How to Write an HR Specialist Resume

Are you on your HR specialist job search journey? Do you want to learn how to create a perfect resume to get your dream job?

Well, if you want your dream HR specialist job, your resume must be top-notch. It must show your competency in working with people and resources. Even if you focus on writing about your expertise to hire the best candidates for any job post, processing employee termination paperwork, or managing payroll in your resume, you may not hear back from recruiters.

But why?

The reason is that creating a resume is quite a complicated pursuit.

You may have a great deal of experience in the HR field, or may not have enough experience to state it on your resume. In both scenarios, you need to figure out what to put on your resume to impact the hiring managers significantly. It is a daunting task, and you need the best approaches to create an impressive HR specialist resume. A human resources specialist resume guide is the key to figuring it all out.

This article comprises the best HR specialist resume practices and examples to assist you in landing a human resources specialist job. Here are the subjects we’ll be discussing in detail in this blog post:

  • What competencies and expertise do you need to include in your resume?
  • Examples of human resources specialist skills on your resume
  • Tips for writing a perfect HR specialist resume

How to Write an HR Specialist Resume?

For writing an HR specialist resume, you need to state everything clearly, concisely, and impressively much like you create job descriptions. It must be free of any grammar or punctuation errors. Grammatical mistakes and punctuation issues can instantly cost you a job offer. Like you write a job description to assist the candidates in understanding the requirements of the job, you need to write a resume that makes an impression on hiring managers and recruiters.

You need to understand what hiring managers are expecting from you. They don’t waste their time reading your entire work history or going through every accomplishment of your professional life. They prefer to know if you fit their job requirements or not.

Many HR specialists highlight the following skills in their resumes

  • Excellent time-management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work well with employees, managers, and recruiters
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proven ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

Adding these things to your resume is boring as they are the basic requirements of a human resources specialist job, or almost everyone has them on their resume. Your resume should offer something fresh to entice recruiters. It’d be another resume in a pile if it has nothing unique.

If you want to catch the eye of the recruiters, you need to focus on your unique experiences and skills.

So what features can make your resume unique? Here are some distinctive aspects that you can highlight in your resume:

  • Understanding of human resources
  • Preparing employment records
  • Creating and explaining human resources policies
  • Understanding of business objectives
  • Handling compensation and benefits programs
  • Ability to maintain the confidentiality of employee personal data
  • Administering performance evaluations
  • Expertise in hiring the best talent
  • Mentoring and coaching employees
  • Ability to process termination paperwork
  • Coordinating and supervising employee development programs
  • Working in a fast-paced environment
  • Handling a high volume of work
  • Managing employee relations

While writing your resume, focus on how you can add value to the company. Instead of including everything you have ever done, state your most significant competencies and strengths.

What is The Best HR Specialist Resume Format?

The decision of what resume format to use has a significant influence on recruiters. The format of your resume is as important as the quality of its content.

Make your HR specialist resume eye-friendly and simple to scan. You need to use clear and simple fonts and maintain white space. You can utilize any of the three popular resume formats to structure your resume:

  1. Reverse Chronological Resume

It includes your most recent experiences. It is a suitable format if you have many years of extensive experience to showcase on your resume.

  1. Functional Resume

It highlights your skills and accomplishments. It is an excellent format for those who are changing careers or lack experience.

  1. Combination Resume

It combines elements of both chronological and functional resumes. It is an ideal format for jobseekers with a few years of experience.

ATS Compliance

Many recruiters use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to filter job applicants. This system scan resumes for specific keywords and grades them accordingly. It saves recruiters from the hassle of manually reviewing resumes.

If your resume doesn’t include the relevant keywords, the ATS will never forward your application to the hiring manager. Always use relevant keywords from the job description in your resume. You can add words like “recruiting process, company policies, employee training, goal-oriented” in your resume. It’ll help you get past the ATS and increase your chances of getting an interview call.

What Sections Should You Include in Your HR Specialist Resume?

Adding sections to your resume can make it more informative and easier to read. Here is a list of sections you need to add to your resume:

HR Specialist Professional Header

Include your full name, professional title, email address, phone number, and location in the header of your resume. While adding your location, you don’t need to add your full address. Just list the city and state. You can also include links to your social media accounts in this section.

HR Specialist Professional Work History

After writing the header, it’s time to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Mention your work experiences in reverse chronological order. Begin with your most recent job and list down your previous positions.

For each position, add the organization’s name, job title, and date of employment. Also, don’t forget to write a brief description of your roles and responsibilities. Use bullet points to facilitate the hiring manager to go through your resume.

You don’t need to add your entire work history. Focus on the experiences that are relevant to the HR specialist job post. For example, if you are applying for a human resources manager position that involves talent management, you don’t need to mention your sales assistant job.

Adding irrelevant work experience might not be appreciated by the recruiters. You may be disqualified, even if you have the skills and qualifications required for the job position.

List down the relevant job you have done recently. Don’t turn your eyes to the following aspects of your work experience:

  • What was your job title?
  • What were your achievements in your recent job?
  • How long have you served that company?
  • Do you have any working history in the job role you are applying for?

These questions can significantly influence your chances of getting the phone call for the job interview. Clearly mention your working experience in the desired field to get the attention of the recruiters.

For example, if you are applying for an HR specialist position, you should focus on your experience in human resource management. Highlighting your experience in product management or customer service won’t impress the recruiters.

Here are examples of how you can write about your experience at various HR levels.

Junior HR Specialist Resume Experience Examples

Writing about the experience is a daunting task for junior HR specialists as they don’t have their hands on much work history. It often puts them in a puzzling situation, but even though they lack enough experience, they can cover that gap with a bit of intelligence.

From the time you have started your career until now, you surely have worked on several projects and got many accomplishments. Make the best use of your experiences to impress the hiring manager.

For example, if you have an experience of 8 months as an HR specialist, you can list your previous job role with the responsibilities you have handled in that position. Here are a few things that you can write about your job history:

  • Conflicts you have resolved among your colleagues and team members
  • How you have created HR policies for the company, and how successful they have been
  • How you have managed the human resource department of your organization
  • Your accomplishments in recruiting new employees to the team and training them for their assigned tasks
  • Tools and software you are familiar with and how you have used them for the benefit of your organization

Employers value HR specialists who have accomplished a lot in a short time. It shows them the potential to grow in the organization. You can also include your volunteer experiences and internships to make your resume more impressive.

Senior HR Specialist Resume Experience Examples

Senior HR specialists have plenty of experience to showcase. They have worked in several positions, and they have gotten better at their job with every venture. But while writing your resume, you don’t need to write all your work history.

If you are also a senior HR specialist, you should focus on the most recent job experiences and responsibilities you have handled. Here is a list of things you need to keep in your mind while writing about your experience:

  • Don’t mention all your accomplishments and responsibilities.
  • Only include the ones that are relevant to the job post you are applying for
  • Add keywords from the job description to your resume to make it ATS-compliant

Human resources specialists who work in high-level positions have many things to put on their resumes. Here are some examples of what you can write in your experience section:

  • How you led the hiring process
  • Your accomplishments in promoting diversity in the workplace
  • How you have helped employees follow industry trends
  • Your competency in organizing employee training programs
  • Your experience in managing employee benefits, payroll, and compensation
  • How you have handled the HR budget of your organization
  • How you have managed the employee relations and resolved workplace conflicts.
  • Your ability to retain employees

Listing HR Specialist Resume Skills

Regardless of your experience level, your skills section is the most crucial part of your resume. It’s where you can show off your HR skills and highlight the qualities that make you a good fit for the job.

When you are creating your human resources specialist resume, you need to focus on your technical skills as well as soft skills. This section shows the recruiters your competencies and skills to manage various HR duties. While listing skills, add those for which you have earned certifications and those specific to the company requirements.

Here is a list of qualities that you can include in your skills section:

  • Labor relations
  • New hire orientation
  • Employee engagement
  • Benefits and payroll management
  • Employee retention
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Technical support
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving capability
  • Leadership development

Listing HR Specialist Education

Educational background is a vital section of your human resources specialist resume. It depicts your knowledge and expertise in the field. A bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, Marketing, or related fields can offer you an edge over your competitors.

While adding your educational background, add complete information about your degree. You can add relevant coursework to the job you are applying for. Also, add the complete name of your university, your graduation year, and your GPA if it is impressive.

Don’t talk about any of your degrees on your resume that is not relevant to the job. If you have a BS in English, don’t add it to your resume. Doing so will only take up unnecessary space on your resume and waste the recruiters’ time. Mention the degree that can benefit your candidacy for the job.

Listing HR Specialist Certifications

Certification is a great way to highlight your HR skills and credentials. It also shows that you have put in extra effort to become an expert in your field. It allows you to stand out from the competition and grab the attention of the recruiters.

Most employers prefer to hire candidates who have certifications. Certificates offer assurance that the candidate has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties. There are a plethora of certifications available, and you can choose the one that is most relevant to your career.

If you don’t have a certification, it’s not too late to get one. You can enroll in a certification program and get the necessary credentials. Some of the most popular HR certifications that you can include on your resume are:

  • SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)
  • SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
  • PHR Professional in Human Resources
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Certificate Human Resource Management by The York University
  • International Association for Human Resources Information Management
  • Global Professional in Human Resources

Listing HR Specialist Achievements

Your achievements section is the best place to show off your successes in your role as a human resources specialist. This section allows you to demonstrate what impact you have made in your previous roles. Including achievements on your resume will help you stand out as an exceptional candidate and get noticed by employers.

Your achievement shows the recruiters your capability to deliver results. It also tells them what kind of an employee you are and whether you would be a good fit for their company. Employers want to hire candidates who can take their business forward and achieve their goals.

While writing about your achievements, focus on real numbers. Use data and statistics to back up your claims. It will make your accomplishments more believable and impressive.

Here are some examples of achievements that you can include on your resume:

  • Successfully launched a new employee onboarding program that reduced turnover by 12% and helped achieve.
  • Saved the company $1 million by restructuring its benefits program.
  • Reduced employee turnover by 20% by implementing new engagement initiatives.
  • Successfully launched a new employee onboarding program that increased retention by 10%.
  • Spearheaded a company-wide culture change initiative that improved employee satisfaction by 15%.

Listing Languages

Proficiency in speaking and writing a foreign language is an important asset for any HR specialist. Being able to communicate in multiple languages enables HR specialists to connect with candidates from various cultures. It helps them in new employee orientation, communicating company policies, and maintaining employee morale.

Usually, jobs require proficiency in the English language only. Knowing more than one language allows you to offer administrative support to employees that are adept in other languages. It also assists you in communicating employment law to the employees and updating them about the latest changes.

If you can speak or write in multiple languages, include this information on your resume. Make sure to list languages only you are truly proficient in. If you are not confident in your language skills, it’s best to mention only a single language on your resume.

HR Specialist Resume Example

Creating a human resources specialist resume from scratch is not an easy task. You need to focus on many things, such as format, layout, content, and keywords. Here is a human resources specialist resume example below to make your job easier. This resume example will give you an idea of how to write your resume.

While writing your resume, avoid adding long paragraphs. Instead, use bullet points and short sentences to make your resume easy to read. Don’t waste resume space by adding objectives and unnecessary information. Overall, focus on highlighting things that could help an organization achieve its goals.

Include only relevant information on your resume and leave out the rest. Recruiters only spend a few seconds reviewing each resume, so make sure your information is easy to scan and understand.

HR Specialist Job Application Experience

You have created your resume, and you apply for numerous jobs but get not a single call for an interview.

“How’s it even possible?” “What’s wrong with my resume?” You start questioning yourself.

Well, it’s pretty common that candidates don’t hear back from employers after applying for jobs. No matter how many degrees and certificates you have, your resume won’t get you the job if you are not focusing on the requirements of each job.

A single resume can’t be used for all job applications. You need to customize your resume according to each job you apply for. It means specifying your experience, skills, and achievements relevant to the job.

Suppose you create 20 resumes for 20 different job roles as HR specialists.

  • 13 employers might turn you down
  • 7 shortlist you for a first-round interview process
  • Out of those, only 4 call you for an interview for a second-round interview
  • Only two might contact you for the final interview and make a job offer.

It is the reality of job hunting. It’s a numbers game that keeps on going until you find a suitable role and secure a job. So, be patient and keep applying for jobs to land your dream HR specialist role.

How Many Pages Should Your HR Specialist Resume Be?

The length of your resume has a great impact on the recruiters. It’s essential to keep your resume short and concise so that employers can quickly scan through it. Ideally, your resume should not exceed 2 pages unless you have extensive experience and multiple qualifications.

Employers involved in recruitment efforts have a lot of resumes to go through. They don’t have the time or patience to read lengthy resumes. So, keep your resume simple and to the point to make a good impression and get an interview call.

Where Can You Apply with Your HR Specialist Resume?

Finding a job opening and applying is another crucial step after writing your resume. You can use various online and offline resources to search for job openings. Following are some popular job searching websites:

HR Specialist Resume Tips

Here are a few tips to help you create an effective resume for an HR specialist role:

Create a unique cover letter for each post

Each job is unique in its requirements. So, don’t send a generic cover letter to each employer. Instead, create a unique cover letter for each job you apply for. It will help you focus on the specific requirements of each job and show the employer that you are a good fit for the role.

Proofread your resume before submitting

Make sure you proofread your resume before submitting it to the employer. Recruiters can spot errors from a mile away. So, make sure your resume is free of all errors and typos. Get your friend or family member to go through it so that they can provide you with some feedback on how you can improve your resume further.

Keep updating your resume

Keep updating your resume throughout your career. As you gain more experience, add more details to your resume. It will help you stay competitive in the job market and make it easier for employers to find the information they are looking for.

Be honest about the details in your resume

You need to be honest about all the details in your resume. Recruiters can easily spot if you exaggerate or lie about your experience or qualifications. So, only include truthful and accurate information in your resume.

Highlight your key strengths

Your resume should highlight your key strengths relevant to the job you are applying for. It will help the employer see if you have the necessary skills and experience.

HR Specialist Resume Don’ts

There are a few things you should avoid doing when writing your resume for an HR specialist role:

Adding Unnecessary Personal Information

Personal information is a vital part of your HR specialist resume, but there is no need to include unnecessary personal information. It should not have your hobbies, interests, and anything else that is not relevant to the job. You also don’t need to add your religion, marital status, or age to your resume.

Adding Your Picture

Adding your picture to your resume is not necessary. In most cases, it’s even considered unprofessional. Unless the job posting specifically asks for your picture, you should avoid including it in your resume.

Including Irrelevant Work Experience

If you have a lot of experience and have trouble fitting it all into 1 page, you might be tempted to include only your relevant work experience. However, this is a mistake. You should only include your recent experience and your most relevant experience. Don’t add any irrelevant or old work experience to fill up space on your resume.

Making Your Resume Too Long

As I mentioned before, your resume should ideally be no longer than 1 page. So, only include information that is necessary and leaves out unnecessary details. It will help keep your resume concise and easy to read.

Key Takeaways and Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed what you need to include in your HR specialist resume and some tips and best practices that you should keep in mind. Here is a summary of the main points we discussed:

  • Keep everything relevant to the job description
  • Focus on your recent work experience and key strengths
  • Avoid including unnecessary information
  • Make sure your resume is free of errors by proofreading it carefully
  • Customize your resume for each job application

Creating a perfect resume might be a time-consuming and frustrating process, but it is necessary if you want to land your dream job.

With these guidelines in mind, you are now ready to write your resume for an HR specialist role. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing today and watch your career take off.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an 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 an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.


Josh Fechter
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.