Resume Template: SEO Specialist

In order for someone to get the most out of a piece of information, they have to know where to find it. The same goes for resumes. A well-written resume lays out your accomplishments so that the right people will know exactly where to find your most relevant details, quickly demonstrating that you are the best person for the SEO specialist role. Ready to get started? You already have everything you need. Now, we’ll just help you put it in the correct places. We’ll help you position your skills and experiences to help you stand out from the other applicants, get your foot in the door, and land more interviews. Let’s get to it.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample SEO specialist resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best SEO specialist resume you possibly can.

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SEO Specialist Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Kristen Rogers [email protected] 1 (615) 533-7654 Nashville, TN 37011 linkedin.com/kristenrogers

Summary Statement:

SEO Specialist: SEO Specialist with demonstrable history of implementing SEO best practices across digital media, including websites built on WordPress, Shopify, and Drupal. Excels at keyword research and identifying trends from which to build web pages and long-form content. Thrives while working within a team to create and optimize content and expand profitability.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Google AdWords
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Analytics
  • Moz
  • WordPress
  • Performance Marketing
  • SEO Best Practices
  • Time Management
  • Collaboration
  • Research

Professional Experience:

Hamilton Marketing | Nashville, TN SEO Specialist | February 2018 – Present
  • Performed ongoing keyword research using Google AdWords and other platforms
  • Compiled and analyzed data, identified trends to achieve ROI
  • Ensured implementation of SEO best practices
  • Suggested changes to website architecture, including content and linking
Hybrid Solutions | Nashville, TN SEO Specialist | January 2015 – December 2017
  • Identified target audience and optimized content accordingly
  • Optimized content across company platforms and external web properties
  • Helped conduct training of internal marketing team
  • Developed KPIs in order to assure optimization
Metric Digital | Nashville, TN SEO Consultant | June 2012 – December 2014
  • Met with business owners to evaluate their digital marketing strategies
  • Managed accounts and generated new leads
  • Assembled monthly reports and monitored optimization strategies
  • Assisted clients with KPI management and project specifications

Education/Certifications

Bachelor of Arts in English The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, Class of 2012

Correct Formatting

As we mentioned earlier, as an SEO specialist, you understand the importance of arranging information in the right places. Organization is crucial — and the same goes for resume writing. It does not matter how qualified you are for a role — if the hiring manager can’t find your most relevant experiences right off the bat, you won’t be considered for the position. Here’s resume formatting 101: For most sections of your SEO specialist resume, you should utilize a format called reverse chronological order. Reverse chronological order, where you list your most recent experience first and work backward, helps to ensure your most relevant details are seen first. Most importantly, your SEO specialist resume needs to be easy to read. Choose a sensible font like Arial or Times New Roman and go with simple formatting. Funky fonts and formatting will make you stand out — in a bad way. Simple is best. While you are trying to fit in as many details as possible, try to avoid big blocks of text. Use white space and spacing techniques, like bullet points and line breaks, to help break things up and guide the eye. It’s okay to be descriptive, but be selective: except in very rare cases, your resume should only be one page in length.

The Resume Summary

So much of the job-hunting process has moved online, making it easier than ever to discover and apply for your dream job. But that also means more and more people can apply for one role than ever before. Hiring teams are extremely busy. Did you know that the average hiring manager only looks at a resume for about six seconds? That means that you only have six seconds to convince the hiring manager that you are qualified enough for them to keep reading. How can you stand out and grab their attention? The best way to get the most out of those first six seconds is to kick off your SEO specialist resume with a sharp resume summary at the top of the page. A resume summary is a short paragraph that describes your top skills and experiences in just two or three sentences. You don’t have a lot of space here, so choose the experiences that are the most relevant to the role you’re applying for and be specific in your descriptions. This section is your “greatest hits.” It will help you make a strong first impression, so include the impressive skills that make you great at being a SEO specialist. Here are some examples:

Yes!

SEO Specialist with demonstrable history of implementing SEO best practices across digital media, including websites built on WordPress, Shopify, and Drupal. Excels at keyword research and identifying trends from which to build web pages and long-form content. Thrives while working within a team to create and optimize content and expand profitability.

No!

SEO Specialist with many experiences in many industries. Experienced with many kinds of software.
What is the Yes! summary doing right? The first example is informative and detailed. It tells us about your expertise, including the exact software programs you have experience using and the skills you have learned. The second example, while it may be accurate, is extremely general and doesn’t really tell us anything about you. It is also very repetitive — notice how many times it repeats words like “experience” and “many.”

Areas of Expertise/Key Accomplishments

Now that you’ve grabbed the attention of the hiring manager with your snappy resume summary, you need a quick way to show that you’re qualified for the role. You can accomplish this with a list of your areas of expertise. Because your resume summary is in paragraph format, you’re going to mix it up with this section and create a bulleted list. Why? A bulleted list gives a busy hiring manager something to quickly scan on your SEO specialist resume to see if you meet the criteria before reading anything else. So what should you include? List the skills and experiences you have that would tip the scale in your favor over other candidates. Be selective here — you don’t have a lot of space, so choose your most impressive skills and experiences.

PRO TIP: As an SEO specialist, you’re going to want to name the specific programs that you’re comfortable using. These skills are probably critical to your job, so the required computer knowledge the employer is looking for will probably be listed in the job description.

Example:

  • Google AdWords
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Analytics
  • Moz
  • WordPress
  • Performance Marketing
  • SEO Best Practices
  • Time Management
  • Collaboration
  • Research
Though computer programs are probably essential to your job, notice how the above list does not include exclusively software programs. This is because, to be a well-rounded SEO specialist, you need to have a mix of hard skills and soft skills. What’s the difference? Hard skills are the technical skills, like computer software, that you learn in school or on the job. They are objective and things you get better at with practice. Soft skills are more subjective, but just as important. You can’t necessarily measure or teach them, like attention to detail or communication. Skills in this category are also sometimes called “people skills.” (Below is a table of suggested hard and soft skill ideas for SEO specialists to get you started.)

Your Work Experience

After you’ve grabbed the attention of the hiring manager with your punchy resume summary and shown that you’re qualified for the role with an informative bulleted list, it’s time to move on to your work history. Your work experience is the bulk of your resume — and where you convince the hiring team that you’re the best candidate out of all the applicants. Your work history is the first section where you’re going to utilize the format we mentioned earlier, reverse chronological order. In most cases, your most recent role should be the most impressive and relevant to the position you’re applying for, so you want it to be seen first. That’s why you should start with your most recent job and work your way backward through your experiences. Though you are listing your work history here, don’t feel like you need to list all of it. Remember, you only have one page, so be selective and choose only the most relevant roles to include. Be informative, but concise. Describe each experience in three to five bullet points. Be as specific as you can and be sure to discuss not only your duties in the role, but also the impact you had during your time at the company. The language you use can help here: start each bullet off with an action word, avoid the first person, and try not to repeat yourself. You want to inspire confidence in your abilities, so if you have any quantifiable information, like sales reports or website traffic data, be sure to include it. Here are some examples:

Yes!

Hamilton Marketing | Nashville, TN | SEO Specialist | February 2018 – Present
  • Perform ongoing keyword research using Google AdWords and other platforms
  • Compile and analyze data, identify trends to achieve ROI
  • Ensure implementation of SEO best practices
  • Suggest changes to website architecture, including content and linking

No!

Hamilton Marketing | Nashville, TN | SEO Specialist | February 2018 – Present
  • Do research
  • Work on website
  • Work with data and organized data
Again, the first example is specific and informative. By starting each bullet off with an action word like “perform” and “suggest,” this example shares your abilities and accomplishments in a way that inspires confidence. The second example is very general and repetitive. It only outlines some of the basic duties of an SEO specialist without sharing anything about your abilities.

PRO TIP: Starting each resume off with an action word will also help you avoid using the first person, which is not recommended for resume writing.

What are bots?

Remember earlier when we mentioned that hiring managers are so busy, they only look at the average resume for six seconds? Well, there are hiring managers who don’t have time to look at some resumes at all. With so many applicants to consider, busy hiring managers don’t have the time to review the materials of every single candidate. That’s why hiring teams use software programs called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). An ATS is a program that is designed to look from certain keywords and set aside the resumes that include those words. It’s those resumes that will be reviewed by human hiring teams. What kinds of keywords do they look for? An ATS is usually programmed with keywords from the job description. That’s why it is so important to carefully read the job listing: you can be totally qualified for a position, but if you don’t use the right keywords, your materials might be tossed to the side.

PRO TIP: Be sure to use keywords exactly the way they appear in the posting, not synonyms. Synonyms, like using “Microsoft Office” instead of “Excel,” might not get picked up by an ATS, even when they mean similar things.

To impress a potential ATS, some applicants will choose to write the descriptions of their positions in paragraph format, instead of in bullet points. This is because they are trying to fit in as many keywords in as possible. Let’s look at the two formats side by side.

Bullet list:

Hamilton Marketing | Nashville, TN | SEO Specialist | February 2018 – Present
  • Perform ongoing keyword research using Google AdWords and other platforms
  • Compile and analyze data, identify trends to achieve ROI
  • Ensure implementation of SEO best practices
  • Suggest changes to website architecture, including content and linking

Paragraph format:

Hamilton Marketing | Nashville, TN | SEO Specialist | February 2018 – Present Perform ongoing keyword research using Google AdWords and other platforms. Compile and analyze data, identify trends to achieve ROI. Ensure implementation of SEO best practices. Suggest changes to website architecture, including content and linking. Both of these examples use the same number of keywords, so they are equally likely to get through an ATS program. The second example, on the other hand, creates a big block of text. Imagine this size paragraph repeated a few times down the page, one for each of your experiences, and you’ve got a full page of text. This style does not really appeal to a human reviewer. While both formats suit an ATS, only the first example is designed for a human reviewer. For that reason, Big Interview recommends using the bulleted list format.

Your Educational Background

Next up is your education section. Here, you’re going to use the same format as the work experience section: reverse chronological order. Because it’s the most impressive and most recent, start with your highest degree and work backward. For example, a bachelor’s would be listed before an associate’s. For each degree, list the school you attended and year you graduated, plus your field of study. If you are a recent graduate, you may also choose to list a GPA, because this section is more important for you right now. It will, however, become increasingly less so, so be sure to evaluate this as you are in the workforce longer.

Example:

Bachelor of Arts in English The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN Class of 2012 After you list your degrees, you may also list any other certifications or courses that you think are relevant, if you have them.

Example:

  • “Advanced SEO Strategies,” Weekend Seminar, Knoxville, TN
  • “Google Analytics and Adwords: Crash Course,” Online Course, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Alternative Sections

Extra space? If you have a little more room on your SEO specialist resume, or an area of interest that doesn’t necessarily fit into the other sections, feel free to add other categories. Alternative sections to include:
  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What If You Have No Experience?

It’s definitely okay to apply for a position if you have no experience — that’s the only way you’ll gain experience in the industry! For recent grads or people making a career change, your resume will look a little bit different than it would if you’re someone who has been in the industry for years. Here’s what you should do differently. Start off with a resume summary and list of your accomplishments, like we talked about earlier. But instead of following those sections with your work experience, you’re going to move up your education section because it’s more relevant. When it comes to the work history, it’s all about taking the experience you do have and positioning it to show your knowledge of the industry. It doesn’t have to be traditional, paid work. Do you have any volunteer experience or internships? Have you attended any workshops or completed any certifications? Don’t forget about summer jobs or online coursework that could be relevant.

PRO TIP: There are plenty of skills that go into being an SEO specialist, both hard and soft skills. Where did you learn them? If you have had any experiences that demonstrate your leadership abilities or communication skills, be sure to include them.

Resume Points to Remember

Include contact information

It may seem obvious, but remember to include your phone number and email address. When you’re so focused on writing great descriptions, the little stuff can be easy to miss, but your contact details are absolutely essential.

Use keywords

You probably won’t know if an employer is using an ATS, so always use keywords from the job description, just in case. Remember, use the words exactly as they appear – not synonyms.

Always proofread

Always double-check for typos, spelling errors, and misaligned margins. Your resume is supposed to be the best reflection of you, so mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. Better yet, find a friend with fresh eyes to give your completed resume a thorough read.

Resume “Don’ts” to Remember

Don’t forget action words

Always use action words to start off each bullet point in the descriptions of your previous roles. It will help show not only the duties you had in each role, but also your accomplishments – inspiring confidence in your abilities.

Don’t use the first person

It may seem strange to talk about yourself without using “I,” but the first person really doesn’t belong in your resume.

Don’t go over one page

Except in very rare cases, your resume should only be one page long, so be selective about which positions you include in your work history. If you’re submitting your materials electronically, double check your file formats — converting your resume to a PDF can help ensure your resume will only be one page no matter what program the employer uses to open it.

(We’ve put together a handy table of power words, below, for SEO specialists to use for inspiration.)

Helpful Tools:

SEO Specialist Resume Power Words

  • Performed
  • Implemented
  • Compiled
  • Identified
  • Ensured
  • Optimized
  • Assisted
  • Analyzed
  • Developed
  • Evaluated
  • Managed
  • Improved
  • Assembled
  • Generated
  • Researched
  • Updated

SEO Specialist Resume Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Google Adwords Time Management
Ahrefs Collaboration
Google Analytics Detail Oriented
WordPress Project Management
SEO Best Practices Efficiency

Further Resources:

We have many great resources available to you 100% free on the Big Interview blog. Read the articles below for more information on resumes and cover letters. The Art of Writing a Great Resume Summary Statement How Long Should a Resume Be? Creating Really Good Resumes How to Get the Applicant Tracking System to Pick Your Resume 8 Design Ideas to Make Your Resume Pop 6 Tricks to Makeover Your Resume…Fast How to Write a Cover Letter How to Write a Cover Letter
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