Written by Gemma Sofield, Associate Director & Head of Four HR
Writing a CV can be a difficult task. This is your first opportunity to impress a potential employer and, with the job market being so competitive, you need to ensure that it stands out.
It’s important that you write your CV in-line with the specific sector that you are applying to work in, as well as the job role and company. Here we discuss how you can write the perfect CV to secure a job in HR.
There are many job roles that lie within the brackets of ‘Human Resources’, but most of the roles simply differ across specialism. Common HR specialisms include Generalist, Talent & Recruitment, L&D and Reward.
|Generalist||Talent & Recruitment||L&D||Reward|
|HR Administrator||Talent & Recruitment Administrator||Learning & Training Administrator||Reward Administrator|
|HR Assistant||Talent / Recruitment Advisor||Learning & Training Advisor||Reward Advisor|
|HR Manager||Head of Talent||Learning & Training Manager||Reward Manager|
|HR Business Partner||Head of Learning & Training||Head of Reward|
|Head of HR|
|Chief People Officer|
Top tips for your HR CV
Easy to read:
Ensure that you keep your CV clear and concise and be sure to highlight any key points. You want your potential employer to be able to scan through your CV and pick out the most relevant parts to the job you are applying for.
Tailor your CV:
It can be time consuming, but it is important to tailor your CV to the particular job you are applying for. Be sure to highlight and provide more detail on any areas that are particularly relevant to the role. Employers will be able to recognise this and it will allow you to stand out as a candidate.
Using headings, bullet points and short paragraphs will not only make your CV look presentable, but will also make it easier for your prospective employer to read.
It is advisable to limit your CV to no more than two or three pages however, the length of your CV should reflect the length of your career. For example, if you’re a HR director then you will require more space to include the various roles and businesses you have worked in.
HR is a very people-focused industry, so it can be advantageous to include a section for your interests and achievements. Use this area to demonstrate your personality and your character.
Perhaps you’ve run a marathon, enjoy volunteering at a local charity or are part of a minority support group. These will offer additional background information to who you are and what you could bring to the role and the business.
If you are struggling with your CV, you can always speak to your Four Recruitment consultant for some expert tips and advice.
This section should summarise all the key points from your entire CV, so it is often better to leave this till the end.
A prospective employer should be able to understand, from your personal statement:
It is recommended to keep this to two or three lines and be sure to tailor this section to the role.
If you are at the start of your HR career and don’t have relevant experience, outline where you have gained transferable skills or any relevant work-experience you have done.
Instead of listing your roles, it’s important to list the key skills that the employer is looking for. Review the job specification and include any skills you possess that could contribute to the role and remember, lots of skills will be transferable.
For example, you might be competent with HR related software and platforms or have experience interviewing people - these will all help to demonstrate your capability for the desired role.
If you don’t have any paid HR experience but have volunteered or carried out work experience within HR, then mention this and highlight the key skills you developed during that period.
Highlight your personality and personal achievements to stand out from the crowd. Employers will be more inclined to consider you for the role if you are memorable and can bring something different to the team. If you’ve been travelling, can speak a different language or have skydived, then be sure to include this!
Start with your current or most recent job and provide an overview for each. Include the following:
1. Company name and a brief description about them - include sector and size of business, highlighting elements like multi-site, unionised and overseas.
2. Job title and dates you held that position
3. A list of your responsibilities
4. What you achieved - statistics and quantifiable statistics are best.
Include specific achievements and projects that you have been involved, rather than just listing duties. This allows you to really showcase your skillset and ability.
Remember, it’s important to tailor this section to the role you’re applying for and mention your responsibilities in order of importance linked to the job specification.
Always explain any gaps in the CV, for example if you’ve taken a career break, raised a family or have been travelling. Additionally, if you have moved around roles, outline why, for example fixed term contract or re-location.
You should list your qualifications in chronological order. Start with the most recent first and include the most detail. For example, if you have a degree you should state your degree subject, university attended, dates attended and qualification gained. You can then summarise your previous experience to include place of study, dates and range of qualifications, e.g. Bolton High School 2008-2010, 3 A-Levels A-B.
If you are not degree educated, then it is worth including all of your qualifications such as NVQ, A-levels or GCSEs. It is not necessary to provide grades or subjects as these can always be requested at a later date.
If you have any other HR relevant qualifications, such as CIPD or CPP, it is definitely worth including these.
How Four Recruitment can help candidates secure a HR job
Four Recruitment specialise in supporting candidates with their recruitment, offering expert advice and support with CV’s and through interviews. We aim to help all of our candidates feel fully prepared and confident when walking into an interview.
If you’re looking for a job in HR and would like some professional guidance, get in touch today and find out how we can find you the right role and prepare the perfect CV.
If you are currently recruiting for a HR position, we can help businesses successfully grow their HR team by finding the right candidate. We can review CV’s and help streamline the recruitment process, saving you time and securing your company the best HR candidate.