The world of digital content goes a million miles per hour. Today, the battle for user engagement is unrelenting and fierce. That means creating captivating, relevant, and safe content doesn’t just stop at pressing the ‘Publish’ button. This is where content moderators step forward and help businesses ensure digital platforms are safe, engaging, and inclusive for everyone. If you’re aspiring to land a content moderator job, you’re in the right place.
At Wing, we know how important high-quality content moderation is for businesses. Our guide will provide a clear roadmap for a prospective moderator. It will outline the role, the skills and experience needed, the application process, and what happens next.
The Role of a Content Moderator
We can look at content moderators like watchtowers that stand between a brand and the unpredictability of user-generated content. Their main role is to sift through all that content and separate the appropriate from the inappropriate. They might screen through text, images, videos, and even social media profiles. Mods scan for anything that doesn’t match up with a company’s guidelines or policies. Think offensive language, explicit content, misinformation, or hate speech.
There are endless reasons why content moderation is important. But, there are two that stand out most: brand reputation and online community health.
A brand’s online presence is akin to its reputation. Furthermore, harmful content could negatively affect a brand’s image, deter prospective customers, and undermine the bottom line. So, content moderators act as the first line of defense between the content and the audience.
When online communities are unmoderated, the risk of things like spam, cyberbullying, and misinformation runs rampant. So, by maintaining the health of online communities, content moderators foster positive and safe environments. In moderated spaces, users can engage with each other freely.
Being a content moderator is ultimately all about helping businesses maintain a safe online presence. Mods cultivate strong relationships with customers, all behind the scenes.
Qualifications and Skills for a Content Moderator Job
While unlike lawyers, teachers, and doctors, there aren’t any strict educational routes leading to a content moderation career. But certain backgrounds can give you an edge. A degree in communications, information technology, or marketing can be an asset. Often, graduates from these fields have skills useful in content moderation.
But, in this case, experience often trumps formal education. So, if you don’t have a degree, taking relevant courses and gaining relevant certificates can be a huge asset.
In terms of skills, hiring managers will likely look for attention to detail, cultural sensitivity, and familiarity with content guidelines. Other skills, like being multilingual, having strong communication skills, and having excellent customer service etiquette, are equally important. Let’s look at the main three skills below first:
Attention to detail
The differences between appropriate and inappropriate content can often be subtle, which requires a good eye to spot. Say you have an image or post that could be interpreted in different ways depending on its context. Is that harmless joke actually hidden harassment? Is that political meme promoting hate speech in a subtle way? Good content moderators recognize these more implicit details.
Content moderators need to have the cultural intelligence to navigate the nuances of local traditions, customs, and sensitivities.
For example, a comment that seems light-hearted or sarcastic in one culture could be offensive in another. Or, cultural symbol for one group could be offensive for another. Cultural context matters a lot, and moderators train to understand these.
Familiarity with content guidelines
Content moderators need to have a deep understanding of the company’s content standards and community guidelines. Each company will have its own unique set of guidelines for the organization. These guidelines range from zero tolerance for explicit content to prohibiting the promotion of certain ideologies. Moderators need to be ready to apply these in a variety of scenarios and be consistent throughout. If a platform has strict anti-bullying rules, a skilled moderator would be able to spot even the slightest aggression.
According to ZipRecruiter, other desirable content moderator skills include social media skills (20.61% of employers), accuracy (12.43%), customer service (19.31%), and technical proficiency (8.59%).
Overall, content moderators need a combination of both soft skills and hard skills to do well in their roles. They need to be able to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Mods must also be proficient in content management systems.
Building Relevant Experience for this Role
As we’ve mentioned, landing a content moderator job requires experience. After all, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the job in order to maintain the online communities you’re tasked to moderate. Hands-on experience lets you approach the role with confidence and the ability to be proactive.
But what if you’re just starting out or looking to transition into the field? One practical way to get experience is through volunteer work or freelance opportunities. With so many online platforms seeking volunteer or part-time moderators, it’s a great chance to get your feet wet and show potential employers your initiative.
You could consider even participating in training programs or courses that could bolster your resume. These courses often cover several aspects of moderation, from online safety to dealing with sensitive issues. Formal training programs will equip you with an in-depth understanding of the field, which is invaluable no matter what type of position you end up in.
All in all, all experience is valuable and will only add to your toolkit once you’re ready to make the jump into a content moderation career.
Crafting an Effective Application for a Content Moderator Job
Back in 2013, the average number of people who applied for any given job was 118. And with the ease of online applications and the exposure of global digital platforms, the number has likely increased since then. A well-made application can certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
All resumes should align with the specific content moderator job you’re pursuing. Be sure to read the job description carefully, identify the key skills and qualifications they’re looking for, and make sure those stand out in your application. For example, if the job is prioritizing cultural sensitivity, then make sure you emphasize experiences or achievements that reflect that skill.
Your resume should also frame your previous experiences in a way that shows their relevance to content moderation. If you’ve done volunteer work monitoring online communities, then present that in a way that shows off your expertise in maintaining brand reputation.
Keep in mind that many employers now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen applicants before they read them themselves. In fact, 75% of resumes from qualified applicants don’t make it past the ATS database. Using relevant keywords in your application can increase your chances of getting past these automated systems and getting in front of the eyes of the hiring manager. For instance, “user experience,” “flagging,” “detail-oriented,” and similar keywords would work wonders in a content moderator application.
Navigating the Job Market
Once you’ve got an impressive application ready to go, the next part is knowing where to find the right opportunities. Career-focused platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn are often a good place to start. Opportunities here span across a variety of industries and experience levels. For freelance or part-time opportunities, Upwork and other freelancing platforms could be a good starting point.
You’ll also want to tap into your professional networks by joining groups on professional networking sites, engaging in discussions, and attending industry events or webinars to come across those hidden opportunities. Not only is it a good way to seek out a position, it can offer you insights into trends and best practices that can give you a leg up over the competition.
Here at Wing, we also present an opportunity for content moderators to build their careers and join our growing global team of top talent. All positions are remote and can be served by candidates from around the world.
How Hiring Managers Interview Potential Moderators
The interview phase is where businesses gauge whether a candidate is a good fit for their brand, and candidates get a better understanding of the role and company.
The process might start with a preliminary screening online or over a phone call to connect with the candidate and ask them about their base qualifications and job interest. Once that’s cleared, a more in-depth, potentially face-to-face interview will be conducted that includes a mix of technical and behavioral questions.
You might be asked to walk the hiring manager through your work experience, talk about specific instances where you’ve faced difficult moderation decisions and how you resolved them, and navigate through hypothetical situations.
Hiring managers might even put you to the test on things like response speed under scenarios that mimic real-life workload and pressure. So, be prepared for the various interview types (phone call, video call, in-person) and interview questions and methods that you might come across when you land that all-important interview.
Beyond the Search: Preparing for Content Moderation Challenges
Landing a content moderator job is only the beginning – the role itself presents a unique set of challenges which require some adequate preparation. One of the most intense challenges content moderators face is being exposed to disturbing or sensitive content.
To deal with these challenges, content moderators need to develop some good emotional coping mechanisms and stress management strategies. This could mean taking frequent breaks, regularly detaching from the digital realm, and partaking in physical activities or hobbies to maintain an emotional balance.
And you don’t have to go through these challenges alone, either. Finding a supportive network of fellow content moderators can give you the space to share your experiences and tips or just air out your thoughts.
Just like many other job titles, content moderation also involves managing heavy workloads and working under stringent deadlines, which can be stressful. Again, you’ll want to prioritize time-management skills, mindfulness exercises, and self-care rituals that can make a significant difference in managing work stress.
But while being a content moderator is no doubt challenging, it's also rewarding. As the guardians of online communities, the role you play is pivotal in maintaining safe online environments for millions of users around the world. With the right preparation and proper self-care, there is a massive opportunity to master this unique role without compromising your well-being.
Wing Connects Businesses with Managed, Dedicated Content Moderators
Finding the right content moderator for your business requires just as much consideration as finding a content moderator position. But what if you could bypass the frustrations of recruitment and directly connect with qualified, experienced, and reliable content moderators? That shortcut is no longer a product of your imagination, thanks to Wing.
Wing offers businesses access to a pool of dedicated content moderators. With so many qualified candidates available, we’ve got someone for everyone, no matter whether you're a startup looking to build a healthy online community from scratch or an established enterprise wanting to scale moderation efforts.
Wing adds an extra layer of comfort by providing complimentary access to the Wing Task Management tool, an app that lets you communicate with your content moderator, manage tasks and projects, share files, and more.
With easy access to these dedicated content moderators, you’ll get to focus on your core business operations and know that your online space is safe and productive.
Ready to hire your own content moderator? Get started at Wing today!
Nick Saraev is a freelance writer, programmer, and entrepreneur with a passion for helping people reach their business goals. He has been featured on Popular Mechanics & Apple News, and has built several successful companies in e-commerce, marketing, and AI. On days off, you can find him hiking or painting.