I’ve been applying for customer service retail and sales jobs over the last few months but haven’t received much response from from my applications. I think a big part of the problem is that my resume doesn’t show specific customer service experience within the previous job details. I’m not sure how I can alter my job descriptions to highlight customer service experience obtained from my previous food service jobs.
Jess, I grew up in the restaurant business dish washer, bus boy , salad prep, cook, buyer, manager. I made a change to the IT sector about 25 years ago, starting in customer service. I focused my resume on dealing with various customers( buyer & sales) , manager & staff & customers) re daily menus, focusing on making customers happy / steady customers). Example. I would watch what food was returned in the dish room as a source of customer feedback and address menu, cooking , presentation, delivery, etc. This is direct customer service speaks to how you interact and address customer concerns with the data ( correlations to the survey).
I myself was also in the food industry for 20 plus years, so when I did my resume the amount of years that I was in the food industry I put the same amount of years that I did customer service, because in the food industry you are working with other people and customers so that is still customer service.
Mr. Harrison: Are you looking for a change in the direction of your career? It seems that you have a background experience in culinary arts and hospitality. Sales is a very different world it requires a completely different preparation and the type of customer service that you will encounter may be very different of what you are accustomed to, even though can support your future experience. I see you have been a supervisor, a coordinator, an inspector, planned and participated in the organization of special events as a team player, a greeter of customers, have kept infection control and food maintenance regulations, and maintained record of supplies and display good organization skills. Your experience shows that you have time management skills and you are detailed oriented, you are used to team up with other individuals in the accomplishment of projects and events. You have assisted in teaching practical demonstrations and also you are able to follow clear directions. These are all awesome qualifications that can assist you in a sales industry. If you really want a change, there are industries that are willing to train employees, weather is the sale and marketing of a new company product (laboratory or pharmacologic industries), a car (car sales industries), or an Insurance industry (Health, Casualty, Homeowners), they may be able to support you through the training process until you can stablish your business. You need to find out your line of interest and direct your attention specifically to that industry. There are many rewarding careers in sales. Most Insurance and car industries they have local offices and dealerships, a personal visit and access to managers of either field may open a door right away, most often they have a need of hiring new employees. There are as well food franchise companies and industries that may need sales representatives, with your experience and adding additional business skills could be a great opportunity as well. Analyze your additional strengths, such us speech abilities, ability to engage in social activities, willing to travel, level of comfort with big groups or at one to one level, interest in technology or health/medical field, desire to work as an independent salesman or work under the direction of another. Do you like to take chances and spontaneity or you prefer structured work on a set schedule. Do you speak additional languages? All the best in 2016
My sense is that customer service is possibly overlooked or under appreciated in your skill set. The food industry has tons of needs for solving customer problems. So a large part of explaining your work history is how you talk about it.
The tasks you performed are easy to see in your profile. Unfortunately, your human interactions are not. Put some thought into how you helped customers receive a better experience, and expand on that – maybe describe a demonstration, a time when you made someone's day. Give hiring managers a view into how you really "get" customers.
You also might want to change some of your descriptions to reflect a focus on "food and customers." Best of luck, Matthew