If you’ve been even remotely connected to digital marketing at any point over the last twenty years, then you’re no doubt well aware of the meaning and value of Search Engine Optimization. But you might not realize that SEO isn’t just a way to get higher rankings on the SERPs–it can also be used to generate personal job opportunities and career growth.
These days, SEO has a very specific connotation. That’s because most people consider the phrase “search engine” to be synonymous with “Google.”
That’s not unreasonable if your objective is to increase web traffic and conversions on your site. But what you might not realize is that there are a number of other search engines out there that have a surprising influence on your career prospects. And you don’t have to be an SEO consultant or guru to take advantage of them.
Search Engines in the Recruitment World
You’ve probably used Google or a similar search engine to find nearby restaurants, compare products, or research a topic you’re unfamiliar with.
In much the same way, employers and marketing professional recruiters use search engines to find high-quality marketing talent and sift through job applicants.
A few examples:
For at least a while longer, LinkedIn is THE place to be online for developing a professional network and improving career growth prospects.
Marketing professional recruiters often search for potential candidates on LinkedIn via the social network’s own search engine. LinkedIn allows you to search by keyword and include a variety of filters like location and company.
Much like you’d include certain keywords and content on your web site to attract more visitors, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to maximize its visibility to recruiters seeking your skills and experience.
Start by making sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Add images, articles, media, and Featured Skills when available.
Consider what marketing skills and experience you have are most marketable, and feature them prominently in job titles and personal descriptions.
For instance, if you’re an SEO consultant you’ll certainly want to focus on that as much as possible. But you’ll also want to add related skills and keywords like Link Building, SEO Copywriting, or Site Speed Optimization depending on your experience and specialty.
LinkedIn favors displaying complete, active profiles. Optimizing yours will maximize the chances of a recruiter seeing it and offering you an opportunity–even when you’re not actively looking for work!
Happy with Your Marketing Job?
Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, LinkedIn is still a social network first and foremost. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s search engine prioritizes profiles that have a connection to the searcher. So you’ll find the most success if you’re active in cultivating valuable connections and participating in groups to extend your network.
For more tips on LinkedIn SEO, check these resource:
- LinkedIn SEO: How to Get Your Profile Ranking
- 13 Sneaky LinkedIn SEO Hacks to Boost Your Profile Views
- LinkedIn SEO Tutorial: How to Optimize Your Profile To Rank Higher In Both Google And LinkedIn’s Search Results
Applicant Tracking Systems
Most employers and recruiters manage candidates for their jobs through an Applicant Tracking System; software that helps organize, evaluate and communicate with applicants.
When a job is posted online, it might get hundreds or thousands of applications. Most businesses can’t afford to manually consider each and every one. You want marketing professional recruiters and hiring managers to easily be able to find you in their Applicant Tracking System when they search for certain skills or accomplishments.
When possible, customize your resume and application to reflect keywords in the position’s job description (but don’t just stuff them in haphazardly). Avoid vague phrases and titles that don’t have widespread relevance. Marketing is so diverse, a term like “senior marketer” or “media manager” could mean a thousand different things.
Most ATSs require a text document that they can parse out for easy review, comparison and searching, and can not make use of a fixed-image PDF or image.
How Your PDF Marketing Resume Could Be Holding Back Your Career
A well-organized Word version of your resume can easily be translated by the ATS so you can be moved along the hiring process. And it will also improve the possibility of being contacted with future opportunities, since the ATS user will be able to search for people with your qualifications when a need arises.
Ever submitted a general resume or created an account on a big job aggregation site like Monster or Indeed?
Employers use search engines on those sites to search for candidates as well. In general, the SEO guidelines listed above for resumes and ATSs apply here as well. Make sure you’ve included critical information like where you’re located in your profile!
Portfolio Hosting Sites
Many portfolio hosting platforms also have some form of search engine. This is especially important for creatives and developers. However, nearly any marketer from an SEO consultant to a web analyst to a PR executive could feasibly display much of their work on various projects and campaigns in a portfolio.
A digital portfolio isn’t just a place to hang up your pretty pictures; make it a job opportunity generator by strategically adding applicable keywords to your project descriptions and profile.