Eight Factors That Can Make or Break Your Job Application

Eight Factors That Can Make or Break Your Job Application
Kevin Leonor

If you are trying to break into the industry, you should target the roles that have the best chances of landing an interview. Just on LinkedIn, there are thousands of open Customer Success Associate positions. Filling out applications for all these roles can be very time-consuming, especially if you’re tailoring your resume properly.

To make the most out of your time and effect here are eight factors to consider when searching for your first Customer Success role.

1. Your preparation

All of this process comes down to your willingness to prepare and how you’ve positioned yourself as the ideal candidate. Before you put in the emotional and physical work, make sure you are confident this career is right for you. In other words, get clear on your why. At the end of the day, if you aren’t enthusiastic about working with needy clients, managing many different priorities, and moving at a fast pace, this will become apparent quickly during the hiring process.

In addition, take the time to think through how your past experience has prepared you for a career in SaaS and be prepared to handle objections raised during the interview process. For more ideas on how to think like a CSM, click here. For more tips on how to stand out, read this.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs after you’ve gotten clear on your ‘why’ and how you're an ideal candidate.

2. How long ago the job was posted

Jobs posted more than two weeks ago are likely already deep in their hiring search. Applying now may mean you are behind by two rounds of interviews. While they can speed up your interviews by booking many in one day, they are less likely to do it for non-ideal candidates. Don’t miss out on your next job by focusing on roles that may be deep in the hiring process. You can see how long the job has been listed by checking the details on the job listing.

Example Customer Success Job Listing with Date
Example Customer Success Job Listing with Date

If you have trouble finding open roles that meet this criteria on LinkedIn, try joining these communities:

Slack communities provide a great wealth of job openings posted from the actual hiring manager. These communities are very open and inviting, so anyone can join if you have the invite link.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs that have been recently posted.

3. Domain experience

Many professionals are looking to move into Customer Success so you need to stand out. One easy way to do this is by applying for roles within your domain.

If you are a professional from the hospitality space, hospitality tech companies need professionals that speak the language of hospitality professionals. Use this to your advantage.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs where you already think like their ideal customer.

4. Who you know within the company

Referrals are worth their weight in gold. Many first-time SaaS professionals earn their first role through a referral. Be sure to network, engage in public posts of decision-makers, and get them to recognize your name. When the time is right, ask for a referral when you see an open position.

Protip: Utilize Linkedin’s “Connections who work here” to check if anyone in your network is working for the company and ask for a referral.

When asking, always give your resume and a summary of your qualifications so they don’t have to ask questions about your eligibility. They will usually have to fill out a referral form or email the recruiter, so give them enough information to best represent your candidacy.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs where you know people who can give you a reference.

5. The hiring team

Look out for job listings that share the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile so you can reach out to learn more about the role. Message that person with your skills and qualifications and your desire to learn more about being a potential fit.

Example Customer Success Job Listing with Recruiter Profile
Example Customer Success Job Listing with Recruiter Profile

Example Customer Success Job Listing with Recruiter Profile

Click on their profile, scroll through their recent activity, and see if they've posted about the open role on their profile. This is often a sign that they are really invested and excited to find the ideal candidate for the role. CS Leaders, CEOs, and even CSMs often post to promote available openings as well. These are dead giveaways that these positions are actually open and worth your time.

Engage with their posts. Do not be afraid. They are openly searching for their next hire, which means they are welcoming conversation.

In Customer Success Slack communities, job posters usually invite interested candidates to message them before applying. Take the opportunity to give a brief summary of your qualifications, then ask the hiring manager about their vision for this hire and how they will play into their overall Customer Success strategy. Remember that this invitation is a two-way street and you are expected to provide value.

Protip: Don't be afraid to send a video introduction. This helps give the job poster or recruiter a sense of your personality, initiative, and excitement for the role.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs where the hiring & leadership team is both visible and engaged.

6. Product knowledge

Are you or were you once considered a power user of the company's product? Is there documented proof of the hours you spent in-app? Are you publicly advocating their product to colleagues? Your product mastery can cut down on the time it will take for you to onboard if given the role.

Power users are best positioned to promote the value of a product. This expertise has earned many CS professionals their first role.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs that sell products you already love and use.

7. Your willingness to take other CS/SaaS roles

The role of a Customer Success Manager can require proven expertise. If recruiters do not feel you meet the minimum qualifications, it may be time to pivot to a more junior role such as Junior Customer Success Manager, Associate Customer Success Manager, Customer Success Associate, Customer Success Specialist, Onboarding Specialist, or Customer Success Intern.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs where you feel comfortable pivoting to get a foot in the door.

8. The number of available positions

Companies looking for only one CS professional may have high standards for the candidate that they are looking for.

Companies who have reached maturity in their CS team could pose problems because they do not have an immediate need, and can choose to wait for the perfect candidate and increase their selection criteria.

A way to combat these conditions is to look for companies with multiple openings for the same role. Companies with multiple openings are better poised to hire a project candidate with the right soft skills and culture fit after they have already secured the other stronger candidate.

⭐ Target Customer Success jobs where the company is looking to fill many Customer Success roles.

By utilizing these strategies, you will be able to make the most of your time and energy while increasing your interview response rate.

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