Nov 18 2021

5 tips to help get a job in HR

A career in the people profession offers plenty of opportunity for progression and advancement but how do you get started?

Dr Kay Maddox-Daines, Head of the School of People and Culture at Arden University, has recently published a new book offering guidance and advice for people looking to advance a career in human resources.

How to Get Ahead in HR, published by The London Publishing Partnership, is designed to help people looking to begin their HR careers, as well as those already working in the sector and looking to progress. Here, she details five helpful tips to anyone looking to land a job in HR.

Kay Maddox Daines

1. Network!

Tell everyone you know that you are looking to develop a career in HR including family, friends, colleagues, and your professional networks. Attend webinars, ask questions, make yourself known and shout out to everyone about your HR aspirations. Join HR communities and do the same, be persistent!

2. Prepare

Review job advertisements, person specifications and assess the criteria for the roles that you are interested in. Undertake a self-assessment of your current skills, knowledge and competence in relation to the roles that you aspire to. Prepare a development plan to fill any gaps you identify. Use your network to help you. Perhaps you might seek out a mentor or coach, arrange to shadow an HR professional undertaking a similar role that interests you.

3. Get professionally qualified

Even without any experience there are a number of routes to getting qualified. Having a relevant HR qualification can help you to stand out from the crowd. It provides core knowledge and will help you to develop your skills. For those with some work experience in other professionals you may be able to advance more quickly by utilising transferable skills.

4. Get some experience

Getting some experience can help to position yourself as a committed budding HR professional. As a school leaver you may explore opportunities for an apprenticeship. As an undergraduate you may be able to secure a placement year. Look out too for internships which may be available in the summer vacations. Volunteering can also provide some very useful generalist experience so do look out for roles with charities and the voluntary sector.

5. Tailor your CV and prepare for interview

When it comes to applying for roles do ensure that you highlight relevant skills, knowledge, competencies, and experience in relation to the selection criteria for the role that you are interested in. Do your research on the organisation, particularly the values, vision and mission. How does it align to your own? Kay Maddox-Daines is author of

“How to get ahead in HR” is published by London Publishing Partnership