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How to write a CV for a customer service assistant
Your customer service assistant CV should have the following sections:
- Name and contact information
- Key skills & experience
- Work history
- Qualifications and training
- Hobbies and interests
The ‘profile’, ‘key skills’ and ‘hobbies’ sections are optional, but they are all highly recommended as explained below.
Name and contact information
Provide the prospective employer with your:
- First and last name
Only include social profiles such as Twitter and LinkedIn if you only post professional content and you use these to tweet about industry relevant topics. Find out how to build your LinkedIn profile here.
You can optionally include your blog URL if you have one – but again, we would only recommend mentioning this if the content is professional and industry relevant.
Finally, you may wish to mention any additional languages spoken in this section, which can be highly beneficial in a customer service role.
TIP: Don’t include information that might lead the employer to discriminate against you, such as your age, religion or marital status.
Although optional, the profile section is a very efficient way to quickly tell an employer why you meet the job specification. Your CV is likely to be read digitally and digital documents are read in an ‘F’ pattern, so use this premium space wisely. Study the job advert carefully and sum up in 3 or 4 sentences why you’re the perfect person for the job, addressing the main requirements.
Key skills & experience
It’s optional to have a key skills and experience section, but this again can be extremely useful for highlighting to employers that you have what they are looking for. Employers spend just a few seconds looking at each CV and so summaries and bulleted lists are a great way to catch their attention quickly.
Refer again to the job advert when writing this section, but add in any additional skills you have which may be valuable to the employer. The main skills that employers require for this position are:
- Customer service skills (these days, this might include handling enquiries face-to-face, live chat, video chat, telephone, email or by post)
- Thorough and good attention to detail
- The ability to work well in a team
- Sensitivity, understanding, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- The ability to work well under pressure
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Active listening skills
- The ability to use a computer competently (and typically, be reasonably confident with Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc)
Source: National Careers Service
It’s fine to list off these skills if you have them, but this alone won’t be enough. You need to provide evidence of them throughout your CV. You might show, for example, that you’ve acquired a skill through training, used it through your work history and mastered it through achievements.
Your work history should be given with your most recent role first. Tailor this for each application you send off, honing in on any aspect of your experience that is likely to be particularly important to the employer.
A brief mention of irrelevant roles (job title, employer, dates) can be included purely to ensure that you don’t have gaps in your employment record. However, if they helped you build any skills that are transferable to your target role, you may wish to include a little detail too.
Many candidates simply list off their job duties when writing a CV, but this doesn’t show the employer that they’re actually any good at their job! Including achievements for each role is a really powerful way of offering evidence that you can carry out your role effectively. Action words can help you frame achievements – see this really great ‘cheat sheet’ from MIT.
Qualifications and training
Although you don’t need to show high level qualifications for a customer service role, most employers value an English and maths GCSE or O Level. In addition, any training in relevant areas can give you an advantage, so it may be worth looking at taking some online courses. Vision2Learn, for example, have free IT and customer service courses which lead to a Level 2 qualification.
In addition, it has never been more important for employers to ensure that staff are treated well irrespective of gender, family status, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or part-time status. Equality and diversity training can therefore be a valuable addition to any CV, regardless of the role applied for.
Hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests section is another part of this CV which does not have to be included. However, leaving off the hobbies section is a missed opportunity to offer further evidence of valuable skills.
For a customer service assistant role, hobbies that demonstrate confidence, team working and strong communication skills (such as working in theatre or performance arts) are a valuable addition. Hobbies that show empathy and understanding, such as volunteering or working with a community project, are also very valuable.