20 Ways to Find SEO Jobs

It’s a tough racket out there in today’s economy.  Unemployment is at the highest it’s been in years, as layoffs are happening all over the place and even growing companies are a little hesitant to hire new talent.  In this kind of environment, it can be a difficult undertaking to find an employer who says, “okay, we’ll spend the money it takes to pay you full-time.”

This is for any job, let alone a search engine optimization professional, a job that’s often hard to quantify.  After all, how do you “sell” what you can’t guarantee when no one has any money to pay you?  I can hear many of you unemployed SEOs already:  “Boy, Dan, I wish I was a pot maker or something.”

A former Search Engine Optimization professional.

Above: A former Search Engine Optimization professional.

Well, fret no more:  with a little creativity, a positive attitude, and plenty of hard work, you can find an SEO position even in this economy, particularly if you’re certain that SEO is your particular calling.  After all, SEO still is a cutting-edge job in an advancing industry.

Here are 20 ways to find the SEO jobs that no one else is finding.

1.  The traditional route:  apply, apply, apply. It’s easy to apply for one or two SEO jobs, but if you’re really dead-set on finding a position as an SEO professional, you treat the application process as a business in and of itself.  You cold call, you sent out your portfolio, you keep a spreadsheet that tracks your contacts, and you show up to job interviews ready for action.

2.  Freelance. Freelancing is a great option if you’re the entrepreneurial type; if you’ve got some SEO job experience, you can quickly leverage that online at a site like Elance or Guru.  Companies may not be looking to hire, but if they have SEO needs, they may just be looking to outsource.

3.  The nontraditional route. When I started out in SEO, I actually took an SEO job because it related to writing, which was my major in college.  Don’t turn down job offers just because they’re only about 50% of what you’re looking for – if it’s steady, interesting work you, should at least give it a shot to see if you can’t eventually become the full-timer.

4.  Team up with Web design. Clients who are paying for Web design might also be interested in SEO – find out if you can make this work to your advantage at your company or among your friends. You can even approach Web designers and ask them if they will include your SEO service as a line item in their RFPs.

5.  Attend conferences. The quickest way to meet people in the SEO industry is to go where SEO professionals go:  conferences.  You can network, rub elbows, and beg for a job if someone’s looking. Some excellent conferences to attend are Search Engine Strategies and Search Marketing Expo.

6.  Take out an ad.  If you have the spare cash from another job you want to leave, you might consider taking out an ad that displays your SEO job experience.  When employers need employees, they make job placements, so why can’t you?  Just make sure to place your ad somewhere relevant like a trade journal.

7.  Build a blog. Build a blog with great content (translation:  work hard on your posts), and you’ll start building your reputation as an expert SEO.  Write free guest posts for other bloggers to get links back to your blog.  The more your reputation is improved, the more likely someone is to come to you with work.

8.  Build your own SEO business. Build a business, starting with a proposal you can make for your SEO services and take to companies that are looking to outsource.  Show your experience, what you’ve been able to do in the past, and make sure your value is quantifiable. This requires an investment of time and money and you should only do this if you are serious.

9.  Network. It may seem like enough to apply for jobs, but if you’re networking, you can also ask around for the SEO jobs that other applicants simply aren’t aware of.  Just because someone can’t offer you an SEO job doesn’t mean they can’t be a great value to you;  maybe they know someone who has an SEO job available but didn’t think to mention you unless you bring it up first.  Be a little shameless.

Some of the easiest ways to network are online. Social networking sites are great tools for meeting business people who are interested in hiring search engine professionals. LinkedIn.com is one of the bery best places for accomplishing this.

10.  Call headhunters. Headhunters and job recruiters can do great things for you for free – because they’re working for the companies seeking employees.  Seek out these headhunters, tell them what you do, and ask if they know any companies that have SEO jobs for someone like you.

11.  Take another job first. If you’re strapped for money, some of the above options might seem a little too time-consuming or financially burdensome.  So take another job while you need the money;  you can quit jobs whenever you need to.  Consider it a stepping-stone to your dream job if you need a little inspiration.

12.  Offer SEO for free. What?  You want an SEO job here, not to work for free.  You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish if you offer great value for nothing in this world – if you truly are good at your SEO, the business who had you for free will want to pay you something.  If not, hey, you’re building up your SEO resume.  Try offering free SEO to larger companies and request that if they like your work, you can use them in your portfolio.  Your improved resume will knock out potential employers.

13.  Call SEO firms directly. You can apply all day, but sometimes, even employers with SEO jobs available can be tough nuts to crack.  Call them directly to check on resume submissions, as well as to see who your contact for hiring should be.  Again, be shameless;  what have you got to lose?  Your unemployment check?

14.  SEO Forums. If the forum is large enough, you might find some work on an SEO forum from someone who is looking for an expert to handle their site for them. Most good SEO forums have a section that allow you to apply for jobs.

15. Move. If you really want an SEO job but live in Back Country, USA, you might have realized that where you live isn’t exactly at the forefront in technology innovation.  Your career path might require you to move – if not to a big city, at least closer to one.

16.  Sign up for SEO workshops. Like conferences, these workshops will have more value than the content itself – the networking opportunities will be excellent.  But your goal here is slightly different:  if you want to become an expert in your field, as the expert SEO how they got where they were, and how you can do the same.

17.  Focus on your reputation first. By doing some of the above items – including building a blog and networking – you’ll eventually find your reputation growing.  If you focus on this reputation, you might still be working at Denny’s, but in the SEO world you’ll be known as someone else.  No one cares if Superman is really Clarke Kent on the off hours. If you’re already in college, it’s not too early to start on your reputation.

How do you improve your reputation?  Offer value, offer value, offer value, and personally meet other experts.  Simple enough.

18.  Connect your name to other SEO professionals. The concept of “social proof” says that what one person sees others doing, the original person will want to duplicate.  It’s the phenomenon that explains why we might walk in a room and observe how other people are behaving to get our cues on how to behave ourselves.  If you can connect your name with top SEO professionals, you might find yourself landing a job before you know it, simply because of “who you know.”

19.  Build a personal website. For simplicity, connect your blog to this site, but definitely make sure to build a site that essentially functions as a resume, highlighting your experience, your successes, your insights, and your credentials.  When people ask about you, they should have a definitive place to visit and say “oh, that’s who they are.”

20.  Take temporary positions. Some companies will look for a SEO professional who can work on a temporary basis with the possibility to hire.  Don’t be turned off by the “temporary” label – if you work hard and provide real value, you’ll be wanted.  At the very least, you’ll be building your resume.

Dan Kenitz

Dan Kenitz is a former professional Search Engine Optimization specialist and current freelance writer, commentator, and all-around entrepreneur.

45 comments

  1. This a good source of information regarding how to find SEO jobs. SEO is a professional career which requires dedication. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Cheers.

  2. Great tips and advice.

    Even for someone currently employed, this is great info for a bright future in SEO.

  3. Tough times to find a job, but at least you listed some possible jobs for those who are looking for one (especially the one who wants jobs that are SEO-related).

  4. Aashutosh

    This post is quite educating. This might be of help in this recession time for SEO beginers. Thanks to share this useful info.

  5. SEO Professional

    Field of SEO is spreading very fast. In the coming time there will be lots of good opportunity for SEO Professionals. wishing all SEOs to best of luck!

  6. This post is very encouraging since SEO jobs are very like these. I will try my luck with the freelance sites.

  7. Upesh Thapa

    Nice one Dan!

    On another note the image of the ‘former Search Engine Optimization professional’ got me cracking up for awhile. Haha…Brilliant!

  8. Excellent work, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. There are definitely opportunities out there, sometime you just need to dig deeper than usual to find opportunity.

  9. German Translation

    Great SEO tips mate. I can use this to start my SEO business
    Chris

  10. nice tips for seo jobs.

  11. I love the ideas put forth in this post I enjoyed it alot.

  12. that’s awesome, thanks for the nice post. In current scenario its is very important to find out all available options to grab a job. Thanks again.

  13. Sahil

    Hi,

    Very good tips it will help to seo community to find a better job

  14. I have been using getafreelancer.com. It is pretty competitive. The 3 jobs I got there so far were from sending a direct message to the prospect that somehow engaged them on a personal level. I expect that had as much to do with who they were and what I said.

    I also hooked up with a great white label SEO reseller company that offers very competitive pricing and high quality work. I did that for 2 reasons. I am able to offer top notch service and it frees more time for generating new business and working with clients.

  15. Abdul Karim

    I’ve built up my online business do my own SEO, and along the way taught myself html, web 2.0 oin respect to SEO, analytics, working with CMS, blogging etc.

    However I am not entreprenurial, so I haven’t been able to expand the company to make huge profits, I’m very much a technical person and still prefer being an employee.

    I’m ready to work as a Junior SEO executive for a digital agency, I’ve been looking for work for the last 10 or so days, but haven’t been successful.

    I got the impression that there’s a massive demand for competent seo’ers however because of bad economic climate, I’m guessing there are lots of people looking for work, which makes it difficult for some of us to get an interview. I’ve received callbacks from 3 recruitment consulatants and had one face to face interview with a recruitment consultant.

    I’m starting to lose a bit of hope.

  16. Emory Rowland

    Abdul, I hope you can find a suitable SEO position soon. It looks like you have strong skills. I am convinced that now is a good time to be working in the SEO industry since the field is becoming more mainstream. Best of luck.

  17. Moumita

    Wonderful! It can be helpful to those who are seeking a seo job.

  18. Ed Porter

    This is a great list of ways to get SEO jobs. Many people overlook the obvious ways of going directly to a business owner that you know and just asking very simple questions. Showing them what you can do and have done for others and getting business like that. Also teaming with web developers can be a very lucrative way of gaining customers with little effort once you establish relationships with the developers.

  19. It is tough time to find a SEO job. I am also looking a SEO Strategist job but no luck yet.

    Thanks for nice tips.

  20. It is extremely difficult finding seo work, particularly as nothing can be guaranteed – what if what you are doing doesnt work!

    - A good idea may be to say you will do the work, but as soon as the site appears in the top 10 (or wherever) they starting paying monthly.

    This way nobody pays for something they dont get!

    - not sure what you could do if they dont pay though!

    • Emory Rowland

      I think the pay for performance model is actually used by some, but I have never read anything about how well a structure like that worked. The most obvious problem would be collections. And of course, what if you did absolutely no SEO work but the site continued to rank forever. Would the client be obligated to pay?

      I do think that anyone who walks into an SEO interview these days better have some live results to demonstrate their skills.

  21. Michigan SEO

    Thanks for the great list of tips for getting an SEO job!

  22. The best way to get noticed and offers of SEO jobs is to be good and creative. Beat the best and stay there for the top keywords. It’s the only way that the companies will know that you are as good as you say.

    On a smaller note … log everything that you ever did … even if you notice a butterfly flapping its wings near you ;-)

  23. Dipankar

    The SEO job is good for your life.

  24. Devang Jain

    Here i am going to start with freelance SEO services, we are looking for reseller who can sell our professional Services and can earn a good amount, we are looking for long term relationship. we are 5 SEO doing together now, all are very much experienced and result orientated, to leave our job with company we have plan out this way. Please contact us if anybody interested working with us as reseller or any body looking for Professional result oriented SEO services. Here is my email id devang92000[at]yahoo.com.

  25. amit kumar

    hello i am amit kumar. i need a seo frelancer for a travel site i have. good work

  26. Emory Rowland

    Here are three SEO sites with job boards. It’s where I’d look if I were trying to find a job now:

    http://www.sempo.org/jobs/
    http://jobs.marketingpilgrim.com/

  27. lex

    wow 20 ways to find an SEO job. If you live in australia seek.com.au usually lists quite a few SEO JOBS.

    Also SEO is a big industry now. Think about how many business derive sales from internet searches now!

    Being on top in google can be worth millions to organisations.

    Some businesses can may make over $100 000 on someone searching for a builder or a lawyer over the internet.

  28. seopawanpreet

    The best option among all is to start freelancing job

  29. Useful post thank you. The SEO job market is quite tough at the moment but there are companies still hiring. We have a nmber of current vacancies. Freelancing is also a good option but it can be an unreliable source of income so it would not suit everyone.

  30. Mistie

    I can hardly believe the amount of post from people who cannot find SEO….really?? How about you build a plumber, roofer, pest control, etc.. site in a medium size city.. it would take 4-6 weeks to rank top 5 then just sell the phone calls..there is so much SEO work out there if you are willing to look for it..

  31. Daniel

    SEO is one of the most sought after jobs. Having an SEO business in my opinion is the best route to take.

  32. Hey, great post. Very encouraging and what I needed to hear. Thanks!

  33. Great post and full of essential tips for anyone looking to work in SEO. Unfortunately, SEO experience is a bit catch 22. You need to be able to prove your skills to nail the job and without a proven track record, this is difficult. However, the same can be said of any job in IT so this shouldn’t put you off.

    Follow these tips and stick to your goals. Nothing worth having ever comes easy.

  34. SEO Preston

    I think No #7 is the most important point without a blog and clients how can you demonstrate your skills and potential. Blogging about trending topics and methods will soon build you a following.

  35. Hello, Currently I am using freelancer and other freelance site to find the seo work. I would now also like to use your tips here.

    IF anyone is interested in my seo services please hire me at freelancer or contact me at Skype (atulsachan147)

  36. It takes years to build up a reputation as a freelancer and I feel these websites such as Elance and guru put everyone on the same playing field. Unfair perhaps?

    • Emory Rowland

      I think so, yeah. The little guy with talent can rise to the top.

  37. Hi,
    Can I develop couple of website with same user interface…? I think this might effect for seo…?

    Thank you
    Ravi

    • Emory Rowland

      I usually like to use a different template for each site so each will be as unique and distinguishable.

  38. I would like to have SEO Certification from Google is this possible? if so how can i go through for it pls send me the way

    • Emory Rowland

      None for SEO, only AdWords :(

  39. Dear Emory Rowland,
    I have developed a new static website. if free directory submission is good for SEO which directory do I have to submit my website to?

    Thank you

    • Emory Rowland

      I don’t do a lot of directory submissions these days unless it’s niche or industry specific. This used to be a sweet little tool to find niche directories:www.soloseo.com/tools/linkSearch.html

  40. Hello.
    I have a new domain eenadujobs.net, as per google new guidelines can I give back links using brand name “Enadu Jobs” for my website ?

    Thank you

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