How to Write a Customer Service CV
If you are working in customer service, you now face extra competition for jobs than 5 years ago, meaning your Customer Service CV has to work that much harder. This is compounded by the fact that it is generally a young person's job, so new entrants to the jobs market who have recently left school are now competing for the same jobs as more experienced personnel.
In this article, we look at how you can improve your CV for any type of customer service job, including a Customer Service Advisor CV, a Customer Service Assistant CV, a Customer Service Manager CV, etc.
To secure an interview, it's essential that your CV communicates your relevant experience and transferable skills. A professional CV from Bradley CVs can make a significant difference and really help you to win the interviews that you desire. We have substantial experience in producing first-class customer service CVs.
Customer Service CV Profile
This summary of just 3 to 4 sentences at the top of your CV must encapsulate the reasons why you're an ideal candidate for customer service jobs. The impression you give must be instant, as this is how you'll be required to impress customers at work. You will be the identity of the company in person, or in written or spoken communications.
Employers need to know that you can provide superb service and help with concerns. Your profile needs to state how many years' experience you have, your qualifications and the nature of your experience (the kind of industry you gained your experience in and whether it was a customer service desk, call centre, complaints department, etc.) Some companies only hire people with experience, so this information could get your application straight into the shortlist pile.
In a Customer Service Advisor CV or Customer Service Assistant CV, you must detail your direct experience in handling customers, whether this is on a one-to-one basis in person or on the phone. In a Customer Service Manager CV, you must highlight your management expertise in addition to your customer handling skills.
As well as mentioning your strongest skills, you need to highlight your personal strengths. These may also be transferable skills such as interpersonal skills, communication abilities, being friendly, professional and courteous, possessing excellent listening skills, tact and diplomacy, patience, etc. Pick out 2 or 3 strengths that match those sought by the employer in the job description.
If the position involves sales, mention your confidence and outgoing nature, plus your determination to achieve results. Whether the role involves sales or not, always mention your high level of commitment to customer service. Employers aren't interested in people who apply simply because they are unable to do another job.
A CV writer from Bradley CVs can help you with your Customer Service CV Profile (and all the other important sections of your CV too) and we are very experience in producing interview-winning customer service CVs.
Achievements in a CV for a Customer Service Job
In your Achievements section, you need to highlight ways in which you made a difference within your job, either personally or as a member of a team.
These achievements are written up as 4 to 6 bullet pointed sentences and must tell an employer why you are the best candidate for the customer services jobs you are applying for.
The most effective achievements on a Customer Service CV can be quantified numerically, so if your roles involved sales, then you can mention sales targets and results that you achieved. Percentage or total lead generation, effective sales tracking or repeat orders can be listed. Bonus payments or percentage commission (OTE) can also be included, providing the figures are good.
If your role didn't involve sales, then you can still find quantities to include that will provide evidence that you gained positive results. For example on a Customer Service Advisor CV or Customer Service Assistant CV, the number of calls you handled in a day or week - or the number that your department handled (say how many staff were involved).
A high-volume workload shows that you can perform under pressure. If you met performance benchmarks - speed, accuracy and volume - refer to these in your achievements too.
On a Customer Service Manager CV, you should include facts and figures that relate to the section / department that you manage.
It's inevitable that you will have worked with difficult customers at times, or customers with difficult concerns. If you were able to turn a potentially disastrous situation around so that there was a positive outcome, then include this in your achievements - especially if you were commended by superiors for your work.
Did your employer receive any commendations or awards from surveys or audits for their level of customer service? If so, a mention of this in your Customer Service CV will make you stand out. A positive staff evaluation report can provide some excellent material for your achievements too.
Were you responsible for training or inducting new members of staff? This can also be written up as an achievement. State how many and over what period of time. Did you receive any departmental awards? List these.
If you lack a great deal of previous work experience, try to think of ways you have demonstrated excellent customer service skills in other areas of your career or life. Provide examples of personal, volunteer or community work that demonstrate your interpersonal skills and desire to go above and beyond.
Career History on Your Customer Service CV
While your career history should list your previous jobs in reverse date order, it also needs to function as a continuation of your achievements section.
Although you can certainly list your main duties, the entries will work best if written in the same way as achievements, always highlighting your skills and strengths.
Always focus on what you actually did in a job, rather than what was written on your job description. One customer service job can sound much like another, so you really need to personalise the information that you include.
So on a Customer Service Assistant CV or Customer Service Advisor CV, rather than simply saying that you handled incoming calls and responded to queries, state that you also patiently calmed irate callers, built and restored trust with callers through careful explanation and resolution of problems, ensured callers' issues were resolved before ending the call, etc.
Punctuality and dependability are highly important, as is the ability to work effectively and supportively as a member of a team. Always state the size of the team you worked in and mention the nature of your collaborations with other members.
On a Customer Service Manager CV, you must state your level of responsibility and what your section / department did and your own accountabilities and specific targets that you were personally set.
If you were involved with billing and accounts, emphasise the diplomacy with which you discussed financial issues with customers, while still ensuring that a progressive outcome was reached.
Generating sales leads through outgoing calls in a call centre require slightly different skill sets, so be sure to mention your confidence and resilience in addressing the core tasks of this role. Being able to continue despite apparent lack of progress with unreceptive prospects is a strength in itself.
You can include technical skills in your duties too. Include any specific multi-line or software systems that you used, especially those that are widely used throughout the industry (such as SAP). Always mention any clerical or administrative systems or tasks as well. These might be data entry, records management and use of Microsoft programs. If you liaised with other departments within the company, mention these too.
Throughout your career history in your Customer Service CV, you must ensure that you're displaying knowledge of the needs of the particular sector or industry you were working in. This is especially important if you're applying for a role in the same industry.
If you are new to customer service, you can highlight aspects of previous jobs that have included elements of customer service. For instance, if you worked in the retail sector, focus on the tasks that involved contact with customers or clients. Describe how you fulfilled the role in the same way as listed above.
Qualifications and Training for a Customer Services CV
The majority of companies have their own criteria for staff selection when it comes to customer service. While some will only employ experienced staff, others will ask short-listed staff to undergo their own training centre days.
You may have taken an NVQ/SVQ 2 and/or 3 in customer service. If so, list the qualification, the awarding organisation or college where you studied and the employer with whom you did your apprenticeship. Beneath the qualification, list the mandatory units and the optional units you took.
In a Customer Service Advisor CV or a Customer Service Assistant CV, you may also want to include any internal training courses you have attended. On a Customer Service Manager CV, you need to focus more on any internal or external management training courses, especially any nationally recognised courses.
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