BOSTON, MA - Some quick advice for SEO's / SEM's looking to get ahead in the world: Make sure that any brand you mention on your resume is on the first page of Google's organic rankings at the time of your resume submission.
I just reviewed the resume of an SEO who's working with a major consumer brand. He has three bullets on his resume about all of the great things he's doing for the brand, but when I Googled the brand name (ie "Coke" or "Gucci"), he wasn't even on the first page. Not good.
SEO's, please bear in mind that I use an SEO toolbar for Firefox, and I can tell how many back links your pages are getting (and from whom), how many times they get Del.icio.us'd, and so on. It's all right there. I also have a subscription to Keyword Discovery -- so I have an idea of how competitive your categories are, where you might be spending your PPC dollars, etc.
I'm not trying to impress you. Actually, my point is that I'm not any smarter than the average recruiter. All recruiters and potential employers can see how you are doing. Your results are on the web.
When Google ranks your client, it ranks YOU.
These days, recruiters can tell if an SEO candidate is any good. And given the dynamism of the web, it's okay to lose once in a while. We understand, especially if your category is dominated by black and gray hats (mortgages, vitamin supplements, etc).
But it's not okay to lose and put it on your resume that you are # 1 or # 2 for seven out of eight keyword phrases. I'm not as dum as you think I are. I know how to use Google. Everyone does.
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