Great Ways To Get An Interview In SEM, SEO And/or Analytics

February 22, 2011

Since I spend my days looking at resumes and cover letters (I had four open positions, but am finally starting to figure some of them out), I wanted to write what the job search looks like from the other side, especially when it comes to our field, Internet Marketing.

Now, some of you have it great. You’ve got amazing credentials and can write your own ticket.  But there is a big group of people who just want to get into the field.

IMO, the hardest part is getting to the interview. Once you are there, you have the opportunity to wow the company with how great you are. But until you get into the door, you are just another piece of paper. So here are some ideas:

Network. Not an exceptionally exciting or new idea, but it is surprising how well it works and how few people take advantage of it. The first person I ever hired at LunaMetrics came to me through an intermediary whom I trusted.  Note, I had already chosen (in my mind) the “successful candidate” and I threw all that thinking out the door when my friend suggested this potential.  And how about going to all those Web Analytics Wednesdays, or attending local SEMPO events? In our fair city alone, there are three competitive SEO groups where you can network.

Research. If you are really interested in a job, go read that company’s website. Follow their employees on Twitter — after all, you are an Internet person, right?. They would probably love to hear from you on their FB page.  Understand who they are before you approach them for a job, because otherwise, you are just another piece of paper.

Get experience. Yes I know, it is hard to get experience without experience. On the other hand, there are a lot of websites that need your tender loving care, go get experience with them. Look into summer internships.  What about accreditation – the AdWords badge requires that you manage a certain amount of money over a certain amount of time, but anyone who has fifty bucks and can study can take the GAIQ test.  Without experience, your piece of paper is too easy to screen out.

Decide what you want to do.  I see so many resumes where people say, I am the webmaster and I do SEM and then SEO and GA and social media and and and. It is lovely to be flexible (and very necessary in a small company like ours), but when I am looking for an SEO expert, I probably don’t look to someone who does a little bit of everything. (Go ahead and disagree.)

Stop blathering about how great you are and start showing how great you are. I must get one resume every day that says, “I am uniquely qualified for this job.”  I’d love to get a cover letter that says, “I’m interested in your company and the job, I think I have the right experience and qualifications, but I do have a number of questions.”  After all, in this most interactive of all worlds, why should the job search be so one way?

Be creative. Although we don’t do graphic design, I did find this great graphic design resume in the Creative Commons part of Flickr, at the top of the page.  How cool is that?