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How to get a job in HR (with or without experience)

If you love working with people and you’re a great problem solver, a career in HR or L&D could be right for you. But if you’re not sure where to start on the road to a fulfilling role in the people profession, we can help. Whether you have experience or not, read on for more info on how to get a job in HR.

Why work in human resources?

First up, it’s important to understand why you might want to work in HR. Because an HR career focuses on the employees within a company, on important things like their wellbeing, fulfilment, and success, you can make a real impact.

As well as helping people, a career in HR can offer stability. Almost every organisation in the world needs a team dedicated to managing their people, so you can have your pick of industries.

You’ll also learn how to hone your problem-solving skills, becoming an expert at navigating complex professional and personal situations. You’ll quickly learn how to create a positive work environment, and no two days will be the same.

There are a variety of HR roles you can look for, depending on your experience and qualifications. From an assistant to a director, there are lots of levels to join an HR team at, all with varying salaries. Once you’ve figured out which level is right for you, you can start investigating the path to it.

How to get into HR

From starting at the beginning and working towards a foundation CIPD qualification to upskilling after years of experience, you can start your HR career in a few ways.

Particularly if you’re lacking in specific HR experience, gaining an industry-recognised qualification will give you a huge boost. CIPD is the industry standard in HR and L&D, and qualifications from the CIPD are a prerequisite for a career in the people profession.

If you decide to work towards a CIPD qualification with Avado, you’ll have flexible access to our virtual campus. That means you can make your way through the programme at your own pace and keep working while you do.

How to get a job in HR

Get a CIPD qualification

If you do have experience in HR, there are two CIPD courses you can take to progress – either a Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management, or a Level 5 Associate Diploma in Learning and Development. Depending on whether you’d like to focus more on HR or L&D, you can choose which Diploma is right for you.

For more information on the HR and L&D programmes Avado offers, read our helpful guide to the three CIPD qualifications available.

Build relationships

Since HR is all about people, HR professionals tend to really value networking. So, if you are trying to break into the field, get ready to network as much as you can. That means reaching out to any contacts you have who could help you, attending industry events and requesting more casual meetings with people who have taken similar paths to you.

Focus on your transferable skills

Again, because HR is all about people, working in any role that’s anything but solitary will give you some transferable skills. If you’re a great collaborator, highlight that when you’re applying for jobs. If you’ve worked through particularly challenging interpersonal situations, talk about that, too.

Tailor your CV for an HR job

Tailoring your CV to a role is always a good idea, and that’s especially true for HR and L&D applications. When you take the time to analyse your experience and highlight the relevant parts, it shows that you’re genuinely interested in the role, and you understand the role, too. As well, don’t forget to write a great personal statement, too, that clearly demonstrates your ambition to progress in the field.

How to get a job in HR with no experience?

Find an HR internship

HR internships and apprenticeships are a great way to get started in the field. If you’re interested in a particular company, reach out to their HR department and find out what positions they have available. As well, at Avado, we offer three different CIPD apprenticeships. Learn more about them and find out which one might be right for you.

Transition into an HR role

You might be able to gain some HR experience within your current role. Take to your manager about taking on new responsibilities like managing direct reports. Or, ask to shadow someone in your company who works in the HR department. Also, stay on top of your internal job boards and reach out when lower-level HR jobs are posted.

Get qualified

There is a CIPD qualification for you if you have minimal or no experience in HR or L&D. It’s the Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice, and when you complete it, you’ll have all the skills you need to jumpstart your career. This would be a great step to take after completing a CIPD apprenticeship.

Once you’re qualified, it’ll be time to start applying for jobs, and then interviewing for them, too. We have another guide to help you prepare, nail your interviews, and land the perfect role in HR or L&D for you. Good luck!

About Avado

At Avado, we believe in unlocking potential and changing lives. Learning with us makes real, lasting change happen for individuals, and entire organisations. Through our connected learning experiences in Data, Marketing, People, and Agility, we can help you drive real change.

Going beyond just technical skills, our award-winning programmes help teams find success in an ever-evolving world. With a strong emphasis on the behavioural and mindset shifts needed to embed new capabilities, we’ll work together to develop leaders, teams and individuals through interactive learning experiences.

Tara MacInnis

Posted September 1, 2021