Pulse+ and other CSM Certifications - Necessary?

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Ariel Turner
Ariel Turner Member Posts: 8 Contributor
edited August 2023 in CS Conversations
Hi CSM Network!

As I dig further into the CSM world and research and network with professionals in the field I am coming across many requirements and certifications that Job Descriptions "require."

I was curious of:
  • The value and ROI of Pulse+ (and other certifications)
    • Who has any of these and have they found it helped them to 1) land a job and 2) be better in said role?
  • If you are in a hiring capacity:
    • How much would these certifications play a role in if you want to interview/hire a candidate, or the lack of having them?
  • What skills or certifications do you find are necessary to get past the "gate keepers" and intrigue a hiring manager to move forward with your candidacy?
For those who missed my original post:

I am working to get into my first CSM position. At this point I have edited my Resume, LinkedIn, and Cover Letter to reflect everything Customer facing. I am mid-process of interviewing and networking with senior CSMs to gain advice and grow my personal CSM network. I have already interviewed for 3 CSM positions (all 3 are pending and only the 1st rounds were completed), but its a start and I'm thrilled a bit of Resume tweaking worked so quickly! 

Now the plan of attack seems to be pointing me towards ensuring I advertising I have very specific skills or certifications and Id like to understand from other's personal experiences and advice regarding this. Just want to make sure I am as targeted as possible to land my dream job!

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited August 2020
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    I've written about this in the past here at GGR.

    The certification is valuable for two main things.

    1) If your org does not practice one element of Customer Success (say Renewals), you can still demonstrate competency using the certification
    2) the certification has gotten me past 3-5 year experience requirements with only 8 months of experience as a CSM

    Once you get to interviews, the certification impact is very minimal. You will only win tiebreakers with it because you demonstrate the will to keep learning. But it will not be as big a factor as industry fit, results based competency, and experience in the interview stages.

    Overall, it is good for ROI because I have made it back easily. The positions I was offered had a 25% to 100% increase over my previous CSM role.

    ------------------------------
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Customer Success Manager
    ------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 08-04-2020 15:06
    From: Ariel Turner
    Subject: Pulse+ and other CSM Certifications - Necessary?

    Hi CSM Network!

    As I dig further into the CSM world and research and network with professionals in the field I am coming across many requirements and certifications that Job Descriptions "require."

    I was curious of:
    • The value and ROI of Pulse+ (and other certifications)
      • Who has any of these and have they found it helped them to 1) land a job and 2) be better in said role?
    • If you are in a hiring capacity:
      • How much would these certifications play a role in if you want to interview/hire a candidate, or the lack of having them?
    • What skills or certifications do you find are necessary to get past the "gate keepers" and intrigue a hiring manager to move forward with your candidacy?
    For those who missed my original post:

    I am working to get into my first CSM position. At this point I have edited my Resume, LinkedIn, and Cover Letter to reflect everything Customer facing. I am mid-process of interviewing and networking with senior CSMs to gain advice and grow my personal CSM network. I have already interviewed for 3 CSM positions (all 3 are pending and only the 1st rounds were completed), but its a start and I'm thrilled a bit of Resume tweaking worked so quickly! 

    Now the plan of attack seems to be pointing me towards ensuring I advertising I have very specific skills or certifications and Id like to understand from other's personal experiences and advice regarding this. Just want to make sure I am as targeted as possible to land my dream job!

    Thanks in advance!



    ------------------------------
    Ariel Turner
    arielbturner91@gmail.com
    Open to Networking
    ------------------------------
  • Shari Srebnick
    Shari Srebnick Member Posts: 110 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Ariel,

    First, congrats on the multiple interviews!  Sounds as if things are happening.  :)

    I agree with what Kevin said about the certs being minimally impactful at the interview stage - at least for companies who list it in a job rec.  And it may help bypass some additional experiential requirements.  However, speaking as someone who is a hiring manager, I do not put much, if any, emphasis on certifications.  They are a nice to have, and yes, it does show that you are willing to invest in yourself and your "education", but there are other things that I look for that are important.  And I'd also add that some responsibility does fall on me as the leader of the team to help coach and develop further.  

    All of that said, I think you should do what you think is best for your career plan ... and for what it is worth, it is clear you are self-motivated and take initiative, 2 traits I would look for in a CSM.  :)
  • Ariel Turner
    Ariel Turner Member Posts: 8 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Shari,

    Thank you, its been quite inspiring seeing a near immediate impact on putting in the leg work to be targeted to hit my goal. 

    I am definitely going to look into Pulse+ for so because I love learning and I dont feel it could "hurt" to go the extra mile.

    Id love to connect with you so Ill send you over a connection request on LinkedIn.

    Appreciate you commenting and providing your insights!
  • Ariel Turner
    Ariel Turner Member Posts: 8 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Thank you Kevin!

    Ill definitely look more into the certifications as it cant hurt and I agree that it will help compensate for lack of a "formal" CSM title, and get past the gatekeeper as we discussed. 

    As always, I appreciate you so willing to help out!
  • Jon Triggs
    Jon Triggs Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Ariel,

    For what it's worth, every hiring decision I've made while growing my team has been based on transferable skills (usually from other customer-facing roles) and attitude, rather than specific CS qualifications.

    I made the trade off that for the right person picking up the fundamentals of CS shouldn't be that hard - especially in entry-level CS roles - and then put them into training, for example Pulse+, as part of their personal development plan.

    I would choose someone with transferable skills and experience over someone fresh out of Uni with a CS certification, for example.

    I also agree with Shari that it shows initiative which is a great trait to demonstrate. 

    That said, we're a relatively small company in the grand scheme of things, so you may find experience differs depending on the scale of organisation you want to work for.

    Good luck in your job search!
  • Ariel Turner
    Ariel Turner Member Posts: 8 Contributor
    edited August 2020
    Options
    Hi Jon, 

    Thank you for your input and I have found that over and over again CS hiring managers think the same way. The issue at this point it passing said "gatekeeper" so I think I am going to look into the certification purely for this and my own personal development as I love to acquire new skills. 

    As a recruiter, I would agree that it would depend on the size of the organization as the larger ones will have more pick of the crop with a more robust internal recruitment team with stronger walls to penetrate. 

    The balancing act I am left with is: Do I pursue a smaller company to get the CSM title and at least get a chance, or pursue a larger company where they have an establish CS team I can learn and grow from. 

    Personally, Id prefer a more Mid-Sized company where its the best of both worlds. 

    I welcome any leads that cross your desk (even though I see you are in the UK). 

    Regardless, thank you for your input, its definitely motivating!