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Top 10 SEO Skills Employers are Looking for & How to Showcase Them on Your Resume

  • Klara Cervenanska
  • 11 min read
Top 10 SEO Skills Employers are Looking for & How to Showcase Them on Your Resume


Embarking on a career in SEO can be an exciting journey, as it combines creativity, technical knowledge, and strategic thinking — not to mention the thrill of watching your website slowly climb the ranks of Google search results. But let's face it, the SEO world is a competitive arena.

Hence, having a solid base in the core SEO skills, such as keyword research, on-page optimization, or the ability to analyze data, is crucial to ensure you don't get lost in the shadows of those sought-after top rankings.

However, mastering essential SEO skills is only half the battle.

The true challenge lies in effectively showcasing your expertise on your resume, ensuring that employers can easily recognize your potential.

In this article, we'll explore the top SEO skills employers are looking for and share tips on how to make them shine on your resume, increasing your chances of landing your dream job. As a bonus, we include an SEO Specialist resume example crafted by a professional resume writer.

Top 10 SEO skills

SEO skills can be basically divided into two main groups: hard and soft SEO skills.

  • Hard skills refer to the technical aspects and tangible knowledge, such as keyword research and on-page optimization.
  • Soft skills focus on interpersonal capabilities and personal traits — think adaptability, creativity, and communication.

Both hard and soft skills are equally significant as they come together to make you a SEO pro.

So, let's take a closer look at the top 5 hard and 5 soft skills that can set you apart from the competition and impress potential employers.

1. Keyword research

As the cornerstone of any SEO strategy, keyword research is the first and most essential step in optimizing websites for both search engines and users.

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Though it may seem like the most basic element, employers still look for this fundamental skill on your resume, as it indicates your strong foundation in SEO.

However, don't just state that you have an understanding of keyword research. To add credibility, also add some specific keyword research tools you're proficient at, such as:

  • Google Keyword Planner. A free tool provided by Google Ads that helps you discover new keywords and provides search volume and competition insights.
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. A comprehensive keyword research tool that offers data on keyword difficulties, search volume, click-through rates, and more.
  • Ranktracker Keyword Finder. A powerful tool that displays a detailed analysis and report of the top Google search keywords, including the exact search volumes, trends, and CPC & PPC competition.

Keyword research (Source: Ranktracker)

An effective way to highlight this key skill on your resume is to talk about the tools and specific steps you employ while doing your keyword research.

Example: “Successfully executed SEO campaigns by utilizing Google Keyword Planner to analyze keyword performance, resulting in a 25% increase in website traffic and improved search engine rankings.”

2. On-page optimization

Employers seek candidates with on-page optimization skills because optimizing a website’s structure and content ensures that search engines can easily crawl and index the pages.

On-page optimization delivers more than just website functionality; it also provides a good UX that, in turn, drives organic traffic, boosts search engine rankings, and ultimately generates higher conversion rates — transforming the online growth of any business.

Key aspects of on-page optimization include:

  • Meta tags and title optimizations. Well-written meta descriptions and optimized title tags help search engines understand the purpose of the page and may improve click-through rates from search results.
  • Content optimization. Ensuring that the content is informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience while incorporating strategically placed keywords for search engine rankings.
  • Header tag organization. Proper structuring of header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to create a logical hierarchy within your content makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand the context of the page.
  • Image optimization. Compressing images and including proper alt tags can improve page load times, enhance user experience, and provide additional keyword-rich context for search engines.
  • Schema markup. Implementing structured data using schema markup helps search engines to understand your content better, leading to more informative search results and enhancing your visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

So, instead of simply including on-page optimization in your skills section, consider sprinkling the different aspects of this process throughout the whole resume, too:

Example:Implemented on-page optimization techniques, such as meta tag adjustments, content structure improvements, and the integration of schema markup. These efforts led to a 25% increase in organic traffic within three months.”

3. Technical SEO

Including technical SEO skills on your resume shows potential employers that you have a comprehensive understanding of the different factors affecting a website's performance.

Behind the scenes of any well-optimized website lies the crucial aspect of technical SEO – the nuts and bolts that ensure search engines can easily access, crawl, and index your website's content.

Meet Ranktracker

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Behind every successful business is a strong SEO campaign. But with countless optimization tools and techniques out there to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Well, fear no more, cause I've got just the thing to help. Presenting the Ranktracker all-in-one platform for effective SEO

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Here are the key components of technical SEO that job seekers should be familiar with:

  • Site audit. For instance, Ranktracker's website audit tool checks all your on-site technical SEO factors, quickly identifies any issues (e.g., broken links or slow page load times), and then tells you how to fix them.
  • Canonicalization. This involves specifying the preferred URL for a page to avoid duplicate content issues. Implementing canonical tags or redirects can signal to search engines which version of a page to index.
  • Mobile optimization. Ensuring that website is mobile-friendly and responsive is increasingly important as more users access the internet through their smartphones and tablets.

Technical SEO (Source: Ranktracker)

To effectively highlight your technical SEO skills in your resume, integrate a bullet point in the work experience section that demonstrates a concrete example of your expertise with it.

The more specific and niche you can make it, the better.

Example: “Implemented canonical tags and 301 redirects to effectively consolidate duplicate content, resulting in a 10% improvement in page rankings.”

Link building helps to establish your website's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines. Which is exactly why employers find this skill so valuable.

By acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, you can improve your site's domain authority and boost its search engine rankings.

Hence, SEO professionals must know how to:

  • Identify relevant sites to target. This involves analyzing factors such as domain authority, content relevance, and audience engagement to ensure the selected sites can bring value to your own site. Tools like Backlink Checker can help with this.
  • Pitch content to those sites. Crafting personalized outreach emails or proposals is crucial to persuading potential linking partners to collaborate or feature your content on their websites.
  • Track the success of their link-building efforts. Skilled SEO professionals utilize various metrics, such as referral traffic, domain authority changes, and search engine rankings, to evaluate the effectiveness of their link-building strategies.

On your resume, also emphasize these additional steps involved in link building. By detailing your experience with identifying relevant sites, crafting persuasive pitches, and tracking effectiveness, you showcase your holistic approach to SEO.

Feel free to also add information about how many backlinks you managed to get and mention any renowned sources like Forbes, CNBC, or Business Insider.

Example: “Implemented a strategic link-building campaign, acquiring 75+ backlinks within 4 months, including from Forbes, CNBC, and Business Insider. This effort increased domain authority by 10% and boosted search engine rankings.”

5. Analytical skills

Employers prefer SEO candidates with strong analytical skills, as this expertise allows them to examine SEO strategies, identify areas that need improvement, and make smart choices based on these data to boost website performance.

Here are some of the key metrics that SEO professionals need to analyze:

  • Organic traffic growth
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)

To showcase your analytical skills on your resume, focus on providing specific examples that demonstrate your ability to analyze key website performance metrics and implement informed changes that lead to significant improvements.

Example: "Analyzed website performance metrics, including organic traffic growth, conversion rate, bounce rate, and click-through rate, resulting in a 15% increase in organic traffic and a 20% improvement in conversion rate over six months."

6. Adaptability

SEO is a constantly evolving field, and search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and ranking factors. As a result, SEO professionals need to be highly adaptable and able to keep up with the latest trends and changes.

Here are some reasons why adaptability is a great soft skill for SEO professionals:

  • Algorithm updates. Search engines like Google frequently update their algorithms to improve the accuracy and relevance of search results. These updates impact SEO strategies, and professionals need to adapt their strategies to these changes.
  • Emerging trends. New technologies, such as voice search, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, are changing the way people interact with search engines and access information online.
  • Competitive pressure. SEO professionals need to be adaptable to simply stay ahead of their competition. This means being open to new strategies, tactics, and tools that can help them outperform their competitors.

To showcase your adaptability (and all soft skills in general) on your resume, you need to provide specific examples. Simply stating "adaptability" in your skills section isn't very telling, as it doesn't provide any context or evidence of your ability to adapt in practice.

So, in the work experience section of your resume, you could write something like:

Example: “Successfully adapted SEO strategies to accommodate Google's algorithm updates, resulting in a 20% improvement in search rankings for targeted keywords.” Example: “Experimented with voice search optimization and implemented AI-driven content recommendations, driving a 15% increase in organic traffic and keeping our clients ahead of the competition”

7. Independence

Often, employers seek self-reliance in SEO candidates because they may need to work independently or with minimal team assistance.

Showing your ability to work independently and manage your responsibilities can boost your appeal to potential employers who may be searching for an SEO expert to take charge without constant supervision.

Including your independence and self-management capabilities on your resume allows potential employers to see that you're a reliable self-starter who can take ownership of their SEO efforts:

Example: “Successfully led an SEO campaign for ABC Corporation with minimal supervision, taking full ownership of project management, strategy development, and performance tracking, ultimately resulting in a 35% increase in organic traffic and a 25% improvement in search engine rankings within six months.”

8. Communication

In the world of SEO, communication skills are highly valued by employers. This is because SEO experts often need to explain technical details to both fellow tech-savvy team members and those who might not be as familiar with SEO.

SEO profession requires working with cross-functional teams, including content creators, web developers, and marketing teams, so you need to ensure that you explain the technicalities and importance of SEO to all teams.

The best way to** highlight your communication skills on your resume is by providing concrete examples** of how you communicated complex technicalities to individuals from different backgrounds.

Example: “Facilitated cross-departmental communication by translating technical SEO concepts into easily digestible terms for non-technical team members, leading to more efficient collaboration and a 20% increase in the effectiveness of implemented SEO strategies.”

9. Problem-solving

A big part of making websites search engine-friendly is all about finding problems, digging up some smart fixes, and then putting those solutions into action to tackle the challenges.

It's kind of like being a detective and a builder at the same time! That's why employers really value good problem-solving skills in SEO experts.

Key aspects of problem-solving in SEO include:

  • Identifying and resolving technical SEO issues, such as crawl errors, broken links, poor site speed, or duplicate content.
  • Troubleshooting ranking fluctuations and taking corrective actions to stabilize or improve their website's position.
  • Addressing user experience concerns within the website's design, content, or functionality.

An effective way to showcase your problem-solving skills on your resume is to provide an example of how you identified and solved a problem in the past.

Example: “During my time at XYZ Company, I conducted regular site audits and identified and resolved technical SEO issues like crawl errors, broken links, and poor site speed, resulting in a 25% increase in website performance.”

10. Creativity

Creativity in SEO professionals is often underrated, but it's essential for driving successful SEO strategies alongside technical skills. And employers are very aware of this.

Emphasizing your creativity on your resume can demonstrate that you can think beyond conventional methods and bring innovative solutions to the table.

Here's how you showcase your creativity as an SEO expert on a resume:

  • Developed a series of content ideas focused on long-tail keywords, leading to a 35% increase in organic traffic and user engagement.
  • Crafted targeted headlines and optimized meta descriptions/tags around high-conversion queries, resulting in a significant 25% boost in click-through rates.
  • Collaborated with the design team to implement visually engaging layouts and improved user experience elements, contributing to a 20% reduction in bounce rate.
  • Proposed new social media engagement tactics, incorporating user-generated content and interactive polls, leading to a 15% rise in organic follower growth.

When you show off your creative side along with your SEO skills, you let employers know that you're able to come up with exciting strategies that work great for both search engines and people.

SEO skills on resume: tips & SEO resume example

Now that we've covered the top 10 SEO skills and how to effectively showcase these on your resume, let's have a look at some more general tips and strategies to further enhance your CV.

To get the most out of your skills, consider these** two strategies**:

#1 Strategy: Include a dedicated skills section

Yes, this is nothing groundbreaking. But including a dedicated skills section in your resume still remains one of the most effective ways to showcase your strengths to potential employers.

Organizing your skills into separate categories of_ hard and soft_ skills can effectively highlight both your technical abilities and interpersonal skills, which are essential for excelling in this role.

Moreover, crafting a separate skills section enables you to pack your resume with relevant keywords, increasing the likelihood of passing through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and reaching the eyes of hiring managers.

Additionally, you can divide the skills section into more relevant categories, such as:

  • Software. SEO tools, CMS platforms, data analysis software, etc.
  • Languages. English, Spanish, Indian, German, etc.
  • Marketing. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.
  • **Content creation. **Blogging, video production, landing page copywriting, etc.

By creating a dedicated skills section on your resume, you'll effectively convey your SEO skills. However, just including the skills in a skills section isn't enough to fully demonstrate your capabilities…

#2 Strategy: Scatter relevant skills throughout the resume

In addition to having a dedicated skills section, strategically sprinkling relevant SEO skills throughout your resume can subtly yet effectively show your expertise to potential employers.

Combining your proficiency with real-life examples allows you to showcase your skills in a natural way while providing a** **credible context that demonstrates your practical experience.

Here's how to seamlessly weave your SEO skills into various parts of your resume:

1. Objective/Summary.

Make your introduction impactful by mentioning your key SEO skills and accomplishments right from the start. Write a compelling summary that highlights your technical skillset, soft skills, and achievements, positioning you as a strong candidate.

**Example:** _"Accomplished SEO specialist with 7+ years of experience, executing advanced on-page optimization, link-building, and Google Analytics-driven strategies to successfully elevate organic traffic for prestigious clients like XYZ Company and ABC Corporation by up to 60%."_

2. Experience section.

Leverage your work history to showcase your SEO-related skills. Ideally, try to quantify your results.

Example: "Increased organic search traffic by 50% within six months by executing a comprehensive keyword research strategy, optimizing on-page elements, and implementing an innovative link-building campaign."

3. Education & Certifications.

Highlight any SEO-focused courses, training programs, or certifications that emphasize your commitment to staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.

Example: "Completed an advanced course on Technical SEO and received Google Analytics certification to further enhance my data-driven decision-making capabilities."

4. Awards & Achievements.

If you've received any noteworthy SEO-related awards or recognitions, be sure to describe what the award is for by using related keywords and skills.

Example: "Recipient of the 2021 Best SEO Campaign Award for successfully driving a 90% increase in organic search traffic within nine months."

By scattering your relevant SEO skills throughout your resume, you reinforce the narrative of your expertise at every touchpoint.

Seems like a lot of work? It doesn't have to be.

There are AI tools available to help you with crafting industry-specific skills sections, resume objectives or summaries, or also help you suggest bullet points for your work experience section which include specific skills, and much more.

Meet Ranktracker

The All-in-One Platform for Effective SEO

Behind every successful business is a strong SEO campaign. But with countless optimization tools and techniques out there to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Well, fear no more, cause I've got just the thing to help. Presenting the Ranktracker all-in-one platform for effective SEO

We have finally opened registration to Ranktracker absolutely free!

Create a free account

Or Sign in using your credentials

In the end, your SEO resume should look like this:

Resume (Source: Kickresume)

Key takeaways: Top SEO skills and how to show them on a resume

To wrap up, here's a quick refresher on the top 10 SEO skills employers look for in candidates:

  • Hard SEO skills: Keyword research, on-page optimization, link-building, technical SEO, and analytical skills.
  • Soft SEO skills: Creativity, communication, problem-solving, adaptability, and independence.

But bear in mind that having an extensive range of skills doesn't guarantee you'll get the job.

If they remain hidden from potential employers, your chances of being considered for the job become slim to none.

So, don't hesitate to apply these practical strategies for an SEO skills-packed resume:

  1. Build a strong, dedicated skills section.
  2. Naturally integrate your skills throughout the resume.
  3. Use AI-powered optimization tools for an extra edge.
Klara Cervenanska

Klara Cervenanska

Career Writer at Kickresume

Klara Cervenanska is a Career Writer at Kickresume, a professional AI resume builder trusted by 2.5M+ job seekers. Her advice articles are always thoroughly researched to provide the most up-to-date and relevant advice, which is why her pieces often rank among the most-read on the blog.

Link: Kickresume

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