Whether you are a recent graduate or are looking to make a career change, customer service is a field that is full of opportunities for workers with little to no direct work experience. For many people, one of the most intimidating parts of finding an entry-level customer service representative role is learning how to write a customer service resume that will help them get a foot in the door.
Don’t fret. We’ve compiled all the tips and tricks you’ll need to write an entry-level customer service resume, including how to structure your document, the skills that customer service hiring managers look for, and pointers on how to highlight your transferable skills to catch a recruiter or hiring manager’s eye.
5 Basic Sections of a Customer Service Representative Resume
1. Resume header. The header of your resume should contain your name and contact information, at the bare minimum. Modern resumes don’t require jobseekers to include a street address anymore since recruiters and hiring managers won’t be contacting you through snail mail. However, if you have links to your LinkedIn profile, your blog, or other relevant online materials, it’s a good idea to add them.
2. An eye-catching Professional Summary. This is where you make your elevator pitch, a quick marketing statement that explains why you are the best person for the job. Your professional summary should include three to five lines that outline why you’re qualified for this customer service representative job, and how the position fits your skill set.
If you are making a career change, you can mention it here, along with examples of transferable skills that might appeal to employers. If you are new to the workforce and are writing an entry-level customer service resume with no work experience, consider including transferrable skills you’ve developed through your experiences in school, or during internships.
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3. A customized Skills section. In this section, list and describe the skills you have that can help you support this company’s goals. To do this, study the job ad and make a list of all of the skills and responsibilities required or desired for the role.
Take the time to customize your resume skills section each time you apply for a new job by adding new skills specifically from the job ad. This will help your resume pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is software that is designed to screen out unqualified candidates before your resume is seen by a human.
Pro tip: word your skills exactly as they are worded in the job ad. Since an ATS is designed to search only for the keywords listed by the hiring manager, any variation in phrasing could have your resume tossed into the “no” pile.
For example, if the job ad asks for candidates with “at least one year of customer service experience” and you write that you have “1-year of experience” the ATS will not read these as being the same thing.
4. Your Work History. Here, list your relevant work experience in reverse-chronological order. Start with your current or most recent job, and work your way backward. Using 3-5 bullet points per role, catalog not just your job duties but the impact your work had on the success of the company.
Even those writing entry-level customer service representative resumes can come up with powerful bullet points that demonstrate their transferable skills in concrete terms. For example, rather than simply listing your summer job at a movie theater concession stand, use numerical data to show your successes in that role.
You might write something like this to add metrics to an entry about your movie theater job:
- Worked 5-7 shifts per week at the multiplex during the busy summer season
- Interacted with up to 7,000 moviegoers per month
- Sold, on average, 5,000 units of candy and snacks per month
Using numbers in your employment descriptions can help you paint a picture of attributes employers are looking for, like work ethic, sales abilities, and customer service experience.
5. Education. While not all customer service representative roles require a college degree, if you have one (or are pursuing one) include it in your resume. Always name the college or university but never include your dates of graduation, unless you are a very recent graduate.
If you didn’t attend college, list the name of your high school to let employers know that you graduated.
14 Skills to Add to Your Customer Service Representative Resume
Do you need more ideas for your customer service representative resume skills section?
Here are some skills to consider:
- Strong listening skills
- Clear written and verbal communication
- Problem-solving skills
- Experience taking orders and handling returns
- Basic math skills
- Experience processing payments
- Product knowledge
- Empathy and compassion
- Friendly personality
- Attention to detail
- Flexible schedule
- Sales experience
Writing an Entry-level Resume? Focus on Transferable Skills
Whether you are new to the workforce, re-entering after a period of unemployment, or looking to make a career change, opportunities abound in the customer service field. Since customer service representatives exist in nearly every industry, the trick is finding the right position for you.
For jobseekers without direct experience, being able to articulate your transferable skills is critical. When writing an entry-level customer service representative resume, examine the required skills listed in the job ad and think back to times in your life when you have used these skills.
Those who have work experience often have an easier time with these tasks, but students and recent graduates have transferable skills, too. They may just have to dig a little deeper.
For example, if you had a paper route throughout high school, you definitely have transferable skills for a customer service role. During your paper route, you took orders, executed deliveries, interacted with customers, and collected payments. Mine your past summer jobs, internships, and volunteer work for similar examples.
4 Tips for Writing a Customer Service Representative Resume
- Consider a functional resume format. A functional resume format concentrates more on your skills and less on your lack of direct work experience. This format is great for recent college grads or career changers who are writing entry-level customer service representative resumes.
- Focus on what you’ll bring to the table. When writing an entry-level customer service representative resume, some jobseekers feel compelled to apologize when they don’t have direct experience. Rather than offering up an apology, focus on what you have to offer. Stay positive and upbeat, and be confident that your skills will add value.
- Highlight your most unique skills. Do you speak three languages? Or, can you type 100 words per minute? Customer service roles can encompass a variety of responsibilities, depending on the role. Think about what makes you unique and hone in on it.
- Center your search. If your passion is fixing cars on the weekend, consider focusing your search for an entry-level customer service role in the automotive industry. If your pastime is keeping up with the hottest fall trends, perhaps you should concentrate your search in fashion or retail. If you have a relevant hobby or interest that would make you great in a customer service role, add it to your resume under a header such as “Hobbies and Interests” to let employers know that you are invested in the industry.
Use a Professional Resume Builder
If after studying how to write a resume for an entry-level customer service role you still have concerns, consider trying a professional resume builder. LiveCareer’s resume tool can help you build a well-written customer service representative resume in a matter of minutes, regardless of your writing ability or level of experience.