SEO Specialist Resume Samples + Expert Tips for 2020
8 minute read
Updated on 2020-02-13
Believe it or not, we’ve seen our fair share of crazies when it comes to SEO specialist resumes.
The one that *we’ve printed on our wall of fame* had a resume tile:
“SEO Specialist resume, best SEO specialist resume, top SEO specialist resume, NYC SEO specialist, Boston..”
Imagine how the rest was.
And, it came from someone with a background of 2+ years as an SEO professional.
But, we know you are much smarter than that!
So, we collected what most usually known as the unspoken rules of resume writing and built this guide for you.
““The ideal SEO specialist is hungry to learn and provides creative solutions to unique problems. I’m less interested in someone with a degree in English or digital marketing and more keen on hiring a candidate who’s able to accurately represent their ambition and capabilities.””
Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.Ken Robinson
Future employers are most interested in your current career and whether your experience is applicable to the job offer. Therefore, if you’ve been working in the SEO industry for a few years, our experts recommend writing your work experience in reverse-chronological order.
If you’ve got a wide breadth of experience from piecework, freelance gigs, as well as a regular 9-5, you might want to consider a hybrid resume. This sort of document allows you to highlight your skill sets while also incorporating your work experience.
The top sections to include on an SEO specialist resume
An objective or summary
SEO experience with a focus on results you’ve gotten
Relevant soft and technical skills
Layout aside, you’ll also need to make your area of expertise clear. The hiring manager shouldn’t be reading your resume and wondering whether you do on page specialization or outreach.
Ultimately, a SEO specialist resume which is focused on a single area is going to be more effective than one with a bit of experience in 5 areas.
PRO TIPYou’ve got less than 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention – make sure that you’re providing the most accurate information as quickly as possible.
What your resume header is probably missing
As an SEO specialist, your attention to detail is what you’re best known for. Providing the wrong keywords can cause the client’s site to lose major traffic. Incorrect ad copy can ruin any chance for an ROI.
Within a single line, prospective employers can determine whether you meet – and exceed – their hiring requirements.
Nail it, and you’ve got their attention. Here’s how to do it:
What your resume header needs
Basic information: Include your name contact details (e.g. phone number, professional email address), and your location.
Certifications/Qualifications: The best resume headers allow readers to quickly make determinations. Do you have an MA in Creative Writing? Have you worked your way through the Hubspot class list? Successfully complete any Google certifications that apply to this specific job offer?
Personal and/or professional website: Providing your LinkedIn profile and/or another personal website is a great way to efficiently showcase your certifications and skills. A website that’s set up correctly can take you far!
We’ve provided two resume headers from the same person. The first is more eye-catching, followed by one that doesn’t quite stand out.
Analytics and Hubspot-Certified SEO Specialist
+359 88 888 8888
+359 88 888 8888
Should I include a resume objective or summary?
If you’re just entering the SEO field (or are considering a new path in the industry), a resume objective is a solid choice. Though writing 1-2 unique and succinct sentences can seem tricky, finding the right language is the biggest part of your job!
Self-starting SEO specialist with 5+ years at a digital marketing agency. Skilled at optimization, keyword research, project management, and content marketing funnel analysis. Currently seeking a position at Marketing Works Ltd.
I’m an experienced SEO specialist who’s good at KW research, project management, and content marketing.
PRO TIPAvoid using first-person narrative – keep your text objective.
When you have broad professional experience (in a variety of roles), a resume summary is the better method to utilize. This brief explanation should be no more than 4 or 5 sentences and may include relevant information regarding previous jobs experience, volunteer positions, online certifications, freelance gigs, and more.
Self-taught with 6+ years’ experience in social media management, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Raised B2C client’s organic search rankings from page 4 to 1 within two months – increasing organic traffic by more than 40%. Grew subscription base by more than 15% each month (improving ROI by more than 12%).
PRO TIPEnsure that you’re using great fonts, enough white space, and the right headers. If you can’t show that you understand the basics of SEO content production, you’ll be passed over for positions.
SEO specialist with 6 years of experience. Trained in Google Analytics and Ads. My content writing skills can build your clients’ site traffic by more than 50% within 6 months.
Never guarantee that you can boost any sort of traffic by a specific amount – this is a sign to hiring managers that your resume is either fake or worse – you’re someone who builds fake audiences.
What’s the most effective way to include your SEO specialist resume experience?
The goal of your experience section is to give hiring managers no choice but to hire you. Though it’s time-consuming, you need to determine what the company is looking for, then build a killer resume around those requirements.
Have a look at the following examples. Both detail identical work experiences, but they couldn’t be further apart:
SEO SpecialistMarketing Solutions Inc.
06/2016 - 04/2019
Kickstarted MailChimp email marketing campaigns for B2B company, resulting in 23% stronger engagement.
Developed standardized content expectations for team of 5 writers to improve their quality and efficiency.
Led three B2C content campaigns in the pharmaceutical industry, with the highest organic traffic increase of 45% (in three months).
With these simple three bullets, the hiring manager can see that this person checks all of the major boxes:
Capable of learning new skills/developing more efficient processes
Worth the investment.
If we view the same person with the same – but poorly-worded – experience, there will be a very different outcome:
SEO SpecialistMarketing Solutions Inc.
06/2015 - 09/2018
Ran email marketing campaigns using MailChimp.
Created writer guide for content team
Responsible for three pharmaceutical content campaigns that saw positive growth
PRO TIPWhen you’re writing about your SEO content experience, dig deep and crunch some numbers. Your clients might have seen positive growth, but if you aren’t able to provide the hard facts, who’s going to believe you?
Does your SEO specialist resume need an education section?
Though there’s no such thing as a BA in SEO Content Writing, English degrees (e.g. Creative Writing, Literature) are fairly common. It’s rare, however, to find a person who understands the point where writing and SEO meet – and someone who takes it to the next level.
Employers almost always to find someone with proven experience rather than a degree. That said, if you possess a related degree, be sure to mention it in your SEO specialist resume. Recent graduates are welcome to detail an accomplishment or recognition, but it’s preferable to simply list the institution, date of graduation, and the degree.
How should you decide which skills to include and emphasize?
In a nutshell, your necessary resume skills should be listed in the job offer. However, not all skills are considered equal. One hiring manager broke it down this way:
“Give me someone who knows SEO basics, can read or code HTML, is a good writer and can have an intelligent conversation any day over someone who “only” has a degree. If you have some familiarity with analytics, even better.”
- Clay Cazier, VP of Search Strategy at PMX Agency
The most in-demand SEO skills either take time to teach (e.g. full funnel marketing) or require innate talent (e.g. writing compelling articles). Anyone can tell a prospective manager that they’re the best writer ever – your goal is to provide examples that back that claim up.
While writing is considered a soft skill, remember that SEO is more reliant upon technical experience. To get ahead in the industry – and of your competition – you’ll need to include these “hard” skills.
Consider including some of the top 20 skills that employers look for in their SEO specialists:
10 Soft skills to include on an SEO specialist resume
10 Technical (hard) skills to include on an SEO specialist resume
Keyword research (e.g SEM Rush, BrainRank, Keyword Planner)
GSuite, Microsoft Office, etc.
Email marketing (e.g. MailChimp)
SEO software (e.g. Yoast, Searchmetrics)
CMS (e.g Monday, Asana)
Crawl software (e.g. Screaming Frog)
How to include your certifications on your resume
Make no mistake: Certifications aren’t typically required to become a professional SEO specialist, but they’re an excellent way to showcase skillsets in a specific area.
Like we said above, if you only have a handful of relevant certifications, keep them in your header area. If you’re certified on a wide variety of platforms – from Hubspot to LinkedIn to Google – you might be better off creating a specific section for them.
PRO TIPIf you notice that job advertisements constantly reference specific certifications – and you have limited experience in the field – it’s probably a good idea to start studying!
The top 10 certifications for your SEO specialist resume
SEO is just as much about quantitative analysis as qualitative, so we used AI-driven big data analysis to look at 1000s of SEO specialist resumes and job offers.
Our goal? To understand which skills were most in demand and which were most “in supply” on other resumes. The result is a glimpse into what the competition is doing as well as what employers are clamoring for.
In short, what makes an SEO specialist resume work?
For you to find your dream job, you’ll need to:
Write either an eye-catching summary or objective statement.
Use numbers to back up your claims.
Show that you can build real, valuable client bases.
Prove that you’re the independent SEO writer of any company’s dreams.
Tailor your resume (and cover letter!) for each application.
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.