How to Find Your First Job in Human Resources
Human resources (HR) is a vital part of any organisation. It is responsible for managing the people who work for the company, including recruiting, hiring, training, and developing employees. Landing your first job in Human Resources can be daunting and tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in HR, there are a few key steps you can take to help you find your first job in HR.
Understand Your Motivation for Pursuing A Career In HR
It’s important to understand why you’re drawn to the field of HR. Are you interested in helping people and making sure that employees are happy and productive? Do you enjoy problem-solving and conflict resolution? Understanding your motivations can help you identify the type of HR role that would be a good fit for you.
Learn About the Different Areas which make up an HR Function
HR encompasses a wide range of functions and areas, from recruiting and hiring employees to manage employee relations and benefits. Some of the key areas of HR include but aren’t limited to:
Talent Acquisition / Recruiting and staffing: The function of finding and hiring new employees for the organisation.
Employee relations: The function of managing the relationship between employees and the organisation.
Talent management / Training and development: The function of providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their roles.
Compensation and benefits: The function of managing employee compensation and benefits, such as salary and health insurance.
Explore the Market for HR Jobs
The HR market in the UK is always shifting and developing, depending on the economic climate. Recent trends show that the job market for HR has been growing, with a steady increase in job postings in many sectors. However, it’s important to research and sees which specific sector is growing like Manufacturing, Fintech, or healthcare, it will be easier to find a job in a sector where the demand is high.
Identify the Skills That Different HR Functions Require
Different HR functions require different skills and qualifications. For example, recruiters typically need good communication and interpersonal skills, while those working in employee relations may need strong problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. It’s important to identify the skills that are required for the type of HR role that you’re interested in, so you can focus on developing those skills.
You can also start researching how to get into HR roles by mapping the skills required by companies currently hiring for their HR positions by reading job adverts and job descriptions.
Identify Your Skills and Experience
Once you have a clear understanding of the skills and experience required for the type of HR role that you’re interested in, you can start identifying the skills and experience that you already have. At this point, you can make a list of the transferable skills that you might have gained from previous jobs, volunteer work, or personal projects, it will be easier for you to highlight them in your CV, cover letter and during the job interview.
Study for Relevant HR Qualifications and Certifications to Help You Find Your First Job in Human Resources
There are a number of certifications that you can pursue to help you stand out as a candidate in the field of HR. For example, in the UK, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) offers a number of qualifications, starting at CIPD Level 3 in Human Resources, which can help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to start off an HR role. In the USA The Society for Human Resource Management has 2 main routes SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification. Getting certifications required in the HR job market will help your show your commitment to your chosen career pathway and base line HR knowledge and your CV stands out.
Human Resources Boot Camps
In today’s fast-paced business world, HR professionals are expected to be well-versed in the latest trends, technologies, and best practices to help their companies stay ahead of the competition. One way to stay up-to-date is through attending HR boot camps.
- SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) – shrm.org
SHRM is the world’s largest HR professional society, with over 300,000 members in 165 countries. They offer a range of online and in-person HR training and certification programs, including the SHRM Learning System, which covers all aspects of HR, from talent acquisition to performance management.
- HR Certification Institute (HRCI) – hrci.org
HRCI is a global leader in HR certification, offering a range of credentials for HR professionals at all levels, from entry-level to senior management. Their programs cover topics such as talent management, business strategy, and workforce planning.
- Human Capital Institute (HCI) – humancapitalinstitute.org
HCI is a global association for strategic talent management. They offer a variety of training and certification programs for HR professionals, including courses on talent acquisition, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion.
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) – ifebp.org
IFEBP is a non-profit organisation that offers education, research, and networking opportunities for HR professionals in the employee benefits industry. Their programs cover topics such as retirement planning, health care benefits, and financial wellness.
- Cornell University – eCornell – ecornell.com
Cornell University’s eCornell program offers online courses in HR management, including topics such as employee engagement, talent acquisition, and workplace diversity. Their courses are developed and taught by Cornell faculty, and are designed for busy professionals.
- Wharton School – Executive Education – executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu
The Wharton School’s Executive Education program offers a variety of HR courses for executives and senior HR professionals. Their programs cover topics such as leadership development, talent management, and strategic HR planning.
- Institute for Human Resources – ihrim.org
The Institute for Human Resources (IHRIM) is a professional association for HR technology professionals. They offer training and certification programs in HR technology and information management, covering topics such as HR analytics, data privacy, and workforce planning.
In conclusion, attending an HR boot camp can be an excellent way for HR professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in their field. With the above-mentioned top 7 HR boot camps globally, professionals can choose the program that best suits their needs and interests. By investing in their professional development, HR professionals can help their organisations succeed in today’s rapidly changing business environment.
Consider Participating in an Internship
Participating in an internship program can provide valuable on-the-job experience in an HR role and help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field. Additionally, internships can also help you to network with professionals and make important connections in the field, which can help you land a full-time job after the program is over.
Finding an internship can be a great way to gain practical experience, build your network, and boost your CV. Here are some tips on how to find an HR internship in the UK, along with some useful websites to check out.
- Start early Internships are competitive, so it’s important to start your search early. Many companies begin recruiting interns several months before the start date, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to research, apply and secure an internship.
- Update your resume and cover letter Before you start applying, make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date and tailored to the HR industry. Highlight any relevant coursework, skills or experience you have, and emphasise your interest in pursuing a career in HR.
- Use job boards and career websites There are many job boards and career websites that list HR internships in the UK. Some popular options include:
- Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Job/uk-human-resources-intern-jobs-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN2_KO3,24.htm
- Totaljobs: https://www.totaljobs.com/jobs/internship/hr/in-united-kingdom
- Gradcracker: https://www.gradcracker.com/search/human-resources-internship-jobs-in-uk
- Check out company websites Many companies advertise their internships on their own websites, so it’s worth checking out the careers page of HR departments at companies you’re interested in. You can also try reaching out to HR professionals on LinkedIn to ask about internship opportunities.
- Attend career fairs and networking events Career fairs and networking events are great opportunities to meet HR professionals, learn more about the industry and potential employers, and make connections. Check out events hosted by universities, industry associations, and professional organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
By starting your search early, updating your resume and cover letter, using job boards and career websites, checking out company websites, and attending career fairs and networking events, you’ll increase your chances of finding the right opportunity.
Benefits of Volunteering in HR Roles
Are you looking for a job in human resources (HR) in the UK, but struggling to find the right opportunities? Consider volunteering in HR roles! Volunteering can provide you with valuable experience, skills, and connections that can help you stand out to potential employers.
Volunteering in HR roles can provide you with hands-on experience in a variety of areas, including recruitment, employee relations, performance management, and training and development. This experience can help you build your skills and knowledge, as well as demonstrate your commitment to the field.
Volunteering can help you develop a range of skills that are highly valued in HR, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and attention to detail. These skills can be transferable to other roles and industries, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
Volunteering in HR roles can help you build your professional network and make connections with people in the industry. These connections can provide you with valuable insights into the industry, as well as potential job opportunities in the future.
Enhance Your CV
Volunteering in HR roles can help you enhance your CV and stand out to potential employers. By demonstrating your commitment to the field and your willingness to gain experience and skills, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for HR roles.
Top 3 Volunteering Websites To Help You Get Started
- Do-It: Is a database of volunteering opportunities across the UK, including in HR. You can search for opportunities based on your location, interests, and availability.
- CharityJob: This website is a job board for the charity and non-profit sector, including HR volunteering opportunities. You can search for opportunities based on your location and interests.
- Reach Volunteering: Is a database of volunteering opportunities for skilled professionals, including in HR. You can search for opportunities based on your skills and interests, its is a great starting place to look for in person and remote volunteering opportunities.
Volunteering in HR roles can provide you with valuable experience, skills, and connections that can help you stand out to potential employers. By taking advantage of volunteering opportunities and building your skills and knowledge in HR, it is a great option to get experience when your current job has no HR content.
Network and Build Your Professional Brand
Networking is a key aspect of building a career in any field, and HR is no exception. Building relationships with professionals in the field can help you learn about new job opportunities and gain valuable advice and feedback.
Join Professional Organisations
Joining a professional organisation in human resources can be an excellent way to connect with professionals in your field. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is one such organisation in the UK. It offers various benefits, such as access to industry events, training, and resources. In the USA organisations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offer networking events, job boards, and other resources that can help you connect with potential employers and learn more about the HR profession.
Additionally, becoming a member of a professional organisation can demonstrate your commitment to your career, which can be a positive signal to potential employers.
Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events can help you to connect with other human resources professionals in your area. Look for events hosted by professional organisations, industry associations, and local business groups. You can also check online platforms such as Meetup or Eventbrite for upcoming events in your area.
When attending networking events, be sure to have prepared an elevator pitch that explains who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for in your career.
Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for professionals in any industry. Create a complete profile that showcases your skills, experiences, and achievements. Connect with other human resources professionals and join relevant groups to expand your network. Be sure to personalise your connection requests, and consider sending follow-up messages to. You can find related LinkedIn training here.
The Benefits of Mentoring to Help you Find your First Job in HR
Mentoring is a powerful tool that can help individuals achieve their career goals. For those looking for a job in Human Resources (HR), mentoring can be particularly useful.
Firstly, it’s important to understand what a mentor is and how they can help you in your job search. A mentor is someone who has more experience in a particular field and is willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you. In the case of finding your first job in HR, a mentor can help you navigate the job market, identify opportunities, and develop the skills and experience needed to be successful.
Here are some ways that a HR mentor can help you in your job search:
- Provide guidance and advice: A HR mentor can offer guidance and advice on how to write a CV, prepare for an interview, and negotiate a job offer.
- Share their experience: A HR mentor can share their experience of working in HR, including the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them.
- Help you develop your skills: A HR mentor can help you identify the skills you need to develop to be successful in HR and provide guidance on how to develop those skills.
- Make introductions: A HR mentor can introduce you to other HR professionals and potential employers, which can help you expand your network and increase your chances of finding a job.
Now that we have established how a HR mentor can help you find a job, let’s look at some websites where you can find a HR mentor.
- CIPD Mentoring: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) offers a mentoring service to its members. As a CIPD member, you can apply to be mentored or to become a mentor.
- HR Society Mentoring: The HR Society is a professional association for HR professionals in the UK. They offer a mentoring service to their members, which includes both formal and informal mentoring relationships.
- MentorsMe: MentorsMe is a government-backed mentoring service that connects small business owners with experienced mentors. While this service is not specific to HR, it can still be a useful resource for those looking for a mentor.
Finding a HR mentor can be a valuable step in your job search. A HR mentor can provide guidance and support, help you develop your skills, and introduce you to potential employers.
Update Your CV and Cover Letter to help you Find Your First Job in Human Resources
Once you have identified your skills and experience and obtained any relevant certifications, you’ll need to update your CV and cover letter to reflect this. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, clearly highlighting your skills, experience, and qualifications. Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific HR role that you’re applying for, highlighting how your skills and experience make you a great fit for the role.
1.Research the company and the job
Before you start updating your CV and cover letter, it’s important to research the company and the job you’re applying for. Look at the company’s website and social media profiles to get a sense of their culture and values. Also, read the job description carefully to understand the skills and qualifications required for the position.
Tailor your CV to the job
Your CV is your opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and qualifications. Make sure that your CV is tailored to the job you’re applying for. Highlight your relevant skills and experience, and use keywords from the job description to make it clear that you have the skills the employer is looking for.
Include your education and qualifications
In Human Resources, having relevant education and qualifications is important. Make sure to include your education and any relevant certifications on your CV. This can help show that you have the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the role.
Highlight your relevant experience
If you have any experience working in Human Resources, highlight it on your CV. This can include internships, volunteer work, or any other relevant experience. If you don’t have any direct experience in Human Resources, focus on transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.
Write a targeted cover letter
Your cover letter should be targeted to the specific job you’re applying for. Use the job description to highlight your relevant skills and experience, and explain why you’re a good fit for the role. Make sure to also explain why you’re interested in working for the company and what you can bring to the team.
Before submitting your CV and cover letter, make sure to proofread them carefully. Typos and errors can make a bad first impression, so take the time to ensure that everything is perfect.
Practice Your Interviewing Skills to help you Find Your First Job in Human Resources
Practicing your interviewing skills can help you feel more confident and prepared when you have to interview for an HR role. This can involve researching common interview questions for HR roles, preparing answers ahead of time, and even practicing with a friend or mentor. It’s also highly recommended to take an interview training that can help you preparing the upcoming interview for your HR job.
In conclusion, getting your first job in human resources can be challenging but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. By understanding your motivation for pursuing a career in HR, learning about the different areas and functions that it encompasses, identifying your skills and experience, and obtaining relevant certifications, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for an HR role.
Additionally, building a professional network, practicing your interviewing skills and participating in internships or apprenticeship programs can be valuable steps to take on your journey to landing your first HR job.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
At Total Career Solutions, we offer the expert, knowledge, experience, and insights and help you change career and find a new career path may be as a Human Resources professional. Book a free 15-minute consultation with our professional career consultants to learn more.