Sunday, October 30, 2011

Job Seekers! Have you Tried Applying SEO Techniques to Find Your Next Job?



QUESTION: What do new and established companies and those who are currently unemployed or searching for a new opportunity have in common?  Answer:  Both groups can benefit from Search Engine Optimization [SEO]albeit in a different way.


Search Engine Optimization [SEO] background:
The primary purpose of Search Engine Optimization [SEO] is to gain prime positioning (rank highly on Internet searches) for desired keywords and phrases to increase visibility and ultimately affect conversion rates in a positive manner.

While there is an ever-increasing number of websites that are relevant to any particular search query, there is also an unknown number of recruiters and hiring managers who will scour the Internet to source an ideal candidate for their client or a suitable employee for their company.

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important components of Internet Marketing. Each and every technique that is used in online marketing fails or succeeds on the basis of its SEO. If the SEO optimization is effective, marketing products and services on the Internet will be successful.
Properly executed SEO optimization reduces the time spent searching for relevant results.  Time is not a renewable resource and wasting time is costly, therefore, the aim of both job seekers and businesses should be to elevate their rankings to ‘above the fold’.  The term ‘above the fold’ is a throwback to a time when newspapers the main source for getting information about current events.  In the world of the Internet, ‘above the fold” refers to results found on the first page of an Internet search and occupying one of the top 5 positions listed.  
SEO techniques can and should be applied to both job seekers and companies in order to succeed in their respective endeavours.  Each group needs to utilize SEO to fight their competitors by branding themselves as both different and superior to increase their rates of success. 

1.         While it makes sense for job seekers to market themselves in a traditional manner by salting their social media profiles with the identical words and phrases that are ubiquitous in their industry, companies can afford to complement their traditional marketing methods with marketing techniques that are more non-traditional in both word and deed when it comes to advertising their goods and services.

2.         Where companies use keywords throughout in their company’s websites, job seekers should use industry specific keywords and phrases throughout their social media profile.

3.         Both job seekers and companies can benefit from creating a big digital footprint.  Search engines seek and love digesting new content. As a job seeker, consider creating a blog whereon you can demonstrate and/or share knowledge about your industry.  If creating a blog is too overwhelming, consider starting a group on LinkedIn.

4.         Both job seeker and companies should know that there is a direct relationship between the amount written and published on the Internet and, to use the vernacular, the length of a tale, on the Internet.  As job seekers write about their industry, their ‘tail’ get longer.  A ‘long tale’ on the Internet demonstrates depth of knowledge and the ability to communicate in writing.  An ability to write clearly and concisely is becoming increasingly sought after by companies, both large and small, thanks in part to increased use of mobile devices. 

5.         In addition to blogging on their own site, they should also contribute to article marketing sites such as EzineArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com.  Contributing articles on outside article marketing sites will establish further reach, distribution and authority.  Writing articles is a way for professionals to self-identify as an expert in the industry and also gives the industry’s community the opportunity to recognize the expertise of the author.   
            TIP: Writers should aim to publish articles at a rate of one per week. 
            HINT: Those who submit articles to outside article marketing sites should always include their contact information in the author’s bio section, and link keywords and keyword phrases to their own web site.

6.         Video can also offer another powerful medium for extending reach. YouTube videos generate more views, traffic and inbound links. A great video can take the place of a thousand words.

7.         Both job seekers and companies should strive to get connected and stay connected.  Both job seekers and companies will benefit from cross connecting all of their social media channels.  Both groups can also benefit from placing easy-to-use social media icons on blog posts for easy broadcasting.  This is done by adding ‘follow’ and ‘like’ buttons to their home page, and tweeting helpful, and relevant articles on a regular basis.

In the end, job seekers want to be found by recruiters and hiring managers and business want to be found by customers.  Both job seekers and companies can increase the probability of being found on the Internet through marketing articles, writing blogs, and increasing social media activity.

By developing a creative, compelling, consistent brand identity, both job seekers and companies can attract the attention of both their target audience and search engines. Both job seekers and companies should resist the urge to place all their branding eggs in the keyword basket.  They need to build a brand identity that can be leveraged on a multitude of online channels. This integrated approach creates a powerful web presence for optimal search results.

Ultimately, both job seekers and companies want their target audience to search for them and not their competitors and the key is to create a brand that will encourage the target audience to seek by name and not just by search terms.


Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca