If you’re committed to helping people and a whiz at problem-solving, then customer service might be the industry for you. The great thing about the industry is that it mostly relies on soft skills (communication, listening, and questioning). It helps to have a strong base of communication and customer-centric skills—and these are easily transferable from many other industries.
But you can’t just rely on your skills and willingness to learn… you need to be able to get those points across to prospective employers. You need to be able to show them your past experience, goals, and knowledge that make you suited to the job. This is where your resume comes in! Concise, quantifiable, and scannable, your resume should speak for itself.
Writing a great customer service resume can mean the difference between landing your CS gig or failing, so be sure to spend some time on it. First impressions count, so we’ve compiled a handy list of six tips to boost your CS resume.
But first, let’s take a look at the basics.
Format your resume correctly
An easy-to-read resume must be professional, clear, and concise. Keep your font size anywhere between 10 and 12 and be sure to use a classic font. The most used font of 2019 for resumes was Times New Roman for its polished effect. A good resume has to be scannable and easy to read, so keeping it concise is key. Aim for no longer than a page and you’ll be able to fit in your most recent and relevant work experience.
Your experience should be laid out in reverse chronological order to ensure recruiters can scan your resume quickly and easily. Presentation is the first thing that will catch a recruiter’s eye, so you want to leave a good impression.
Match your resume to the job listing
Not all customer service roles are exactly the same. One role might require good knowledge of teleconferencing services, while another might be more focused on digital fax software as a means of communication. The company you work for might also be a SaaS company rather than a traditional brick and mortar business, meaning the focus will be on generating sales from digital software instead of physical goods.
Knowing what kind of products (physical or digital) the company works with is important to keep in mind when writing up your resume. This will enable you to list your experience in previous settings where you might have generated sales with similar products or software.
Write up a resume summary
Though optional, including a summary helps recruiters to get a quick, overall view of your expertise and talent before the more specific sections of your resume. Format your summary in concise bullet-points with your most recent and relevant experience and skills. When drafting your summary ask yourself certain questions: how would you add value to the company? Why should the company hire you? Nail these questions and your summary is done!
Here are our Top 6 tips for writing a great customer service resume
1. Back your experience with metrics
Customer service is all about performance and upscaling. It’s not enough to describe your experience—you need to back it up! Tie your previous experience with quantifiable metrics so recruiters can see what kind of impact you had on business operations.
Think about your day-to-day operations and ask yourself certain questions. How many new staff or customers did you scale last month? What is your average response time? How many customers did you interact with and how many were you able to sign up for a specific service or product?
Including these metrics in your resume helps recruiters get a better picture of the kind of impact you could have on their company. Even if you haven’t worked in the CS industry previously, many other jobs have transferable skills that can translate into metrics. If you worked in retail, for example, you could note how many customers you interacted with on a daily basis or how many customers you got to purchase a special product.
2. Highlight your transferable soft skills
The great thing about customer service is that it revolves around soft skills. While hard skills such as technical proficiency and educational experience are important, if you don’t display effective soft skills then your likelihood of landing a CS gig is lowered.
Soft skills can include anything from interpersonal skills to team-working and time-management. In fact, strong interpersonal skills are the lifeblood of great customer service and no matter what industry you worked in before, you are bound to have developed interpersonal skills at one point or another.
Interpersonal skills don’t just revolve around communication and speaking. Good listening and problem-solving skills are just as important! Being able to engage with customers also means being able to listen as well as resolve any disputes carefully and calmly.
Highly transferable skills can be attained in any role. This is especially important for anyone making a career pivot to a different industry as these skills can help fill in the missing areas of industry expertise and experience.
Remember to match your soft skills to the specific job listing to ensure your resume stands out to hiring managers. Think about how you can back them up by providing information on where you displayed this skill and any quantifiable metrics that you can tie to them.
3. Showcase your technical skills
While soft skills are crucial, you can’t forget the importance of hard skills, and technical proficiency is one of the most important! As remote work becomes the norm, technical proficiency has become even more crucial as operations move online. Knowing how to navigate conferencing systems and software is an essential component of remote work.
All CS roles will be varied with what kind of technologies and communication systems they use, so be sure to highlight the specifics in your resume. Some roles might require you to use telecommunications systems while others will want you to focus more on live chats or real-time communication. If you’ve had experience with a cloud-based phone system for small business needs, for example, be sure to reference this.
4. If you’re fluent in another language, list it!
Another hard skill, language fluency is a major standout in resumes. If you’re polylingual then include it in your resume to showcase your ability to engage with a diverse range of customers. The ability to communicate in multiple languages will show hiring managers that you can connect with potential customers in a more personal way. Building good customer relationships is key to effective customer service so this skill will make your resume stand out!
5. Use the right keywords
Most resumes are submitted over an online platform such as a website or job board, increasing the likelihood of an ATS scanning your words. ATS (applicant tracking systems) are programs installed to scan resumes to organize information and match the relevancy of a resume to a listing.
Including industry-specific keywords will enable the ATS to determine whether your resume suits the specificities of the listing, increasing the chance of a hiring manager taking a closer look. But don't overdo it. Avoid using overcomplicated keywords as this can actually take away from your resume rather than add value. You want your resume to be clear and professional so the aim is to strike an appropriate balance.
6. Speak to your hiring manager (not literally)
It’s important to list previous work experience and skills but don’t forget about the company you’re applying to! Leverage your resume summary to talk, not only about your background but why you find the position so enticing. You can also discuss what value you would add to the company, thinking about the specific goals of the organization. This is, of course, a personal touch that you can elaborate upon in your cover letter, but it's also helpful to tie your resume directly to what you can bring.
Since customer service is highly personal, taking this approach will showcase that you’ve done your research and are passionate about the position. This will show hiring managers your potential further down the line and your ability to understand products and services inside out, leading to bigger sales and brand loyalty.
Victorio Duran III is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement on web and digital operations with diverse experience as web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.
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