What makes a good HR CV?
There is something a little ironic about applying for a job in HR; when you're eventually hired it may be you who is sat on the other side of the fence, assessing the CVs and deciding a candidate's future.
But for now you are the applicant and you need to make sure that your CV distinguishes you from all others applying for the same job.
The key to writing a strong CV is to show an employer that you can do what you claim you can do. Most people fall into the trap of simply listing all their skills on their CV. Lots of candidates will be able to claim these attributes, but only you can show off your experiences and achievements.
- Match made in heaven - Think of the first page of your CV as an A4 poster that offers at least half a dozen key pieces of evidence that match you to the job and the 'essential requirements' stated in the job description. Read through as many job descriptions as you can to find out exactly what it is that the employers look for in the perfect HR candidate, then show you have used these skills in a practical setting.
- Organisational skill - HR employers look for people who are good with people as well as candidates who can demonstrate good organisational skills. Think of every situation you have had during your career or work experience where you have had a positive impact on a situation. Have you helped deliver a new training schedule for new employees? Have you organised and communicated new procedures relating to holiday allocations? These are the situations where you can demonstrate the influence you can have on their business.
- Previous achievements - If the potential employers expect you to "provide advice and guidance to managers relating to grievance and disciplinary", then state in your CV that you "presented findings from grievance procedure research that improved the internal complaints procedure, reducing the time taken to resolve conflict by 80%." Wherever possible look to include facts and figures on money generated or time saved that will help employers see the value you can bring to their business.
- Problem solving skill - Even if you don't have work experience to refer to, there are always situations outside the workplace that require you to deal with people and processes. Explain what you have done to overcome challenges or improve procedures. Employers don't expect you to have all the answers, but they expect you to be in the right mindset.
Here are a few examples of what you could include in your CV:
- Past experience of negotiating and reviewing contracts with external recruitment partners, and streamlining the organisations recruitment strategy
- Experienced at designing, planning and implementing a series of training programmes in conjunction with outside providers
- Committed to continual professional development and working towards Chartered Member (MCIPD) status of the CIPD
- Facilitated the rebuilding of the organisation's HR function and brought recruitment in-house, which resulted in significant cost-savings
- Played a leading role in the organisation becoming recognised for the first time in the prestigious Times 100 Graduate Employers ranking attaining Investor in People status
- Developed a management of attendance policy which has reduced absenteeism levels in the workplace by 2% year-on-year