Bummer! This is just a preview. You need to be signed in with a Pro account to view the entire video.
Get Hired to Do SEO20:28 with Ruth Burr Reedy
You dream in SEO--but all the SEO job descriptions require something you don't have! Ruth Burr Reedy will teach you how to show employers you know your stuff, by building your personal brand with real-life examples of your SEO prowess.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Hi, Moz fans! 0:07 So excited to be here. 0:09 Like Jin said, my name is Ruth, and 0:10 I currently manage an eight-person SEO team at BigWing Interactive. 0:13 Which is a full-service digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. 0:17 It's actually really nice, you guys should visit. 0:21 It's nice. 0:23 And today I wanted to, yeah. 0:24 Today I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about what I, as someone who 0:26 hires people to do SEO, look for when I'm hiring someone to do SEO. 0:29 And one of the things I really love about conferences like MozCon, 0:33 is you get a chance to talk to all of these people about how they got here. 0:38 How did you get into SEO? 0:42 And it's always a weird, circuitous story. 0:43 Like, oh I got an internship. 0:47 I built a website for a friend. 0:49 I was working on this project, I realized we needed search engine traffic. 0:50 I tried to figure out how to do that, I taught myself SEO, 0:54 now I'm totally crushing it. 0:57 I'm living it every day, it's my life, and I love it. 0:58 It's always some like weird random it just kinda happened now I'm owning it story. 1:00 The problem is when you go to actually look for 1:05 a job doing SEO, the job descriptions tend to look more like this. 1:08 Got a minimum experience requirement, 1:12 we really want you to have experience in our industry. 1:14 If you have a BA in marketing or communications that would be great. 1:17 And a lot of people when they're out looking for jobs don't actually match this 1:22 requirement, and that doesn't mean they're not qualified for the job but 1:27 it can be hard to get that experience if you don't already have it. 1:30 And unfortunately when you ask other SEOs for advice they're like, 1:34 just build a website, man. 1:37 Just get in there, build your own website. 1:38 Get a lot of experience and try things out and test it. 1:42 It's really cool. 1:45 Yeah, great, but I gotta get paid. 1:46 So, when you're looking at these job descriptions, 1:50 it can be really tempting to give up, like this sad puppy. 1:53 But, instead, you have to be like this happy puppy, and let's make some money. 1:56 Who wants to make some money. 2:01 [NOISE] Yes? 2:02 Yeah! 2:03 Okay. 2:05 So, first thing you have to learn to do is speak job description. 2:06 When someone asks that you have at least three years of experience, 2:10 they don't actually think that in your 36 month of SEO that you get some kind of 2:13 beautiful gift from angels that now you know how to do everything SEO. 2:18 All they really mean is you need to know how to do this already. 2:21 I don't have time to teach you SEO, I need you to come in here and do it. 2:25 That's all that means. 2:29 I fou feel like at two years of experience you know how to do SEO, 2:30 you should apply for that job. 2:33 When they ask for a bachelor's degree in marketing, 2:35 here's a secret, most SEOs don't have a marketing degree. 2:37 I don't have a marketing degree. 2:41 I have a degree in theater, shocking. 2:43 Surprising. 2:46 You surprised? I was surprised. 2:47 All they really mean is you need to have a bachelor's degree in something. 2:48 And however you might feel about this requirement 2:55 there are gonna be companies where they're very firm and adamant and 2:57 from an HR level, you need to have a bachelor's degree. 3:01 But sometimes when they're asking for a bachelor's degree in marketing, 3:04 all they're really asking is you should know something about marketing. 3:07 So when you're looking at a job description, don't look at the letter, 3:12 look at the spirit. 3:17 Look at the intent behind the words in much the same way that you would for 3:18 an SEO client. 3:21 It's not just what they're telling you what they want. 3:23 It's the search intent behind those words in that job description. 3:25 If you feel like you meet that, you should apply for the job. 3:29 And you might be thinking, oh, well, but 3:33 this person's just gonna look at my resume and then throw it out 3:34 because I don't meet their requirements and I won't even get to the interview. 3:37 Everything's terrible, and I'm a sad puppy. 3:40 But the place for you to address these concerns is in your cover letter. 3:42 Everyone hates writing a cover letter. 3:48 It feels weird to be like, I'm so great. 3:50 You should hire me because I'm really, really good at stuff. 3:53 But your cover letter, 3:57 if you are going to apply for a job where your resume doesn't meet the requirements. 3:58 The cover letter is the first place for you explain how you meet the spirit but 4:02 not the letter of the law. 4:06 If you wanna say I only have two years in experience, but 4:07 in that two years I've done x, y, and z amazing things. 4:10 Or I don't have a bachelor's degree in marketing, 4:13 but I have been working in marketing on the side, and I've learned a lot and 4:15 I've read these books and I've done this stuff. 4:18 All of that are things that you can address in your cover letter. 4:20 And here's a secret, that person who put out that perfect job description, 4:23 you know how many SEOs with three or more years of experience who have 4:28 a BA in marketing there are just out looking for a job? 4:31 Very, very few. 4:34 So, your hiring manager is going to be okay with you not having all of 4:37 those skills, if you can demonstrate that you have what they really need, 4:41 which is the ability to get the job done. 4:44 You also want to think about your ability to get the job done when you're looking at 4:48 your actual resume, your actual paper resume. 4:50 If you were an office manager and your duties included things like placing 4:53 the Costco order and booking people's travel, but it also included things like 4:58 learning HTML so that you could format and send out the company newsletter. 5:02 That last skill, somewhat more relevant to the job you're applying for 5:06 than the other to. 5:10 I firmly believe, and this goes for any job you're applying to, 5:11 not just SEO, you should rewrite your resume every time you submit it. 5:14 You should rewrite your resume to tailor it specifically to 5:18 the requirements of the job for which you're applying. 5:20 The other way you can really stand out with an SEO resume is to include metrics, 5:23 because if you show okay I only have two years of experience but 5:28 I was able to improve traffic by 20%. 5:31 I increased revenue from organic search by 30%. 5:34 Not only does that show me that you can actually do the job, 5:37 it also shows me that you know how to understand how to think about SEO. 5:40 You're already thinking about SEO in terms of results and metrics. 5:45 It also shows me, if you're like, and I increase rankings for the key phrase, I 5:49 love cheap new carpet, by ten positions, I can just throw your resume in the garbage. 5:53 You wanna include any kind of special skills that you have that'll apply. 5:59 Especially to an agency, 6:02 experience might be less important because there are people there to teach you. 6:04 They're gonna wanna know that you have experience with things like time 6:07 management and juggling multiple stakeholders. 6:10 In house you having experience is more important, 6:12 because there's probably not gonna be anybody else there to teach you. 6:15 So you're gonna wanna let them know that you have experience working in teams 6:18 getting by and 6:22 across departments, managing a PNL, all of those things can make. 6:23 Help you seems more relevant if you have a lack of years of experience. 6:27 Because, as somebody who's hiring somebody for SEO, 6:31 when I'm looking at resumes, I'm like Mr. Waturi from Joe Versus the Volcano. 6:35 I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? 6:39 I'm not arguing that with you. 6:42 I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? 6:43 If you haven't seen that movie, it's so funny you should watch it. 6:45 I don't actually care if you have three or more years of experience. 6:49 The HR department asked me how many years to put on there and I said three. 6:53 What I really want to know is can you get this job done for me. 6:57 So that I can stop thinking about it and keep thinking about other things. 7:01 So one of the things that I'm gonna ask myself about you after I read your resume 7:04 is who are you? 7:09 And I'm gonna turn to that ultimate source of information, Google. 7:11 So make yourself as googleable as possible. 7:15 And you do that by using online reputation 7:18 management techniques just like you would for any client. 7:21 The best way to manage your regulation online is to own every piece of real 7:24 estate in the SERP for your brand term, which in this case is your name. 7:29 So you can do that with things like your Twitter profile, and 7:34 your LinkedIn profile, buy your own name as a domain name if it's available. 7:37 You can join communities, like the Moz community, 7:41 about.me is another great place to build a page about yourself. 7:44 Don't forget images. 7:47 You can also make sure that images of you are flattering and appropriate and 7:49 on the first page of the serps. 7:53 And you do that by seeding the serps and 7:55 doing the same kind of optimization that you would for any other image. 7:57 And you know what? 8:00 It's really easy for 8:02 me to give you this kind of advice because my name's not Jennifer Lopez. 8:03 [LAUGH] It can be really, 8:07 really difficult to brand yourself for your name, 8:10 if your name is either very common or the same name as a very famous person. 8:14 I was so happy that Jennifer Lopez got 8:19 confetti bombed by a scary clown the day I took this screen shot, by the way. 8:22 That was gold. 8:25 Thanks scary clown. 8:26 However what you may notice is that our own Jenita, 8:29 Jennifer Sable Lopez, has found a brandable version of her name and has been 8:33 able to establish her own personal brand and dominate that in the serp. 8:38 And she does that by using the same principals of branding 8:43 that we would use for anything else. 8:46 Okay. 8:48 You can't dominate your whole market, find your niche. 8:48 Either you create a version of your name using your middle name, or 8:52 a middle initial, or you use like so, Mike King, Michael King, a very common name. 8:55 We started with the brand I Pull Rank, and he used it everywhere. 9:01 He was consistent, he used it everywhere across the web. 9:04 I guarantee he's put it on resumes before. 9:07 Whatever you do, 9:10 to create your personalized brandable version of yourself, be consistent. 9:11 Use it everywhere and lock it down. 9:16 If Jen can carve out a niche is the very competitive Jennifer Lopez market, 9:18 you guys can do it too. 9:22 And yeah, have have website. 9:25 On your website you're gonna want to demonstrate that you know 9:28 some basic skills that are important for SEO to know. 9:31 You're gonna need to know HTML, 9:35 at least enough to get by, at least enough to implement some schema. 9:37 And you should probably learn WordPress while you're at, 9:40 because WordPress is a platform that a lot of people do. 9:43 You should make sure that you're writing in the wild, 9:47 not just on your own website and on your own blog. 9:48 But figure out where are places where you can get a writing sample placed? 9:51 Because even if the job to which you're applying isn't super writing focused, 9:54 maybe it's not a content marketing job, it's more of a technical job. 9:57 Most SEOs need to do at least some writing. 10:01 They need to be effective written communicators with their clients, and 10:03 they're probably gonna have to write some copy. 10:06 So seed the web with examples of your writing in the wild, 10:08 because I'm gonna take that more seriously. 10:11 If I find it organically online, then I am if you send it to me, because if you sent 10:13 it to me, I don't really know where you got it, or that you wrote it. 10:17 You should also demonstrate that you know a little something about content strategy 10:22 and design, which I'm not gonna cover because you should have learned about 10:26 this earlier if you were paying attention. 10:29 And you should know about SEO. 10:32 I'm gonna ask about SEO in the interview so 10:34 you should be comfortable talking about that too. 10:36 If you're not then maybe you should be learning instead of looking for a job. 10:39 And put that off until you feel more conversant with your skill set. 10:43 The one question you are absolutely gonna get asked in a job interview for 10:47 an SEO position is what blogs do you read? 10:52 There are some wrong answers, but there are a lot of different right answers, 10:56 so find some blogs that really speak to you. 11:00 But one of the things that I'm looking for 11:03 is, do you care about this enough to be learning about it in your own time. 11:05 Are you consistently keeping up with developments and news in the industry? 11:10 If you're not, then you're probably gonna wash ourtafter 11:14 a couple of years because you're skills won't be current anymore. 11:17 And then I'm gonna have to go through all of this again. 11:19 And I don't wanna do that. 11:21 So be prepared to answer that, and 11:22 be prepared to answer that question thoughtfully. 11:24 Let's talk a little bit about how I got my job. 11:28 Do you know where I got the job that I have now for 11:31 all practical intents and purposes? 11:34 MozCon 2013. 11:36 Yeah. 11:38 So in 2013 I knew that I was moving to Oklahoma City. 11:39 And Tila who is a mozzer met my current boss David and was like, 11:42 you have to meet this guy, he's British but he lives in Oklahoma City and 11:47 he's really nice and you should meet him. 11:50 Cuz Tila was really worried that I wasn't gonna have any friends which was nice. 11:52 And I did meet David and we hit it off. 11:55 So when I was ready for my next gig in Oklahoma City David already knew me, 11:58 we'd already talked about SEO a lot. 12:03 He was comfortable, we built trust. 12:06 Building trust, building relationships. 12:08 Maybe someone has mentioned that earlier in the day, I don't know. 12:10 So he was basically like, oh, you should just come work for me. 12:14 And that's the power of networking. 12:18 Networking isn't about making friends with people. 12:20 So that you can use them and it's also not about, oh, 12:23 well that person just hires their friends. 12:26 It doesn't matter if they're good. 12:28 Now, working is about getting to know people on a social level so 12:29 that they have a chance to experience you, 12:33 who you are as a person, what you'd be like as a co-worker. 12:35 And they're also gonna become more familiar overtime with your body of work, 12:38 and that's the power of networking. 12:41 Networking doesn't have to be weird. 12:43 It doesn't have to be like, oh what do you do, let's exchange business cards. 12:44 This is me and Mike P from Moscow a couple of years ago. 12:48 You can make actual real live friends while networking 12:51 who then turn into business connections that will help you along the way. 12:55 Not just by hiring you directly, but if you're like, hey Giant network of SEOs 12:58 that I've acquired through being really friendly at conferences like this one. 13:02 I'm looking for a new job. 13:07 All those people are gonna trust you enough to give you their stamp of approval 13:09 and say hey, so and 13:12 so, you're hiring, I feel very comfortable recommending this person to you. 13:14 And that's the best way to get SEO jobs is to get to know other SEOs. 13:18 And a word on networking at conferences. 13:24 Rand Fishkin is not famous, you guys. 13:28 I know he seems famous, cause we're all into it. 13:32 Rand Fishkin is not an actual celebrity. 13:34 And you know what? 13:37 Rand is so nice. 13:38 He's really great to get to know. 13:39 And for all of you who are like, my whole goal when I come to MozCon this year, and 13:42 I know you're out there and it's really cool. 13:47 Is to meet Rand Fishkin and get a picture, or is to meet Rand Fishkin and ask him my 13:48 one SEO question, and if I do that I'll feel like I've had a successful MozCon. 13:53 Rather than taking that time to mob the keynote speakers, look at the other 13:58 1500 people in this room and think, who are the people that I could get to know? 14:04 Who are the people that I've talked to and 14:08 really liked and felt like I had a connection. 14:10 Who are the people who are doing cool stuff on Twitter during the show? 14:12 Strike up a conversation in line for food, or in line for drinks, or in line for 14:15 karaoke, which we're totally doing tonight, everybody. 14:19 >> Woo hoo. 14:22 >> Yeah. 14:23 Make friends. 14:24 Make connections. 14:26 And that time you spent doing that will be so much better spent 14:27 than the time you wait asking, trying to ask Rand your one SEO question. 14:31 Not that Rand's not great, I love Rand. 14:35 I'm just saying there are a lot of other people here who would be worth 14:36 getting to know. 14:39 And then once you get to know these people, stay in touch with them. 14:41 Reach out on Twitter, reach out on email, 14:44 make sure you find them at the next conference and over time you'll 14:46 be building a whole network of connections that can turn into jobs for you. 14:49 Speaking of staying in touch, holla at you girl. 14:54 [LAUGH] >> And that's my show, thank you. 14:56 >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you so much, Ruth. 14:59 I feel very privileged, I had an entire slide dedicated to me. 15:07 [LAUGH] I also remembered I tweeted out my cover letter and 15:10 resume that got me hired at SEO Moz back in the day. 15:16 I just tweeted that out, it was a fun like, oh yeah. 15:22 I didn't know what the hell I was doing. 15:26 I mean, I did, Rand. 15:27 I did. 15:29 >> Yes. Turned out fine. 15:30 >> [LAUGH] I have a few questions. 15:31 The question came up about LinkedIn. 15:36 >> Mm-hm. 15:38 >> Would you also update LinkedIn constantly? 15:39 Is it weird when people see you updating it? 15:44 I mean, from the perspective of your friends with all your LinkedIn 15:47 people, and they might see you updating it, what are your thoughts on LinkedIn? 15:53 >> So >> I'd say you update LinkedIn 15:57 pretty regularly. 16:00 I don't update my LinkedIn as often as I should, TBH, 16:01 but if you do something really cool, obviously if you get a promotion. 16:04 But make sure that you're updating the descriptions of your 16:09 job as you're doing cool stuff as well. 16:13 So those same metrics and 16:15 results that you would put on your resume to show that you know what you're doing, 16:17 put that in your LinkedIn profile under the summary of your job as well. 16:21 And I actually just recently was hiring and 16:24 I was looking at this guy and trying to figure out more about him, 16:27 trying to find those examples of what he'd done in the Wiles. 16:30 And I was like dang, 16:33 I really wish that he had made better use of LinkedIn's portfolio feature, 16:35 where you can collect all these videos and slide shares and things that you've done. 16:39 Because that would have made it a lot easier for me to research this person. 16:43 So I definitely think that's worth doing and 16:46 I definitely look at LinkedIn as part of hiring. 16:48 I would be less inclined to hire somebody who hadn't spent any time on their 16:52 LinkedIn at all, in a digital role, cuz it's just a weird disconnect. 16:56 >> I agree with that as well. 17:01 Initially, before I even look at somebody's resume, I will Google them, and 17:04 look at their LinkedIn and Twitter, and what not first. 17:08 There was one really funny question, and I wasn't going to ask it, but I'm going to. 17:13 They wanna know if that was an Eddie Izzard reference, were you surprised? 17:18 I was surprised. 17:22 >> It was. 17:22 Oh my gosh. 17:23 Come find me after. >> [LAUGH] I had to make sure that that 17:24 was clear, that everybody was okay with that. 17:27 So you did mention, you mentioned me like the way, but 17:32 I've essentially inserted another word into my name. 17:37 Well, I mean it's my real name and all, 17:40 but what about folks who do have that like Mike King. 17:43 And what are some other ways other than simply adding another name in that you 17:47 can get to make sure that people can find you when they're like, who is this person? 17:53 >> I mean really, it's the same as when you're thinking of a brand name for 17:57 a company. 18:00 There are gonna be some people who are like, you know, I do roofing in Edmond, 18:01 Oklahoma, so the name of my company is Edmond Roofing, you know? 18:05 My name is Ruth Baredi, that's fairly uncommon, so I just go by Ruth Baredi. 18:08 But if you do have something more common, it's okay to not, 18:12 I mean, obviously put your name on your resume, let's not get crazy. 18:16 But if you have another brand that 18:19 you would like to take some time to create for yourself. 18:22 Maybe you have a creative Twitter handle, 18:24 maybe you've used something like KnowEm, which is a great tool to lock 18:26 down your social info over a lot of different platforms. 18:30 You can start using that everywhere. 18:33 The important thing is that you are consistent. 18:35 You can even do it with a key word modifier, so if your name's Mike Smith and 18:37 you would like to start being known as Mike Smith, SEO, 18:42 you can start putting that everywhere. 18:45 MikeSmithSEO.com, Mike Smith SEO, 18:47 it's @MikeSmithSEO, it's on your LinkedIn, Mike Smith SEO. 18:50 Do it everywhere, be very consistent with formatting. 18:55 Over time you are gonna be able to carve out that brand niche and, of course. 18:59 Again, as you would do with branding anything else, 19:03 make sure that somebody else isn't already squatting on that brand by like, 19:06 having your same name, before you start trying to brand that particular version. 19:10 >> That horrible other Jennifer Lopez. 19:16 >> Why should you change? 19:19 She's the one who sucks. 19:19 >> Yeah, exactly. 19:20 I do rank for Jen Lopez I'm just saying. 19:22 >> It's possible. 19:25 >> [LAUGH] Thank you Ruth so much, I appreciate it. 19:26 I think everyone has learned a ton from exactly what we're looking for 19:31 when we're looking at jobs and what not. 19:36 >> Oh and Sears is hiring, and Trip Advisor is hiring, 19:39 Big Wing is hiring content marketers if you live in Oklahoma City. 19:43 If you want a job there are people here that are trying to hire, just FYI. 19:46 >> Lot's of jobs and that actually takes me into, I have a really great segue. 19:49 Many of you know that three years ago Inbound.org actually 19:52 launched their jobs feature, and they are doing a wonderful thing. 19:56 You can post for free on Inbound.org until August 31st using the code MozCon15. 20:01 It's also within the MozCon mobile app, so 20:08 if you go there, find the link, you can post a job for free. 20:12 And, obviously there are lots of jobs there so that folks who are looking for 20:17 them can find all kinds of great things. 20:20 And, be sure to take Ruth's advice as you're doing that. 20:23 Thank you, Ruth. 20:28
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up