Logic would suggest - no. An Accountant, seeking a position as an Accountant, should only include relevant accounting experience within their resume. Makes sense. Keeping this in mind and stemming from a previous blog, the advantage of tailoring your CV to a job’s requirements, cannot be understated. Having said that, there can be an unfounded stigma attached to ‘number crunchers’, for those hiring managers who are perhaps targeting candidates with experience in a more people focused, people facing environment.
However, communication skills can be applied in different ways, depending on the requirements of the situation and are always valuable. The ability to interact both within the workplace and socially, regardless of the sector you work in.
For candidates targeting a position which may require effective communication skills (which has become somewhat of a hollow term used in job advertisements, as it is generally expected), the ability to liaise with colleagues or external stakeholders regularly, answer phones or handle inquiries is certainly sympathetic to the inclusion of that casual retail or call centre role during university and can carry a strong appeal. It validates your ability to speak with a variety of people, be adaptable in different circumstances and show a keenness to undertake duties outside your speciality, as and when required.
Whilst your accounting skills will always be the top priority in a resume, there can be a strong benefit in ‘showing off’ your previous customer service experience, to highlight timelessly transferable and valued skills throughout a variety of industries. This can then set you apart from the crowd.