With the rising popularity of Customer Success, there’s no better time than now to start your career in this field. There’s a growing global need for customer success managers, customer success specialists, and customer success leaders. This article will help you find customer success jobs and learn how to get past the hiring process, prepare for your interview, and accept the offer.
What is the Role of a CSM?
Since your first job in the CS industry will most likely be as a customer success manager, the advice provided in this guide will be for CSM roles.
So, let’s get the basics out of the way. What is a CSM? A customer success manager must ensure customers receive value from the company’s product. A CSM needs to help customers get value and achieve the desired goals. As a CSM, you’ll need to ensure customers meet their goals.
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Soft Skills Needed for a Customer Success Job
Customer success jobs require specific soft skills, such as:
- Open communication
- Zeal to learn
- Social skills
If you have these soft skills plus an innate interest in customer success, congratulations; you’re one step closer to starting your career in CS.
Top Tips to Get Your First Customer Success Job if You Have No Background or Prior Experience in CS
While you have no prior customer success experience, it can be tough to land a customer success job. So let’s go over a few pointers you’ll need to remember.
Ensure You Find Links Between your Work and a CS Role
When creating your resume, find aspects in your work life or education that match customer success and frame your experience around that, ensuring you understand what CS is and how it ties back to your experience. Also, create a cover letter so it can help fill in the gaps for you.
For example, if all your experience is in the hospitality industry, use your cover letter to describe how your particular set of skills is a good fit for that CS position.
Show Your Experience in the Domain
While you don’t have experience in CS, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any experience. Showcase the challenges you faced in your previous industry and department. For example, if you worked in sales, describe how you built relationships with prospects and the results you received. Align your interests with the company’s needs.
Besides your resume and cover letter, another place to show what you know is on LinkedIn. You can create LinkedIn posts where you describe an experience, lesson learned, results achieved, etc.
Do Your Research on the Company
You must read about the company’s product, culture, and people. Because you don’t want your first job in CS to be with any company. Some questions to ask during your search:
- Is their product good and valuable to their customers?
- Do they have a healthy work culture? Or do previous employees say the company’s culture is lacking?
- Does this company have the budget to hire for entry-level positions? (i.e., mid- to enterprise-level companies)
- Do they offer training programs to help you learn and grow on the job?
You can find most of this information on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
Improve your Network
Once you find the opportunities, connecting with people who work there is important. If you know someone that works there, it’s a plus, and you can ask them to give your resume to the hiring manager directly. But if you don’t, join online customer success communities and focus on making genuine connections.
Put Your Customer-Facing Experience at the Forefront
If you want a job in customer success, you need to put your customer-facing experience and communication skills on display. Illustrate problems in the space you faced and how you solved them. You can include this information briefly in your resume or cover letter, on LinkedIn, and in your interview.
From your resume to your interview, make it personal. Don’t blast the same resume and cover letter to every CS position you apply for, and hope that one sticks. Do your research, use the keywords, and help the hiring manager understand why you’re a good fit.18
With so many companies investing in a Customer Success department, there’s more opportunity than ever before to start your CS career. But one thing to remember is that even though the opportunity is endless, your time is valuable. Some companies may have a swift hiring process; others may be prolonged. Either way, don’t spend all your time waiting to hear back from one company; continue searching, learning, and optimizing your approach as you go. And eventually, you’ll have the position you’ve worked hard to get. Doesn’t that sound like a happy ending?
Stanley Deepak is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 15+ years of experience. He loves tech products and book reading. He writes on philosophy and culture on LinkedIn.
Published July 25, 2022, Updated March 28, 2023