Finishing up University is an exciting, but daunting time. There is the immediate relief that it is all over (apart from the mid-week nights out – those you are finding it hard to part with!), then there is the stark realisation that you perhaps didn’t make the best use of your time. For many of us, the busy social calendar and multiple jobs left us little or no time to participate in internships or industry experience.
This sad fact ultimately does leave you at a slight disadvantage; the job market is so overflowing with keen graduates who, whilst you we’re throwing back tequilas in the union, were out working a digital marketing agency over the summer. This is nothing to get yourself down about as you most likely had the best experience possible whilst studying. Coming out the other side with a degree is victory enough.
If you find yourself entering the big, bad world of ‘adulting’ without a heap of experience; fret not, for all is not lost! There are many ways in which you can be proactive in getting a job within an SEO company, even if you have no previous experience! Here are some key points to remember.
Have an Interest in SEO
If you have no interest in search engine optimisation, how it works and how it can yield impressive results for many businesses, then it is unlikely you will have a long and prosperous career within an SEO company. You may have an initial interest in digital marketing and be seeking a career within this area but this is a broad field.
Showing that you have demonstrable understanding of terms like WordPress, CSS, blogs, SEO, Analytics implies that you have a good general knowledge of the basic practices involved in SEO. Starting up your own blog on WordPress is a great way to get some experience on your own and is something you can do off your own back, no one is forcing you to do this as part of university or a job – that shows dedication and interest to a prospective employer.
Do Your Research
When looking for a job as a graduate, research is key. Not only into the industry in which you are hoping to enter, but also within the company that you are aiming to work with. Nothing is more unattractive to a digital marketing agency who specialise in SEO or PPC to hear the dreaded ‘I’m really interested in social media’. Most bright eyed digital marketing hopefuls are so set on social media that they bypass other interesting aspects of the digital arena. SEO is a hugely interesting aspect of digital marketing and is one that you will never tire of – there is always something new to learn and you can make a real measurable impact on a website’s online traffic.
Researching into the deep crevasses of SEO will stand you in great stead. The more you can gush about how interested you are in creating quality content and backlinks in your cover letter the better. Signing up to industry newsletters will keep you ahead of the curve and allow you to throw in some relevant industry trends in an interview.
If you are invited to an interview then you should also research your prospective employers heavily; delve into case studies, their services, how they started and their culture in general. If you show a keen interest in the SEO company, this will make you immensely more attractive than candidates who barely skimmed the website.
Don’t Be Scared to Start from The Bottom
I’m quite sure we all have the same vision upon finishing university; walking into some swanky grad scheme on £27k a year. Now, for some this is all they have ever wanted but for others, we can’t think of anything worse. Some of us prefer throwing ourselves into something head-first without the guidance of a structured programme. If this is you, don’t fight it. There is absolutely no shame in starting from the bottom and scrambling your way up. Starting out as a junior in a digital marketing/SEO company is the absolute best way to learn; from the ground up. An SEO company is likely to be welcoming any digital marketing juniors or interns in the months following graduation season.
Be Proactive & Be Yourself!
When it comes to the job search itself, you have to be doing everything you can. A job will not just fall into your lap; it is something that could take months of knockbacks so mentally prepare yourself for that. Don’t allow yourself to feel inadequate, the fact is it may not be for you if it is passing you buy. Everyone has a purpose and a skill in life.
If you believe that being part of an SEO company is where you want to be, do the reading, start from the bottom and show a genuine interest and passion for learning. Even with no relevant experience, some smaller SEO agencies will accept you if you have a genuine interest in the industry. Digital agencies are typically a young and fun environment so when you go for an interview, be yourself! If they see a spark in you, that may be all it takes to kick start your career in SEO!
Check out the video How SEO Works to learn more about the basics of SEO