Over 700 resumes were sent to us from job seekers looking for an SEO position at our company over the past year. From this collection, we compiled a list of both recurring egregious errors, and resumes that stood out (without disclosing any identities of course). Let this post guide you in your quest for your next SEO position!
- Don’t keyword stuff your resume! They’ll end up right in the trash. Some of our favorite examples:
- Don’t include a laundry list of keywords for which you have achieved page one rankings. Your resume is not a keyword ranking report, and odds are you didn’t do it alone.
- Don’t call yourself an SEO expert. Or an expert at anything. Otherwise, you probably don’t need to work for us.
- Don’t expose your former agency’s client list and their budgets, or any other confidential information. You don’t want to burn bridges with your former employer, nor does their awesome sales team make you look any smarter.
- Don’t advertise the success of your spammy campaigns as an achievement. Here are several examples:
[One resume linked to this page as an example of success]
- Don’t: Advertise your expertise using shady SEO tools. It will make you look lazy.
- Don’t flaunt your skills by advertising your odesk/elance/etc. test scores and certifications. It will only serve to lower your market value.
- Link to your Linkedin profile, blog and other social profiles. It will help us get to know you better.
- List relevant publications that you write or have written for. If you’ve made the cut to write for such quality publications such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, or SEOmoz, it will boost your credibility. If you have not contributed to a quality community, we advise doing so.
- Do keep your resume current with industry changes. If you list MSN Search on your resume, or that you are a Yahoo! Ambassador, it’s time for an update.
- Do list associations you are a member of, such the Web Analytics Association or SEMPO. Paying membership dues shows your investment and commitment to the industry.
- Do list speaking engagements at fine industry conferences such as Search Engine Strategies or Search Marketing Expo. This shows your confidence in the subject matter. If you have not participated, apply for a speaking position on a topic you feel most comfortable with.
- Do list expertise in some of the cutting edge SEO tools out there such as Raven, Moz, SearchMetrics, etc.
Have any of you come across any major resume “Don’ts” that you would like to share? Or any savvy advice for SEO job seekers?