Tailoring Your CV: How to Land the Job You Want

Man typing his CV on a laptop

Customer service is a broad term that covers a large number of tasks. It may include everything from answering phones at a hotel to providing social media support for a large corporation.

As you tailor your CV to meet the needs of the customer service job you want, you should focus not only on the support skills you have to offer, but how they directly relate to the industry you want to work in.

Where Customer Service Matters

Customer service skills can make or break companies in some industries. In these places, no matter how great the product is, the service affects the consumer’s view of the company. A restaurant can hire the greatest chef in the world, and still have poor reviews because of the service the customer receives.

Here are the industries where customer service is arguably as important as the product offered:

  • Restaurant, food and beverage
  • Retail
  • Hospitality and travel
  • Financial services

As you tailor your resume or CV for these industries, you can compensate for industry skills you may be missing by highlighting your extra experience or training in customer service. For example, your experience working with customers in a restaurant can be emphasized in a way that compensates for your lack of experience in management if presented the correct way.

How to Place the Emphasis on Your Customer Service Skills

Once you’ve narrowed down the industry you want to work in and start identifying jobs you want, it’s time to tailor your CV to focus on the most important customer service skills in that industry. The following tips can help you do just that.

Include Customer Service Based Keywords

Buzzwords in the customer service industry include things like active listening, customer engagement, supported, improved, solved or assisted. Including these words in your resume or CV brings attention to your skills. As you use them, quantify them and use them to enhance your personal experience. Here are some examples:

  • Solved communication issues by implementing active listening training for 20% of the entire company.
  • Supported management in efforts to increase productivity by motivating employees through improved rewards programs.
  • Increased customer engagement with weekly social media question and answer sessions.

Highlight Key Performance Indicators

Often referred to as KPIs, key performance indicators give employers a quick view of how you improved a situation at a company. Customer service has a long list of KPIs that recruiters look for. As you create your tailored customer service CV, focus on your success in these areas.

  • First response time: This is the time between when a customer first requests support and when they receive it. This metric shows how prompt you are in responding to customers.
  • Average resolution time: This is the time it takes between receiving a customer complaining and resolving it. If you have shorter resolution times, it shows your problem-solving and communication abilities.
  • Consistent resolutions: This is the consistency of your resolution ability, and shows that your fast conflict resolution skills transfer from one job to another. This is just as important as the average resolution time because it shows how reliable you are in managing customer issues.
  • Escalation rates: This shows how often a problem is escalated to a supervisor or someone with more knowledge rather than resolved by the initial contact. The lower your escalation rates are, the more effective you are at quickly dealing with customer complaints.
  • Customer retention rates: This is one of the most important numbers in customer service, and is basically the number of customers you retain. If you’ve worked in an area where you had exceptionally high customer retention rates, it should be a focal point of your CV.
  • Net promoter score: This number shows how likely current customers are to recommend a business to their friends and family. Promoters are divided into three categories: detractors, passives and promoters.

These are just six examples of KPIs used in customer service. While many think of service jobs as simply “feel-good” experiences, the numbers are actually extremely accurate when it comes to showing how good you are at your job.

Highlight these things within your CV. Ask previous jobs for the numbers they’ve tracked when it comes to your work there. Did your company have higher customer retention rates during the time you were there? Was your average resolution time faster than most? Did you respond quickly to complaints or concerns? If a recruiter has to choose between industry knowledge and good customer service skills, these are the numbers they will consider.

Show Your Stability

Customer service jobs have high turnover rates in many industries, and turnover is a huge expense that companies deal with. Employees often deal with burnout if they constantly face angry or dissatisfied customers. This is where the product offered meshes with the people who face customers every day to determine if a business will truly be successful.

Highlight the length of your employment or commitment to past tasks. Did you finish a degree or certification program that required commitment? Were you employed at jobs for long periods, or did you have good reasons for leaving? In all industries, recruiters want to know that their customer service professionals plan to stick around and invest in the business. In your CV, you can subtly show them you are a safe bet to hire by highlighting your commitment to the other aspects of your education, work history and skills.

Know Your Job Goals

There are many ways to be involved in customer service. As consumers move more toward online purchases rather than brick and mortar shopping, the field expands even more. As a customer service representative in any field, tailor your resume to the job you want. Email support, self-service support, live chat support, interactive voice support, web commerce support, social media support, telephone support and on-site support are all examples of customer service jobs. Make sure your CV reflects the job you not only want to do, but are most qualified for.

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