Should you be attempting to gain a position within an organizations human resources department you should be aware that due to the current financial climate, organizations are more aware than ever about just how vital this aspect of their organization really is. Many companies are attempting to weather the storm of generally decreased sales and lower investor confidence by attempting to streamline their operations in order to be as productive and efficient as possible.
No aspect of an organization has a bigger effect on both of these qualities than it’s employees. Therefore the department that is responsible for them is now considered more important than ever and therefore the hiring of employees within that department is considered incredibly carefully. You therefore need to develop a resume that will stand out from the others should you wish to make it to the interview stage.
If you wish to get an interview, there are two things that you really need to get right on your resume. The first is that you need to demonstrate significant achievements within your previous HR role. The second thing is that you need to illustrate that you possess a few key characteristics and this can be done via your cover letter and your career objective statement. Regardless of your education or experience, getting these two points right is vital if you wish to get an interview. Nonetheless, pointing out your education and the degrees you have obtained are an important piece to any resume. Be sure to include details on your university and college education including online MBA programs.
Key Experience/Past Achievement Points
In order to get an interview it is essential that you illustrate your past achievements, this is common knowledge. A mistake often made however is not tailoring those achievements to the particular position that is being applied for. If you are indeed attempting to obtain a position in human resources, you should attempt to demonstrate a few key achievements that you could possibly repeat within the new companies department if you are hired. I will now outline a few examples:
- You both initiated and developed a new policy or a new procedure.
- You were responsible for a significant and verifiable improvement in a key area such as employee satisfaction or retention.
- You were successful in training specific members of staff who are now getting on well in their position.
- Any participation within a significant organizational development initiative.
- Any participation within anything that involves improving employee morale (key at the moment)
Key Cover Letter/Career Objective Points
It is well known by almost everyone, not just those in HR, that getting your cover letter and career objective statement right is key to landing any interview. The same applies for positions in HR and there are a few important points about yourself that you need to get across. First you need to show that you are both an excellent communicator and an excellent negotiator as these two skills are an absolute must for any job in HR. Next you need to show that you care not only about implementing policies that benefit the company but also those that benefit the employee (this in fact also benefits the company).
You also need to show that you are capable of empathy. This is a tricky point to get across in a cover letter but should you manage to do it, it is an excellent characteristic to portray. Lastly you need to illustrate that you are both ambitious and innovative. Innovation within a companies HR department can of course have massive benefits to any company and is therefore highly valued in HR candidates.
In conclusion, the primary thing to remember is that because you have HR experience, you are in a unique position to put yourself in the shoes of the HR employee that is reading your resume. Just what is it that you would be looking for?