Customer service representatives are key personnel in any organisation because they can make or break a business. If you're a star performer when it comes to helping customers, you want to craft a winning customer service CV to get the job you deserve.
People rate a company on how they're treated when they initially make contact, and if they're left feeling frustrated and irritated, their brand loyalty disappears together with their buying power.
Top customer service representatives know they're the front line of support and carry the brand image in their hands. They go out of their way to provide the best possible support and keep customers satisfied with info on products, features and services.
If you want to convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to keep customers happy and coming back, your professional CV must showcase that attitude right away. It's a reflection of your professional self, so it must impress.
This article shows you how to best highlight your skills and strengths, and we give you customer service CV examples to see how it's done.
CV example - Customer Service
Looking at this customer service CV template, you can see how David highlights his experience with his years of experience in his summary and how he mentions that he leads a team. The reader immediately knows that he has supervisory skills and understands the short-term insurance industry very well. Both are indications that David is looking for a more senior role supported by his recent certifications and awards and his steady career progress. These are signs that he's looking for long-term prospects and is unlikely to move on quickly once appointed. David chose the slick and professional Edinburgh template, which can be used with or without a photo, to stand out.
Compiling a winning CV requires upfront planning, so set some uninterrupted time aside.
Approach it as a project that gets what you have to offer on paper as accurately as possible so that the reader gets to know you by just scanning through it.
At the heart of every good tailored CV is a master CV, a comprehensive document covering all your education, skills, and working history.
The document must -
- Flow, be logical and reader-friendly
- Be plain black font on a white background
- Be error-free with no spelling mistakes or bad formatting
- Be well presented, uncluttered, well-spaced, organised and professional
- Start with your most recent or current job and work backwards to your first job
- List education and qualifications in the same way
- Include both soft and hard skills
- Include accurate reference details with each job or role
Take time and ensure that nothing gets left out because this CV forms the foundation of all future job applications. It can be as long as is necessary, so be detailed.
Include every job title, all responsibilities and any achievements in each role. Obviously, this will be time-consuming, but it's essential for future success.
While you're writing your master, make copies of all relevant qualifications, awards, letters of reference and anything else that matters. Save it all together in a secure file with your CV and keep it where you can access it easily.
Always proofread and edit your master carefully, so it's error-free. If possible, ask someone else to check it for errors as well. You don't want basic grammar errors putting readers off.
Include your customer service skills
Skills for customer service roles will vary from one industry to another, but core skills are required across the board.
Don't overlook anything when compiling your customer service skills CV. List all your skills, soft and hard, even if you only used them for a short while or moved between industries. Soft skills may not be so apparent to you because you use them daily.
So for each role, take time to figure out what you do and which skills are necessary to do your job to the best of your abilities.
Here some crucial soft skills needed in customer service –
- Adaptability: coping in varied and often rapidly changing situations
- Empathy: understanding someone's emotions and point of view
- Self-control: remaining calm and level-headed in the face of change and challenge
- Patience: knowing when to wait, when to respond and when to take action
- Effective listening: listening to understand and letting the speaker know they're heard
- Persuasion: offering solutions to problems by winning customer confidence
- Positive language: using upbeat and reassuring talk to calm negativity and win customer confidence
- Clear communication: relaying information in a straightforward and easy to understand manner
- Taking responsibility: ensuring that queries get resolved, irrespective of who is at fault
Technical or hard skills will vary depending on the industry you're in, but you will need -
- Experience working with certain software programs
- Language skills
- Product knowledge and specifications
- Complete understanding of terms of service
- Knowledge of industry laws and regulations
- Details on marketing promotions and offers
- Familiarity with sales and accounting processes
Personal statement versus a profile summary
You don't need a personal statement for a CV for customer service, but you want to write a profile summary at the start of each tailored CV. Although you can write one summary and tweak it for several similar applications, it's best to rewrite the summary each time if there's any time-lapse.
Here are examples of summary statements at different levels of skills and competency. The bold text indicates pertinent info that immediately lets the reader know vital details before reading the rest of the CV.
Customer service - profile summary example - senior
Keen customer service representative with 10 years of experience in the short term insurance industry servicing both private and business clients. I am a highly-skilled, effective listener and clear communicator focused on defusing conflicts and resolving client queries as a matter of urgency. Outstanding organisational skills allows quality service delivery, and I maintain the highest level of integrity to ensure the confidence and security of both client and company. All my short term insurance certifications are up to date. I am a competent team player who can inspire and be inspired by my team.
Customer service - profile summary example - experienced
I am a dedicated customer service advisor with 5 years of experience in short term insurance servicing a portfolio of high net worth clients. Ethics, integrity and confidentiality are essential to retaining my clients, and I bring these qualities to every aspect of communication and engagement. I am currently completing CII certifications, and I am keen to broaden my short-term business cover knowledge.
Customer service - profile summary example 3 - inexperienced
I am a keen and enthusiastic customer care consultant with 18-months of experience in short term insurance looking to gain broader industry exposure. I can handle in and outbound calls, have strong organisational skills and know-how to listen to clients' queries so that they can be speedily resolved. I am a team player who is eager to learn from others to progress in my career.
What's the difference between a profile and a personal statement?
A profile summary is a brief statement included at the beginning of your CV, whereas a personal statement is a longer, separate motivation.
A profile summary is usually less than 100 words; a personal statement ranges from 500 to 1000 words.
Profile summaries can also be called – 'overview', 'professional summary', 'skills/qualification summary' or 'professional bio'.
Which one should I use?
Professional, management, executive and specialist roles benefit from a personal statement. They can be used for entry into graduate training programs and internships as well.
On the other hand, every CV benefits from a brief profile summary because it allows the reader insight into who you are before reading your CV.
That's why it's essential to take your time when you write both statements and that you write them specifically for each job you apply for. It's your opportunity to stand out from other CVs since all applicants have similar qualifications and experience.
An optimistic, honest and informative profile summary or personal statement is your key to winning the first interview.
What must I say?
Even though a profile summary is short, it must still be relevant to the reader. Working from the job post and using your experience, include hard and soft skills, years of experience and any keywords you can identify. You want to match your summary with the employer's requirements as much as possible.
Keep these points in mind –
- The job title
- Highlight your knowledge
- Include years of experience
- Cover vital soft and hard skills
- Match it to the employer's requirements
A personal statement must contain the same details as your profile summary, but it's expanded to give broader information about your skills and experience. It also allows you to express vital info like why you went into a specific career, would like to go into it, or why you want to change careers.
Take the time to match your personal statement with the employer's requirements as much as possible too.
Whatever info you decide to include, keep both statements friendly, conversational and upbeat; it's the first impression prospective employers have of you.
How to use your master CV
Once your master CV is complete, you can apply for jobs quickly and be sure you won't omit any important details.
When you see a job you'd like to apply for, read through it very carefully, noting the main requirements. Often employers use keywords in the job description to parse applications.
Parsing is a way of sorting suitable applicants from the rest using keywords and scoring. If your CV for a customer service job ends up with the 'rest', you won't hear a word again other than a polite standard message of regret.
The best way to identify keywords in a job post is to sift through the job responsibilities for directly relating words. For example, if you work in the hospitality industry, look for related terms in the job description, such as guest booking, guest service, banquet, catering, occupancy, travel and tourism, etc.
Keep in mind that companies might have different titles for customer service jobs. Also, consider titles like customer advisor, customer assistant, customer care, customer support, customer success, and more.
Your next step is to condense your master into a slick customer service CV that gets through parsing software and immediately draws the reader's attention. You achieve this by extracting relevant and crucial info from your master and transferring it to a customer service skills CV tailored for the specific job.
It's vital to know that recruiters and employers spend only seconds on each application before moving on because they're looking for exact information. If they don't see it, they don't read further. Placing pertinent keywords in your application from the start keeps them reading. It also tells them that you read the job ad thoroughly and you're not a time-waster.
There are a few rules for tailored customer services CVs –
- Keep the same clear, concise black and white format of the master
- Length matters, so don't exceed 2 to 3 pages
- Make it relevant to the job only
- Keep the language positive, proactive and easy to read
- Check spelling, dates and sequence carefully
- Don't include contact details of references; instead, say 'available on request'
- Also, include the note – 'a detailed CV is available on request'
To sum it up
Getting your dream customer service job is in your hands because we get out what we put in as with everything in life. Spending time upfront planning and compiling a master customer assistant CV is investing in your future.
Here are the key points to writing a perfect customer service CV –
- Spend time crafting a comprehensive master CV
- Save your master and all relevant documents in a secure file that's easily accessible
- Read job posts carefully and pick up keywords
- Compile a summary CV from your master using only info that's relevant to the job
- Write an upbeat personal summary into the CV focusing on the job requirements
When you send your application –
- Always send your tailored CV and covering letter in pdf format
- Don't send any other documents unless specified as essential
- Check that your contact details are easy to find on the CV
- Don't include references with an initial application
Customer service CV FAQs
We answer some of your most pressing concerns -
What is a master customer service CV, and how do I use it?
A master CV for customer service is a compilation of your highest level of schooling, through further education to your first job and on to your current, or most recent, employment.
Why do a master CV customer service?
Ultimately, to save time and present yourself in the best way possible every time. Once you have all the info accurately in one place from start to end, you don't ever have to do it again, and all that's required is to update it annually.
When must I include reference details?
Only once the recruiter or employer has made contact with you and requested reference details. Don't ever include reference details when you initially respond to a job post.
If the recruiter gets back to you for a screening interview, they may ask for references, but if they don't, just leave it. Your application might be unsuccessful at this stage, or the interviewer can prefer to take references in the final hiring stages.
Including reference details upfront puts both you and the referee at risk.
Firstly, you're sharing someone's personal details with people you know nothing about. This leaves the referee at risk if their details get into the wrong hands.
Secondly, unscrupulous recruiters may contact the referee first before they contact you. This is an unfair practice, but if you gave them the details, you can do little.
Finally, if a referee is surprised by a call they're not expecting, they might not take it or not recall all your details and give a weak sounding reference.
When you're job hunting, it's always best to contact your referees beforehand and remind them that they'd agree to provide employment references for you. When a few years have passed, it can be difficult to remember dates, job responsibilities and other crucial details.
Giving a past employer a heads up ensures that they're still willing and available to provide a reference. It helps ensure that all your references are confirmed and promotes your skills and abilities accurately too.
Should I include hobbies and interests on my CV?
If including hobbies and interests in a CV or personal statement, only mention those relevant to the job. Avoid irrelevant memberships and personal achievements as well.
Remember that recruiters and employers are pressed for time and won't read anything immaterial. Hobbies and interests are excellent for our health and well-being but don't include them unless they relate to the job.
A great example of relevant interests is if you're applying for a finance job and are a volunteer treasurer of a local charity. Or if you're an athlete and applying for a waiter or waitress role in a busy restaurant.
Customer service FAQs
Are you interested in a career in customer service or thinking of a career change in that direction? Here's how you can do it -
What education do I need?
You need a high school certificate for all customer service roles and potentially a higher level of study, depending on the industry.
Do I need additional skills?
High school education is enough for most customer service roles, and many companies are willing to train customer service representatives.
However, if, for example, you'd like to work in the IT industry, a technical diploma and IT certifications is a definite advantage.
Or, if you're, say, keen to enter the insurance industry, a finance diploma could be a prerequisite.
To resolve customers' pain points, you must know your employer's products, services and systems very well, as well as know your industry. That can involve further study and professional certifications.
Are there different fields of speciality?
Every business with customers needs people to help them solve queries and problems they have quickly and efficiently.
You can specialise in customer service in many different industries, including –
- Information Technology
- Health care
- Leisure and travel
- Local government
The more specialised you are, the greater your product knowledge and the more you can earn.
Is there career progression?
Customer service roles start with entry-level positions that progress to team leaders and department managers.
Depending on the industry and whether you have, or are willing to, gain additional skills and qualifications, you could progress to external sales, sales management, marketing or public relations.
There are short and online courses too in customer care you can complete to improve your skills.
How do I get started?
Before you do anything, compile a customer service CV master so that you waste no time applying for jobs when you see relevant posts.
If you've just completed school or are thinking of a career change, approach businesses with extensive customer service departments directly or apply to job posts.
Although a personal statement isn't usually a requirement for this kind of role, it can be a good idea to motivate your career choice when you have little or no experience.