/ Asked by Christian
Through out my time in school I worked in the customer service industry which unfortunately,for my major, is really the only work experience that I have. If I'm applying for IT related positions and internships that don't mention customer service, should I include it on my resume? If so should I use it to highlight how it has increased my soft skills such as communication and team work?
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Although customer service may not seem like a skill that directly relates to your profession, it is still a very beneficial skill to have in any position. In my opinion, it is important to include this on your resume and highlight the soft skills you have obtained in your role. Even if you didn’t have an internship in your field of study, having a full-time or part-time job displays a good work ethic and that you can balance a work life with school.
Answered by Mandy, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Yes, you should definitely list your customer service experience even though it's not directly related to your field of study. Customer service is used in any position and demonstrates your communication and critical thinking skills. You should list any type of work experience that you had while you were in school as it demonstrates good work ethic and that you can balance both work and school.

Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Absolutely! There are so many applicable skill sets in customer service, especially in the IT industry! The job description may not indicate it as a customer service position, but it can be absolutely cross-functional. All the things you mentioned are absolutely applicable. Communication, team work, customer service are all very desirable skills sets in the work force. Customer service is often thought of very narrowly, but really we are all serving a customer in almost anything we do. Most companies these days are very client focus, so if you come in with a client focus attitude, you will be very impressive!
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Hello! It sounds like you’ve been going to school and working at the same time, which certainly demonstrates a level of commitment to your goals, so you would be doing yourself a disservice by tossing out any work experience you’ve gained along the way. True, you’re not going to be able to tout on-the-job experience for some of your newly learned IT skills, but there’s no reason you should shy away from highlighting your customer service experience on your resume, assuming you focus on the transferable skills that carry over to your new ambitions.

You didn’t mention what kind of customer service role you have, but if you look at most, there are opportunities to hone a variety of core skills many employers would love to have in in a new employee with a fresh degree. Even entry-level customer service positions can give you the chance to gain experience managing customer relationships, prioritizing customer-impacting issues, identifying and suggesting opportunities for experience improvements or financial savings, managing team projects and more. Your goal isn’t to gloss over the fact that you did not manage an IT network in your current career but to emphasize the higher-level skills you’ve been building and how that experience only enhances your new degree and makes you a great fit for the role to which you’re applying. If all goes well and you make the right connections for your prospective employer, they’ll be happy to have someone with your edge onboard.

All the best!
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