As a recruiter in the internet marketing industry I am tasked with reviewing hundreds of resumes every week. The reality is I have to quickly evaluate these resumes to determine which candidates are the most qualified for the positions I am recruiting for, as well as identify which candidates will be best suited for future client needs.
This post is not intended to tell you what to put on your resume, but rather outline what I look for in the first 60 seconds of reviewing any resume. To me, writing a good resume and implementing SEO are very similar conceptually, so if you’re a good SEO professional, you should have a great resume.
Eye-catching Keywords and Job Titles (10 seconds)
As a search engine marketer, I know you understand the importance of targeted keywords. When I first look at a resume, my natural tendency is for my eyes to be directed to any and all keywords related to search marketing on the page. Some examples of attractive keywords are: SEM, SEO, PPC, Web Analytics, A/B Testing, Blogging, Copywriting, Web Design, Web Development, Multivariate testing, etc. Keep in mind however, that these keywords are primarily a visual queue for me. Similar to good SEO practices, being keyword-rich by itself is not enough to make an impact.
After the initial glance of reviewing keywords I review job titles. I want to know what you are doing currently and just by the title I can get a reasonable understanding of your work history.
Content is King… (40 seconds)
After the job title comes the most important piece — content. As many SEO professionals attest, good content is the key to high rankings. Well, that also applies to a resume. If after glancing at the keywords and title, I like what I see, I will dig down deeper and continue reading. I am specifically looking for hands-on experience that shows an increase in production of some sort. For example:
- Managed a budget of $5million dollar PPC spend and increased revenue 150% YOY
- Achieved top organic rankings for “x”, “y”, and “z” keywords. All in a competitive space.
- Improved conversions for paid search marketing by 52%
Bullet points that describe an increase in production that you were accountable for are the key to getting me interested! If you have good content within your bullet points I will typically read further.
At this point I am looking for the “How”. It is great that you increased production and conversions, but how did you do it? Within the content it is important to elaborate on the day-to-day initiatives that you are responsible for. While reviewing a resume, I question everything to understand the true capabilities of the candidate.
“CompanyRank” and “EducationRank” (10 seconds)
Another aspect that I look at is the companies that you have worked for and their position within their respective industries. An established and / or well-known company on your resume is similar to having credible sites with high PageRank linking into you. If you have worked for any company that is in the Fortune 100 to 500, this is great career experience which you can instantly leverage for future opportunities.
Additionally, if we are working with one of Internet Retailer’s Top 100 and they are looking for a Search Engine Marketing Manager, I want to see relevant transactional e-commerce experience on your resume. If you demonstrate that you have the ability to make my client money right away, you are definitely going to make it to the top of my call list.
Tenure and education are last on my list. I would compare them to meta data. The national reputation of your university or length of tenure has some impact, but I still give the most weight to the content within your resume which demonstrates you can do the job at hand.
Once again, in our business it takes 60 seconds to properly evaluate a resume to determine if the person is going to be a fit for the position at hand. After the initial review, there is of course an interview process and additional screening, but if you are actively searching for a job and you want to get a call back from a recruiter, make sure that your resume is keyword rich, engaging, full of content and displays how you will benefit a potential client.
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