It’s been an interesting few weeks here at SEOptimise towers, as we’ve been recruiting  search engine optimisation (SEO) executives to come and join our team.

For me, it’s always interesting to see the kind of applicants we get; there’s much wider interest in recent months, with many people recognising that SEO offers you a career that can take you literally anywhere.

With SEO, you can work for an agency like mine, become self employed or even work for an international brand, as many of them have their own in-house SEO staff these days.

So if you think optimisation is right for you, what can you do to make yourself an attractive applicant?

Go beyond the basics

SEO is not a skill you can develop in isolation, optimising sites is too reliant on wider online marketing and PR.

If you don’t have some appreciation of skills like blogging, social media marketing, corporate Tweeting, press releases – essentially the whole online package, you’re going to struggle to make it big in our industry.

Optimising sites increasingly relies on a variety of marketing skills, so move beyond the basics and see what you can learn from the bigger picture.

Gain experience

SEO is becoming more and more popular as a career and this means there can be a fair amount of competition for the top jobs. If you’d like to gain experience at one of the leading agencies, you’ll need to prove an existing interest.

If you don’t have a huge amount of experience then get some. Unpaid work experience may not be much fun, but it will teach you a hell of a lot and can even help you find your first role.

You could even gain experience marketing yourself as a potential employee – use a blog, a website and social media platforms to sell yourself. It’d certainly get attention, as well as start to develop your reputation, which can play a big role in your career success.

Keep abreast of the sector

Ours is a fast-paced sector, there’s a lot going on. Best practice can change, Google’s always doing something new, there’s a tonne of debate happening on blogs like this and in forums.

So read up on it. You’ll impress a potential employer much more if you can discuss recent industry events. Even better if you can debate them. Even better if you’ve been involved in discussions or debates in forums or blogging comments and can tell your interviewer about it.

Work on something epic

Perhaps just now you’re a first-jobber working as an agency’s dogsbody. Why not volunteer to put in some extra work on one of the leading projects? You may well be working some pretty hellish hours as it is, but some extra effort now could really fast track your career.