SEO is a field nobody had heard of 25 years ago, but now no company can live without it. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of preparing online material so that it gets more traffic from web users than it would otherwise. If you want to make this your field, an outstanding SEO resume is a good place to start.
This SEO writing guide and resume example will cover all the bases of how to prepare this critical job-search document, including:
- What does an SEO specialist do?
- How to write an SEO resume
- What components a successful resume needs
- Choosing the best SEO resume format
Resume.io is a leading resource for job seekers in all fields, with 350+ resume examples and other resources to help you find work in any occupation.
What does an SEO specialist do?
SEO specialists, on one level, study web surfers’ search behavior in order to understand how customers look for goods and services online. If someone out there is searching for a product similar to one a company sells, what words would they type into the search window at Google, Yahoo or Bing? SEO experts make the content on their websites match those searches as much as possible, leading to increased traffic and sales.
SEO specialists understand the importance of images, videos, links, headings, meta descriptions and many other tricks of the trade. In case you’re tempted to think this is easy, the guidebook “SEO for Dummies’’ is nearly 500 pages long. (Spoiler alert: SEO is not really for dummies.)
How to write an SEO resume
Resumes should generally be one page only, although two pages are also considered acceptable if there’s a lot of experience to record.
These are the five components that every resume should have:
- Header with contact info
- Employment history
The header is the space at the top that lists the applicant’s name, occupation, address, phone number and email. Sometimes a LinkedIn URL is included and occasionally a photo of the candidate, depending on the country where they plan to work.
The header needs to have an attractive, professional-looking design and layout, setting a visual tone for the rest of the page.
Choosing the best resume format for an SEO specialist
When it comes to the best resume format for an SEO specialist, you’ll have to choose between the reverse chronological and the functional format in displaying your work history.
If you have a relatively uninterrupted history of employment, the reverse chronological approach will usually be your best option, listing last job first and first job last. But some job candidates prefer the functional format, which groups past jobs by job type or by project rather than on a timeline. The functional format is often useful for people who have primarily worked as freelancers or contractors.
Resume summary example
The resume summary, also known as a profile or personal statement, is a block of text below your header that serves as a professional self-portrait, allowing you to describe yourself and your job qualifications in your own words.
The summary generally focuses on job experience, education and skills – even though all these will be covered in more detail below. Select the options that best showcase your qualifications for the job. Avoid cliches and use original, compelling language.
For inspiration, compare some of the summaries in our resume examples for related fields, including our:
- Digital Marketing Manager resume sample
- Marketing Manager resume sample
- Social Media Manager resume sample
- Marketing Associate resume sample
- Art Director resume sample
- Digital Marketing resume sample
- Event Planner resume sample
- Content Writer resume sample
- Marketing Consultant resume sample
- Magazine Editor resume sample
- Blog Writer resume sample
- Content Marketing Associate resume sample
- Advertising Director resume sample
- Content Acquisitions Director resume sample
- Creative Director resume sample
- Marketing resume sample
- Brand Ambassador resume sample
- Brand Manager resume sample
- Public Relations resume sample
- Marketing Coordinator resume sample
Experienced and innovative SEO specialist with a proven track record of growing organic website traffic through white-hat tactics and strategies and data-driven SEO analysis and optimization. A strategic thinker with a growth mindset, committed to implementing initiatives for overall SEO program improvement, traffic, and revenue growth.
Always be aware of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which larger employers use to rank resumes according to how many critical keywords they contain. As an SEO specialist, this should be right up your alley, because it involves optimizing your resume for desired keywords.
Employers first input the qualifications they are looking for in a job candidate – which are usually described in the job listing. ATS programs then rank resumes according to searches for these keywords.
Resumes that contain few or none of the keywords may be rejected without any human review. That’s why it’s essential to review job listings closely to identify what employers are seeking, and to make your resume match as much as possible. It’s also one reason you should customize your resume for each job you’re seeking.
Employment history sample
List up to 10 years of work history in your employment history section – your past employers, where they’re located, your last job title and the years you worked there.
Include bullet lists under each employer explaining what you did there -- your responsibilities, achievements and milestones. Be specific, using facts and figures where possible. The employment history section on our SEO resume provides an example.
SEO Specialist, Rutherford Marketing, New York
Apr 2018 - Mar 2022
- Worked closely with the marketing services leader, marketing services consultant, and other marketing professionals to develop and execute SEO campaigns.
- Developed optimization strategies that increased search engine rankings.
- Provided recommendations and executed strategies for content development in relation to keyword-specific SEO goals.
- Increased keyword usage from 20% to 50%.
- Developed and implemented 15 link-building campaigns.
- Updated content for maximum optimization and search engine rankings.
SEO Specialist, Stepping Stone Group, New York
Aug 2013 - Dec 2017
- Created and implemented organic search strategies for our clients by working collaboratively with cross-functional teams.
- Remained knowledgeable about the ever-changing SEO landscape.
- Conducted SEO audits that considered technical, on-page, and off-page elements.
- Collected and analyzed SEO related data from multiple sources, including: Google Analytics, Google Search, Moz, SE Ranking, Google Trends, etc.
- Improved organic search results by advancing our search results page from number 9 to number 3.
- Developed and nurtured long-term internal and external relationships by being an engaged and clear communicator.
CV skills example
Every CV should include a list of the candidate’s sp (And a CV, by the way, is simply what a resume is called outside of the U.S. and Canada.)
This list should include a mix of hard skills (technical capabilities like mastery of SEO software) and soft skills (interpersonal talents like the ability to work well with customers).
The skills section is usually presented as a bullet list, so keep descriptions short. Remember also that as you customize your resume for different employers, you can adjust your skills list to present the qualities most relevant to them. See the SEO resume example below for more insight.
- SEO Best Practices
- Content Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Product Management
- Web Analytic Tools
- Strategic Thinking
SEO resume education example
You’ll probably need a bachelor’s degree to become an SEO specialist, preferably in computer science, business, marketing or another relevant field. In your education section, name the colleges you’ve attended, their locations, the years you attended and the degree you obtained.
Use reverse chronological order, listing your highest degree first. If you have a postgraduate degree, it’s not necessary to mention your high school. You should also list any certifications you hold in your field. See the SEO resume example below.
New York University, Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Sep 2009 - May 2013 New York
- Honors: magna cum laude.
Resume layout and design
No matter how well your resume is written, it will be a big strike against you if it looks terrible. Design matters, so pay attention to the visual appeal of your resume as well as how it reads.
Some things to know about good resume design:
- Use a professional, easy-to-read font that doesn’t draw attention to itself. Do not introduce multiple fonts or type styles.
- Use a font size of 10 to 12 points – and do not use tiny type to force a long resume onto one page.
- Use 1-inch margins on the left, right, bottom and top.
- Use an appropriate amount of white space that contains nothing at all.
Resume.io provides dozens of resume templates where the design is already done for you. Find one you like, click on it, and make it your own. Using a professional resume template can prevent basic design errors – and allow you to focus on writing the text.
- An SEO resume should usually be no more than one page, consisting of five essential elements. Be sure you’ve included everything you need, and beware of anything you don’t.
- Be conscious of ATS software, and optimize your resume to include the keywords employers are looking for.
- Customize your resume for different employers, focusing on their specific needs.
- Choose a format and design that makes your CV look great at a glance.
- Use a professional, field-tested framework where the design is done for you.
Best of luck!