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Pinterest & Your Graphic Design Portfolio

Of all the major social media venues, Pinterest stands alone as the ideal option for graphic designers, animators, and illustrators with interest in promoting themselves online. If you're just getting started with Pinterest, this no-nonsense guide is the key to launching your own visual portfolio.

Adding Your Graphic Design Portfolio To Pinterest

As a platform for presenting your resume and portfolio, Pinterest is changing the game for career-minded graphic designers, animators, and illustrators. Now that it's possible to create an interactive, engaging, and comprehensive online profile, a simple .pdf of your resume simply isn't going to cut it anymore.

On the bright side, the scope of the Pinterest format means that you're no longer forced to cram your credentials into a cramped 8½" x 11" package. The door has opened to countless opportunities to communicate your value and style to hiring companies by building out a more impressive portfolio that includes the strongest, most engaging examples of your work.

Your Primary Graphic Design Portfolio Board Should Include:

  • Your resume (better yet, your infographic resume)
  • A crisp, professional photo of yourself
  • Examples of your work (logos, sites, animations, posters, illustrations, etc.)
  • A screen capture that links to your personal web site
  • Professional references and/or testimonials

A great example of this kind of board would look something like this:

A Pinterest Resume And Graphic Design Portfolio

Credit & Permission: Rachael King — Professionally Social

Rachael King's portfolio is complete with a personal snapshot, a visually appealing resume, samples of her work, links to interviews and articles in which she appears, links to her blogs and web site, and logos for organizations/clubs she belongs to. Add in a few references, and it's just about perfect!

Three Tips To Keep In Mind:

1. Customize Your Resume: The resume you design for your Pinterest portfolio should use large fonts and contrasting colors that make key points easy to read when it's shrunk into a Pinterest-sized thumbnail. Images should be between 532 x 725 and 660 x 900 pixels. Making your images smaller allows for a convenient, no-scroll view of the resume, complete with caption and comment box. A larger image will be more readable, but will force the viewer scroll to fit it on their screen.

2. Upload Strategically: Plan out your profile before uploading, choosing pieces that will link naturally to your strongest content when possible. Pinterest shows items on your board in order of newest to oldest, with the most recent upload making up your board's thumbnail. Your most recent upload will be the thumbnail to your board – but you can maintain that thumbnail image indefinitely if you want to. Simply repin an item on your board onto the same board, and delete the duplicate.

3. Use Graphics On Every Page: Keep your potential employer engaged by making your profile interesting and eye-catching. If possible, upload nothing to your board that doesn't include at least some visual element. Demonstrate your chops as a graphic designer by including graphs and visual aids that streamline the message of your resume, highlight your best areas, and add depth to your presentation.

Even references and testimonials present the opportunity for visuals, as seen below:

A graphic design portfolio approach to Pinterest references, with art along the top of each

Credit & Permission: CMO Ken Herron

Ken Herron breathes life into his testimonials by adding a related, inspirational image to each one. This has transformed an otherwise bland series of text-based pins into something far more engaging. For a more corporate approach, company logos and photos of the recommenders are also viable options.

Building Out Your Portfolio's Peripherals

Along with presenting your resume, a Pinterest profile enables you to tell your story about what makes you an ideal candidate. Rather than stop with your resume and professional credentials, go the extra mile by adding a few peripherals to your work.

Peripheral boards should appear after your resume board, allowing for hiring managers to find your vitals without a frustrating search. Be sure to label each board clearly, so there's no confusion with the hiring managers about what they'll find there.

Three Goals For Your Peripheral Boards

1. Build Your Personal Brand: Make yourself memorable to hiring agents by building boards that place your personal life in a complimentary light. Fill them with motivational phrases, skillfully taken pictures of your pets and family, innovative products you've discovered, and things that reflect your distinct tastes and style.

These boards will also have the effect of reducing the aggressive, "spammy" feeling of a board that's exclusively professional. You'll be demonstrating your ability to integrate with the Pinterest culture to which you belong, and will be better positioned to establish a legitimate base of Pinterest followers to increase your profile's visibility.

2. Establish Yourself As A Self-Motivated Professional: Companies seek out employees that see their work as more than just a day job. Demonstrate that your career is your life by building boards that showcase the best work of your peers. Link to articles, images, and ideas that inspire you, and pin examples of work from leaders in your field. Finally, highlight any work you've done outside of work, such as relevant blogs, photos from career-related events, and snapshots of you with industry leaders.

3. Highlight Your Broad Skill Set: Are you a graphic designer only, or are you a creative and talented person in general? Connect your secondary skills to your graphic design career by showing photos of artistically arranged foods you've prepared, beautiful natural settings you've seen, and the tasteful decor' of your home. Give recruiters a sneak peek into your life of volunteer work, show off your best paintings and illustrations, and establish yourself as an individual of impeccable taste in fashion.

Here's one great example of how to make that happen:

Peripheral elements to a Pinterest Graphic Design Portfolio

Credit & Permission: Karen Loomis — Marketing Professional

Karen Loomis' profile shows a well-rounded individual who sees the aesthetic value in everything around her. Her portfolio is filled with impressive photos she's taken, as well as artwork she appreciates and aspires to emulate. She's also included a peek at her personal life, including some humor, a favorite restaurant, and a few professional-quality snapshots of her pets.

Keeping Your Resume Fresh And Relevant

Like any online community, Pinterest has its share of abandoned boards and "ghost towns". Keep your graphic design portfolio alive by embracing the Pinterest culture with your portfolio. By contributing to to the community through valuable and engaging pins, you'll gain followers and repins and, by extension, more visibility online. Follow other users and repin from their boards often – in most cases, they'll gladly return the favor.

Promote your Pinterest profile through social media sites and your professional circles to gain positive and supportive comments from friends and colleagues, and your portfolio will become more content-rich as time passes. Stimulate these discussions with engaging, searchable image comments that build dialogues and maximize how many people find you through search. Get even more search traffic by naming your boards with clear and creative titles.

For a great example of a fresh, relevant Pinterest profile, follow Michelle Magoffin:

A continually updated Pinterest profile that includes an infographic resume

Credit & Permission: Michelle Magoffin — Web Consultant

Michelle Magoffin continually expands her Pinterest portfolio with elements that tell a story of an individual whose career and lifestyle are fully integrated. Her boards communicate an interest in artfully prepared food, fashion, interior design, crafts, technology, physical fitness, and, of course, ongoing professional development as a web consultant. Dig a little deeper, and you'll also learn a little about her sharp sense of humor.

Finding Resume & Portfolio Inspiration On Pinterest

Your Pinterest portfolio is never complete! To stay on the cutting edge with Pinterest means an ongoing commitment to keeping an eye on Pinterest as it continues to grow and evolve. Make it an ongoing effort to find and follow the best resumes you see online today, and to incorporate the best things you've seen into your own portfolio.

To get started, check out our Pinterest Resume Boards, where we scout out the best and most innovative Pinterest profiles. We've included great examples of infographic resumes, portfolio pieces, personal branding, and more. Check it out!

Have questions about launching your career? Ready to move onward and upwards? Contact a recruiter today!