Good customer service representatives are an integral part of any business — defining a company’s image, customer loyalty, customer-business interactions and much more. And the aim of this customer service resume example and writing guide is to help you project an image that you are that very person, someone who will provide a great customer service experience for a company that needs precisely that.
What we’ll cover in this guide:
- What does a customer service representative do?
- Helping your resume win the battle against hundreds of other applicants
- Resume writing that's not only informative but actually fun to read
- Showing your professionalism and skills on your resume without rich previous experience
- Creating a resume that leads you to great employers and jobs.
What does a customer service representative do?
Customer service representatives typically work by phone addressing questions and resolving complaints raised by clients who have already purchased goods or services from a company.
Some customer service reps also meet clients face to face, by email or via live online chat. The reason for the interaction is not always an existing problem, as sometimes it’s simply a matter of helping to process orders, assist with billing, provide more information or even sell new services.
But customer service reps often deal with clients who are unsatisfied for one reason or another. Customer service reps typically need abundant reservoirs of patience and a demeanor that remains pleasant, helpful and informative.
Creating a CV for the modern customer service landscape
There are a few facts about customer service that can help guide the CV and resume writing process.
Fact #1: Customer service is one of the best areas for entry-level applicants. Customer service provides amazing opportunities for career growth for talented employees. Working in this position also develops a huge amount of soft skills. It allows for awesome networking in the professional world.
Fact #2: Customer service is viewed by companies and brands as extremely important. Studies show that great customer service is the No. 1 reason that consumers trust brands (data from Dimensional Research) and that bad customer service is nearly guaranteed (at 89%) to make clients switch to their competitors (data from Harris Interactive).
Fact #3: Technological solutions, CSR platforms and chat bots are changing how customer service is provided.
Friendly customer service representatives and memorable CSR work history are what cause 73% of consumers to stay with a brand or company long-term (data from Harris Interactive).
In addition, digital customer service experience is about apps, interfaces, digital requests, CSR platforms, etc. Along with an emphasis on social and communication skills, technological aptitude is becoming more important for customer service representatives. In this resume guide, we'll take a look at how this impacts your resume and CV in each section.
Over 60% of consumers in the U.S. prefer automated solutions (websites, apps, etc.) for simple customer service requests (AE research). This means that the tasks that go to actual human employees in CSR have become more complicated and involve more communication.
Resume summary example: the winning formula
For many people, a customer service representative position is one of the best entry-level opportunities. With all that competition, your resume summary should be a short but engaging story. For many recruiters and HR professionals, your summary may be the most important part of your resume. If your basic qualifications are in place, the summary is what makes you stand out. It’s your first introduction, and it’s often your only chance to be creative on your resume.
Your customer service representative resume summary should be a description of yourself with a premium on interpersonal skills, but with a dash of technological aptitude. As for personal qualities, two are king: dependability and empathy. Customer service is time-sensitive, so it’s important to show you’ll be there when needed. Empathy ensures you connect with the clients on a human level.
According to AE research, 68% of customers consider a polite representative to be the key to great customer service. This shows that soft skills and social impressions define the quality of your work. This is what your employer is likely to emphasize.
In closing, what the employer and recruiter want to see in your resume summary is an image of a customer service representative who’ll make clients happy. A person who will promote trust in the brand and provide positive experiences. A person who will always reliably be there to take a customer request.
Accounting for the ATS
The battle with the ATS starts at the very first section of your resume.
Applicant Tracking Systems are based on keyword analysis. They automatically review and score resumes based on keywords that are important to the employer. Customer service resumes that don't make the cut are filtered out and never reach a recruiter. This means you can greatly increases your chances of passing the ATS test by using the correct keywords. To do so, analyze the job listing, which should have the necessary keywords already in it.
If you find the job description to be confusing, too wordy or complicated, there are additional tools you can use to analyze it. Word clouds are a great way to understand which ideas and qualities are the most important to an employer. Services like Wordle or Worditout.com will help you make sense of listings that aren’t written in a clear way. Word clouds will also show you hidden patterns if there are any. This may become your secret weapon against automated ATS filtering.
Take a look at our adaptable summary example for customer service representatives:
Dedicated Customer Service Representative dedicated to providing quality care for ultimate customer satisfaction. Proven ability to establish and maintain excellent communication and relationships with clients. Adept in general accounting and finance transactions. Dedicated to identifying customer needs and delivering effective solutions to all problems. Excellent time management skills combined with a superior knowledge of the customer service industry. Bilingual, hardworking, and ready to join my next team.
Bonus tip for career-starters
So what do you do if you just graduated from college or are transitioning to customer service from another profession? Be sure to highlight your rich work/life experience, your past jobs in other fields and your best qualities, and demonstrate some real passion about being productive in a customer service position.
Young professional with great interpersonal skills, on-the-ground experience in service jobs and basic customer-business interactions. Freshly graduated, but with existing skills from part-time work, social projects, college initiatives and numerous extracurricular activities. Determined to be an asset to any customer service team by providing positive experiences and impressions for clients. Possess certificates from acting classes and conflict resolution seminars.
Resume employment history example: focused and descriptive
Customer service representative positions may be perceived as entry-level. But there’s room for growth. And there’s also room to demonstrate your life/professional experience in other fields. Craft a career history to impress employers. There’s some great news for people making a career change from other areas: this is one of the most universal professional fields, with a variety of industries requiring specialists in CS. When it comes to employment history, reverse chronological order is your best bet to make use of limited recruiter “eye time.” So showcase your most important past jobs first.
U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the most common CS positions are in the business support, restaurant and food, retail, banking and financial areas. If you have worked in similar fields before and are applying for related jobs, it makes sense to prioritize this relevant years of experience on your resume. The next thing you want to do to surpass your competition is to provide resume bullet points or notes on your achievements, milestones and noteworthy duties in previous jobs.
Adapt this sample to your own experience for a highly effective work history section.
Branch Customer Service Representative, AT&T Inc., Seattle
August 2014 - September 2021
- Maintained up to date knowledge of products and services.
- Handled customer calls and responded to queries about services, product malfunctions, promotions, and billing.
- Worked to address all customer concerns in a timely and effective manner.
- Handled large volume of calls on a day-to-day basis with a sense of calm and good work ethic.
- Developed successful tactics to sell products and services to customers.
- Worked to understand the needs of each customer.
Customer Service Representative, Gold Coast Hotel, Seattle
August 2012 - August 2014
- Greeted customers with enthusiasm and a delightful and helpful attitude.
- Provided guests and potential guests with up-to-date information about hotel and promotional offerings.
- Effectively sold rooms to walk-in customers.
- Responded to guest complaints in a professional and effective way.
- Processed payments and informed hotel staff of room status and availability.
- Provided superiors with work logs, demonstrating accountability.
Customer Sales Representative, Macy's, Bellevue
October 2010 - May 2012
- Greeted customers in a friendly and helpful manner.
- Provided high quality customer service to customers.
- Handled sales transactions and returns in a timely manner.
- Answered all questions regarding products and promotions.
- Aimed to keep customers satisfied and returning to Macy's.
Skills example section: a comprehensive toolkit
Your skills section needs to be truthful and needs to reflect who you are as a valuable professional. Create a master list of your most noteworthy skills, where you brainstorm and write out every competency you possess that could go on your resume. Save that list and keep it for future resumes, and enrich it as you gain more experience.
When using it for resume creation, filter out the "weakest" points and transfer to your resume only those that apply to the specific customer service job you’re aiming for.
- Write out a "master list" of skills that you possess to varying degrees of expertise and relevance.
- Cherry-pick the most appropriate and important based on the job application and employer.
- Ignore social skills (these are critical for CS specialists).
- Ignore the specifics of the industry and job application.
- Create a skills section in your resume without prior research (such as guides or statistics).
Soft skills and hard skills for customer service
Most prospective customer support representatives have an intuitive understanding that soft skills are king for the profession. But guessing and knowing for sure are quite different. Statistics back up the fact that social qualities and competencies dominate this field. According to O-NET Online and PUMS Occupation statistics, the three most critical and necessary skills for these positions are: Active Listening, Service Orientation, and Social Perceptiveness. They are closely followed by: Speaking Skills, Visual and Reading Comprehension (quickly understanding text and image based info) and Complex Problem Solving. Mathematics, writing (including technical writing and general aptitude) and operation/process analysis can also be an advantage, especially for upper-level positions.
Soft skills are going to be the main focus of any recruiter or HR professional evaluating a customer service application. However, nearly every job market has been impacted by technological innovations. This means that hard skills have more importance than they did in previous years. Knowing how to use digital customer communication systems, CRMs, office software and so on can be a critical necessity, depending on the company. Social media knowledge has become vital for many businesses, as millions of consumers interact with brands there. Here's an example to illustrate how social media knowledge is important, according to Microsoft data:
- 65% of consumers aged 18-34 consider social media a good channel to reach customer service
- 35% of U.S. consumers have reached out to companies via social media at least once
- 48% of consumers expect a response in this channel within 24 hours.
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Troubleshooting Skills
- Multitasking Skills
- Mediation and Negotiation Skills
- Marketing Strategies
Choosing the correct format and resume template
Resume templates, CV formats and layouts influence how you are perceived before any physical meeting. The two most important goals to pursue with a resume template or CV format are: number one, avoid a buggy resume format at all costs; number two, try to make the format symmetrical, clean and easy to read. Your resume and the corresponding template are going to be reviewed by someone with limited time and many other job applications in their inbox. You want to stand out in a good way: through a beautifully designed template and organized-looking document.
21% of all resumes in the U.S. run into problems or don’t pass the ATS due to having confusing layouts, charts or images. Avoid resume format problems with our tested templates!
The best layout or template types for a customer service resume
Customer service is about human interaction, problem solving, patience and reliability. Logically, your template and visual layout should reflect some combination of accessible (clean and friendly) design with a certain amount of structure to demonstrate an organized approach to your work. Our template collection has a wide variety of CV formats to choose from, perfect for customer service positions. You can highlight some human character and organized reliability through the template visuals. Choose one template example and tailor it to each customer service position through our editor tool.
Our templates come in four categories: Modern, Professional, Simple and Creative. Nearly all the layouts in the first three categories can be an excellent fit for a customer service job. You’ll just need to select a format based on your personal taste and the size of your relevant sections.
Resume education example: from basic to impressive
Customer service specialists come from all sorts of educational backgrounds. Due to the universal nature of customer service, you can be confident in showcasing almost any degree or certificate. More than 30% have majors in business ( administration, management, etc.). Nearly 8% majored in social sciences. Two other strong educational directions observed in statistical data are psychology and computer science degrees.
Customer service specialists come from all sorts of educational backgrounds. Due to the universal nature of customer service, you can be confident in showcasing almost any degree or certificate. More than 30% have majors in business (administration, management, etc.). Nearly 8% majored in social sciences. Two other strong educational directions observed in statistical data are psychology and computer science degrees.
There’s no need to list your high school experience if you have enough content elsewhere on your customer service resume.
Whichever professional or academic field you come from, you were bound to have had cooperative human interactions. You can highlight college interests, clubs and similar activities if you are a fresh graduate and your resume is looking thin. The goal is to showcase that you are friendly, sociable, patient and can understand and resolve problems.
Scholarships, awards, certificates and the like are useful things for a young professional to underline when applying for a first or second position. For more seasoned customer service professionals, the employment history will almost always take precedence in length. Keeping the education segment concise, understandable and clean is usually a good resume strategy.
Bachelor of Communications, University of Seattle, Seattle
August 2007 - May 2011
- Graduated with High Honors.
High School Diploma, Hartwick High School, Hartwick
September 2003 - May 2007
Key takeaways for a customer service resume
- Customer service has grown in complexity due to technological shifts. Competition is higher, so having a great resume is much more important than before.
- Your summary is the best way to show some personality, energy and social qualities – essential for customer service positions.
- Make use of limited recruiter time in the best way: Use reverse chronological order for your employment history.
- The skills section on your resume should focus on soft and social skills for you, but don't neglect hard skills and technological understanding too. Customer service is a digital universe.
- The resume template or layout conveys character. It's your visual ambassador preceding an interview.
If you want the perfect tool to save time and get a great job, use Resume.io’s builder tool with professionally made and recruiter-tested resume templates . Check out our free resume samples for inspiration. And if you’ve been fortunate enough to land a job interview, check out this blog about how to ace your customer service job interview.