Restating your skills and experience in the employer's language

Here's a note I received from one of our clients: "I need help! I am getting a lot of calls, a lot of interviews, but no job offers. I have been a customer service representative for about twenty years and I am very good at calming irate customers. Can you think of some way to incorporate this skill into my resume? I am being laid off at the end of the week and need to find something quickly. Thank you for your help."


Southcorp Wireless, Indianapolis Indiana
Customer Services Assistant Manager II, 1998-present
  • Took incoming calls from customers concerning rate plans, coverage issues and equipment issues
  • Assisted manager with managing of team
  • Created weekly team newsletter in phone center
  • Developed a set of "mind-teasers" designed to aid representatives with product knowledge
  • Assisted managers by helping representatives with escalated calls
  • Assisted in training new representatives by using the mentor system
  • Member Leaders Online (high achievers club) 1999
  • Top Feature Salesperson 1999
  • Top Performer in Saves 2000 (customer retention)
  • Spirit of Teamwork Award 2000
Monnatel Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager of Special Projects 1996�1998
  • Took incoming calls for third party ISDN vendors
  • Assisted representatives with escalated calls
  • Kept accurate sales and service records
Jasco Information, Indianapolis, Indiana
Marketing Representative 1995�1996
  • Performed Telemarketing and Customer Satisfaction Measurements surveys
  • Placed outgoing calls to consumers and businesses nationwide to elicit opinions on various products and services
MetaData Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana
Supervisor, Lead Operator, Telephone Operator 1990�1995
  • Created and implemented programs to improve operators' performance scores while raising employees' morale
  • Led telephone team to improve from 94.1% accuracy to 96% accuracy
  • Generated daily reports regarding performance levels at phone center
  • Assisted representatives with difficult situations
  • Conducted monitoring of telephone operators
  • Supported employees by walking telephone operations floor during scheduled times
  • Researched, Created and Implemented Tornado and Fire Escape Plans
  • Served on Employee Activity, Community Volunteerism and Safety Committees
Indianapolis-North Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana
Switchboard Operator/Front Desk Clerk/Front Desk Manager 1988-1990
  • Managed, Hired, Trained, Scheduled desk staff

Indiana University, Indianapolis Indiana (online)
Bachelor of Science Business Administration Degree in progress
Great Walker University, Norfolk, Virginia
Physical Therapy Major/Psychology Minor

As usual, the best stuff is buried deep down into the body of the information and once it's recognized and DUG OUT, we can start to talk directly to the employer.

Here are the two gems I grabbed: 'Created and implemented programs to improve operators' performance scores while raising employees' morale' and 'Top Performer in Saves 2000 (customer retention)'. Obviously this person is really on top of team building and knows how to help the company they work for to really retain their customers for longer � which is just the same as getting new customers!

And, as everyone knows, a single unhappy customer will tell on average seven of their friends about their experience, and they'll tell all their friends, and on and on... So in the end, hundreds of people know what happened and possibly won't shop at a business because of it. Why not use this commonly-held piece of wisdom to dramatize your skills?

If we can say conservatively that you're called upon to "handle" one tough customer per day, then use something like this for your headline to really grab attention: How to stop hundreds of customers leaving you each day...

Now that you have their interest, you're all set up to tell them:

  • How you can handle even the toughest customer complaints so well that most even become advocates of the business,
  • That you can improve general customer happiness because you use your initiative during quiet periods and call existing customers to make sure they're happy with the level of service,
  • How sales will increase because you can handle all customer service and leave the salespeople free to do what they do best - make sales (sorry - this one's a bit generic I know..)

And so on, and so on. Does this give you any ideas? You should definately read back through your resume now and try to identify the gems buried deep within it that you can foreground.

Remember: it's all about speaking in the employer's language, which is the language of sales, customers, profits, efficiency, innovation, etc...

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