Land That Job: Part One, The Resume

If you have decided that working in a call center is the right career path for you, you should realize that you are not alone. The U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2006 that more than 385,000 workers across America find employment in call centers. How can you stand out from the crowd and secure the job of your choosing?

The first step of landing your dream job is to build a great customer service resume. A well-written resume is a golden ticket to an interview. It forms a favorable impression of you in the minds of your future employers before you ever meet face-to-face. Resume writing is not rocket science, but surprisingly few spend the time or energy to make their resumes stand out. Sadly, many otherwise young and bright individuals fall into traps that lead straight to the rejection pile. The following pointers will guide you around these pitfalls and into the employer’s office.

As you draw up an outline of your work history, look for the skills you have acquired that relate to your desired position. In the meantime, research the companies you intend to interview for. (Most companies have a website you can visit for basic information, and some have pamphlets in their reception offices. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the products and services offered by the company.) You will want to tailor your resume to highlight your skills relative to the job requirements of your desired position.

As you detail your past performance in the Work History section of your resume, resist the temptation to exaggerate or lie. A customer service employee is one of trust. Even if you score an interview using a dishonest resume, you will surely be revealed when talking to experts. Do not omit on your resume jobs you have held but which did not work out ideally, as these will likely show up if the employer runs a background check on you. At the very least this will raise questions about your background. At most, you can be fired for withholding the information after you are hired.

After you have written up your resume, it is essential to go back over it with a black marker. Eliminate all the fluff and busy words. On average, a recruiter will spend ten seconds or less looking at your resume. It should be no longer than one page. Keep your information concise and to the point. From arm’s length it should look neat, with a balance between space and text. Process your resume on a computer, laser printed on good quality white paper. (Resist the urge to fancy it up!) Ask someone who is detail-oriented to go over the document, checking your spelling and grammar. Read it aloud once just paying attention to the verb tense, and make sure it is consistent throughout. Make an inspection at close range, watching for consistent punctuation and capitalization. Finally, use a basic font between size 10-12, and use italics instead of quotation marks.

Last of all, create a cover letter introducing yourself and your resume. In the letter, point out what qualifies you for the job opening and give your contact information. Keep the letter to no more than two paragraphs. Deliver the letter and resume in person, if at all possible, remembering to look the part even on this small errand. Your attention to every small detail will pay off on this path to landing the job!