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5 Tips For Your First Interview

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Education | 3 comments

Recently we have been interviewing some juniors who are right out of university. The following five tips were issues that we felt were common amongst all people that we brought in no matter what their background or experience was. It is not easy to get a job in Cape Town and these five tips are vital in creating a good first impression as well as trying to secure the job or at the very least a second interview.

1. Tailor Your CV

Tailor your CV towards the job or career you are applying for. Don’t have one CV that you simply send around to a bunch of companies for a wide range of jobs. It is lazy and gets picked up immediately. Some aspects won’t be relevant to some jobs while other jobs might need you to include more detail on certain aspects. Make it appropriate to the position that you are applying for.

2. Be Prepared – Read Up On The Company

Do your homework! Find out everything that you can about the company and remember it. Don’t come into an interview and forget the name of the company. If you can’t take that sort of time and effort, then your interviewers will be wondering how much pride and thought you would put into the job. Read up on the history and grab as much information as you can find – know the company.

3. Think About Your Answers

Think about the common questions that you will be asked and actually spend some time thinking about your answers. Don’t get caught in an interview where the routine questions catch you off guard and surprised. Again, this is something that shows you are prepared and take pride in what you do. Often questions will need some research into the topic and make sure you understand the field and are ready with well thought out answers that you have practiced in front of the mirror. The favourite question is why Company X? That one question can ruin your interview, but not if you do steps 2 & 3.

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Quirk SEO Course – Assignment 5

Posted by on Oct 7, 2010 in Education | 0 comments

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Quirk SEO Course – Assingment 5 Post

So we are into the second last assignment and as I am sure all of you have noticed I have really been enjoying the Quirk course. I have learnt a huge amount and I feel that for those trying to get a better understanding on how to make practical use of SEO skills, this is a great place to get going.

So what did we get down to in Assignment 5 in the Quirk SEO Course? This week it was all focused on a vital aspect of offsite SEO, and that is Link Building.

What is link building you might ask? Link building is essentially acquiring links that point to your domain, whether it is your home page or deeper pages. These links in search engine’s eyes count as a vote as such towards the validity or relevance of your site. This is an absolutely vital aspect of SEO in getting your site to rank well, and if this is done properly and efficiently, it can take a lot less effort than what can be imagined.

Part OneAnalyzing competitors and their backlinks

The first part of the assignment was a fairly simple part. We had to identify a site as our base point for the assignment and work out how many links were pointing to the home page, and then how many links went deeper down. That was very simple and there are a number of free, quick tools to obtain that data.

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Quirk SEO Course – Assignment 4

Posted by on Sep 30, 2010 in Education | 2 comments

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So another week has come and gone, and that means that another assignment in the Quirk SEO Course has passed by. We are now into the second half of the course and things are heating up quite nicely. Once again the really awesome thing about this assignment was that it was not just taught to you through the notes, but the assignment is very practical and hands on, and therefore you learn an absolute bucket load. There is nothing better than hands on practical experience.

So what did we get up to this week? This week went a little bit further than the traditional on-site optimisation and dived right into the more recent realm of content optimisation with a focus on social interaction. We were asked to take on the roll of optimisation for a local nightclub based in Cape Town. The assignment was split up into two parts and away we went!

Part one – Local listings and mobile (600 words)

Part one was something that I hadn’t given much thought to before the Quirk course - the power of local listings as well as the power of the mobile user. We were asked how we would go about optimising the website to make sure that the nightclub would obtain a local listing as well as rank well for it. Basically what a local listing is, is a listing that determines companies or services that are within a specific region that your search is based around. So if you searched for “nightclub Cape town“, or any variances of that, we were meant to get our imaginary nightclub ranking number one for that. A local listing will also provide directions to your company and list the physical address. Example

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Quirk SEO Course – Assignment 3

Posted by on Sep 25, 2010 in Education | 0 comments

Quirk SEO Course – Assignment 3

My apologies for this post being slightly behind schedule, but I have had an absolutely manic week which resulted in me almost missing out on handing in assignment 3 in the lovely Quirk SEO course, but due to some serious power typing, I managed to get it in, and I think on time as well.

It seems as if there is a consistent trend as each week the tasks get more in-depth and much tougher like I mentioned last week in assignment 2. Not to worry, as we all enjoy a challenge, and especially when it involves a field that you enjoy, such is the case with this course and SEO.

So what did we get up to this week?

The Brief

This week focused on keyword research, as well as how to effectively implement keywords into your onsite copy based upon the keyword research that you performed. I particularly enjoyed this week as again it is a practical part of SEO, and the task was actually fairly difficult. We were handed the task of compiling keyword research for a fictional company called “Mzansi Couriers”. It was both made harder and easier by this as you had no content or anything to go on, but on the other hand, it did give you the scope to be quite creative which could have helped some students, but also be a stumbling block for others.

The Keywords

We had to compile a list of around 20-25 keywords to use for the site in general, but these keywords also had to be spread out across four pages. We then had to decide which keywords would belong to which page as well as provide the local keyword volume for South Africa since it was a local company I actually found this part quite difficult, and quite a contrast to assignment one. The four pages that we had to focus on were:

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Quirk SEO Course – Assignment Two

Posted by on Sep 14, 2010 in Education | 1 comment

Quirk SEO Course – Assignment Two

In my quest in Educating Myself as much as possible, I have reached the end of week two of the Quirk SEO course. I will tell you about the content that was covered, the features I liked, and what I got for the first assignment on the course!

As you can imagine, the second week of the Quirk SEO course started to heat things up. Welcome to the big league boys and girls – this is the stage where your knowledge is tested and you really start to learn mounds of information, but more importantly, this is where you really start to start to turn information into knowledge.

The second assignment required us to do a full site audit in terms of SEO. This alone was tricky, but what made this even more difficult was that we were only allowed to write up to 1500 words, which when it comes to a site audit there is not very much room to cover things in detail. We were asked to look at the following areas:

  • The importance of a site audit
  • Links and Navigation
  • Sitemaps
  • Crawability
  • User Experience
  • Onsite SEO

There were sub-sections covering those obviously with more information provided to help steer you in the right direction, but those essentially are the sections, and what we had to focus on. The website that we were given to focus on was the perfect candidate for a site audit for those only on the second week of the course. It had some glaring errors, but also had some hidden gems allowing those willing to look for them and go that bit further to find them.

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Quirk SEO Course – Week One Done

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Education | 4 comments

So lately I have been so busy I barely had time to remember my own name. Things did not get any easier last week with the start of the Quirk SEO course that I am doing. Like I mentioned in my last post – Educating Myself – I am attempting to s t r e t c h myself to the limit in a quest to gain as many new skills as I can by the end of the year.

So Week One was down, and as always, the first week is normally a soft introduction to those fairly new to the subject. This course was no different and the first assignment was split into two short introductory sections, but what I found interesting was that the first part was more aimed at the learner. It attempted to get to know them and find out their motivations behind the course and what they were hoping to get out of it. A smart move by Quirk as they can then ear mark any potential super stars in the making and then watch their progress even more closely in an attempt to scout the best talent. Smart one Quirk ;)

Quirk EducationThe second section of the assignment dived into the more expected realm of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and asked you to explain SEO as if you were telling your Grandmother about it for the first time. I actually found that fairly challenging as there was a word limit imposed on the entire assignment and it was not very generous. When you have been dealing with SEO for a while, or I guess most subjects that you become well versed in, you start to omit the small details as simple and unnecessary, but if you had to explain what it is to someone you would need these details. With this being my first year out of school and most people surprised that I am not studying (the traditional university way) they ask what I am doing, and when I reply that I am an Online Marketer, or Search Engine Optimiser, they always want to know more, so I was actually fairly well practiced at giving a short overview of how things work. This time I had to say a little bit more than I make that website come up first in Google – not quite that simple :P

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