human resources professionals may see thousands of resumes in their careers—they’re experts, and likely have all sorts of horror stories and fun anecdotes about the applicants who have crossed their paths. so how do you get your resume to impress these experts, when you want to join (or move up in) their ranks? we’ll look the human resources resume at different stages of experience: one entry-level, one mid-career, and one career changer.
first up is graham, who is just out of school and is looking for his first job in human resources.
because graham wants to get started in an industry where his only previous experience is an internship, he goes with the functional resume format, where skills/competencies are placed most prominently. he also uses the summary statement to emphasize that he’s a recent graduate, and wants to turn his skills into a career path. he’s also careful to list his education up front, because he’s not only a recent undergrad, he’s also working towards a master’s degree in business administration, a credential that could help emphasize his strong administrative skills and business focus.
graham also shows his tech-savviness in two ways: he includes his public professional networking profile (because, as someone in the hr field, he knows he’s going to be googled anyway), and he also lists proficiency in hr-specific software. these may not be his only areas of tech skills, but he’s targeting them to the job he wants, and doesn’t need to include a kitchen-sink list of every app or program he’s ever touched.
next is melanie, who’s a mid career human resources professional looking for advancement, either via promotion or a new opportunity.
melanie has quite an extensive bit of experience here, so she could easily go with the traditional reverse-chronological resume. however, she wants to make sure that her brand is front-and-center, so she chooses to lead with her headline, special skills, and hr-specific certifications to establish that brand for the reader. as an hr professional with recruitment experience, she probably knows all too well how little time recruiters and hiring managers have to pore over each resume that crosses their desks.
in addition to her clear summaries of her experience and her leadership, melanie also includes a section you don’t always see on resumes: the hobbies section. this is entirely optional (and you should always be careful to consider your audience when you include one), but here it serves the function of emphasizing some of the points that melanie makes in her bullets: she is committed to positive employee experiences and work-life balance, so she makes sure to include some the interests that balance her life outside of work. it’s a way of conveying to the reader that hey, i’m not only super-accomplished in my professional life, but i also have outside interests and strengths as well. companies aren’t looking for drones, they’re looking for happy and productive people who will bring a dedicated, balanced attitude to work.
third, we have farrah. farrah’s career to this point has been mostly in administrative assisting, but she wants to shift that skill set and change lanes into a human resources career.
farrah knows she’s making a bit of a leap here—she has administrative experience, which is great for an administrative-heavy career like human resources, but hr also requires a very specific skill set because of the information and relationships involved in the job. so farrah uses the functional resume format, so that she can emphasize the necessary skills she already has. she wants them to know what she can do, over what she’s already done (which is important, but less so if she’s seeking a job outside of her current field).
farrah also includes information about steps she’s taken to become more knowledgeable about the hr field—namely, a preliminary entry-level certification course, and online courses that are directly related to hr. she doesn’t need to include other courses she may have taken (calculus isn’t a necessary job function for most hr professionals), but wants to emphasize the field-related information she already has, even if she doesn’t yet have years of experience in a human resources role.
there are a a wealth of hr jobs out there, available nationwide. thejobnetwork is your best spot to find the exact job you seek. take a look at listings for the following jobs, or search for your own specific terms:
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