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More than pretty pictures: using Pinterest to your professional advantage

Sure, it’s fun to create boards of cute animals and nail art, but if you’re not using Pinterest professionally, you’re missing out on some of its greatest functions!

Whether you’ve been pinning for months or are new to the site, we’ve got a list of tips that will take your Pinterest account from fun to functional. Here are some easy ways to promote yourself on Pinterest while still having fun!

Link to your blog and Twitter. At the top of your profile page, you can add a link to your Twitter account and your personal website or blog. This is an easy way to get your portfolio out there and to gain more followers! And for your profile summary, try to come up with something short, witty and informative, like a Twitter bio would be.
Showcase your works. If you’ve published news clips at an internship or blogged for a magazine, create a board such as “My Her Campus Articles.” It’s an easy way to add traffic to your work, and you’ll be surprised how many new readers your pins will reach! Be sure to add the link to your articles in the “About your pin” section to make it easier for your followers to get to your article. A little self-promotion never hurt anyone, right?
Let companies know you’re interested. More and more professional companies are expanding their social media presence to include outlets like Tumblr and Pinterest. Use the search function to explore what potential employers may be on Pinterest, and follow those companies’ boards, repinning and liking their pins when appropriate. You can also follow prominent figures in your field — if you’re an aspiring beauty editor, for example, it doesn’t hurt to follow beauty experts to see what sort of images they’re pinning. Additionally, following news outlets will help you stay informed about current events and will be impressive to potential employers! Show off your skills. While you’re probably repinning a majority of your pins and creating your own pins using images from outside websites, Pinterest is also a great outlet for showing off your own talents.

If you’re a fashion nerd, for example, don’t just create boards like “models” and “shoes” (though those boards can be great fun, too!). Show how in-the-know you are by pinning items you find to specific trend boards, like “Pretty Peplums” or “1970s-inspired Fashion.” Although you’re not creating the images, creative boards like this will show you know what’s going on in the industry. An even better move? Create a few Polyvore sets and add those to your boards for ultimate originality!
Image: As an aspiring editor, I use my own Pinterest account to bookmark articles I find interesting, well-written and informative.

Pinterest skill promoting isn’t limited to fashion — you can show off your knowledge of book reviews, up-and-coming artists, movies you like … there are tons of ways to show off your taste and talents just by compiling images. Get creative!

Now that you know a little bit more about Pinterest and self-promotion, you deserve to spend a little time browsing the site! And you won’t have to feel guilty about spending so much time there, even if most of it is just pretty images. Happy pinning! 

Meghan is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying classics and English. She has interned at Girls' Life and Parenting magazines and was a Collegiate Correspondent with USA TODAY in Spring 2012. Meghan loves all things entertainment related and plans to move to New York and work for a national magazine after graduating in May 2013.
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