5 Ways to Impress an SEO Hiring Manager
by Manuel Martinez
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A good SEO has an entrepreneurial spirit. People who can build their own website and make it rank have already come a long way. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have built the next Reddit but having created your own mini-business shows that you are eager to learn and that you don’t want to sit around and wait for opportunities to happen.
What projects have you owned? Doing SEO for a larger company, whether in-house or in an agency, can be though. You should be able to outline a project that you have taken from start to finish. If you are a junior SEO and haven’t had the chance to fully run a project by yourself yet, chances are that you have been involved in one. Here you should highlight what part you owned, what the outcome was and what you learned during the process. To be even more structured, use the STAR model as a base for your response.
Failed projects can often teach us as much as the successful ones. Why? Well, as a business entity SEO often has many dependencies internally, especially in large organisations, so when things go bad it is easy to blame someone else. What a good SEO should do is to take ownership: talk about a failed campaign and discuss what went wrong, why, and what you could have done differently. A hiring manager knows that it is challenging to do SEO on an enterprise level and soft skills will be as valuable as technical skills, not just for the SEO team but for the whole business.
Who is Fred? There are plenty of websites writing about the latest Google updates so make sure to read a few of these articles and understand what each update does (and what it doesn’t do). It can also be beneficial to understand what a Global roll-out means and how search works slightly differently depending on language and local language verities, and so on. In a nutshell, a hiring manager wants to see that you are interested in SEO/Google updates and have a fundamental understanding of what these updates mean for their business.
What’s next? Is voice-search the next big thing? Will automated, hyper-personalised content take over the web? What is next in localisation? How do you rank new formats? Etc, etc. Start asking questions, come up with a thesis – even better: come up with one and start running a test. We can only speculate about what the search engines will do next but the key point here is to demonstrate that you are thinking ahead. This shows that you are interested in the subject and can formulate ideas.
When inviting a new SEO member to a team, a hiring manager wants to feel confident that the next member will ring something to the table and be existing to work with SEO every day of the week.
Good luck in your job hunt!