The #jobs channel of the Support Driven community contains many helpful conversations from both recruiters and applicants around how to find your next job in support. If you're thinking about finding a new gig, here are some of the best tips from the community.
Create a plan of attack
When you start thinking about your job search, it’s usually hard to know where to look first.
A good starting point is to identity your current duties and passion. Then, try to match it with the type of role that corresponds best to it: remote work, management, proactive support, engineering, etc. Good. Now you know what type of job to look for, and your application will be much stronger, as you can show the recruiter how your experiences correlate with the job you’ve chosen.
Source job opportunities from your network
This is usually a good way to find the most interesting job positions, and it can increase your chances to be hired by 6x.
If you've been to support conferences, that's a great place to start. Reach out to people you helped with a talk, or to folks with whom you shared advice. This is a long-term game, helping people will always be beneficial in your career at some point.
You can also create a list of companies that you’d like to work at, and check their website periodically for new openings.
Pro tip: if you're new to support and don't have a network yet, join the conversation on Support Driven, lots of great companies are hiring there. You can also reach out to someone from those companies on the Slack.
Update your resume with simple job titles & descriptions
The range of customer support titles is pretty large: from the old-fashion "customer representative" to the "customer support Guru".
You want to make sure your title reflects what you've been doing at this position. If you think your title is going to be hard for a recruiter to understand, just change it:
Keep in mind that what recruiters care about is seeing progress in your career, not that you've become senior team lead after 2 years as a team lead. Focus on what you learnt in the description of your previous jobs, so it's easy for them to understand your career path.
Also, when adding your title to your resume, make sure it's understandable for someone who's not in support. It always helps ;)
Do your homework before writing your cover letter
Most cover letters are not specific to the company or the job position, and unfortunately, about 75% of them won’t get a response from the company. That's a fantastic opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd.
What the recruiters want to see comes down to:
Your soft skills - support is about helping others, show how you care about others in your life
Your career path - why you're applying to this position today
Why you care about this company and this particular job - there's nothing worse than a generic response here. You need to convince the interviewer they need to invest time in onboarding you as their newest team member. As Dani puts it, that's one of the most important thing the interviewer is looking for.
Prep for the interview
When you go to an interview, don't expect to do a traditional review of your resume. Usually recruiters prefer conversational interviews. They want to understand what you like in your job and your motivations.
A classic mistake for candidates is to give the recruiter the impression that they just want a job and not this job. You can avoid that by doing some research about what why the job position is specific, and how it matches what you'd like to do in your next gig.
When the awkward question about your salary expectations, be prepared and look at how much other companies pay for the same type of position. You can check it out with this support salary calculator! (Ask firstname.lastname@example.org to get it).
Also, study up on our list of common customer support interview questions to prepare.
Do you have additional tips about how to find your dream job? We'd love to add them to this post so feel free to shoot them here!
A big thanks to Diane Garcia, Sarah Betts & Denise Twum for reading drafts of this post and suggesting tips!