In every profession, your CV is one of the best ways to showcase your skills and expertise in one document. Human Resources is an extremely varied field, making it a popular career choice which can earn you up to £60,000 per year in higher roles. But, in order to land yourself one of these roles, you’ll need a stellar HR CV to stand out from the rest of the candidates. Here’s what you’ll need to include.
What to include in your HR CV
Regardless of the HR role you’re applying for, you’ll need to include some key information to show employers your skills, experience and a bit about you. Remember, employers may need to look through hundreds of applications for any one role, so try and keep your CV as concise and clear as possible – two pages should suffice.
It goes without saying that this should be at the top of any CV, not just one for Human Resources. Here you’ll need to include your full name and contact information including your email address, contact number(s) and your home address. Some people also choose to include information about their social media channels, like their LinkedIn profiles.
Keep this part brief – a few lines are enough – and use this section to summarise your CV, highlighting your main achievements. If this part makes the employer want to read on, you’ve done your job properly.
Education & qualifications
This section can include relevant HR qualifications and academic qualifications. Having extra relevant qualifications is useful to help you beat the competition. List qualifications starting with the most recent and work backwards. For HR qualifications, include the examining body (for example, CIPD), the start date, the date of completion and the exams you passed.
For education, ensure to include any degrees you have, stating the University name, the dates of your course duration, your subject title and the grade obtained. College qualifications are less important but still worth including with the same details. It’s not compulsory to include GCSEs, and if you’re trying to save on space, we would recommend leaving this out.
However, if you really want to include them you can simply say ’11 GCSEs grades A-C’ rather than listing every subject.
Skills profile & further training
Here you can showcase what skills you have that are directly transferable to the job you’re applying for. Use bullet points for quick reference and try to include skills specific to the job role whether that’s administration, resource planning, talent acquisition or management.
If you’re just starting out and don’t feel you have any technical or advanced skills in this field, shout about your soft skills instead. Human Resource candidates must be organised, personable, hard-working and able to use their initiative in tricky situations. These are all skills you can include; even if they don’t sound that impressive to you, they will to an employer.
This is also the section in which you can mention any other training you’ve had. First aid courses are a fantastic edition, as well as any other online or relevant courses you may have completed.
Include the most recent and most relevant roles starting with the most recent first. For each role, include the following:
- Company name and description
- Your job title and length of time you worked there with dates
- Brief list of responsibilities (this can be in bullet points)
- Achievements or areas you excelled. If you can quantify this, do! E.g. ‘A change I implemented and managed resulted in X% improvement in Y’.
A great trick to remember when trying to explain your previous roles and responsibilities is to use keywords from the job description when explaining your skills and experience. For example, if the job description states one of the requirements as:
‘Supporting the HR System upgrade project including attending project calls, reviewing data, and developing test scripts and supporting the testing process’.
You can say things like ‘regularly attended project calls with colleagues’ and ‘responsible for reviewing data’ in your work experience section. Notice how we’ve used the same verbs ‘attending’ and ‘reviewing’, instantly showing employers that your experience is directly transferable.
Hobbies & interests (optional)
If you don’t have enough space to include this, don’t worry. This section is really just about showing an employer what you’re interested in and how you like to spend your spare time.
However, if you do want to inject some more of your personality into your HR CV, try and relate your hobbies to the role you’re applying for. This doesn’t have to be obvious but highlighting transferable skills can be beneficial. If leadership or management is one of your main responsibilities, talk about your time spent as a choirmaster. If you want to demonstrate your ability to debate and negotiate, talk about your active role in your local book club.
Extra tips for your HR CV
Now that you know which sections you need to include, we’ve got some advice on best practices for the CV overall.
- Treat your first page like a poster that says, ‘pick me!’. You should try and include enough on this first page so that prospective employers can get a good enough picture of your skills, background and experience to see whether they want to read on in detail
- Update it regularly. Any new skills, certificates or responsibilities should be added accordingly. If you do this when you acquire them, it won’t feel like such a big task when you come to applying
- Adapt your CV for different verticals. Not all HR jobs are the same and some will require very specific skills while some will be broader. Always include the most relevant information for each specific job
- Account for any career gaps and don’t lie. If you come to an interview, employers may want to talk through your experience with you – you won’t be able to answer well if you’ve made it up!
- Keep it clear, concise and informative. You don’t need flowery fonts or paragraphs as employers don’t have time to read lots of information
HR CV templates
Once you’ve got all these details down in a document, you might want a nice template to make them look presentable. There are lots of great templates online that can be used for free. Job sites like Reed and LiveCareer have template examples and useful information. If you’re feeling creative, design your own using a free template from Canva.
We hope this helps you find your dream job in Human Resources. If you’re looking to gain further qualifications in HR, take a look at our CIPD HR courses today.