Nearly three million of jobs available on the market make customer service resume a highly popular document among those trying to land a job. Typically, customer service representatives are trained on the job which means no advanced qualification or educational credentials are required. With the high competition though, it is not easy for people to get through the crowd of other candidates to the interview stage. With that being said, we decided to help those who read our career advice blog by providing expert recommendations on how to get a foot in the interview door with a well-written customer service resume.
Use Customer Service Job Description Wisely
The first inclination of every job seeker trying to get a customer service job is to type "Customer Service Job Description" in the browser's search tab and copy-paste information from the first decent web page that matched the query. This is what most people are doing since the responsibilities are pretty much the same even though the companies and even industries are different. But if you want to set yourself apart, don't simply follow the same pattern. It doesn't mean you shouldn't use customer service job descriptions at all. Most of them have useful information about what actually is required to be a professional customer service representative. This is the place where you should study the requirements and understand what you can offer in regards to what the companies usually need.
Once again, if you worked as a customer service agent before, don't simply copy-paste generic list of duties found online. It will not help you get the job. Writing an effective resume is always about identifying and highlighting your unique experiences and strengths that can help prospective employers in their everyday operations. "Provide information and assistance to clients", "resolve complaints and escalate issues to the manager", "Identify customer needs to sell products", - hiring managers are bored to read these clichéd statements. And while they somewhat reflect the nature of what you did in the past, they at the same time fail to show what different you made for the company. In other words, employers want to know not just what you did every day but actually what your daily activity has led to (results).
Top Customer Service Resume Skills
It is important to understand the skills that are critical for customer service representative jobs. Knowing them, job seekers can tailor their application and highlight the things that are truly important in order to get a better standing among other candidates. The problem is when people take customer service skills and just list them under one separate section. This way all of the listed skills are somewhat isolated and hiring managers are left to guess how and when you used them in your previous work experience.
Product and Market Knowledge - it would be much better if you could demonstrate how you used this knowledge to increase sales or acquire new customers. This often happens in the job of a customer service representative, after all. People research the market, identify opportunities and win the customers. However, very few applicants manage to explain this on a resume.
Phone Skills - instead of saying that you provided customer support over the phone or did the cold calling, focus on how this helped the company grow sales. Ask yourself whether you acquired new clients over the phone or were able to cross-sell successfully? Maybe you turned first time purchasers into returning clients by making a couple of calls. By focusing on results, you have a much better chance of getting that interview invite.
Problem Solving - every company faces problems. Most of them come from angry customers. Therefore, explaining how you solved the problems is crucially important as well as showing what kind of problems you have dealt with. Just add more specifics to the skill and it will have much more weight in the eyes of prospective employers.
Ability To Work Under Pressure - this is a must-have skill if you are aiming to work for the company with an extensive customer base. This is where you can add some numbers: for example, "Received 127 calls per shift and resolved 24 issues". This both tells you about the pressure you worked under as well as how you used your problem-solving skills.
Customer Service Manager Resume
What we have written above can mostly be related to entry to mid-level customer service jobs. When it comes to managers and supervisors, the approach should be slightly different due to a different nature of work. While a customer service supervisor still in some way deals with clients, the primary focus is managing the process, planning, team leading, process improvement, and sometimes tracking budget expenses. These areas then should become central when writing a customer service manager resume. Since managers and supervisors are responsible for overall performance of the subordinates, managing team(-s) and operations often become the most important aspects of work. People who are in charge often seek ways to improve performance/process in order to increase sales and/or customer satisfaction rates. This opens up the whole new horizon of duties and accomplishments that set apart entry level representatives from customer service managers.
Writing a Cover Letter for Customer Service Jobs
Many job seekers ignore cover letters thinking they don't do any good simply because employers don't care to read them. However, about 40% of recruiters expect cover letters from job seekers and 45% of them will reject a resume because of the missing letter. Besides, a cover letter submitted for a customer service job is a unique opportunity to explain why you are a great match for the position. It may even be the best job you can use a cover letter for. The thing is that every cover letter should address the problems the employer seeks to solve as well as how the applicant can help solve those problems. Instead of just saying on a resume what you are capable of, you can actually share your story in a cover letter explaining why and how you approach customer service. Sharing a brief story (you should have a bunch of them) that displays your professionalism can be a great move too as it will add a personal touch to your writing. Obviously, it will take time to compose a powerful customer service cover letter but it is definitely worth the investment.