Community Management Job Searching

Hard-hatSearching for a job is never an easy task (as we learned about on Friday’s post about finding your first CM gig) and finding a good job is like searching for a needle in a haystack.  In the world of community management where job titles and job descriptions are so wildly inconsistent, where do you start?  It doesn’t matter if you’re entry level or a seasoned community vet – it’s hard to see the forest through the trees in positions posted across the web for startups, corporations, and agencies alike.

Well — good thing there are about 100 people who are here to give you a little bit of professional job searching advice!

Q1: Due to there not being one clear definition of a CM position, what are key terms to find what you’re looking for?

ilovegarick Engagement, social, relationships, community.. those are all keywords I look for in #cmgr job descriptions.

SueOnTheWeb:   Some key terms: relationship building, user generated content, interaction, relationships, engagement

Historian: Engagement, community, content, management, planning, growth

vargasl I am not fond of searching for the title…more about the skills required. Analytics, communications, writing, etc.

corecorina I pity anyone who doesn’t put PR, customer service, writing and editing HIGH on their list of CMGR criteria

jimstorer  sense of humor, communications, digital competency

jennalanger:   Find something u r passionate about, get involved in the community, online and off. No experience necessary

SueOnTheWeb:   Some key terms: relationship building, user generated content, interaction, relationships, engagement

eliingraham Cluetrain-rider; omni-tasker; social anthropologist; code-breaker > do these help?

jmarls80 How about event planning? I do a fair amount of that

jasonkonopinski Digital anthropology is a subtext to the whole CM thing, I say. Understanding behaviors, etc

Q2: Is “Community Manager” 1 size fits all? How should we distinguish btwn a #Cmgr and a Community Strategist, for example?

rlux The duties of a CM are different in an agency vs a small company vs a bigger one, there’s no one size fits all. Makes it fun.

jennalanger Community managers implement, community strategists do more planning. There are definite overlaps & they should work together

SueOnTheWeb There isn’t a one size fits all. It really depends on the needs of the company/cmty, hence why job descriptions are so varied

_Danicia_ One size doesn’t fit all. They can be one or the other or both, depending on the company and their needs.

LeeKarah For companies with the room to separate tasks, CM oversee’s community whereas strategy is more inline w/mrkting for growth

BriteChicago I think that the difference is in execution, definitely not one size fits all but plenty of overlap

vargasl No way. Not all CMs are created equal. 1) Specialist 2) Manager 3) Strategist – further divided by niche.

vargasl Of course this does not mean all tiers require sep people, but does require time blocking (Depends on size & maturity of org).

kerribirtch Strategist job is to focus more on supporting the business objectives. CM usually focuses more on user engagement IMHO.

jimstorer  it depends on organizational maturity. if a company is just getting started, it CAN be one size fits all. not so later.’

Arielle07 No. Strat & com mgmt should overlap, but they’re diff roles. Strat is more about merging social into overall mkting plan.

Q3: What skills should you highlight on your resume if you are looking for a CM role or Strategist position?

colormelauren Communication skills, people skills, writing skills, and any experience I’ve had with customer service. (& obvs SM experience)

KellyLux If I were looking, I might highlight relationship-building, communication skills, writing, and analytics.

DavidYarus An understanding of people. Interpersonal skills. The ability to connect. Leadership roles. Community involvement

JPedde Pay close attention to the job description. Highlight the skills you have matching the skills they’re looking for.

vargasl Skills: Understanding analytics; Writing and presentation skills…too many to list!

matthewduncan Ways you have taken a community to new heights, increased engagement and growth, smart decision making about tools & concepts

SunnyinSyracuse Building relationships online & offline, writing skills, customer service, understanding analytics come to mind.

eliingraham discernment; dexterity; delivery…

kurtvan Customer service, ability to talk like a person/write like a person talks!, understanding of the space. Examples help

JPedde Data. Demonstrate exactly how you’ve built a community, engagement metrics, Referrals, attendance for IRL/OL events.

_Danicia_: Dont be afraid to show passions, conflict resolution skills, and that you can actually talk to people

SavvySexySocial  If you’re managing a community you also need to share CustServ experience. HUGE part of the job.

_Danicia_ Conflict Resolution always comes up in interviews in my industry. Be prepared to talk about your win resolutions.

Q4: Beyond the resume, what other content should you be prepared to share? (ie portfolio, data, milestones?)

vargasl examples of how you turned neg issue into opportunity / positive story; influencer outreach; workflow of diff responses.

mbhahn i share samples of my articles and media kit of my old sites with stats from the communities

SueOnTheWeb Concreate examples, eg links to communities one manages, blog posts, Twitter stream, etc etc

trellar Be prepared to show off some writing samples! We want to see your tone and how you interact with others. :

JPedde  I love seeing a good portfolio. Blog posts, writing samples, Post Q&A examples… gives context.

djfanco We are always asking for original writing samples, not just previous content. We want to know how you write for us.

SunnyinSyracuse Any #jobseekers in this chat should check out these creative SM resumes…featuring our very own�@JPedde!

DavidYarus You should be ROCKING key social platforms and show your understanding by DOING. Super important.

Historian:  Blog posts, Vid Casts, Audio/Podcasts, Graphics Portfolio, etc.

annlasko  I don’t think that twitter follower�#s, FB likes/friends is as important as good content – blog posts, exc cust srvc examples

vargasl:  Produce materials you created for backchannel (workflows, playbooks, etc.) – show how you deployed strategy.

Jfalkenthal A case study of previous community campaigns expanding on the campaign’s strategy & tactics, plus how success was measured.

Q5: What resources can you point to for CM Salaries from entry level to higher level CMing?


jkozuch Glassdoor has some information:

jkozuch There’s also the 2012 Community Manager Report:

JPedde: I also love the @SocialFresh report after they surveyed CMs this year:

SueOnTheWeb Onward Search did a Social Media jobs salary guide not long ago


This digest was taken from the “Community Management Job Searching” #cmgrchat on Wednesday April 25th, 2012.  914 tweets were sent out in the 2-3pm EST hour.  If you ever have a suggestion for topics, please leave a comment below or send us an email!

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.

Andres James
Andres James

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