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!