Its ironic really, everywhere I look in the media its all doom and gloom. Financial systems are crashing worldwide, some people are buying all the canned goods they can muster. Unemployment rates are increasing substantially everywhere! Here in the world of search though, we're as busy as we've ever been, and cannot find enough GOOD help! All that to say, there are lots of jobs available for those with the right skills and personalities.
How Could This Be?
Easy ... the search industry is growing faster than the economy is shrinking. At the same time, colleges and universities are still training people to manufacture buggy whips and trans fats, and few if any have incorporated any sort of REAL search training into their curriculums. This makes for a great deal of opportunity for those with the required skills, and the desire to make a meaningful impact!
On that note, if you're reading this and you work for a college or university ... HELP! We'll even help you to develop course curriculums. Just please consider creating such courses. You will be training people for jobs ... jobs they can find immediately upon graduation!
What Kinds of Jobs Are Available?
The reality of the matter is, there are many types of positions available. Almost a position for anyone ... save those looking for government types positions, or who expect the world as a signing bonus. Note to those looking for work ... attitudes of entitlement need to be checked at the door.
Some of the positions currently available at Search companies worldwide are:
1. Sales People
2. Account Managers
3. Business Analysts
4. Link Developers (Link Ninjas)
5. Usability Specialists
6. In-Page SEOs
7. Paid Search Specialists
8. Content Developers
Further specialization within each of these fields is also possible for the truly talented.
Obviously different companies classify positions differently, so the titles and responsibilities will vary from company to company, but the general skills sets are the same.
What Skills Will I Need?
Once again, most companies hire for personality, knowing skills can be taught! Personality cannot be taught! That said, individuals can give themselves a tremendous advantage if they take the initiative to train themselves for a career in search. The industry is frantically hiring, but will definitely give preference to someone who:
a. demonstrates initiative
b. has industry knowledge
c. has PERSONALITY
Notice I didn't say technical skills. Search is more about marketing than technical skills.
How Can I Retrain for Search?
Do yourself a favour! Search companies ideally want to hire people who show initiative. We're growing too fast to employ people who need too much hand holding. You as a job seeker, can show this initiative by training yourself in the ways of search. Do it at night if you have to, or if you're underemployed, through the day. At the same time, preference in the job interview process will go to those who show they already know the basics of the industry. Even if you're interested in a Sales, Account Management, or Analyst role ... knowing the specifics of the industry will go along way. So, here are a few good places to look for training:
Some good books to read to begin the training process:
2. The SEO Handbook
3. How To SEO Your Site in 60 Minutes
4. Winning Results With Google Adwords
5. Landing Page Optimization
6. Persuasive Online Copywriting
Another great way to learn is to frequent industry blogs, sites like Sphinn.com, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, our very own Search Engine People Blog, and many others.
In any case, if you've got personality, initiative, and you're looking for a growth career, you've got opportunities. Retrain now for a career in search!