2010 SEMMY NomineeTo: My Brother’s, Ex Secretary’s, Fathers, Cousin:

Thank you for applying for a job with us.

I ‘m glad you think this “SEO Thing” might catch on.  I also appreciate that you can see a lot of reasons why you would benefit from getting a job with us.  As you said in the interview, your company is laying off people, you’re in a dead end industry.  And you would like to expand your knowledge and take on a new challenge.

Makes sense.

But My Brother’s, Ex Secretary’s, Fathers, Cousin, what I think you failed to consider is what can you do for our clients?

<rant>  I am really getting frustrated interviewing people who think that just because they’re currently in “IT” that they may somehow be qualified for a job in SEO.  And what really irks me, is when you’ve had two weeks to prepare for this interview, and you didn’t do any research whatsoever into what it is we actually do.

If you can’t even tell me what it is that we do, why in the world should we hire you?

There is no other industry that has sooo muuuchhhh information about what we do online.  For Free!!

All you have to do is put in some effort!!!

Every good SEO has taught themselves.  First by reading everything they could get their hands on, then by running their own tests.  (rinse and repeat).

Okay maybe a few good ones got really lucky and had a mentor.  But that’s rare.  Guaranteed, if you’re good, you ran your own tests and took your knowledge beyond what you were spoon fed.

But no, you want us to allocate precious resources, to train you from scratch, because you think that maybe there’s something to "this SEO thing", and you’re ready for a new challenge.  <end of rant>

Internet Marketing is HOT.  It’s steaming HOT. Geeze no it’s worse than that, its mainstream.

How do I know that it’s gone mainstream?  Because everyone and his brother now wants to get into the industry.

So, a note to all my future interviewees:

If you want to get into this field, great. Everyone has to start from somewhere and newbies are welcome!!!

Scratch that.

New SEO’s are much more than welcome, they’re necessary!!!  I love to see the fresh thinking and new ideas that come from someone who hasn’t yet heard that “it can’t be done”.

But your starting point isn’t to talk to me.  We are looking for smart people who take initiative.  Show me that you can take initiative.

So before you talk to me, your starting point is to stop resting on your laurels and personal contacts, and do your homework.  At least take some time to figure out the basics.  Know the difference between on-page versus off-page SEO.  Know the difference between SEO and PPC and don’t mix up the two when you’re answering the questions.

Know that the fact that you were Director of IT making $150,000 per year in your past job doesn’t count for squat if it doesn’t help our clients meet their objectives.  If we have to train you from scratch Mr Director of IT, then you’re entry level.

Participate in social media.  Launch your own blog.  Set it up yourself in word press and play around a bit.

and then come talk to me.