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How to Get a Job in Human Resources With Little Experience


By University Alliance
Breaking Into HR With No Experience

For today's hungry professionals, a transition to another type of job may sometimes appear to be the right move to boost work-life morale and introduce a fresh start to a monotonous professional routine. While changing jobs or departments within a company may produce challenges, professionals who anticipate and carefully plan the move can mitigate negative factors while cultivating positive and rewarding ones in the process. Students and career changers looking to break into human resources can consider the following strategies while developing their career plan.

Getting into HR with little or no experience: Volunteering tips

Volunteering can be a great way to break into the field of HR. Contributing to a local community or non-profit organization can be personally rewarding and can build skills which professionals can leverage later to their professional advantage. The opportunities available through volunteering can offer professionals a chance to learn about positions in organizations related to a specific career field and allow them to begin building any beneficial related skills.

Taking time to figure out which skills to initially build upon in the volunteer position may help narrow down the choices when choosing a place to volunteer, or when using sites like Volunteer Match and Idea List to find a good match. With a little planning and goal-setting beforehand, volunteering can help open new doors and build valuable career skills.

Check out our Human Resources Career Guide Here

Getting into HR while pursuing a degree: Internship tips

For students or career changers working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree, internships can be a valuable résumé-building experience. Many colleges and universities have a career office that can help match candidates with potential internship opportunities. Because internships have the potential to turn into actual job offers it is important to do research into which companies and organizations match a professional’s career goals and other aspirations before applying.

Transitioning into HR in the same company: Transition tips

Transitioning from one area of a company to another may be complicated, making a thoughtful strategy and timeline essential. Some companies have an infrastructure designed to help employees move from position to position within the company, so it is important to find out if your company offers this before acting. For instance, some companies offer internal internships that allow interested employees to try out a different position before making a permanent shift. Sometimes things are better on the other side of the corporate division, but sometimes it isn’t what the employee envisioned. An internal internship can help clarify goals and expectations. Other considerations include:

  • Communicate – Have an investigative conversation with a present manager and/or current HR representative. Voicing your long-term career development aspirations within the company will make them aware that you are seeking additional skills and experiences; there may be needs internally that would be a perfect match for interested employees.
  • Pursue formal professional development – Online courses are an efficient way to help build new skills and transition to other positions over time. It also allows an employer to know that the desire for a career shift is genuine.
  • Becoming active in a professional organization – Local chapters of professional organizations often offer networking events and mentoring opportunities that professionals can use to help transition to new jobs. The National Human Resources Association maintains a list of upcoming national meetings, such as leadership workshops and tactical career strategies.

Transferring skills from another field to HR: Education and Credentialing

For professionals who lack any formal training in HR, meeting with a career development mentor may help. College career offices often have experiences for alumni networking. In addition, associations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) offer local and national events for career development and job skills. Through these events, mentoring relationships may present themselves. 

Creating a new résumé can help identify areas where coursework may help build the skills that can translate into HR-ready assets. In addition to finding these courses, the process of seeking specific credentials related to a specialty area can show a potential employer that a candidate is goal-driven and serious about succeeding in the new area. 

Other considerations when pursuing a job in HR

HR professionals oversee details that can help make a company more successful. From identifying talent, to building meaningful professional development programs and managing benefits packages, HR professionals provide corporate vitality to an organization. Having sound industry knowledge is clearly important, but so is exhibiting the soft skills needed to excel in the diverse roles an HR professional plays when working with employees at all levels. A job in HR encompasses a wide range of interpersonal skills which can be highlighted to strengthen a résumé and leverage a competitive edge. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for HR managers is growing, with an expected 11,000 new professionals needed to fill jobs by 2024. In an evolving global marketplace, successfully obtaining, developing and holding onto top talent is more important than ever before. Opportunities in the field of HR are available for those that develop the skills and talents needed to help corporate leaders develop a workforce that will keep companies growing throughout the coming decades.

Category: Human Resources