Find a detailed writing guide that will help you showcase your customer service skills and experience in a hirable manner. You’ll also find access to an online Resume Builder, free downloadable templates, resume examples, and section-by-section advice so that you don't have to worry about resume layouts or formatting.
When it comes to customer service, you want your skills and former experience to take center stage. Your ideal resume format is the combination resume: This format places equal importance on your skills and experience and is perfectly suited for you if you have over three years, but less than 10 years, of full-time experience.
However, you can opt for one of these alternate formats if you fall under special employment categories:
You may have noticed that all our resume templates feature dedicated skills sections where you can build the foundation of your customer service resume. However, you can organically add additional skills throughout your resume, especially in your summary statement and experience sections, to create a strong resume.
When you’re reading job postings and job descriptions looking for keywords, think about ways you’ve applied the important skills listed. Choose four to six main keywords to include in your skills section. Then, tie each skill to a related action that you’ve performed in previous jobs.
Job postings on company websites and job descriptions from sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are useful places to look for information about what skills you need to include in your resume. Job boards that are focused on retail positions are also helpful for finding customer service-related keywords.
Look for repeated roles or responsibilities in the job posting — these frequent words are keywords and indicate crucial customer service skills that the employer is specifically looking for. Be sure to include those keywords in your resume if you have the necessary skills and requirements. Prioritize those keywords in your summary statement and scatter them throughout your work history and previous training sections.
If you meet more than six of the keywords you identified, fold the remaining skills into your summary statement and work history sections. Naturally, adding keywords increases the chance of an applicant tracking system (ATS) pulling your resume for further review. However, adding keywords where they don’t make sense, or including them in nonsensical sentences might cause your resume to get flagged as spam by an ATS.
While customer service jobs may vary widely regarding the skills and training required for a particular position, there are some qualifications that are universal in customer service. These include friendly service, prompt attention to client needs, and accurately recording orders. Look to the required keywords and prepare every resume to match the ad you’re answering.
Some customer service keywords and phrases that are commonly requested by hiring managers include:
Soft skills are personal skills that help you interact with your customers. You can find additional examples of soft skills under our resume skills article, but we curated a targeted list of customer service skills below.
Hard skills are related to any qualifications that require specific training and some experience. We created an in-depth list of popular hard skills, but you can find a list of curated customer service hard skills here.
When you’re trying to get a customer service job, a summary statement is more effective than an objective statement. A summary statement shows a recruiter what you have to offer, whether that’s experience providing effective customer service, or a pleasing approach when assisting clients. An objective statement merely tells a potential recruiter or employer that you’d like a position, not what you can actually offer them.
The combination resume format is ideal for a customer service resume if you have some experience in the field because it provides a way to include the kind of interpersonal skills, or soft skills, that are hard to otherwise quantify. However, be sure to include any quantifiable details that apply, such as serving a large number of customers daily or winning awards for exemplary customer service.
To help you get started, here’s an example of a summary section in a combination resume that includes measurable customer service skills.
You may have a lot of work experience that makes you wonder what to include in your customer service resume. If that’s the case, the job posting is a valuable source of information. The recruiter who posted the open job is telling you which skills are valued at the company, so focus your work experience in a way that lets you describe the skills featured in the job posting.
Another way to determine what to include is to browse through our collection of customer service examples above to find one that uses a combination format. When you read the information that other customer service professionals have included in their resumes, it can help you choose which details are important to mention when you add your work history.
An example of a work history section that contains quantifiable achievements is shown below:
Customer Service Specialist: XYZ Company, Nashville, TN
June 2019–October 2020
When you begin to write this last resume section, where you list your education and job training, remember to keep connecting the information and keywords in the job description as much as possible. Most positions in customer service require only a high school diploma, though any advanced education or on-the-job customer service training you’ve taken may be added.
A sample of how to write the education section of a customer service resume is shown below:
High School Diploma, 2015
Parker High School, Nashville, TN
Many job applications may not request or require a cover letter, making it an optional choice to upload, but we strongly recommend that you add a personalized cover letter to each application. A personalized cover letter can help:
Customer Service Representative Cover Letter Sample
The most important qualities of customer service can vary from workplace and industry, but the following three skills are valuable regardless of your experience level and place of employment.
Customer service revolves around strong social skills, including communication, listening, time-management, and body-language awareness. These skills are valuable within customer-oriented jobs as well as with any people-facing careers, so your resume will sound good if you include these customer service skills throughout your skills, experience, and summary sections.
In order to improve the impact of your customer service skills, you’ll need to feature skills in various sections of your resume. If you’re using a combination resume, you’ll feature about six-eight skills on the dedicated skills section, but you can organically include additional skills under each of your former employment roles and one-two skills under your summary statement.
Customer service salary varies depending on your region and level of experience. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did pull together the national average salaries for the following jobs:
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