Our head of Four HR Gemma Sofield assists those looking to secure their first role in HR. As a CIPD qualified HR professional Gemma has some invaluable advice for those looking to enter the sector.
So often candidates I meet tell me just how hard it can be to secure that first HR role. I have been working with HR professionals for nine years now so I understand more than anyone how difficult it can be difficult getting that first role.
I’ve put together six key tips to assist:
1. Get some work experience in HR.
If you are in employment already ask the HR department if you can spend some time with them or if not make some approaches to local businesses. This will show a prospective employer that you are serious about the industry and are eager to learn.
2. Look at self-funding your CIPD.
Not only will this show a serious commitment from you to pursuing a career in HR but will give you a great network of HR professionals that you can share knowledge with and learn from.
3. Look at the HR apprenticeship scheme as an option.
Apprenticeship schemes are a great way to gain work experience alongside your studies. Apprenticeships are designed for those starting out in the industry and could be the foot in the door that you’ve been searching for.
4. Make your application stand out when approaching businesses directly.
Don’t underestimate the number of people looking to get their foot in the door especially in the current climate, you need to do something different. As HR professionals have a direct involvement in the recruitment process, they know what they’re looking for in a new hire; show off your skills and support them with evidence, don’t be scared to add a creative flair.
5. Use your network
Networking is key when working in HR and you need to make sure you’re utilising who you have around you. Speak to friends, family and your wider networks to see who you know in HR that could give you a useful insight to what a career in the sector actually involves – you might even gain a few interview tips or work experience opportunities.
6. Sign up to receive HR publications.
It’s important to keep up with the current trends of HR, the industry is constantly evolving and you want to be sure your knowledge is up to scratch.
Familiarise yourself with people management magazine and keep on top of employment law updates to help build up your knowledge. Try and attend as many workshops and webinars as you can and listen to podcasts; gaining industry knowledge from HR professionals in practice is invaluable.
Keep up to date with our HR vacancies at https://www.4recruiting.co.uk/products/four-hr