Soon after I saw the messages, I came across an article from Freshdesk:
How to Make a Great Resume for Your First Job in Customer Support. It offers practical, actionable advice about tailoring your cover letter and resume for customer support jobs to include why you want to work in support, the skills you can transfer into a support role, examples of resolving customer issues, and your familiarity with the nuts and bolts of customer support. I’m republishing the article here on the SD blog with Freshdesk’s permission, as it is useful to folks looking to break into support. If you have more tips to share, please chime in in the #career-development channel in Slack.
— Andrea Badgley
A great resume is the gateway to any job interview. And if you’re looking to change your career to customer support (congratulations; it’s a big decision) it’s time that your resume got a makeover.
Did you know that the average time taken by recruiters for analyzing a resume is just five to seven seconds? You have so little time to catch the eye of recruiters and Application Tracking Systems (ATS).
But here’s what you can do to grab the attention of the recruiter. You can start by making sure your resume answers
– Why you want to start a career in customer support?
– List any relevant experience and skills
– List instances when you’ve resolved customer issues
– Talk about your familiarity with the working of customer support
1. Why You Want to Start a Career in Customer Support?
Demonstrating your interest in customer support lies in how effectively you answer this question. Make sure to include a compelling answer in your personal statement. Many candidates put more focus on their experience column while it’s the statement which is the crown of every resume. You can browse the job openings to get an idea of what the hirers expect from candidates or try to network with customer support people in professional groups.
For example, here’s a template that you can use as a reference when writing your resume.
As an experienced sales manager, I have proactive involvement in getting contracts and closing deals. I am an excellent negotiator with good exposure in customer interaction. After four years in sales, currently aiming to make a mark in customer support and hone my professional skills further.
The above statement includes the person’s previous experience and portrays their exposure in dealing with customers which is essential for a customer support job. Similarly, design your personal statement with skills that are common to your previous profession and customer support. This helps strike a responsive chord with recruiters.
2. Relevant Experience and Skills
While it was okay to include your student internships and part-time jobs as a fresher, reconsider adding them now unless they are adding value to your resume. Mention your previous jobs in reverse chronological order and highlight the achievements that match the customer support role. In case you have switched multiple jobs, be selective when you decide which jobs to include in your resume.
When it comes to your skills section, make a list of everything you learned in your current or previous job – be it a new tool, workflow or data management system – and present the ones that display your learning skills best, in your resume. Make sure to include soft skills which indicate that you are good with people. If you have records of your writing or speaking – say, a blog or talks you’ve delivered – you can even add them to show your communication skills.
How well you manage to bring out your specific strengths, how effectively you convey your qualifications, how well you articulate on paper – all of these will tell the person looking at your resume how fit you are for the customer support role.
3. Instances When You’ve Resolved Customer Issues
For a job that involves dealing with customer issues, it is important that you incorporate any related experience you had with resolving issues. If, for example, you regularly answer questions on Quora that are educative in nature, that’s exactly the kind of thing you have to highlight on your resume. If you’ve taken part in something like the Google Top Contributor Program, answering questions on Google product forums, that should go on your resume. Here’s how you can include such instances under other experience section.
Google Top Contributor – Gmail
July 2013 – Present
Been an active contributor on Google’s product forums, helping other users with their queries about Gmail
Things like this show that you can understand a product or service well enough without the need for formal training and be able to explain it to other people. So provide links to your forum profiles or include excerpts of your answers.
Even if you have not done any of the above, you can call out all the times you had trained your newly joined team members. If you have presented at meetings or worked on group presentations, now would be the time to draw attention to it. They serve to show that you are likely to do well in a support job which involves learning and helping people.
4. Your Familiarity with the Working of Customer Support
As an experienced professional, you cannot afford to be completely unaware of how the customer support works. Look at how the company you are applying to handles queries, how they’ve written their knowledge base, how easy it is to reach them, what they’re doing on social media and so on. For instance, if you find that they’re particularly active on social media, you can make sure to emphasize that you can handle social media well and cite any relevant experience you might have.
Also, you can be a step ahead by knowing about the customer support tools that companies use for their support. Many companies use a helpdesk to make their support efficient and better. You stand to gain a competitive advantage if you know your way around a helpdesk and have certifications to attest to your skill. You can sign up for a course on the Freshdesk Academy to help you with that.
Recruiters look for people who would go above and beyond their basic responsibilities which are the turning point of many support interactions. So providing examples for your ability to take initiative and going the extra mile will greatly add value to your resume.
What Do Recruiters Expect in a Resume
“Though interview is mandatory to assess the rejection handling ability and communication of the applicant, I expect a simple and neat resume with length up to two pages. The content should be crisp without any fluff which should enable me to skim through the resume and not read through it.”
– Abinaya, Freshworks
“When I’m looking at applications, I look for detail-oriented folks who are willing to put themselves out there a bit. No stock resumes, but rather a cover letter that indicates research and displays personality.”
– Jeff Vincent, Wistia
Creating a resume for customer service has been made to sound hard but it’s all about getting the flow right. And, I’m sure everything we’ve discussed here will help you set the stage to land a job in your customer support.