Are you about to apply for Customer Success Manager jobs for the first time and not really sure what to put in there? Or maybe you actually already are a CSM, but you haven’t updated your resume recently and want to know just how you can articulate your value on your CV? This blog is going to talk through some potential things you can write down.
Make it focused on skill set keywords
Recruiters and hiring managers alike often don’t have much time to read through an entire resume. While it feels unfair, it’s unfortunately the way it goes. This means that you have a limited window of time to get their attention. It’s more so in the region of seconds, not minutes. This means that you have to optimize your resume for “scanability”, where keywords will jump out at them. If you pique their interest, they might slow down and read the detail.
Below is a list of skill sets that CSMs should possess. While they might not all apply to you, I’d encourage you to try and make your experience fit the keyword, rather than the other way around. Don’t lie, but really think about your experience and how you might translate your actions and results into “CSM speak”:
- Churn reduction/management
- Account expansion
- Account retention
- Customer Health improvement
- Customer Health Risk Management
- Product Demos
- Product Feature Improvements
- Cross Collaboration
I’ll write more about the above points and how you might translate your current experience, no matter your background, into experience that looks appealing to CSM hirers.
Most of the value that a Customer Success Manager brings comes in the form of soft skills. Soft skills are essentially skills that are people centric. Typically, soft skills aren’t taught in a formal way, but are gained from experience by talking with real people – a lot. It might seem simple, but it’s not easy for everyone to exercise and master their soft skills.
So how do you put soft skills into your CSM resume? You retell particular stories that allowed you to demonstrate some of the keyword skills in the first section above, following a tried and true model that demonstrates your proficiency in said skill. This model is STAR, or Situation, Task, Action, Result.
Here’s an example. Say you wanted to talk through Customer Health Risk Management. Your previous skills come from being a Customer Service Manager. Your bullet point in your resume could look like this:
Customer Health Risk Management: (Situation) I field and triage anywhere from 250-300 inbound calls a day, diverting calls that need escalation, but striving to resolve as many myself as possible. (Task) I set myself a personal goal of only escalating 1 in 10 calls. (Action) I built upon the playbook that we received in training, adding an additional layer of detail that addressed the most common topics that would typically be escalated. After trialing it myself and improving my escalation rate from 1 in 5 to 1 in 10, I shared it with a colleague, who also reported that it improved her conversion as well. (Result) Now, it is used across our team of 30 consultants and I am approached regularly by management on CX inputs.
This is a touch longer than I would like, but hopefully this makes sense how the structure works.
There aren’t a whole lot of hard skills that CSMs can put in, but anything that you do know which is related to tech is worth putting down this can be:
- Document management software – Microsoft Office, Google Docs, etc
- CRMs – Hubspot, Gainsight, Salesforce, Oracle, Spreadsheets
- Web development – languages (Java, HTML, CSS)
Hope this article has been handy, I’d be glad to have a look over your resume if you want a second pair of eyes to inspect it.