Customer Service Resume: The Ultimate Guide with Samples & Templates
Building a killer customer service resume is the key to standing out and making it to the first round of interviews in the ever-competitive field of customer support.
Your resume — the lens through which companies can get a glimpse of you, your experience, and your accomplishments — is the first thing that recruiters will come across.
So it’s absolutely crucial that you build an awesome customer service resume. We’ve drafted this article to help you do just that — put together the one-pager that will help you land a great customer service job. By the end of this article, we hope to have helped you.
- Gather the information required
- Optimize for an applicant tracking systems (ATS)
- Figure out a structure for your resume
- Frame your cover letter
- Bonus: Find some good job boards to monitor for great opportunities.
Let’s get cracking.
Resumes are meant to give people a brief gist of your knowledge, qualifications, and experience, aka what you know and what you’ve done.
We’ve built the following list after taking a thorough look at job descriptions and skills that customer service managers and recruiters value.
Here are the four sections to include in your resume, along with some tips on how to write them:
1. Your name and contact information
Start with the basics. Your resume must have your basic contact information — your professional email address and phone number. Your location (city and state) will determine if you’re within a company’s regional hiring requirements, so it’s not necessary to add your full address. The recent popularity of remote teams and cloud-based solutions might not restrict your chances anymore, but it’s still a good practice to provide this information.
You could also social media links, especially if you’re applying for a position in social media customer service. However, you can leave this out if you’re inactive or if you primarily use social media for personal opinions and interactions. It might be wise to double-check if you have ever referred to potential employer brands in a negative way.
2. Education and qualifications
Use this section to showcase not just your formal education and certifications but also non-academic qualifications that you’ve picked up along the way, including the tools and languages you’re familiar with. Here’s how you can describe each section:
Education: Keep this brief, even if it’s relevant. This section is often just a checkbox to recruiters — “Do they have a graduate degree? Have they been to college?”. So there’s no point elaborating on how your degree in mechanical engineering will help you support the customers.
Tools and technology: If you’ve used any popular customer support software or reporting software – mention it. Some companies need you to get started as soon as possible, and they’ll be relieved to hear that they don’t have to spend time training you in the tools they use.
Certifications: Adding certificates of online programs or classes you’ve completed shows that you’re constantly looking to learn and upskill. Certifications also add evidence to your skills and expertise. So include all certificates you’ve gotten right from a data analytics program to a course in professional communication.
Languages: Add languages that you are proficient in — if the company you’re interviewing for offers multilingual customer support, it might be an added advantage to show that you’re fluent in multiple languages, even if the job description doesn’t specify it.
3. Your work experience
Your prior experience in customer service is the most crucial part of your resume. This section will get a lot of focus, so you need to make sure that it shines.
Here are some points to keep in mind while describing customer service experience on your resume.
– Focus on achievements, not responsibilities. The goal of a resume is to showcase what you’ve achieved and not what you’re supposed to do. Research showed that the following modifications positively impacts resumes:
– Action verbs increase the chances of an interview by 140%.
– Industry buzzwords give a boost of 29%.
– Leadership-oriented words can enhance a resume by 51%.1
– Use numbers. You led a team, yes, but you know what’s more impressive? The fact that your team had an average 95% customer satisfaction rate during your tenure. Numbers showcase achievements in detail so quantify whenever you can.
– Use bullet points to provide clarity. Bullet points allow for quick skimming. A recruiter is probably going through multiple resumes in one sitting and might not want to read paragraphs about your achievements. Instead, within each of your previous jobs and roles, you can use bullets for:
- Key achievements and projects. Even if you’ve got a lot of projects to list, keep it brief and relevant.
- Awards. If you’ve won multiple awards, they deserve their own section. If you’ve won an award, you can mention it along with projects and key achievements.
– Call out the highlights in bold. Even though it’s a one-pager, no one will read your resume fully. Highlight whatever you want people to remember about you.
But wait, what if you don’t have any prior customer service experience?
If you’re fresh out of college or if you’re looking to switch industries, you can include the following sections in addition to your academic achievements to make up for the lack in experience:
Internships: As a graduate, an internship is akin to work experience. Even if you didn’t work in a customer service role in your internship, don’t hold back from adding it. Your contribution to the project and understanding of how things work in a company is substantial enough.
Projects: Include professional and personal projects that you’ve worked on that’s relevant to customer service. For instance, surveying how people feel about a particular brand or designing/developing a web page is the foundation of a customer satisfaction survey and a support portal launch respectively. As long as impacting a customer or an agent is the focal point of your project, you can include it.
Volunteer work: Add any volunteering work you’ve done since this shows that you are skilled at coordinating, communicating, and working in a team.
You can format your resume in the same order too.
Recruiting managers pay attention to your skills, so make sure you highlight them in your resume. You can either list them out as is, but it’s more effective if you pack them along with your achievements. We’ve made two lists of skills for agents and managers to make things easy for you.
Customer service skills for agents/specialists
You must show that you’re skilled at communicating since you will be speaking to customers day in and day out.
How to add
– Solved complex customer service issues before they spiraled by sharing updates proactively and following up with internal teams.
– Maintained an average customer satisfaction score of <%> by communicating well and solving problems efficiently.
ii) Product expertise
While product knowledge is something you can only develop on the job, you need to show that you have the aptitude and inclination to learn.
How to add
– Maintained an average customer satisfaction score of <%> through good communication, developing product expertise, and keeping updated on industry updates.
It goes without saying that you’re expected to be really good at solving problems. Not just the basic how-tos, but the more complicated ones that require you to come up with technical solutions too.
How to add
– Skilled at resolving complex customer issues and managing customer expectations while ensuring compliance and consistency.
– Maintained an average customer satisfaction score of <%> through good communication, developing product expertise, and exercising my problem-solving skills.
Pro tip: Make sure you highlight the points listed above. Here’s a breakdown of the percentage of employers across industries searching for these skills on resumes:
37% – problem-solving
32% – the ability to deal with complex situations
31% – communication2
While some customer issues are pretty straightforward, a few others might require you to reach out to the product or sales teams for resolutions. You need to be skilled at inter-team collaboration to resolve complex customer issues.
How to add
– Collaborated effectively across product, business, engineering, and operational teams.
– Maintained an average handling time of <%> for issues that involved collaborating within and across teams.
v) Time management
With multiple activities that need to be performed on a single ticket or a solution article, you’re going to have your hands full. So it’s important you cover time management.
How to add
– Maintained an average handling time of <%> for issues in my queue including complex ones that required cross-team collaboration.
vi) Listening skills and empathy
Your patience and ability to make customers feel understood shows how great a support rep you are.
How to add
– You can quote customer feedback or internal recognition that alludes to your listening skills.
Customer service skills for managers
Your role will require a lot of planning and strategizing, right from staffing, shift scheduling, and tooling, so start with achievements that reflect this skill.
How to add
– Planned and implemented short and long-term plans that align with the business goals.
– Developed and enabled agents to achieve team performance goals and objectives with a plan of action for each agent.
– Experienced at building agent schedules by balancing workload.
ii) Conflict and stakeholder management
You’re bound to encounter conflicts within the team and the organization. So, it would help if you showed that you’re good at diffusing these difficult situations.
How to add
– Successfully navigated through situations with limited control and competing stakeholder priorities.
– Owned and led the effort to resolve escalated customer issues satisfactorily.
As a team leader, you need to coach your team, help them upskill, and grow professionally. Your team will also lean on you to get through the rough days where there are too many tickets, or too many frustrating customers. It’s up to you to help them get back on track and ensure they are happy.
How to add
– Improved average resolution time from x% to y% through contextual enablement and training.
– Skilled at simplifying technical information, communicating policies, and being the primary source of information for the team.
– Reduced employee attrition from x% to y% through consistent mentoring.
iv) Data management
You need to be comfortable with numbers to report on team performance and customer satisfaction and communicate the same effectively.
How to add
– Owned and drove performance metrics with the team and improved average response and resolution times/team productivity by <x%>.
– Critically analyzed ticket trends and offered solutions to agent bandwidth issues.
#5 References (optional)
If you’ve been asked to provide references, then remember – the perfect references are a trifecta of a peer, a manager, and a customer.
Peers can attest to your great interpersonal relationship skills, customers can confirm that you’re a very empathetic individual and managers can attest to your goal setting and achievement process.
Pro tip: If you can’t find a customer to act as your reference, use customer satisfaction survey responses to showcase your skills.
If you’re a people manager, the fourth reference would be from a reportee.
Hiring is mostly a digital process now so you might apply for a job, get selected, interview for a job, get an offer, accept it and join the company without any kind of paperwork involved.
An ATS (applicant tracking system) is something recruiters use to manage the entire hiring process. Recruiters can post jobs to job boards, use it to manage employee referrals, schedule interviews, collect feedback, and make offers.
A lot of candidates are concerned about an ATS (specifically about beating one) because recruiters sometimes use applicant tracking software to screen resumes. Some ATS allow recruiters to set up keyword filters that check resumes and reject them if the keywords are not found.
For instance, if someone is hiring for a customer service lead, they might set up a filter to reject resumes without “customer service lead” in them because they want people who already have experience. The way an ATS does this is that it parses resumes and checks keywords against the content.
The only thing we can say is: Use the job description to get keyword clues. If they’ve mentioned that they’re looking for someone who’s used a help desk, and you have, use the word “help desk” and not “customer support software” even if that’s what you. This way, you can be sure that your resume will “beat” the ATS.
The art of formatting a resume is pretty straightforward. All you have to remember is this: K.I.S.S – Keep it simple, silly.
Resumes are meant to be brief one-pagers that people can quickly scan to make sure you check all the boxes on their checklist. So the important thing to do is to keep everything simple. As for design, pick a format that doesn’t make your resume look dense and wordy.
Here’s an example of a customer service manager’s resume that is in line with what we mean3
A resume can be formatted in three different styles:
– Chronological (first job first). This is the most frequently used style and is great if you want to showcase your experience in a particular field.
– Functional. Here skills become sections, and your experience at different companies become references for your skills.
– A mix of both.
Pick whatever format that isn’t distracting from the key information, and works for you. Just remember that the tried-and-tested order is: work experience, education, qualifications plus other sections you’d like to include like hobbies.
Pick a font that’s easy to read and make sure to use the same font throughout, no matter how strong the urge to play around with different ones. Also, the more familiar a font, the easier it is for the recruiter to read your resume. Here’s a list of fonts that are both recruiter and ATS-friendly:
Also, you need to stick to the same font but not the same font size. Use a decreasing font size starting with the headings, sub-headings, and body. Use rich text formatting when you want to highlight for emphasis.
Bonus: Customer support resume proofreading checklist
Even the most impressive of resumes will fail to win a recruiter over if poorly written or formatted. Grammatical mistakes and spelling errors only show that you haven’t paid attention to your resume and that you’re probably not very interested in the job because if you were, you’d have made sure to proofread.
So run a careful eye over your resume before you send it to a recruiter. You can also use a tool like Grammarly to do a basic grammar check or ask a friend to look it over.
We made you a proofreading checklist too:
– Is everything formatted correctly?
– Any sentences where there should be bullet points?
– Any out-of-place icons?
– Is your font clear and easy to read? Is the font type consistent?
– Have you used consistent tense throughout your resume?
– Have you used too much jargon?
An added bonus for you is this resume formatting checklist from Zety — it covers just what you need to ensure your resume looks professional.
The last but most important tip is to name your file something that will help the recruiter easily find it.
Recruiters read tens and hundreds of resumes and their downloads folders are filled with countless variations of “My_Resume” and “Job_title_resume”. So name your file well and make it count. “First name_last name_Resume” will do just the trick.
A summary gives the hiring manager an idea of what you can bring to the table if you get the job. So this needs to be an account of your skills, traits, goals, and what you set out to accomplish in the company.
Pro tip: Do your research and find out what the company values by connecting with someone who’s already doing what you want to do and get some tips.
Here’s a sample customer service resume summary for the role of a customer support and technical writer at ApplePie –
|A passionate customer service specialist with four years of experience in product documentation and technical support. I’ve helped improve ticket deflection from 5% to 30% within 15 months, and been awarded “Wordsmith” – an internal recognition for technical writers given annually, thrice in my four years at Acme Inc. I’m looking forward to improving the customer self-service experience at ApplePie by building a range of self-service options.|
An objective is a statement used to communicate career goals. Objectives are not must-haves in your resume. Any objective/declaration you have can be made in the cover letter – the email where you explain why you are the best person for the job in the particular company and attach your resume — more on cover letters below.
How to write and format a cover letter for customer service
A cover letter is where you really need to sell yourself. A convincing cover letter can get you an interview even if you have a skill gap when compared to other candidates.
Not counting the salutation and signature, a cover letter has three main sections:
– The hook
– Why you’re perfect for the company
– Why the company is perfect for you
#1 The hook
The hook is what gets the attention of the person reading the letter. It’s the most important part of your letter because if the hook isn’t catchy, then the rest of your letter might as well not exist.
Identify the most important requirement in the job description and use it to frame your hook.
If the company is looking for someone to help write documentation for users so they can help themselves, here’s how we’d write the hook:
ApplePie is one of my favorite companies to work for, not just because of all the cool stuff like the remote working situation, but because of your commitment to giving the best support possible to customers. I too am deeply passionate about customer support, especially user education, which is why I built a knowledge base with FAQs for Acme Inc., thus reducing ticket creation by 30% and freeing up the support team to focus on strategy.
The hook has to pique their interest in such an impactful way that they don’t even want to look at any cover letter beyond yours!
#2 Why you’re perfect for the company
Here’s where you pull out the big guns and sell yourself by showcasing goals and achievements to complement the company’s job description. You can use anecdotes too, just make sure to frame it in terms of the impact of your actions, rather than the effort you put in.
For instance, if you stayed up all night to help a customer with an issue, talk about what it led to. Did the customer decide to upgrade as a result of your efforts? Did it help you institute a process that led to fewer cancellations or more upgrades? You get the picture.
If you have a screenshot of a customer compliment or a commendation from a manager, insert it to add weight to your cover letter.
Let’s say that ApplePie needs someone who can help write self-service documentation or knowledge base articles for users so they can help themselves and someone who will work with the product team to build tools that help increase the quality of support.
In my current role at Acme, I have worked on all of our support initiatives, both transactional and strategic. Last year, my key initiative was to build the knowledge base to deflect tickets and reduce the resolution rate by 30%. I also worked with the product team to identify FAQs and build a bot that could handle commonly asked questions.
#3 Why the company is perfect for you
Now that you’ve stated why you’re perfect for the job, you have to convince them that this is a job you’re excited to undertake as well.
Propose a project and all the ways in which you can enhance your knowledge by working on it. For instance –
I know that ApplePie’s plans involve a comprehensive knowledge base, including both written articles and videos. This is perfect for me because I would love to leverage and build upon my video creation and execution skills to achieve your goals.
#4 The closer
The closer is best kept simple.
The perfect way to wind up would be by saying you’d love to get in touch and talk about the kind of value you’d bring to the table. Continuing with the ApplePie example –
I would love the opportunity to discuss your support initiatives and see how my experience can help ApplePie achieve its goals.
Now that you have a resume and a cover letter, it’s time to find that job. We’ve put together a list of job boards that you can check frequently for job openings.
We’ve split this list into three parts, one for customer support, one for all openings, and another one specifically for women.
#1 Support specific job boards
– We work remotely
– Working Nomads
#2 Everything job boards
#3 Job boards for women
– Women for Hire
– Women’s Job List
– Women Who Code
– Hire Tech Ladies
– Power to fly
– Career Contessa
You could also consider joining customer support Slack communities like Support Driven where support reps gather to discuss work. This way, you can make a few friends, pick up a few tips and maybe even find your next job. You could also read about how the Freshdesk-Slack integration work.
1 – https://financesonline.com/resume-statistics/
2 – https://financesonline.com/resume-statistics/
3 – https://www.canva.com/templates/?query=customer%20service