4 tips for the perfect customer service resume

If you're trying to enter the customer service field or change jobs within the industry, it's possible to stand out and make hiring managers choose your resume over others. Here are four tips to consider as you craft your resume.

Maintaining a basic resume template is important when applying to jobs; however, most career specialists recommend creating industry-specific resumes to appeal to the managers and human resource representatives who are reading them.

Customer service representatives are on the front lines of a company. They deal directly with customers and often have to diffuse stressful situations and solve problems quickly and calmly. If HR teams make poor hiring decisions for their customer care teams, then they could end with employees who make the situation worse and isolate customers. This is why the hiring and training process is so lengthy and involved for this department.

the perfect customer service resume

Quantify Your Previous Experience

When possible, include quantifiable information about your performance and your company within your resume. This helps HR departments understand how you performed at your job and what your workload looked like. While customer service is similar across companies and industries, each company has its own distinct expectations, too.

For example, the team at Zendesk conducted a survey to determine the average performance of customer service departments across the world:

The average customer satisfaction rate was 86 percent, and companies faced an average of 630 customer complaints that needed human interaction.

By sharing your personal customer satisfaction rate and listing how many calls or complaints you solved monthly, it's possible for your employer to understand how effective you were as a customer service agent. Your time on each call could also be an important statistic to include if it took several minutes or an hour to solve your customers' problems within that industry, in order to explain why you only helped about a dozen customers per day.

Specify What Technology You've Used

Historically, customer care representatives (CCR) relied on phone banks to receive their calls while upper management monitored their performance. However, today's customer care teams are responding to calls, answering emails, and engaging in customer chats all throughout the day. To manage these multiple forms of communication, companies have started to invest in various software programs like FreshDesk or LiveAgent.

Some of these software platforms actually use machine learning to move customers further down the sales funnel, so customer sales teams receive information about customers and potential solutions to their problems before they even say a word to them. If you've worked with technology like this before, it's important to list it on your resume.

When you start working at a new company in the customer service department, you will likely be trained on their software and internal tools. If you're already familiar with them — or have used similar programs — hiring managers could see you as an asset because you will pick up the job faster and will be less of a burden on the training teams.

Include Soft Skills as Well as Technical Knowledge

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 77 percent of hiring managers value soft skills in an employee (i.e., the less tangible skills associated with an individual's personality) just as much as technical ability. This number might even skew higher for customer service agents who require strong soft skills to solve problems while representing the company.

Top skills for customer service reps

The Provide Support blog created an infographic with the top 20 skills needed to work in customer service and explained why each one is important. As you build your resume, try to mention a few of these soft skills along with the technical experience and training that you have. Many of these traits are actually buzzwords on a resume that hiring managers will be looking for when considering bringing you in for an interview. For example, you could say that you:

  • Listened to customer feedback and compiled reports for your managers.
  • Brainstormed creative solutions to customer problems that benefitted them and the company.
  • Led training exercises within your team to improve communication when relaying problem customers to upper-management.

While you're technically discussing your experience and sharing what you did in previous jobs, you're also highlighting your listening skills, creativity, leadership, and communication ability — all of which are soft traits your future employers will be looking for.

List Any Leadership Opportunities or Promotions

When you're creating your resume, you want to prove that you're dedicated to the companies you work for. No company wants to hire employees who will do the bare minimum and spend their days counting the minutes until it's time to go home. Instead, companies want people who will do their best and motivate those around them. If you're able to show that you're a dedicated employee, then your resume has a higher chance of making its way to the top of the stack, above applicants with the same skill set.

The average employee stays with a company for 4.6 years, with young people between the ages of 25 to 34 staying with companies an average of 3.2 years. Not only do hiring managers want someone who will stay for several years (and therefore reduce turnover and training costs), but they also want potential leaders. If your manager selected you for training or a leadership seminar at your last job, be sure to mention it in your resume. This shows that you're willing to stay at a company and that your manager thought of you as a key candidate for promotion.

Of course, you should also list any promotions, awards, or nominations you received during your time at your past company — anything that shows your dedication and skill set.

Deciding what you want to say on your resume can be the hardest part, but assembling your resume can also be a challenge. Are you ready to start your career in customer service?

Download our free guide: How to create the perfect resume