Customer service jobs can be a real rollercoaster. One minute you’re the hero, miraculously remedying a tricky customer issue, and the next, you’re dealing with an exceptionally difficult person who’s upset about something you have no control over (“I’m very sorry the seasonal holiday packaging is a different shade of blue this year, sir”).
It takes a special set of skills to excel in the customer service world. And as the old saying goes: If you’ve got it, you might as well feature it on your resume! Read on to learn how to create a dazzling customer service resume—and see an example.
What Does a Customer Service Representative Do?
For those who get a genuine thrill out of delighting people, a customer service job can be quite fulfilling. As the title suggests, a customer service representative’s primary objective is to assist customers, clients, or users with their needs, like finding a specific product, completing a purchase, or resolving a concern. What’s especially exciting about this field is the variety: You can interact with customers in person, over the phone, via chat, or even over social media! And virtually every industry needs customer support, so you can pursue a role in almost any field you like—retail, tech, finance, you name it.
While the specifics of each job vary from one company to the next, most customer service representatives will need to have a friendly, empathetic demeanor; experience interacting with clients; solid problem-solving skills; the willingness to learn as much as they can about their employer’s products and services; and a good deal of patience. They may also be required to track their interactions in a customer relationship management (CRM) system, make adjustments to online accounts, or recommend new products and promotions to customers.
How to Write a Standout Customer Service Resume
Regardless of the specific role or industry you’re targeting, hiring managers will be most interested in a few key elements when looking at a resume for a customer service position:
- For those with prior customer service experience, recruiters will want to know specifics, including how many customers or guests you interact with on a daily basis, the number of transactions you complete each day, the type of training you’ve received, or your technical skills. They’ll also be looking for certain keywords (see below!), relevant industry experience, and helpful metrics.
- If you don’t have a previous customer service title, they may look for transferable skills, such as experience dealing with customers (such as what you might get in a retail or food service role) or handling a high volume of transactions (which you might do in an event staffing or banking job).
- If you’re an experienced customer service representative, recruiters might also be interested in additional details like your customer satisfaction rating or how you’ve communicated (in person, over the phone, or via chat).
Here’s how to put together a resume that’ll wow customer service recruiters.
1. Clarify Your Goals
Because the customer service industry is so broad it’s important that you know what type of role you’re looking for next. Do you want to work in a call center? Do you prefer to interact with customers in person? Or are you looking to get into a virtual support role? This will, of course, inform the types of jobs you apply to and in turn, the way you tailor your resume.
Editing your resume to reflect the specific job you’re applying to is essential. And it’s not as hard as it might sound. As a general rule, if a particular job duty appears in the job description and you have experience performing that duty, it belongs on your resume.
2. Use the Right Keywords
When you apply for a job through an online job board or company website, your application will likely be passed through an applicant tracking system first, before a hiring manager gets a chance to review it. ATS programs scan your resume for certain keywords to determine whether or not your experience is a likely match for the role you’ve applied to. If the ATS doesn’t find enough of the right keywords on your resume, it might not ever make it to a recruiter’s inbox.
Tailoring your resume for each job you apply to will help you hit most of the right keywords, but here’s a list of common customer service resume keywords to get you started:
- Account Management
- Customer Service
3. Write Show-Stopping Bullet Points
Writing compelling bullet points will help you catch (and hold) a recruiter’s attention and bring your experience to life.
As you’re drafting your resume, try to go beyond simply stating what you did in each role. “Helped customers with questions” isn’t nearly as interesting as “proactively resolved more than 30 customer concerns every day, resulting in a 92% customer satisfaction rating”—right?
Spice it up a little with compelling verbs, metrics, and outcomes wherever possible. This simple formula is a great place to start:
- Action verb + job duty + outcome
Here’s what it might look like in practice:
- Seamlessly managed up to three live chats at a time, resolving more than 100 customer issues daily, resulting in a 94% customer satisfaction rating
4. Don’t Forget to Include Measurable Metrics
One of the many wonderful things about your customer service experience is that you can quantify quite a few of your job duties. So be sure to assign a metric to every bullet point or achievement, if possible. This is especially important in the customer service space since many companies measure their own performance using customer satisfaction metrics.
So as you’re drafting your resume, ask yourself: How many customers do I interact with every day? What’s my resolution rate? What’s my average response time? How many new accounts have I opened this week?
5. Remember the Basics
As always, there are a few universal resume writing rules to keep in mind, regardless of the industry or role you’re targeting.
- Keep it to a single page. Unless you’re a seasoned executive with decades of experience, you should be able to fit your relevant work history on a single page. Tailoring your resume, writing concise bullet points, and excluding experience that’s more than ten years old should help you keep the length down.
- Use a chronological layout. Chronological is the preferred format for almost all recruiters and it’s the easiest to read. But if you’re making a major career pivot or returning to the workforce after an extended time away, you might try a combination or functional resume.
- Create easy-to scan sections. Recruiters typically spend just a few seconds scanning a resume before they decide whether or not to keep reading. Adding bold or underlined headings for each section—summary, relevant experience, technical skills, education—will make your resume easier to read. You’ll come off as super organized, too!
- Consider a summary. Resume summaries are completely optional, but they can be helpful if you’re trying to make a career pivot, break into a new industry, or tie together varied experience. You’ll find an example in the sample resume below.
- Proofread! Even if you’re sure that your resume is perfect, read it through again—just in case. It can also be incredibly helpful to have another set of eyes look over your resume before you submit an application, so ask a friend, family member, or trusted colleague if they’d be willing to take a look.
An Example of a Customer Service Resume
As you read through the below resume example, pay special attention to the construction of the bullet points (interesting verb + job duty + outcome), the use of quantifiable metrics, and easy-to-follow layout for inspiration.
Keep in mind that resumes are meant to tell a story about your unique work history and qualifications, so naturally, no two will be alike! As you populate your resume with your experience, achievements, and metrics, it’ll develop a personality of its own.
Here’s what a stellar customer service resume might look like:
As a bona fide customer service all-star, you deserve a resume that will dazzle a prospective employer the same way you dazzle your customers. Bringing your experience to life with relevant keywords, engaging bullet points, and tangible metrics will help you stand out and land those customer service interviews!
Photo of person sitting at a desk with a headset courtesy of Caiaimage/Rafal Rodzoch/Getty Images.
Jaclyn Westlake worked as an agency recruiter and an HR manager in the startup, tech, and finance space for nearly 10 years before branching out into resume writing, freelance recruiting, and career advising. These days, you can find her sharing job search insights on The Muse and blogging about boat life on The Wife Aquatic. She's also an avid paddleboarder, proud plant-based eater, and doting dog mom to a 10-year old dachshund mix named Indiana Jones.More from this Author