Trying to land a human resources job?
Well, the first step is creating a remarkable HR resume. After all, you will have rough examiners: HR managers, HR coordinators, or even the HR director.
You have just a few seconds to impress your potential teammates -- six seconds, to be more precise.
To make every second count, you must optimize every section of your resume. These HR resume examples and pro hints will set you in the right direction to ace your resume and land a job interview on the company you want.
HR Resume Examples that Win Job Interviews
After many years of going through resumes, I found that the most effective resumes are composed in the following structure:
- Contact information
- Academic background
- Profile Statement
- Relevant Skills
- Professional Experience
To help you build your own champion HR resume, I will go over each section, with examples for inspiration. Let’s dive in:
There’s no secret on the first component of your resume. You should include your contact information on the top of the page, emphasizing your name but making sure that this section doesn’t take too much space of your resume.
You should include:
- full name
- current address
- phone number
- professional email
Example of the Contact Information Section:
The second section of your resume should briefly highlight your education.
Most human resources jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in human resources management, business administration or a related field. Some intermediate and senior positions require a master's degree.
I’ve seen a few people trying to stand out on this section by adding coursework, and even projects they worked on while they were in college. But let me tell you: this section should be kept simple.
The reality is that recruiters just want to know whether your human resources knowledge started with a solid foundation or not. You should include:
- Educational institution name
- Degree or program
- Field of study
- Years of completion
Wondering about the GPA?
Well, if you are applying for an entry-level position and you have a GPA higher than 3.5, then it is a good idea to include it. If that is not the case, save the seconds you have to shine on the other sections.
Example of the Academic Background Section:
This section’s purpose is to summarize your strongest points for the job at stake in a couple of sentences.
Remember the 6 seconds you have? If you can convince the hiring manager that you are a good fit with the profile statement, there is a good chance that these seconds will be extended to a more careful read.
A great profile statement includes a mix of the following points:
- A concise description of your human resources work history.
Example: Human Resources manager and SHRM-CP with 4 years of experience in the technology industry.
- Results in the human resources industry backed by numbers.
Example: Increased employee retention rate at Front Inc. by 25% and decreased cost-per-hire by 17%.
- Proof that you understand what it takes to thrive in the role.
Example: Seeking to increase employee satisfaction and training engagement at Slack.
The idea is to make it easy for the recruiter to picture you succeeding in the position.
Example of the Profile Statement Section:
The secret of this section is focusing on quality over quantity. Recruiters won’t go over a long list of skills searching for the right ones.
To catch the recruiters’ eyes, you must list the most relevant skills for the job. The best way to do that is by looking at the job description and finding out what are the skills necessary to succeed in the human resources position that you are applying for.
Some job postings include a “required skills” section, which makes it easy for you to understand what particular qualifications to showcase on your human resources resume.
Once you find out what skills are crucial for the job, make sure to make them as specific as they can be. For example, instead of adding “communication skills”, you can add “conflict-management” as a skill.
Tailoring your skills to the job that you are trying to land will help your resume stand out from the other candidate’s resume.
Every human resources specialist needs a mix of soft skills and hard skills, with an emphasis in a specific area of HR. These are some skills necessary to thrive in most HR jobs in a variety of industries:
- Emotional intelligence
- Conflict management
- Ability to have difficult conversations
- Leadership acumen
- Ethics acumen
- Organizational abilities
- Employee relations
- Employee development
- Performance management
- ATS and CRM software
- Online sourcing
- Salary administration
- HR Software (HRIS)
- Contract negotiations
- Talent acquisition
- Background Checks
- Affirmative action
- Benefits administration
- Data analysis
- Employee evaluations
Entry-level applicants tend to have more soft-skills showcased on their resume since they did not get the chance to learn many HR-related hard skills yet.
If you are applying for an upper-level position, you should explore the hard skills more in-depth.
Examples of the Skills Section:
The resume format above shows the expertise level for each skill, which helps the recruiter to understand how far your capabilities in each area go.
The resume sample below would suit an applicant for a human resources generalist position with a focus on compensation and benefits.
This last example below includes many soft skills, which means that it would be best for a human resources entry-level position.
This is the most critical section of your resume.
If you manage to catch the hiring manager’s attention with your profile statement and with your skills, they will want to look for proof.
And your professional experience is what will give them the assurance that you can thrive on the role.
The key to master this resume section is to include concrete results.
Saying “Managed training programs” is different than saying “Managed training programs that contributed to a 26% increase in employee retention rates”
The second option not only tells that you are result-driven but also makes the recruiter want to hear more about how you accomplished that -- which means securing an interview.
Another critical aspect to keep in mind is: make this section relevant to the job you are applying for -- just like you did on the skills section.
You don’t have to include all the responsibilities that you had in your previous jobs. Instead, add only the ones that are meaningful to the HR job at stake.
Each bullet point should increase the recruiters’ confidence that you are the right person for the job.
These are some of the job responsibilities that human resources recruiters will look for underneath your previous job titles:
- Developed training materials and improved employee performance by X %
- Managed staffing processes for X departments from resume and cover letter screening to new hires onboarding
- Oversaw compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
- Created a compensation strategy based on market research and surveys
- Investigated and managed employee conflicts and brought up solutions on a daily basis
- Provided project management support in order to organize employee engagement survey action planning, talent reviews, manager capability development programs
- Generated data to base decisions which led to a decrease in employee turnover rate by X %
- Managed paid leaves, employee visa sponsorship, terminations, accommodation requests, and other administrative HR programs
- Utilized the HRIS and other tools as necessary to provide, track and maintain data
- Planed events and implement programs that increased employee engagement by X %
- Conducted initial orientation to newly hired employees which increased onboarding satisfaction by X %
Keep in mind that recruiters’ expectations of your previous experience vary according to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a HR Assistant position, you won’t be expected to have years of experience developing training materials, planning events, and managing compensation. But if you are applying for a HR Generalist or HR Manager position, you will be expected to have a background managing HR processes.
Example of the Professional Experience Section:
Use These Human Resources Resume Examples to Win an Interview
If you want to build a successful career in human resource management, you must start by being a master resume builder.
There are many resume templates available online but if you want to stand out, you must make your HR resume customized to the position you are applying for. To impress your potential employer, make sure to follow these tactics:
- Find a few main keywords on the job posting and use them on your resume's skills section and experience section.
- Use measurable results when describing your work experience.
- Organize your resume on a reverse chronological order, which means listing the most recent and relevant facts first.
- Keep the composition simple and easy to read.
- Write a compelling human resources profile statement or resume objective
- Save your resume as a PDF to ensure its structure will remain the same on your recruiter's computer.
These strategies will put you ahead in the resume-building game.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a HR role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.