You have spent many years climbing the corporate ladder in the HR department. With enough experience under your belt, you now need to apply as a VP of HR.
But over the last few years, you haven't updated your HR resume. If you are looking to grow and land a job as the VP of HR, then this is the best guide you need to read now.
If you want to land your dream VP of HR job, your resume must show demonstrated experience, knowledge, and skills to prove yourself to the potential employer. Other than this, we also recommend you build up your LinkedIn profile.
Having an optimized LinkedIn profile, a strong grip over labor laws and experience in drafting winning HR policies are all critical to landing a VP of Human Resources job. But the process of writing a VP of HR resume is not as simple as many think.
The golden rule is having an impressive HR resume that lists your skills, knowledge, education, and experience on 1 page. Why? More than 1 page not only makes it boring for potential employers but also decreases your chances of getting hired.
HR Directors and the senior management do not have time to go over a detailed resume that goes beyond 1 page.
You may have experience working in multiple industries, but which ones go on your resume?
It's important to note that you need to keep your resume as relevant as possible, without any exaggerations. We understand it may not be easy to create an ultimate VP of HR job resume.
That's why we have this guide for you.
This comprehensive guide contains the best VP of HR resume examples and practices for landing that dream job. Here is what we'll be studying in more detail:
- Best examples of human resources management skills on your resume.
- What type of employment law and talent acquisition skills do you need to list on your resume?
- What can you show about the key hr initiatives you've taken in the past?
- What hr functions do you excel at?
- What is your proven ability in employee orientation, employee complaints, and business development?
How to Write a VP of Human Resources Job Resume
A VP of Human Resources excels in managing healthy employee relations, succession planning, assisting human resources business partners in the hr function, and creating effective policies for employee development.
The VP of Human Resources also provides a strategic direction to the company, in achieving financial success.
As a Vice President of the Human Resources Department, you only mention skills and experience that are relevant, and clear for the senior management.
The first step involves conducting thorough research about the senior leadership team of the company where you're applying at.
The second step includes jotting down the main points and crafting your CV as if you're the hiring manager. It always helps to think like an employer. Ask the following questions:
- What potential degree in human resources does the company require?
- How many years of experience in human resources does the job description state?
- Will you also be responsible for talent development?
Many Vice Presidents of HR waste a lot of their time and effort in adding irrelevant information:
- Working on multiple projects with the right business acumen.
- Working with stakeholders for compensation and benefits.
- Collaborating with team members for a performance management system.
- Working in a high-paced environment with the HR leadership.
This does not create a good impression because the employers already expect this from you. This means every other candidate applying for the job is mentioning these items, creating difficulties for you in landing the dream job.
Here is what you can add to the VP of human resources resume to differentiate yourself from others:
- Drafted company policies to foster healthy employee relations and reduce employee complaints by 25%.
- Know-how in drafting HR policies and procedures for over 1000 employees.
- Spearheaded a $1 million annual budget for organizational development and leadership development.
- Orchestrated successful human resources strategy impacting compensation and benefits, support mechanisms, and payroll management for more than 1000 employees.
- Drafted, implemented, and kept the company's Human Resource policies updated in close coordination with the Human Resources Manager and the HR team members.
- Implemented performance management systems to increase profitability and work morale by 35% within 1 year.
- Motivate the Human Resources team and helped in capacity building.
- Improved labor relations by negotiating with labor unions for better health and safety standards.
- Provide necessary Human Resources leadership, and support for all employees.
- Oversaw employee relations, and handled more than 20 complaints every year with thorough research and unbiased decisions.
- Developing a viable business strategy for the executive management that helped with a 10% reduction of costs.
Remain relevant and talk about the specific human resources functions that helped in shaping up the human resource management of your company.
Want to create the best VP of HR resume and land your dream job? Then this HR course is the perfect choice for you.
What is the Best VP of HR Resume Format?
There are three ways to write a resume for a VP of Human Resources:
- Reverse Chronological (Most recent work experience first)
- Combination (ATS compliant)
- Functional (Non-ATS compliant)
The reverse chronological order starts with the most recent work experience first. This allows employers to understand your upward career progression and trajectory.
98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS to scan resumes and filter out irrelevant ones. If your VP of Human Resources resume is missing out on important keywords, you will have a hard time landing high-paying jobs.
Here are some of the most important keywords that you can include in your VP of HR resume. Remember, you don't need to include all, only the ones relevant to your work history and experience:
- Strategic direction
- Business strategies
- HR processes
- Strategic planning
- Policies and procedures
- Key performance indicators
- Workforce planning
- Training and development
- Employee benefits administration
- Healthy employee environment
Not every hiring manager will go through every application.
Here are some tips to make your resume ATS-compliant:
- Read the job description.
- Craft your resume to only include relevant education and work experience with the right keywords.
- Don't use tables or columns.
- Review some of the resume samples (you can find them in this guide).
- Use a 12-font Arial or Times New Roman.
- Utilize reverse chronological format.
If the job description demands someone who needs to "develop sound policies and procedures for payrolls, compensation and benefits administration and have a solid grip on labor laws", here is what your work experience should say about you:
Worked at (The Company Name) From (year) to (year) and developed solid policies and procedures to improve employee work morale. Deployed an HRIS that automates payroll and orchestrated compensations and benefits programs to retain top talent. Made unbiased decisions in solving employee grievances and ensured compliance with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity).
What sections should you put on your VP of HR Resume?
Here's a list of things you need to include in your resume:
VP of HR Professional Header
The header is the first thing your employer will look at. Here's what it needs to include:
- Full name
- Phone number
- LinkedIn profile link
- A website or portfolio, if you have one
- Email address
Utilize the reverse chronological order to mention your work resume.
There is a good chance that some of the companies may not require all skillsets. For example, a company may be looking for Human Resources Vice President with excellence in managing the human resources staff and improving business performance.
But if you end up mentioning your work experience in succession planning, it may not have a good impact on the employer.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Did your job help in improving the business objectives of the previous company?
- Is what you did relevant to the company?
- How many years did you work in that role?
- Do you have previous experience in the role you’re applying for?
The last question is the most important to answer. Even if you have twenty years of experience working in the HR department but the company demands at least 5 years working in the project management field, then you need to dedicate a significant amount of resume space to the project management experience.
Now, let’s take a look at some position resume examples along the career path.
Vice President of HR Resume Experience Example
Human Resources Vice President often has more than ten years of experience working in the human resources department of the company. They specialize in areas that impact the success of the company. Here are some of the most common responsibilities of a VP of HR:
- Succession planning.
- Advising senior management team and business leaders on feasible strategies.
- Ensuring EEO compliance.
- Managing a range of human resources functions.
- Helping improve employee communication.
- Organizing and improving the efficiency of the HR operations and the team.
- Work with the legal counsel department to ensure compliance with employment laws.
- Working with the line managers to assess the needs of workforce planning, employee benefits, and training and development.
- Working with human resources executives to improve employee engagement and productivity.
- Draft policies for organizational development.
- Orchestrate policies for talent management.
- Proven ability in helping hr professionals to create successful policies and procedures.
- Demonstrated ability in Human Resources support and leadership development for all employees.
- Helping versatile human resources executives to complete the designated tasks.
But before you write your Vice President of HR job resume, here are a few things you take into account:
- No need to list every responsibility, accomplishment, and work experience.
- Only mention relevant work experiences.
- Have an ATS-compliant resume.
- Your title should match the one in the job description.
Optimize your cover letter and resume to mention the following:
- How many human resources executive were reporting to you?
- The impact of your work in each human resources function such as payroll management team, compensation and benefits administration, and employee relations.
- Tools that you used (HRIS, Microsoft Office Suite)
- Relevant HR certifications.
- How did your talent acquisition strategies improve the company's competitive edge in the market?
- Your understanding of the employment law and how it helped the previous company remain compliant with EEO.
- Trained human resources business partners, delegated and oversaw several tasks to the hr department such as developing onboarding programs for new employee orientation, assessing training and development needs for existing staff, and more.
List Your skills as bullet points, reflecting the impact of each on your company's financial success. Here are some of the VP of HR skills that you can list on your resume:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Thorough knowledge of labor relations and employment law.
- Proficient with HRIS software.
- Excellent interpersonal and employee conflict resolution skills.
- Strong analytical, problem-solving, and leadership development skills.
Listing a Bachelor's Degree in HR won't help you.
Stay focused. What was your thesis project? Any other projects you did at the school relevant to HR? How about sharing your experience with the HRM report you did for a company as a school project?
The following is not clear:
“A Bachelor's degree from the NYU.”
Instead, use the following style:
“A Bachelor's degree Hons. in HR, NYU and HRCI Certified.”
The VP of HR is the senior-most position in the Human Resources Management of the company. While you can get there with your education and experience, certifications demonstrate that you have done more than the requirements to land this job.
Certifications prove that you have a demonstrated ability to get ahead of others in the same field.
Here are some of the most rewarding HR certifications that most of the successful Human Resources Vice Presidents have:
If your HR certification isn't relevant to the work experience or your portfolio, it's better not to list it.
As a Vice President of HR, what makes you different from others?
The job type, skills, education, and experience may be similar to other candidates. What matters is your approach to getting better results, which employers will take into account before shortlisting you.
Numbers matter. They immediately catch your employer's attention.
Talk about your experience in terms of numbers. How did the implementation of HRIS reduce paper usage in the company?
How did your talent acquisition, strategic planning, and efficient hr processes lead to improvement in revenue? How much did the revenue improve Year-over-Year?
Many HR experts will write:
"Helped the company improve revenue through talent acquisition."
You didn't quantify what you did. The executive management team looking at your resume will throw it in the trash.
How do you measure the results in numbers?
While skills, tools, education, and experience, all matter, hiring managers look at how you made a difference in the company's bottom line.
Here are some great examples of quantifying your results:
- Developed talent management policies to retain current employees, leading to a reduction in employee turnover rate by 10% within a year.
- Orchestrated and implemented policies and procedures for conflict management and witnessed a 21% reduction in complaints within 6 months.
- Devised human resources strategy that resulted in the improvement of the company's annual revenue by 12%.
Employers do not bother looking at your interests, so don't let these take up your resume space.
The US is a melting pot of different cultures, races, religions, and languages from all around the world. Today, a successful company in the US is bound to have a diverse workforce. And if you happen to land a job that requires extensive travel outside the US, the company may demand you have proficiency in more than the English language.
For example, if the job requires you to travel to Latin America, you may need to have solid proficiency in Portuguese and the Mexican language.
Most companies require VPs to have excellent communication skills in the English language. Unless otherwise stated, English would be the only language that you need proficiency in.
VP of HR Resume Example
Human Resources Vice President resume is challenging to get started with. Here's one that I liked. It defines what an excellent VP of HR resume looks like:
Every single bullet point and sentence is relevant as it shows how the candidate has achieved results in the previous companies.
Have a look at how they mentioned their skillsets, HRIS software, and other tools they managed to achieve those results.
VP of HR Application Experience
Remember that there are two approaches to applying to your dream job:
- The shotgun approach - Too many job applications and you may land one.
- The sniper approach - Very few job applications with a higher success rate.
The shotgun approach is illustrated as follows:
- 35 job applications submitted
- 0 responses
Whereas, this is how the laser-focused sniper approach works:
- 15 job applications submitted
- 4 responses to interviews
- One-last round interview
- One job offer.
This is how focused you should be. Instead of submitting your resume to every VP of HR job, it is better to take some time, customize your cover letter and resume, and apply to a select few.
How Long Should the VP of Human Resources Resume Be?
1 page. Short, concise, and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.
VP of Human Resources Resume Tips
Here are five writing tips that will help you write a great resume for a UX person:
1. Make a unique cover letter for each job
A unique cover letter helps you stand out from the competitors. You must tailor your cover letter for each role and highly personalized to include the name of the person you are addressing in that company.
2. Make sure your Vp of HR Job Resume is updated
You must update your resume with the latest jobs that are relevant to the role you're applying for.
3. Link to your human resources portfolio
How many VPs of HR have their own portfolio? No, we aren't talking about the portfolio mentioned on your resume. We're referring to your website or a Google Drive folder with links to slides and documents that you've worked on in the past.
This will give you a competitive edge over other candidates. Sharing an official link of your bio for the company you're working at, is also great! For example, check out these VPs. They are currently working at their respective companies and these links serve as an excellent representation of their professionalism:
Donna Morris - Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer at Walmart
Gloria Chen - Executive Vice President at Adobe
4. List the relevant work history
You may have 20 years of experience in human resources leadership development, but what was relevant then, is no more relevant today. If the company you're applying to is a startup that has over 100 employees, only mention the work experience of companies where the total workforce consisted of more than 100 people.
5. Before submitting, proofread
You spent weeks writing that perfect VP of HR job resume, and after applying, you realized there was a grammatical error in the document. Unless the employer deliberately ignores it, forget about getting that job. One single grammatical or spelling error is more than enough to reject your application.
It shows you wrote your VP of HR job resume in haste, and employers dislike an unprofessional attitude.
VP of Human Resources Resume Don’ts
Here are a few other don'ts.
Resume objective and summary
No need to add a summary to your VP of Human Resources objective. Your work experience and skills already define who you are.
Are you a model? Looking to apply as an actor? Great! You need to send your headshot and some videos to land this job. But wait! You are applying as a VP of HR. Mention your LinkedIn profile URL, and your potential employer can have a look at your headshot.
As a VP of HR, you must have accumulated 2 decades of work experience. But the fact is that your potential employer doesn't care what you did before the 2008's financial recession. What matters is what you are doing now, and how relevant and latest your work experience is. Only mention relevant old work experience.
Where Can You Apply with Your VP of Human Resources Resume?
Your resume is now your most powerful marketing tool for securing a high-paying job as a VP of the Human Resource Department.
This is your opportunity to apply for the VP of Human Resources Department that you can find on the following job boards:
Key Takeaways and Summary
We've discussed a lot about the VP of the Human Resources Department. Here are key takeaways and summary:
- Stay relevant and use a reverse chronological order for your resume.
- Customize each HR resume and the impact of your policies on the management team and the company.
- Use the right keywords.
- Proofread your resume before you apply.
- Use a sniper technique.
It isn't easy to write a VP of Human Resources resume. It may take anywhere between a day to several weeks in writing that perfect resume for landing a high-paying VP of HR job.
Do not rely on generic templates as employers are quick to notice.
Now, it's time to write your resume and start applying to jobs. We've got your back, and are here to help you every step of the way.
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 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.