Want to find a Human Resource job? You can take action to position yourself for an HR job. These ten tips will prepare you to snag the job of your dreams. Be ready when the right job opportunity comes along. Here are my thoughts about how you can pursue an HR job.
- Your easiest route into an HR job is through your current employer, so talk with your boss and the HR department to express your wishes. Take and follow any advice they offer about what you need to do to prepare for a job opening. You need to speak up loudly and clearly, although never obnoxiously, to keep your current employer informed of your career path goal. Your forays into HR can succeed. You just need to stay on their radar.
- Look for an opportunity to take on additional tasks in your current job that take you in the direction of a job in HR. Many people in accounting started in HR by doing payroll, for example. Maybe there are ways in which your current department and the HR department can share you.
One young person I know started out as a departmental liaison to HR. Another started by running her department's United Way campaign. Another started in reception and gradually assumed more and more HR tasks starting with applicant greeting, helping with job applications, and scheduling interviews. Think creatively.
- Some HR professionals will tell you that they targeted the field of HR and took some classes or earned the PHR to prepare to enter the field. Other professionals will tell you that networking and experience are key. Save the certifications until later when you take an HR job.
- Why not interview some successful HR managers in your community to seek out their advice about getting into the field of HR where you live? They can share ideas about how to obtain experience and how to develop credentials that qualify you for a job in HR. Many HR people are willing to participate in these informational interviews. The interviews are also a way to get your name known, as interested in HR, out into your community. When you seek out an HR professional, you compliment his or her knowledge and credibility, too. Thus, the HR professional receives something in return when you target an HR job.
- Belong to and attend any associations or professional groups in your community that attract HR professionals. The networking will stand you in good stead when you are ready to find your dream job. Network also in regional business associations and in online social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and the many Human Resources communities that exist at locations such as job boards, SHRM, and Workforce magazine.
- Review your prior employment, education, and experiences. Tailor your resume and cover letters to highlight the components that qualify you for a career in HR management. You need to develop a resume that focuses in on your HR-related experience in any position and highlight it for an employer. An employer won't take the time to read between the lines to find your qualifications for their job. You have to highlight your HR qualifications for them - even more, for your current employer, who may only think of you in connection with your current job.
- You will want to read through all of the HR job transition stories that my readers have shared over the years, if you haven't already. Scroll down, because four sections of this document give you more transition stories. The reader stories are sure to provide ideas and examples of how other professionals transitioned to careers in HR.
- You could consider taking a brief leave from your current job to do an HR internship. Many employers offer unpaid leave so ask before assuming that leave is not an option.
- If you have no college or graduate degree in HR or business, consider that these credentials are becoming more important. A background in HR coursework or a degree might make you more employable in an HR job.
- If you are currently searching for a job in HR, these Human Resource job search tips will help you in your search.
HR professionals, your thoughts are welcome for these readers who write to me with questions about an HR job or career. Share the brain trust of the people who read this site. You are a spectacular resource.
Stories About Transitioning to Human Resource Management
Read more stories about people who transitioned into Human Resource management.