Six Tips For Getting a Job In Search Engine Marketing
As an employer, I look at a LOT of resumes. I've found that whether you're new to search marketing or a seasoned veteran, there are certain approaches you can take to enhance (or at least not sabotage) your chances to land your perfect search marketing position.
1. Agencies and in-house are different. Approach them differently. Working for a search marketing agency is a different experience than working as an in-house search marketer. Each type of position carries with it unique perspectives. An agency addresses many types of industries and clients, whereas in-house search marketers are often focused on one industry, one company brand and its product/service brands. If you have experience in the industry the company hiring for the in-house position is in, highlight that as much as you can. Even if you don't have search experience in that industry but have an understanding of the industry, that's a plus. If you're focusing on an agency position, highlight your variety of experience in as many types of industries as you can.
2. Be active in social media, but be cautious. Especially if you're in SEO today, companies will likely research your background, but not just because they want to check out your professionalism. Social media offers a fantastic opportunity for you to showcase yourself and network with other search engine marketing professionals. But, as many HR professionals warn: be cautious. You want to be sure you put your best foot forward, so don't let some random comment or photo in social media be your downfall. Make sure your profiles are clean.
3. Blog! Show off your knowledge! Blog and share your blog posts via social media for both networking purposes and to help generate more results for searches on your name. Also, many employers are always looking for employees with strong writing skills, so show yours off!
4. If you have a really common name (like Janet Miller), consider using an initial or three names. When I first got married, my boss gave me a ribbing about the fact that I chose to go by three names (Janet Driscoll Miller). But it's served me well as an SEO, because there's only one "Janet Driscoll Miller," so I don't have to compete in search with other, non-related people like celebrities, sports figures, authors, etc. Think of your name as your personal brand. Especially if there are some negative search results for someone with the same name as you, consider other ways to encourage people to search for your name, such as adding your middle initial or your middle name.
5. Think of your resume as a "landing page." A while back, I wrote a post on my blog about making your resume your "landing page." Just like a landing page, a resume might only get browsed for a few seconds before a reviewer will make an initial decision to continue to read more or "abandon" it. What makes a landing page great? Apply many of the same principles to your resume. Don't feel you have to be boxed in by a traditional resume design; some of the best resumes I've received caught my initial attention because they didn't look like the other resumes in my massive review pile.
6. Don't tout unimpressive statistics about your experience. For example, I often meet SEOs who brag to me how they have optimized their own blog or someone's website for an obscure, super-long-tail keyword term that has very little competition, like "search engine optimizers in the West End of Richmond Virginia." Really? Don't do that. Instead, focus more on your skills and your experience.