Orit Mutznik has advice for SEOs looking to stand out in the job market in 2023, and suggests that you should highlight all your previous SEO wins and avoid sending generic CVs if you want to land your dream role.
Orit says: “Look at your CV and think about everything mentioned in the job description to nail your dream role in SEO.”
What are common mistakes that you see in the CVs of SEOs?
“Spending extra time on that CV is important, especially when you are on the agency side and want to move in-house. It’s easy to send hundreds of CVs that are the same, yet you can make slight necessary tweaks and adapt them to the job description if you want to stand out.
One of the biggest mistakes happens when recruiting for international roles for non-English speakers. Often, people send CVs that are not in English. When you apply to a global company, you will want to use English because not everybody understands your language.
Also, English is a critical workplace skill, regardless of where you come from. You can never go wrong with an English CV. Even in multinational companies, their HR department could sometimes be in an English-speaking country. Having both versions would go a long way.”
Are there any distinctive features that US recruiters look for in a CV/resume rather than a more European version?
“It’s not a case of the European versus American version. Rather, every role is looking for particular things, and it’s important to be clear on those.
For example, suppose you are agency-based and want to apply for an in-house role in Europe or America. In the agency, you probably worked with a lot of brands, usually in a very short timeframe. With some, it was brief, and with others, more in-depth. It helps to mention all the relevant brands you have worked with, as well as some details of your involvement, what you did, and the results you achieved.
Since people are looking for relevant experience, no matter where you are coming from. You need to spend some time and work on including those details. Anything that indicates growth (like percentages and statistics) will get you on top of the CV pile. Better still, you can have a general template that you customise for every application.”
Would you recommend removing experience that’s not as relevant for the job and just focusing on what is most relevant?
“It depends on the amount of information you already have on your CV. You probably would not want to trim anything, because the more experience you have, the better. However, it does still help to pick and choose the experience that is relevant to the role.
If your experience is relatively thin for the role you are applying for, you should highlight other aspects of your experience. Review the job description and look at the day-to-day expectations for that role. If you haven’t worked in a relevant company, then make sure that you highlight that part of your experience that is relevant to the day-to-day activities of the new role.”
What key things do you need to do before the interview to make it more likely that you’ll get that SEO job?
“Firstly, don’t say goodbye to the job description. It comes in handy if you are interviewing and helps you to prepare for it. Craft your narrative and think about the questions you’ll probably be asked about your experience. Keep referring back to the day-to-day activities required and tailor your speech accordingly. You’ll need to show how your experience links with what they are looking for.
Then, if you haven’t matched your CV or your experience to this specific role, you can use the interview to do that. The interview allows you to connect the experience back to the current job for companies you have listed that they don’t know much about. You can then explain your roles and responsibilities at that company in detail.
Also, it’s important to listen to the recruiting manager. Usually, they’ll give background and some context on the role in addition to the job description. Using that information, adapt your experience to what they have said and convince them that you are a perfect match based on your experience.
That’s also your chance to show that you know your role and your importance because the CVs can be pretty limited. Talk about your projects, how important you were to the business, and the results that you have achieved.”
What soft skills are recruiters looking for in SEOs, nowadays?
“You’ve got to spend those few minutes before the interview to hype yourself up and build some confidence because that is what most recruiters are looking for. On top of that, they are also mainly looking for proactiveness and enthusiasm. That applies at every level, whether it is a managerial position or a junior SEO.
At the end of the day, recruiters are looking for the best people for the role. Those are usually people who are keen and able to hit the ground running as soon as possible. Sometimes, you may be a bit shy. The recruiter might offer some icebreakers in most cases and you must act confident and at least try to fake the enthusiasm because it goes a long way in showing how you will work when hired. Make sure that you don’t speak too quickly, either.
For video interviews, deal with all the technicalities beforehand. Find good lighting and ensure you have good internet speed. All these are important and could cost you good opportunities because there are many other qualified candidates.”
Are recruiters specifically looking for SEOs who can also work with other departments?
“There are always many departments to work with, from the junior side to the more senior SEO manager roles. All of these roles will require you to work with different people. SEOs have to be influential and communicative enough to work with other departments, which is definitely a skill that recruiters are looking for.
That is why enthusiasm is a critical part of the role - to motivate people that you depend on to do their job well. Remember, SEOs are not independent. They rely on product teams, writers, content people, designers, technical developers, and others.
The main task is always keeping it simple, adapting your narrative to the different departments, and encouraging others. Knowing how to leverage their wins is important because it creates a positive feedback loop, where they produce things for you knowing that you will shine and share that accomplishment with everybody. That way, they will be more motivated to help and work with you because they’ll also see you as an advocate for their achievements.”
What shouldn’t SEOs be doing in 2023 when finding their dream job? What is seductive in terms of time, but ultimately counterproductive?
“Usually, it is seductive for SEOs to mass-produce their CV and send hundreds of them to different businesses. That will not be productive because every role has its peculiarities. You might want to have that balance between time, productivity, and trying to reach as many employers as you can.
When you find a handful of jobs you really want, ensure that your CVs are all adapted to the specific job descriptions. Don’t just send a blank, generic CV to a job you really want because you will probably just crash and burn. It’s not worth it losing an opportunity you wanted because you were trying to save some time.”
Orit Mutznik is the SEO Director at Forbes, and you can find her by searching ‘Oritz Mutznik’ on LinkedIn.
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