6 sections recruiters and hiring managers look for in a human resources (HR) resume
1. A solid header and bio
This may seem obvious, but you’d me amazed how many HR resumes get this wrong. You need to have a professional email address (the one you got when you were 14 probably won’t cut it), and some short headline that describes you and possibly your mission. Done poorly, this section can turn a recruiter off right away. Done well, it starts your HR resume off on the right foot.
2. A strengths section
A resume should show what you’re good at (as well as where you’re looking to improve). Nobody is perfect and trying to list too many strengths without showing why you exhibit them won’t be impactful. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in your strengths section, but somewhere on your resume it should be clear that you really are proactive or good at coaching.
3. An experience section
Obviously this is the core of any HR resume. The question is, how to structure it and include the most effective content. To start, a reverse chronological format (starting with your most recent experience) is generally ideal for HR professionals. From there, make sure the bullets describing your work experience are specific and focus on your impact. Then, make sure you only include relevant experience as a three page resume full of every side-job you’ve had since you were 15 isn’t ideal for anyone.
4. The technology you’re familiar with
While this may not have been the case one or two decades ago, technology is at the core of what HRs do today. That’s why you need to make it clear what tech you’re comfortable with using. Pay particular attention to any tech that has been mentioned in the job offer and make sure you list it if you’re familiar with it.
5. What you’re most proud of
This is one of the best places to really stand out for an HR resume. Beyond showing your personality, here you can list accomplishments that demonstrate strengths beyond what’s in your experience section. For example, you can demonstrate tenacity by mentioning learning a skill that took you many years. You can show that you’re empathetic by mentioning volunteer work or something similar. So get creative and show who you are!
6. Your education and certifications
Again, start this section by looking to the job description. What kind of education or certifications are they looking for? If you have a general HR background, it makes sense to mention it, but you can also show other education and relate it to HR. For example, use bullets to discuss HR related activities you engaged in at your schools.
How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the Human Resources (HR) role you want
There are few things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired more than getting referred to a position. Referred employees are hired 60% of the time compared to the 2% of regular applicants who typically get interviewed. That’s why it really makes sense to do whatever you can do leverage your personal network to get a referral.
Even if you don’t think you know anyone in the place you’d like to work for, your 2nd degree contacts just might. So start with LinkedIn or Facebook and try attending events and meetups to establish a better network. Even if you might not be able to develop one in time for this next job, those networks will be invaluable in the future.
Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.