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Landing an interview isn’t down to luck — it’s down to the person that reads your CV. And with call centre jobs in high demand right now, it’s likely that whoever will read those opening lines of your personal statement has read hundreds more like it.
So how do you ensure your name makes it onto the shortlist?
If you want a shot at that call centre role, you need to make sure your CV grips the reader from the first line and packs plenty of punches all the way through.
To help you out, we’ve put together a short guide based on our own experiences on how you can create a call centre CV that’s irresistible to employers across the country.
Section by section
A CV is much more than a single document: it’s a compilation of opportunities for you to show your potential interviewer that you excel in all sorts of different ways.
Let’s break it down to understand how you can use each section of your CV to your advantage:
Personal statement — This is your tailored first impression, so make it count! Include plenty of punchy statements and compelling arguments for why you’re the best person for the job.
Work experience — Don’t just tell the recruiter where you’ve worked before: tell them about what you did there, how you made a difference and what you learned.
Qualifications — Extracurricular or vocational qualifications help you stand out from the crowd.
Hobbies and interests — What you do in your spare time speaks volumes. Use this section as an opportunity to showcase your personality.
We’ll go through each of these points with a few tips and some examples to boot, so you’ll have your CV ready in no time.
If you’re not much of a writer, it can be easy to dread the personal statement, since it’s the part of your CV that involves formal, uninterrupted writing, paragraphs and all.
But here’s the thing: employers don’t want to wade through writing for the sake of it. Instead, think of your personal statement as a letter to the reader explaining why the job interests you and why you think you’d do it well.
Most importantly, you need to hook the reader’s attention and keep them firmly gripped. Here’s how you can do that:
Opening line — This is an instrument to make your reader pay attention, so every word counts. It doesn’t need to be explosive; instead, start with why you’re interested in the job. One of the best ways to do this is to link it with your key skills, which in turn makes it easy to follow on into the next paragraph. For example: “I’m very interested in the role of call centre operator because I consider listening to be one of my best attributes, which I can use to solve a customer’s problem in the best way possible.”
Length — A good rule of thumb for an effective personal statement is keeping it to a few paragraphs; around half a page of A4 should do the trick. Your objective should be to include as much relevant information as you can and then stop. Delete anything that’s only in there to flesh out the word count. Short and sweet is better than long and repetitive.
Structure — Be kind to your reader: make your personal statement easy to read. The best way to do this is to use plenty of short paragraphs rather than a few long ones, with each paragraph making one point. The first sentence of each paragraph should provide an overview of what you’ll discuss.
Tangible examples — Whenever you make a point about yourself, try to include an example to back it up. For instance, if you always go the extra mile, mention how you impressed one customer so much they named you specifically in a 5-star review for the company.
Confidence — Many young people are too humble on their CVs because they don’t want to appear boastful, but employers expect you to bring everything you’ve got to the table. If you shy away from highlighting your skills or achievements, they might think you can’t do as much as you know you can. Writing confidently and don’t be afraid of making a statement you think is a little bold. If in doubt, get a friend to read over it to give you a second opinion.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that employers only want to see where you’ve worked and for how long.
But if you only list your previous employment, you’ll miss out on a key opportunity to show a potential employer how each role you’ve had has helped in your development as a reliable, professional person. You have to tell the reader not just what you did, but how you did it, and how it’s going to help you in the role for which you’re applying.
For each piece of work experience you list — including voluntary work — try and answer the following questions:
What new things did you learn?
What was your biggest achievement while you were there?
What skills did you improve and how? (For call centre CVs, you’ll want to think specifically about communication, listening, problem-solving and keeping calm under pressure)
Answering these questions transforms your work experience into a list of reasons why you’ll excel at the job. It makes for a compelling read and helps you stand out from the crowd.
Not everyone is academically talented, which is why a lot of us dread the qualifications section of a CV. However, you can stand out from the crowd if you think outside the box.
Here’s what you should add to your qualifications to make sure you get noticed:
Minimum requirements — A lot of call centre roles require that you have certain academic grades; that might be a C or above in a particular subject at high school or a minimum number of GCSEs. Make sure you include these on your qualifications list. If you don’t meet the requirements for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the employer and ask to discuss it; being proactive in this way shows the employer that you care enough about the job to reach out, which means they’re more likely to bend the rules for you.
Vocational qualifications — If you’ve had professional training in one of your previous roles or even for voluntary work, you should list the qualifications here. It’ll help show that you have a diverse skill set and that you’re capable of learning on the job.
Extracurricular qualifications — Whether you have grades in a particular instrument or a course you did on your own time, it’s important you include it here because it shows you can apply yourself to improving a particular skill of your own choice. It’s also a great talking point for the interview; an opportunity to share the story behind it with your potential employer.
Qualifications are important, but they don’t define your full capabilities. In the skills section of your CV, you have the opportunity to tell your employer what you’re good at, even if you haven’t received a certificate for it.
Here are some key skills you should have on your CV if you’re applying for a role in a call centre:
Strong organisational skills — Employers need to know they can trust you to work efficiently to get the job done.
Workload and time management — Lets the recruiter know you can handle and resolve queries without letting calls go on longer than they need to.
Excellent telephone manner — This is a given: you’re an excellent communicator with a politeness that puts customers at ease.
Team player— It’s important to demonstrate that you can confidently work as part of a team.
Able to remain calm under pressure — This one is particularly important since you’ll be helping customers that may sometimes take out their frustration on you.
Good understanding of computer operating systems — Shows you can quickly adapt to whatever internal system the employer might use to help resolve queries faster.
The full package
The good news is that a call centre role is one that involves plenty of personal development from the start, so don’t worry about being the finished article. Above all, make sure your call centre CV displays your passion for the role and employers are sure to take note.
Follow our steps, and it won’t be long until you get that call you’ve been hoping for.
As Head of Client Services, Gemma is an expert in the customer service industry. With over 20 years of experience in the call handling process she will guide your organisation to an improved customer service strategy. Hobbies include all thing equestrian.