Guest post by Dan Harding, Deputy Director of Music: Pinning your hopes…

…our virtual ‘Arts Vacancies’ Pinterest board.

I’ve written previously about the transferable skills we find in student musicians at the University, the range of careers they pursue and their suitability for careers not solely related to music.

One of the problems confronting students as they graduate (and, increasingly in recent times, during their studies as well) is knowing where to look for career opportunities, and for what sort of jobs they might be suitable. Any good institution runs a Careers Service to help their students (it improves their progression/employment statistics, after all…), in order to offer guidance at this critical stage in their life.

I try to keep tabs on various arts-related opportunities that arise both in Kent and further afield, and hitherto had been posting relevant vacancies to the department’s Facebook group, in order to raise awareness among our current and former students about what’s out there. We often also receive e-mails asking us to advertise local vacancies (repetiteur required, internship offered and so forth), but posting all this information to Facebook requires students to be logging in to Facebook fairly often, in order to see adverts before they are forced off the screen as the timeline evolves.

In order to surmount the problem of how to present all this information efficiently, I recently created a virtual pinboard on Pinterest, to which I now ‘pin’ all these vacancies as they arise. This provides a one-stop resource to which students / alumni can go at any time, in order to see current vacancies related to the arts, rather than having to log in to Facebook every time. Links from the music blog and the Facebook group to the pinboard point users in its direction, and there is (hopefully) less chance of their missing what might be an appropriate opportunity, simply because they might not have been on Facebook for a few days.

Users can see at a glance the range of posts available – I also include the closing date, so they know how much time is left before the application deadline! – and click directly through to the online advert for the post. They can also ‘Follow’ the board, so that whenever they are on Pinterest themselves, they can immediately see any recent additions that I might have ‘pinned.’

The onus is on me, now, to keep the pinboard up to date with the most recent vacancies, and to remove old ones as they expire. But the pinboard has been acquiring Followers quite quickly, and has already resulted in a few students applying for some of the jobs advertised. It also shows students what sort of institutions and organisations exist that provide careers opportunities, regional music services and schools, and so on.

As long as I can keep on top of current vacancies as they arise, I’m hoping this will add to the careers guidance we provide, to help our students find their feet in the world of employment opportunities and Life After Kent.

Dan Harding is Deputy Director of Music at the University of Kent. He writes  about music on the department blog, Music Matters. Follow the department on Twitter.

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One thought on “Guest post by Dan Harding, Deputy Director of Music: Pinning your hopes…

  1. Pingback: Pinning your hopes: guest post #3 on the Employability blog » Music Matters

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