How To Write a Resume For Human Resource Job

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?

7 Steps To Achieve Your Career Goals

Many people set career goals at various stages throughout their adult life. Career goals are very easy things to set. On the other hand, actually completing them and being rewarded with that feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing them is nowhere near as common. Many people claim to have the answer about how to set and achieve career goals. I do not claim to have that answer, what I have is the seven steps that I took, that enabled me to get where I wanted to be in my life. I hope that by illustrating these, you will be closer to recognizing the steps that you need to take, to get to where you want to go.

Step 1

If you have a list of twenty different things that you kind of want to achieve than you are unlikely to the majority of them. We are often influenced by what other people want from us or what we feel we should be achieving. Such goals are not concrete and they are simply one of the obstacles stopping you from completing what your real goals are. Forget about what you should want and what others want from you. Make a short list of what it is that YOU want and where YOU want to be in the future.

Step 2

We all want to be millionaires and movie stars. It probably isn’t going to happen. If you are currently making forty grand a year, making eighty next year is pretty unlikely. It’s sad but true. Remove all unrealistic career goals. Attempting them only leads to failure and takes time away from what can be spent going after realistic career goals.

Step 3

Don’t go it alone. When on the road to success, it is not unusual to encounter minor failures. These can be difficult to pick yourself up from. It is important to have someone that you can discuss these failures with and who will help you to remain positive. It can be somebody you work with or just some guy or gal you regularly go for a pint with. You just need to have somebody.

Step 4

Be prepared to try multiple different ways of achieving what you want. There are many different ways to get where you want to go, if you are encountering a particular road block over and over again, be prepared to take a different route. If you have been working and working for a promotion but are obviously not going to get it where you are then going to a different company in order to get is not giving. This is not failure. Staying at the same company and never getting the promotion, that’s failure.

Step 5

Face your fears. Failure can be scary. Attempting to succeed can be terrifying as it not only can lead to you failing to succeed at what you are trying but losing what you have already won. This is in some ways related to the example above. Going to work for a new company is a risk. Perhaps your previous successes have left you in a comfortable position there. Perhaps going to the new company will leave you far worse off. When faced with fear that needs to be overcome in order to achieve my career goals. I always ask myself one thing. Am I happy where I am? When the answer is clearly no, I realise that I must take action and that in some ways I don’t actually have that much to lose.

Step 6

Don’t be a perfectionist. If you constantly look for failure in everything that you do, you will find it. The second richest man alive could have been the richest man on the planet if he had just tried a little harder. If you have achieved some of your career goals but not all of them, instead of wallowing and moaning about what you have not yet achieved, recognise the success in what you have achieved and keep fighting.

Step 7

Take responsibility. Your personal success is your personal responsibility. Perhaps your boss wouldn’t recognise talent if it punched him right in his self satisfied face. This cannot be controlled but what you do about it can be. What you do in the face of stupid people is your responsibility, blaming them for your failure will get you nowhere.

Taking responsibility for your own personal success may mean learning a new craft or getting educated in the industry you’re in. Choose a subject you can apply to any professional setting. Consider taking the time to research mba online programs where you can find a variety of course that will provide you with a better business sense.

In conclusion, I believe that everyone needs to find their own techniques for achieving what they want. I believe that self help books were written for nothing but personal profits. I offer you these steps because they worked for me and I hope that in reading them, you will be closer to finding your own.

Tackling Competency Based Questions

The dreaded competency based category of interview questions can leave any confident job candidate a little nervous yet just like all other forms of interview questions the answer is simple, it’s all about preparation. Provided you adequately prepare for them by understanding why they are asked and which ones are most likely to come up, you can easily provide answers that will impress any interviewer. I will start by outlining exactly what competency based interview questions are and why you are being asked them.

What are Competency Questions?

Competency questions are as the name suggests questions that test your competency for specific aspects of the job that you are applying for. They essentially test whether you tick the correct boxes personality wise for example do you have the required leadership, decision making, problem solving skills to handle the specific role, well do you?

Why are Competency Based Questions Asked?

Competency based questions are used as they are the fastest means of establishing the suitability of a particular candidate for a given position. Supposing there are ten candidates for a position and all are being given interviews that will not last longer than an hour. All candidates are equal on paper and all claim that they are perfect for the job.

Establishing which candidate to choose based upon a one hour conversation where all candidates are attempting to say what they think the interviewer wants to hear is obviously a pretty difficult task. Competency based questions are a fair way of comparing the abilities of each candidate and they are also pretty difficult to fake compared to many more traditional interview questions. They are therefore a favorite for resolving this situation.

How should you go about answering Competency Based Questions?

Competency based questions require the same thing as all interview questions and that is simply adequate preparation. These questions are designed to assess your competency in key areas so the first thing that you need to do is make a list of the key areas that apply within the role you are hoping to get. You just need to ask what are the key competencies that they will want to find present in the successful candidate.

Once you have your list, list possible questions that could come up that would test these competencies and then practice answering them. Aside from just staring blankly at the interviewer, one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to competency based questions is been overly general and not illustrating specific events. One of the most suitable techniques for avoiding this is the STAR technique, which I will now outline.

The STAR technique

Competency based questions have a tendency to make people rant and generalize and talk a lot without really saying a whole lot of anything, let alone what the interviewer actually wants to hear. Interviewers do not want to hear that you are a great leader; they want to know of specific instances in which you unquestionably demonstrated that attribute. One good means of ensuring that you provide exactly that is to stick to the STAR technique. It is very simple and essentially just involves you structuring your answer in the form of a situation, a task, an action and a subsequent result.

The situation is the background to the task. For example, you were appointed to project X and it was a challenging project for specific reasons, again be specific, do not generalize. The task will then involve a specific responsibility that you were given within the project, the result of which should be verifiable. For example, you had to keep the project within a specific budget. You then outline the actions that you took to fulfill this task, keeping in mind that the actions taken need to demonstrate your competency within a key area. You then finish your answer by outlining the result. Obviously if you intend on getting the job that you are applying for, the result was a positive one.

6 Sample Interview Questions and Answers

One of the most important things to remember about these questions is they are rarely asking what they appear to be. They are all designed to allow you to demonstrate specific qualities. Establishing what those qualities are and then preparing answers that demonstrate those qualities is the key to successfully answering them.

Tell me about yourself?

This is asked in almost all interviews and yet due to the ridiculously open ended nature and ambiguous meaning of the question, it can be very difficult to answer. While you should not necessarily be afraid to mention aspects of your personal life, keep them very brief. They are interested in your professional life and you need to illustrate that you are the sort of person that holds that aspect of his life in high regard and that you have a definite interest in the field that you are applying to work in. Keep your answer to a maximum of three minutes and finish with “would you like hear more?”

Why should I hire you?

Because I am the best candidate for the job. This is one of the few common interview questions that has no hidden meaning. Nobody wants to hire somebody that believes they are smarter than everyone else. This attitude is the opposite of being a team player. Therefore while arrogance is not a quality that you want to portray, the confidence to state that you are the best person for the job is one that you definitely do want to portray. Remember however, the statement requires evidence and you should not wait to be asked for it. State exactly why you believe you are the best person for the job.

Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or co-worker?

The answer to this question is yes. Whether it is true or not, saying no not only seems unlikely, it also removes the opportunity for you to explain how you dealt with it. They are looking to know how you will handle a conflict when it arises if you are hired. Therefore provide an example that demonstrates your ability to handle conflict effectively, speedily and without ill feeling. Good examples are that you tried to see the other person’s point of view, that you ensured that they could witness this attempt and that you were willing to compromise without completely backing down.

What is your biggest weakness?

Many people think that this is a no-brainer. They simply cloak an obvious strength in the disguise of a weakness. Fact is unless you are indeed some form of alien, you have got a weakness and all employers are perfectly aware of this. Of course that does not mean that you tell them a glaring weakness that makes them not want to hire you. You simply need to state a relatively minor weakness and then elaborate on how you are overcoming it. An example would be that you are unorganized but you have recently started listing almost everything. The key is to show that you accept your faults and that you are actively trying to better yourself.

What is your long term objective?

This question is very simple but many people get it wrong as they do not adequately research either the position that they are applying for or the company that is offering it. Your long term objective is to achieve exactly what they want the successful candidate to achieve. To answer this you need to simply ask why they have advertised the position. If you can figure this out and answer accordingly being careful to include organization specific elements, you have found the perfect answer. The right answer is not that you want to make X grand per year.

Why are you leaving your old job?

This question has an endless number of wrong answers. Remember that talking negatively about any aspect of your old job is in fact talking negatively about yourself. You need to look at it from the employer’s perspective and how they would be happy to let an employee go. Don’t mention money as this can appear ungrateful. Perfectly reasonable answer however include that you do not feel sufficiently challenged, that you would like the opportunity to have more responsibility, that you feel limited in terms of upward mobility at your current employer. One thing to remember though, if you say that you are leaving to achieve or experience something, make sure that that thing will be present at the position that you are applying for.

How to Answer Interview Questions

One of the greatest injustices about the hiring process is that it is not always the best candidate that gets the job. It is often the one that gives the best interview. In many ways how you handle yourself in an interview is as important as both your qualifications and your experience. There have of course been entire books written on the subject but the following five tips on how to answer interview questions are a very good place to start.

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it

In my opinion this is one of the biggest things to remember when answering interview questions; it is also one of the most difficult things to perfect. You could give a textbook perfect answer to every question asked but if you give it while looking at the floor you might as well have turned up late. You need to answer questions confidently, maintaining eye contact at all times. Interviewers understand that you are nervous; this does need to be hidden. But you also need to demonstrate your confidence and your communication skills. There also quite a few very common pieces of behaviour that need to be avoided. These include:

Learn the questions in advance

Of course we all know the nightmare situation of a job interview. Everything is going perfectly, you’re sure you’ve done well and then all of a sudden you are asked a question and for the life of you, you have absolutely no idea what to say. After an uncomfortable pause, you realize that you kind of just need to start saying something and out of your mouths comes complete gibberish, that even you know makes no sense whatsoever and makes you look like a complete moron. Yes, there are indeed a few curve balls out there but they need not be something to fear. Almost all interviewers ask the same questions. Provided you do your research, you will be able to prepare for all of them. Some good answers to the most common ones can be found at

Research the company, industry and position in advance

Any opportunity to relate what you are saying specifically to the position on offer is a definite bonus. Doing so not only illustrates your points more clearly from the interviewer’s perspective but shows that you have done your research. An interviewer would like to believe that you are applying for this job for specific reasons and not just because you have not been hired elsewhere. Showing an interest in the company and the industry demonstrates this.

Be confident but not arrogant

This is a mistake that many people make. Employers do want to hear what you have achieved and the more the better. They are also looking to hire people who are confident and that fully believe in their abilities. You are of course trying to illustrate that you are better than everyone else who is applying for the position but many people go overboard and come across as arrogant. This is a massive turn off. Not only does nobody want to work with an arrogant person and therefore they negatively affect employee relations but an arrogant person cannot effectively work as part of a team.

Think before you speak

This may sound obvious but many people are terrified to pause before they answer a question. While I’m not saying that you should sit silently for a few minutes crafting the perfect answer but pausing for a few seconds to formulate your answer will not do you any harm. Think about normal conversations that you have with your friends. When you are asked a complex question, some thought is required. A delay of a few seconds is far better than answering the first thing that comes into your head.

Know when to shut up

Simple, short, concise answers are what are required in interviews. Of course there are many points that you want to get across but your life story is not required. One of the worst things that you can do in an interview is bore the interviewer. Figure out exactly what he is asking when he asks you a question and then answer that and only that.

Lastly keep calm

While interviewers expect candidates to be nervous, the calmer you are the better you will answer the questions and the better you will come across overall. There are many, many relaxation techniques and finding one that works for you can make a massive difference.

An important thing to remember is that interview skills will apply to all jobs that you go for. Therefore spending time researching and learning how to give better interviews now is an investment that will reap dividends throughout the rest of your career. These skills are also not necessarily one size fits all. You need to find an interviewing style that you are comfortable with and that suits you. Provided you can do this, you will not only spend far less time worrying about interviews you will also probably have a far more successful career.

5 Examples of Successful Career Objectives

Note – If you wish to read the Career Objective Examples, please scroll down to the 4th Para.

One of the most important aspects of resume writing is the inclusion of effective career objectives. A career objective is what you hope to achieve at the corporation that you are applying for work. The best way to illustrate your career objectives is within a career objective statement near the top of your resume. This statement should consist of a single paragraph that not only includes what you hope to achieve but what you have already achieved in your career thus far.

The most important thing to remember about your career objective statement is that by placing it at the top of your resume, it is the first thing that the reader will see and if it is not done properly it is likely to be the last. As you are probably aware when a position is advertised, far more resumes will be received than are actually read and never has this been more true than now, thanks to the current financial climate. Therefore if you even want your resume to be read in full, never mind wanting to actually land the job, you need to show your suitability for the position as fast as possible. This is the purpose of your career objective statement.

There are many different suggestions online for writing an effective career objective statement but the primary piece of advice that I can give you is that you need to offer a career objective that mirrors what the employer hopes the successful candidate would achieve at the company. Of course, you cannot know exactly what your potential employer is thinking but by putting a little thought into it you should be able to figure out what the right candidate could bring to a corporation within a particular position. This should be your career objective. Below are a few examples.

For The I.T Professional

I am seeking a position as an entry position as a software developer where I can work in a challenging environment and gain experience in working as part of a team to research and develop new software products.

For The B.P.O Sector

I am seeking a customer service position where I can expand on my experience in this field and utilize said experience to increase both customer satisfaction and the companies overall reputation.

For The Project Manager

I am interested in a project management position where I can increase my leadership abilities through regularly encountering and solving problems, managing budgets and meeting targets.

For Basic Computing Job

I am wishing to obtain an entry level position in an office environment where I can utilize my pre-existing skills in computing, database management and business intelligence and gain experience of working as part of a team.

For The H.R.M

I am hoping to acquire a challenging human resources management position where I make use of my extensive experience in the field to handle staff recruitment and promote employee relations to increase the overall effectiveness of your company’s workforce.

As you can see drafting career objectives is not exactly rocket science, however you would be surprised by how many people get them wrong. They are the first impression that your employer gets of you and failing to provide a flawless career objective statement is in many ways akin to arriving at your interview late.

What Career Is Right For Me?

In some ways this is one of the most important questions that you will need to answer in your life. The majority of people don’t have a clue what career is right for them and this applies both to those at an early age and later on in life. A result of this and a testament to the difficulty of the question is the high level of demand for career guidance.

There are many companies that offer this service and speaking to a professional and taking various tests can be a great help in establishing what career will offer you the most satisfaction, but it can cost you an arm and leg. Keeping that in mind, we started this blog to fully prepare you to answer this question, without having to shell out anything.

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