CUSTOMER SERVICE RESUME:
templates, skills, objectives, and summary samples
The job market is incredibly competitive right now, and looking for a job can be a job in itself. Job hunting does not have to be difficult though. All you have to do essentially is convince the potential employer that you are the best candidate for a particular position.
Your resume when done well, should do all the heavy lifting required to get you an interview. It can be the difference between languishing where you are and scoring your dream job. We will show you, step by step, how to craft a killer customer service resume that will land you interviews for the jobs you want.
Best of all, we will also show you 15 ready-made customer service resume samples in Microsoft Word that you can use right now.
Here are the sections of your targeted customer service resume we’ll show you how to create:
- Contact information
- Branded statement or career summary
- Education and Training
- Awards, recognition and projects
Table of Contents
- 1 Step One: Resume Research
- 2 Step Two: Crafting a better customer service resume
- 3 Step Three: Fine-tune your customer service resume
- 4 Free Customer Service Resume Templates
Step One: Resume Research
The first step, before you start writing your new and improved customer service resume, as with any other project, is research. Only in this case, you’re researching yourself.
Jot down all the jobs you’ve had in the past decade or so, if you’ve been out in the working world that long. If you’re fresh out of college, go back through your recent jobs, college internships, and even summer jobs. Regardless of the job title, consider what you did that’s customer service related. If you dealt with customers in any capacity, you were engaging in customer service. Focus on any aspects of your prior jobs that are relevant to your current customer service skills.
Once you note the jobs that allowed you to engage in customer service, whether directly or in addition to your other duties, identify accomplishments and skills in these areas. All of this information is critical to constructing a resume that will not only impress potential employers, but will also accurately reflect what you have to offer, and how you can help the employer satisfy their clients, grow their business and help bolster their reputation. With your self-research in hand, you’re ready to construct your resume.
Step Two: Crafting a better customer service resume
Clean up your contact information
This piece of advice holds true for every job searcher, and not just those seeking customer service positions. Many people don’t give this section a second thought. An inappropriate email address or other faux pas in this first section can get your resume quickly passed over. Here are some quick tips on how to goof-proof this most basic section of your customer service resume:
- Use your proper name – no nicknames.
- You don’t need your full address – city and state are enough.
- Use your cell number – not your current work number or home number, and make sure your voice mail greeting is professional.
- Don’t use your work email or an email address that sounds amateurish.
- If you have a substantial network and many endorsements, also include your LinkedIn URL.
Create a career summary or branded statement
Traditional resumes always started with an objective. This is the line that says what you’re looking for in a job. For instance, you may have something like this on your existing customer service resume:
To obtain a customer service position that allows me to use my extensive experience interacting with customers in a consumer facing or B2B business environment to support company goals and initiatives.
That’s not terrible, but it’s also not terribly interesting. Resume objectives are outdated but everyone still has them, so they’ve become a generic resume attribute. More importantly, those objectives focused on what you wanted. Employers want to know what you can do for them, not the other way around.
Instead, consider one of these more impressive alternatives – either a personal branding statement or a career summary. These serve as your value proposition showing what you offer and how you are head and shoulders above other customer service candidates.
Crafting a personal branding statement
A personal branding statement sums you up in a one-liner that reflects what you bring to the table in the most succinct language possible. It should be inspired and inspiring, catchy without being kitschy. Consider something like this:
I have a passion for customer service and I can create innovative solutions to keep customers committed to your brand and have them coming back for more.
Alternately, you can make your branding statement action oriented to describe what you do rather than what your attributes are. Consider this:
I help companies drive profits and improve their reputation through innovative customer service solutions, never saying no, and not closing an interaction until satisfaction is achieved.
Your personal branding statement will be absolutely unique to you, so we can’t tell you exactly what to write here, but here are points to consider:
- Use vivid words that will conjure a visual of what you’re trying to express, and banish any dull, trite, clichéd, or overused language.
- Terminology like passionate, committed, empathy, creative, energetic, create, change, focus, align, accelerate, intuitive, innovative, collaborative, are all strong words to consider. Language that shows off your listening and problem-solving skills is a must.
- Skip out on buzzwords like paradigm shifting, thought leadership and the like, unless you’re prepared to explain exactly how these trends apply to what you can deliver in a customer service capacity.
- Keep it short and tight. You’re not rewriting your resume in a sentence – you’re capturing the essence of what you bring to the table. It’s the best of your customer service skills in a nutshell.
- Ensure it’s 100% focused on customer service skills and offerings and not your general business acumen even if that’s also impressive. Hone in on what’s most impressive about your customer service skills.
Constructing a career summary
You should opt for either a career summary or a personal branding statement, not both. That being said, it won’t make or break you to include both. What should determine your choice of summary versus statement is where you are in your career, and how many selling points you legitimately have to offer. If you’re new to customer service, a personal branding statement that reflects your passion for the field may be wiser.
If, however, you have years of customer service experience, a career summary is a stronger resume opener since you have solid evidence of your marketability and background in the field. A well-written customer service career summary helps recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify your skills, and find that you’re a fit for the position without having to sift through your entire resume. This can fast track you to the “call back” pile.
Unlike the branding statement, which is just a line or two, the career summary is a bit longer and can be considered your “elevator pitch” or what you would say if you were given 90 seconds to sell yourself to a potential employer for a customer service position. It must present your top selling points, key strengths, and career highlights in an easy scannable format. Here are the components of a winning career summary section:
- Title – This should reflect your professional identity. It need not be your most recent job title or the title you aspire to, but the title that best describes what you do. Some examples include Customer Service Professional, Customer Service Manager, Customer Service Expert, Customer Care Expert, Retail Customer Service Expert, B2B Customer Care Expert.
- Summary – This will be only three or four lines of copy that are not written in first person form. Instead, they should be written in third person form, and they don’t need to be formally constructed sentences that follow all the rules of grammar, so long as you obey spelling rules. You want to describe the best of what you have to offer as concisely as possible.
Think of the two or three things that best define you as a customer service professional. They may include your ability to resolve situations rapidly, your track record of improving call center response times, high customer satisfaction ratings, or advanced training or certifications. It’s not everything that you can do. It’s the best of what you can do as it applies to the customer service role you’re seeking.
Next, consider what you like best about your work, and where your passions lie, and speak to those. Don’t market yourself to doing tasks that you don’t care for, even if you’re good at them. Eliminate what you don’t want to do from the summary and focus on what you really want to do. If you don’t want to work in a high pressure call center and prefer a slower paced environment where you get to engage more deeply with customers, speak to that.
Finally, look at the job requirements for the position you’re considering. You should tweak your resume, including the summary, for each customer service position to which you apply. This is not because you’re engineering yourself to be a fit for a job (that would be unethical). Instead, you’re bringing forward, and putting on clear display, the skills you possess that are most relevant to the job for which you’re applying.
Here’s an example of an entry level customer service career summary:
Customer Service Associate blends academic training at the University of Tampa with internship and call center experience in a retail and consumer credit capacity. Fast learner committed to customer satisfaction, managing customer conflicts and complaints.
For a mid-level customer service career summary, consider something more like this:
Customer Service Supervisor accomplished in conflict resolution and associate training. Effective in face to face, online and telephone interaction with customers across many industries.
Here’s an idea for a managerial level customer service career summary:
Customer Service Manager with deep experience in enhancing customer experience through mentoring and coaching. Developed initiatives to increase call volume per associate by 20% while increasing customer satisfaction scores by 25%.
Of course, your own customer service experience will determine how your summary is crafted, but remember to call out your best initiatives or results.
Make the most of your experience
Before you list every job you’ve ever had, stop and consider relevance. Look at the job list you prepared in your research phase. If you’re just starting out, you want to include any positions with relevant customer service experience and leave out the meaningless ones. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have 20 years of experience, you need not include them all.
Ideally, your resume should be no longer than a page no matter how many years of experience you have – from entry level to senior customer service manager. That means eliminating older entries and honing more recent experience down to the most effective representation.
What you must be careful of, when editing your job history for this new and improved resume, is that you don’t create awkward job gaps. For example, if you had a customer service job, then a clerical, then a customer service, you don’t want to exclude the clerical in between. This can leave the impression that you were out of work, inexplicably. Instead, list the clerical role, but focus on any customer service aspects of that job when you describe it.
Your experience entries should be a roster of your achievements, not your work duties
Think about your work accomplishments in terms of challenges you faced, how you overcame problems, the results of your initiatives, and the value you brought to the companies that employed you. Go back to the research you did before you started your resume, and look at the list of jobs that were directly customer service in nature or had elements of customer service in their responsibilities.
Phrase your accomplishments in quantifiable terms directly relevant to customer service and the role you’re pursuing. You’ll want to calculate the impact you had in each role. Improvements in satisfaction, increased call volume, contracts obtained, performance awards, and the like, are all critical.
If you’ve never calculated your metrics or results, you’ll need to do the math. You should assess your effectiveness on the job, and reflect that in your customer service resume. That means looking into your performance.
Ask yourself questions like these to assess your results:
- Did profits or sales increase as a result of your work?
- Did you generate repeat business by your efforts?
- Did you develop enhancements or improvements?
- Did you increase productivity?
- What challenges did you face that you successfully resolved and how did you resolve them?
- Did you or your team receive any awards or recognition?
- Did you complete any advanced training programs?
If you didn’t keep copies, ask to look at past performance reviews or productivity reports. However, balance this against raising any red flags if your current employer doesn’t know that you’re job searching. But do know that numbers are excellent resume fodder, particularly for customer service positions that rely on metrics of productivity measures.
Here’s an idea of how a sample customer service experience listing might look on a resume:
Customer Service Manager Geico Insurance Boston, MA October 2013 – Present
- Managed team of 30 customer service agents
- Recognized as top performing group in Northeast three quarters in a row
- Implemented streamlined call center guidelines to improve responsiveness by 30% between 2013 and 2014
- Improved call volume by more than 7% per quarter for eight quarters
- Reduced dropped calls by 10%
Customer Service skills
Critical to your customer service resume is a roster of your skills – more specifically, your relevant skills. These should be tangible skills and not just run of the mill things that everyone puts on their resume. In a customer service role, you’ll need to show off both hard and soft skills (i.e. skills related to technology/software as well as people skills).
When describing your soft skills, avoid clichés like: self starter, detail oriented, efficient, works well under pressure, organized, team player, etc. Clichés make you look like one of the crowd and, frankly, lazy. This is not the impression you want to give. Make yourself stand out by using more thoughtful, insightful language to describe what you do well.
Be sure to consider specific soft skills that help you in your daily customer service tasks. Patience, attentiveness and flexibility are important, as are listening, communication and problem solving skills. Think about past job reviews and what attributes you’ve been told you excel at, and consider including these in your CS skills section.
And for hard skills, you can leave off obvious things like Microsoft Office, email and any software that every working professional is expected to have under their belt. This saves space and doesn’t waste the hiring manager’s time – they know that you know how to use email. Instead, use this space to crow about industry-specific apps that you’ve mastered.
If you know Photoshop, that’s great, but it’s not relevant to a customer service role, so leave it off. But useful technical skills should definitely be included. For example, if you know Salesforce, Freshdesk, TeamSupport, Zendesk or any other CS apps, include them. If you are bilingual, this is worth a mention – but only if you’re truly fluent (a semester of college level French does not count).
To keep this section of your resume tight and looking good, tables, bullets or a combination will make it scrollable and easy to digest.
If you choose bullets for soft skills – this could look like:
- Communication skills focused on understanding customer needs and developing resolutions.
- Proven ability to grasp product knowledge to rapidly address customer questions and complaints.
- Able to stay calm when confronted with angry customers and defuse tense situations.
- Understanding of customer psychology to more effectively problem-solve.
Or you can drill these down to short phrases and use a table – this could look like:
|Creativity||Clear communication||Analytic thinker|
Top 22 skills for excellent customer service
Here are 22 most important customer service skills you might want to consider for your resume.
BE A GREAT LISTENER
Being a great listener is one of the most important skills for a customer service representative to focus on. What your customers want isn’t only to speak with someone who can solve their problem; it’s to speak with someone who cares. Listen to their story, ask relevant questions, and stay friendly. Show them that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, and that you are committed to finding the right solution to their problem. This will lead to better customer satisfaction, fewer mistakes, increased productivity, and brand reputation.
BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR
A customer service representative needs to be a great communicator. It’s alright to want to know more about your client but you should also make sure that you are getting to the problem at hand quickly. You also need to err on the side of caution when dealing with uncertain situations. Miscommunication can happen and usually results in poor customer satisfaction, conflict, and can even create liabilities for your company.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
A customer service representative needs to stay calm when things get a little heated. Agitated customers need a rock to lean on. Be that rock. Never over-promise or resort to lying in order to calm down an agitated customer. Be patient and let them know that you are working hard to solve the problem.
When you make a promise to a customer, you have to mean it. As the old saying goes, it takes a lifetime to build trust and one mistake to destroy it. Do not make assumptions and never over-promise. It’s better to offer your customer a less-than-ideal option and deliver it, than to promise an amazing option that you can’t deliver.
It goes without saying that a customer service representative should be honest at all times. No one likes to be lied to, especially when money is involved. You want to avoid, at all cost, having your customers feel cheated. A customer who feels that way is unlikely to ever buy from your company again and may even become a negative brand advocate.
BE ABLE TO “READ” CUSTOMERS
A good customer service representative should understand the basic principles of behavioral psychology and should be able to read the customer’s current emotional state. This is important in order to avoid misunderstanding and conflict. Knowing your customers well can also allow you to personalize your offering and increase your conversion rate.
BE WILLING TO LEARN
“Those who don’t seek to improve what they do, whether it’s building products, marketing businesses, or helping customers, will get left behind by the people willing to invest in their skills”. In other words, you should seek to become an expert at what you do. It will increase your confidence when dealing with customers, and will make you more credible.
MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL
While research shows that you should spend more time with customers, you should also be concerned with getting them what they want as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If you are unsure whether you can help a customer, it’s best to transfer that customer to someone who can, and thus both avoid wasting time.
Being persuasive isn’t really about making a sales pitch to each customer; it’s more about convincing interested customers that your product is worth purchasing. In any case, you should be mindful not to cross the line between informing a curious customer about a product and trying to push a product onto an uninterested customer.
BE GOAL ORIENTED
It’s very important for you, as a customer service representative, to have clear and specific goals. It will help motivate you while at the same time ensuring consistency in the way you respond to customers. Such goals could be “reply to every customer within an hour” or “improve customer service satisfaction ratings by 15% by the end of 2015”.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND
While it may not always make much sense in the short term for a customer service representative to go above and beyond, it will help you increase your company’s revenue in the long run and will go a long way in building brand loyalty. Simply try to consistently deliver beyond your customers’ expectations.
CLOSE THE DEAL
Closing the deal doesn’t only mean making a sale. It also means that you should end every conversation with the customer feeling that everything has been taken care of. Your willingness to do this shows your customers that you care about getting it right, and that they are the ones who determine what “right” is.
HANDLE SURPRISES LIKE A BOSS
Even the most experienced customer service representative will sometimes face an unforeseen situation. That’s quite alright, as long as you have a plan to deal with it. For example, you could create personal guidelines for different types of situations you might encounter. You should also decide who your go-to person would be for when you don’t know what to do.
USE POSITIVE LANGUAGE
Language is a very important part of persuasion, and customers create perceptions about your company based on the language that you use. Small changes in the way you talk to your customers can make a big difference. For example, instead of telling John that the product he is interested in is currently backordered and won’t be available for a month, tell him that the product will be available next month and that you can place an order for him right now.
MASTER YOUR STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
The last thing you want to do as a customer service representative is to keep your customers waiting just because you don’t know how to use a software program or where to look for a specific piece of information. Make sure you know your standard operating procedures as well as how to use your work equipment.
Great Body Language
Even when you spend most of your time working on the phone with customers, having good body language is important and can be picked up on even when you are not in person with your client. Smiling frequently and expressing genuine happiness and laughter over the phone can help to improve the customer’s experience, as it is easy to notice when a person is smiling, even when you’re not face to face.
As mentioned before, your skills section is another area to tweak based on the specific customer service job description. Review what skills are sought by the potential employer, and modify your resume appropriately. You shouldn’t fudge by saying you can do something that you can’t, but this may remind you of skills you already possess but may not have included on your roster.
Be careful that you don’t reconstruct a skills listing directly from a job description onto your resume. This can get your resume slid into the “no” pile if the hiring manager thinks you’re plagiarizing what they say rather than telling them what skills you legitimately possess.
Brag on your education and training
Now let’s look at the section of your resume devoted to schooling and formal training. If you have a college degree, even if it has nothing to do with customer service, go ahead and list it. Graduating college is an accomplishment in and of itself. Just be prepared to answer questions from an interviewer on how you jumped from a Bachelors Degree in Biology to a career in customer service. Don’t write it off to happenstance; work up an anecdote that aptly explains your change in focus.
And if you had relevant customer service training through a prior job, continuing education, online courses or a university, be sure to include those. Training that doesn’t relate at least in some way to the position you’re seeking can be left off. It’s filler. Stick to what the potential employer is looking for that aligns with what you can offer.
Call attention to awards, recognition and projects
Not to be neglected on a well-rounded customer service resume are honors and special interests (that are work related). It’s smart to toot your own horn, particularly when you received a verifiable kudo. This is the section to mention awards from employers, any articles you’ve published on customer service, and any research or projects you’ve conducted.
You may have explored new ways to reduce your call resolution time, even if this was a personal project and not one assigned by an employer. It’s worth a mention if it shows you went above and beyond your standard duties – it can make you stand out from other candidates for the customer service position you want.
Step Three: Fine-tune your customer service resume
Customer Service Resume Tips
A killer customer service resume will communicate clearly and quickly that you are the best candidate for the job and that you can do great things for the company. Here are some tips to fine-tune for best results:
Develop the most-wanted skills
If you have top traits desired in customer service specialists, be sure to mention them. If you don’t, consider some additional training to get you up to speed.
Research the technology used by targeted companies
Because there is a wide array of customer service apps and software available, you need to know what software a company you’re targeting uses. Research the company to see if it’s listed on their website. If that brings you no joy, Google the company name along with “customer service software.”
Often, companies that provide software will list company names on their testimonials or client page. As a last resort, call the company, ask for IT and ask what software they use. If you don’t know the software, check to see if you can download a trial copy, or contact the software provider and ask to take it for a trial run. Many software firms offer this service.
If you’ve used the program before, but not for a while, you should sample the latest version, and that way you can truthfully tell the interviewer that you’re current with it. This can give you a leg up over other candidates by showing you won’t have as much of a learning curve if you’re hired for the job.
Test drive their customer service
If the position is consumer-facing, such as at a call center for a retailer, service provider or software company, call in to the customer service line and pretend to be a customer to see what kind of service you get. You may want to call more than once and pose different challenges. Listen for key phrases and consistencies in approach.
This can be applied to the writing of your summary for the position, and can help you use known company verbiage in your interview. Using the language that the company prefers can make you seem like a natural fit, and potentially fast-track you to the next phase of the job search with a company you’ve targeted.
Know your customer service resume inside out
The final tip we can offer for preparing a killer customer service resume to get the job you want is to commit your resume to memory. Think of your resume as the script for your interview. When you speak with an interviewer, you want to be sure that you echo the skills you listed. Also be sure to link the research you performed on the targeted company with your answers and questions during an interview. Honesty is critical to the process of landing the job you want, so what you communicate in the interview should reflect what’s on your resume, the skills you listed, and the positive attitude required to land the job.