bang Theory: Discovering The Pinterest World” the authors explored various attributes of users, pins, boards, pin sources, user locations and conducted statistical analysis of these attributes and also looked at other Online Social Networks (OSNs) to provide comparisons and insight. Read through the article and think about how you can use this information.

READ Pin Bang Theory

READ each of these other noteworthy Pinterest  research trends: 

Men Are Now Pinterest’s Fastest-Growing Demographic

Pinterest turns 5, with grand designs on future

Pinterest Brings Ads To Users’ Home Feeds

Answer questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on your worksheet then move on to Part 2.

Part 2How Pinterest Can be Used for Career Development

 At first glance you may not think Pinterest is the right tool for the career development field but during this course we’ll be exploring the many ways that it can be implemented. Pinterest is far more than just looking at clothes or recipes or cute craft ideas. It’s a powerful tool that can be used in a wide variety of ways.

The challenge for many of us is to adapt ways that others are using it to fit our particular needs. Many Pinterest users post cute outfits to wear that they find online. How could a career development practitioner use a similar theme to educate or engage their clientele? We frequently advise clients on appropriate dress for interviews or what business casual attire is. This would be a great application of the program.

It’s really important to be creative when you think about ways to use this platform. Do you come across websites or other resources that you would like to share with clients? Pinterest is a simple way to share this without having to know how to program or update a website. Do you have favorite career books? Let others know about them and particularly why you like them.

These are just a few of the many ways that Pinterest is being used in career development. Just because an application or board doesn’t have the words “career” or “development” in them doesn’t mean you can’t use it or develop new ideas from it so keep that in mind.

Now, let’s take a look at how other career professionals are using this platform and think about ways that you could adapt this to your practice.

Career Centers

Pinterest can be a valuable tool for getting your message across – especially those that are more visual in nature – to clients of all ages. And, the term career center doesn’t apply only to higher education. Workforce development offices, state and county, transition, and industry-specific centers have all jumped on board to get their message out. Let’s take a look at the University of Pennsylvania Career Services account.

 Watch this before moving on. 


You can see that they have separate boards for events, resources, what to wear, alumni, career paths, places to live and much more. After viewing the video, you might want to go in and explore it even more. Here’s the link:

Do you want to make learning more interesting to your students?

Read this article from NCDA’s Career Convergence for ideas: 

Private Career Practitioners

Career practitioners are also beginning to use Pinterest to promote their practice. Whether they are a small, one-person operation, a placement office, or recruiter they are using the platform to connect with clients. Pinterest is a great way to further your brand and connect with clients. Some tips to help boost a business include:

  • Create keyword-rich “about me” areas and boards. What is your niche? What types of clients would you like to engage?
  • Use attractive images. Pinterest is all about the visual aspect. If you don’t own the images be sure to get a license to use them.
  • Add a price to items if appropriate.
  • Set up your account in the name of your business.
  • Refrain from posting personal images or boards on your business account.
  • Set yourself a time limit for searching and pinning. It’s very easy to spend a great deal of time on the site.

Now let’s take a look at a few career-related businesses on Pinterest. You’ll notice that they are concentrating on many of the same areas as the career centers are.

Watch this video before moving on. 


As a private practitioner, promoting and growing your business is essential. Check out these articles and videos for ways to do just that. Even if you are employed by another entity, growth and promotion are still important.

In the “Best Practice Guide” developed by Pinterest you’ll find several tips and tools to help you make the most of this tool.

READ Best Practice Guide for Business

Pinterest has developed several new resources  for those interested in promoting their business on their platform. They have weekly webinars, creative spotlights, a retailer’s guide to driving sales and much more. It can all be found at along with a link to create your business account and ads.

The Pinterest Bump: How to Use Pinterest For SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

How to use Pinterest Analytics


Even though many of us do not have educator in our title, in reality that is a large portion of the services that we deliver regardless of your role. And educators are quickly jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Their use falls into four primary categories:

  • Content development
  • Idea generation
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Guiding students in the use of social media

View this article and infographic on 16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest. The article also provides additional ideas on how to use Pinterest.” 

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

Could you incorporate some of these strategies or uses to improve your services?

In the article, “Pinterest as a Tool: Applications in Academic Libraries and Higher Education” the authors take you through the process they used to create their account and some of the issues they encountered.

READ Pinterest as a Tool

Job Search 

There has also been a recent movement to use Pinterest in a job search. Because it is a primarily visual tool, it may make individuals pursuing careers in visually related fields stand out amid other text-based job search tools. But it’s also useful for other job-seekers as well and demonstrates their comfort with and knowledge of social media.

READ 100 Top Pinterest Boards for Job Search in 2014 to see examples of using Pinterest for the job search.

Next, read through these tips on using Pinterest in your job search. Similar ideas but with a slightly different twist.

Answer questions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 on your worksheet then move on to Part 3.

Part 3How Pinterest Works

Pinterest has its own unique language which it’s important that you understand. The terms are similar to those used in Facebook and Twitter with slight variations in meaning. Take a look at this list of definitions related to Pinterest.

Read the file on Pinterest Definitions.

Now that you’re familiar with the basic terms, let’s take a look at the following two videos. The first one will help you in setting up your account. The second, lower down this page, is a tutorial on how to actually use the site.

Watch this video on how to set up a Pinterest account.


Now that you have your account set up, how do you find something to pin to it? There are several ways to locate images and boards.

Favorite websites

Probably one of the first places you’ll want to look is those websites that you use most frequently. You don’t have to link to the entire website but can be selective as to the pages or sections you “pin”. By installing the pin bookmarklet on your web browser it’s a very simple process. The bookmarklet can be found in the “Help” section on Pinterest under “Goodies”.

Search feature

You can enter any search terms in which you are interested in the “Search” box at the top of the website. Then click on those that appeal to you and explore whether they’re something that you want to include. Using terms such as “careers”, “career services”, “career development” or “career development tools” will provide you with different results but a large number of resources that you can “repin” to your boards.

Pinterest homepage

You can click on “Categories” on the home page to see what’s posted in a wide range of areas. You can also click on “Popular” to see the most frequently posted items.

Follow Boards

Once you have found images that you are interested in repinning, click on the board name/title to see the full image collection of that individual and decide whether it contains other items that may appeal to you. You may want to follow all of the boards of a pinner or be more selective and follow only some of them. But it is a good idea to follow some boards created by others – Pinterest notifies you when they post something new or create a new board. This is a great way to expand your boards.

Add Your Own Content

Because Pinterest is a visual application, you would have to convert a word doc or PDF into an image to upload it to Pinterest. This works fine with resumes or one-page flyers. For multiple page documents, you would most likely have to load each page separately. Or if you have it posted on your website somewhere just link to it there. To upload it, you would click on “Add” at the top of the page, then Upload a File. It allows you to browse to find the file, then you can select the board you want to post it to and upload it.

Watch this tutorial to learn how to find boards to pin to your site.


Pinterest sets itself apart from some of the other social media sites by establishing clear guidelines for “pinners” to follow.  They have an extensive and easy to read set of Help Topics which can be found at They address the Basics, Your Account and Settings, Reporting and Blocking, Business Accounts, Fixing Problems and Legal Issues and Privacy.  It’s nice to know where to find this information.

By listening to their users, Pinterest launched a new feature in November 2012 called “Secret Boards”. This allows users to pin items but not have them visible to the public. READ this quick overview of this new feature.

Pinterest is always looking for ways to improve the services they offer. One of the most recent innovations in 2015 is a button that will speed up bookmarking. Find out more by reading this article.

For some additional ideas check out “Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting Edge Users” posted on Scroll down to the Tips and Trick then click on either Open Gallery or Show as List to see all 13 tips.

But sometimes you just need to jump in and get started.

Answer questions 14, 15, 16, and 17 on your worksheet then move on to Part 4.

You’re almost ready to get started!

Part 4Creating Your Own Account

Fortunately, it’s no longer necessary to receive an invitation to set up an account. This has certainly helped the phenomenal growth that Pinterest has experienced recently. If you haven’t already done so, go to and set up your account.

If you need to, refer back to the tutorials in Part 3 to review.

Before you actually start creating your boards, take some time to think about what content areas or categories you would like to develop. You can always add new boards along the way but it’s best not to have to remove them once you have followers and repins.

To help you get started on that, go ahead and

Answer question 18 on your worksheet.

Congratulations on completing this course! Enjoy pinning!

Send your completed worksheet to Shirley Rowe for review.

Complete the course evaluation.

Once your worksheet has been reviewed and is satisfactory, you will be sent the certificate of completion with the CEU clock hours.

Thanks for your support of!