2

For 10 years I ran a small SEO company (ABC SEO). I had roughly 100 clients in those 10 years (not all at once). Each client was different ranging from Lawyers, accountants, crafts, plumbers, consultants etc.

How do I list my ABC SEO on my resume? Do I simply list it and then bullet point all the things I did for all my clients over 10 years?

Should I somehow explain that this company was an SEO company providing SEO services for other clients?

Also how do I breakdown the responsibilities? By client or by skill area?

Thank you.

  • Was the SEO your main job / source of income? – Dimitrios Mistriotis Apr 11 '16 at 17:56
  • Break down the responsibilities by skill area, not by client. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 22 '16 at 23:22
2

Summary: Emphasize how that experience can benefit your next employer.

I assume you're not looking for another SEO job.

Should I somehow explain that this company was an SEO company providing SEO services for other clients?

Yes, that's a good start (as Joe Strazzere already said).

I recommend you show:

  • the strengths you brought to your SEO work.

    Be specific. This is tricky, because it can easily be resume yada-yada: "good communicator," "hard worker," "perfectionist," etc., don't help much.

    If you managed others, and you're looking for a management position, emphasize what you did to be a good manager. If you're looking for a position as an individual contributor, focus on what made you a good one. If you were a jack of all trades, show off your versatility.

  • the benefits your clients enjoyed.

    If you can, quantify your clients' financial benefits, in dollars / Euros / whatever, or in percentages of growth. Don't bother with increases in traffic, hits, or page rank.

  • the relevant skills that could be important for your next job.

    This could be technologies, tools, sales and marketing, business process experience, whatever.

Also (stating the obvious):

  • If you had another job while you were doing SEO, say if your business was full time or part time. Specifically, say something like "on nights and weekends," or whatever you did to do both jobs well.

  • Explain what now attracts you to working for someone else, instead of working for yourself again. Be positive, and speak to your next employer's interests. Bad example: "I want a steady paycheck." Good example: "I want to take on bigger projects than I can handle by myself."

1

How do I list my ABC SEO on my resume? Do I simply list it and then bullet point all the things I did for all my clients over 10 years?

You list the company, your title, the dates, and a summary list of the kinds of things you did.

You don't list all the things you did for 100 clients over 10 years - that's serious overkill for what a potential employer wants to know.

If this company isn't well known, you could also list a one or two-line summary description of the company.

Should I somehow explain that this company was an SEO company providing SEO services for other clients?

Yes. That would be the one or two-line summary. ("provides SEO services for small-to-medium sized corporations in the metropolitan New York area")

Also how do I breakdown the responsibilities? By client or by skill area?

No new employer cares about which responsibility went with which of the 100 clients. Just summarize your overall responsibilities.

Overall, there's basically nothing different about listing this company than any other company you have worked for in the past.

0

I would break down the responsibilites by skill, or rather your functions:

"Analyzed SEO for competitive businesses" , etc. Otherwise you will have duplicate entries where jobs required similar work. And if you did some one-off for a client that isn't very germane it will be easier to leave off. When I read a resume I am looking for all the matches between a set of skills and the demands of the job I am hiring for.

-1

It's a good question. I had an LLC and several DBAs that I never list on my resume because I don't want to intimidate people. In my case, these were after-hours ventures where I still maintained a "day job".

Part of applying for a job with a company, is demonstrating that you'll be a good and obedient worker that they can invest in long term. When you say you had your own company, you need to help them understand why you're not a flight risk.

I think, in your case, you have to list the SEO company, or you'll have people ask where you were those 10 years. I would just carefully list your roles and responsibilities, and also use your cover letter and interview to describe to them why you're an asset that's worth the risk.

  • Why would you worry about intimidating people? You are underselling (and arguably misrepresenting) yourself, and not giving the hiring manager information that could place you in a higher-level role and salary. Omitting information from your resume also limits people's ability to refer you to companies that need your skills. – Pedro Apr 11 '16 at 16:36
  • I continue to be in that situation now. I'm interested in applying elsewhere in my current company, and I spoke with someone on that team about those external ventures, and he agreed that it may work against me, and better to leave those to verbal discussions. I agree with your point that it's a gray area - - "mispresenting" stings a little, but again, hard to disagree. I don't feel like you should be obliged to list every single employment, just the ones relevant to the opportunity. – Baronz Apr 11 '16 at 16:39
  • Agree on only listing what's relevant; I assumed your self-owned companies were relevant to the position you're looking for. My mistake if that is not the case. I would still encourage thinking about how you can demonstrate that those unrelated jobs gave you transferable skills that are relevant to what you are applying for. – Pedro Apr 11 '16 at 16:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.