Welcome to the world of HR!
Looking for your first or second job out of school or a new job in a new professional field is exciting, but also a bit scary. You want to present yourself in the best light, but you haven’t worked in human resources before. That’s quite alright! You have more to offer than you realize and Resume.io is here to help.
Hiring managers understand that you have to start somewhere, so while you may not have extensive work experience, you do have relevant skills and work-related qualities to highlight.
Within this resume sample guide, our live resume examples and our online resume builder, you will find all the tools and tips you need to:
- Create a profile that attracts recruiters and hiring managers
- Make the most of your attributes
- Highlight your transferable skills
- Analyze job descriptions to personalize your resume
- Give an amazing first visual impression.
Let’s get you on your way to your dream job in human resources!
With 300+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides, Resume.io is a powerful resource for job seekers in all fields and at all stages of their careers – even entry-level!
What does an entry-level HR professional do?
In your first human resources job, you will be learning the ins and outs of the department. You will probably start with the fun job of telling other people that they got the job! Of course, the flip side of that is notifying other candidates that they did not. Other responsibilities include:
- Prescreening applicants
- Processing new hires
- Coordinating orientation for those hires
- Updating computer files and personnel records.
- Keeping records for compensation and benefits packages.
All these tasks depend on the size of the company and the size of the HR department itself.
Looking for more insights into related HR roles, check our other Human Resource resume examples here below.
How to write an entry level HR resume
As someone looking to work in HR, you should know what HR departments want and stick with it. Use the standard and develop the following components for your CV:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
What does the job market look like?
Overall, the market for HR specialists will grow about 10% over the next decade. That’s in line with most other professions. Openings will depend mostly on attrition as current workers retire or exit the field to pursue other career options, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says. At the entry level (those with one year or less of experience), HR professionals can expect to earn from $45,00 to $48,000, according to Salary.com
Let’s get you on your way to your dream job in human resources!
Choosing the best resume format
Again, as an HR professional you need to show other HR pros that you know what they want. The reverse chronological order resume format is most popular with recruiters. You will soon find out that this format makes it simple for you to see what candidates have done recently. It is also favored by the ATS, so if you are applying online you will have less reorganizing to do once your resume has been scanned.
As an entry level job-seeker, you may consider the other resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
Target the Applicant Tracking System
If you’re aiming for an HR job, you need to know all about Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS. These are software programs that scan, sort and assess resumes. When you get your job, you likely will be relying on these to eliminate some resumes before you begin your prescreening of candidates.
There’s no guaranteed method of leaping this hurdle, but there are ways to improve your chances. This is where research will help you. If you apply online, you will be able to see which ATS the company uses. Try to gain some insight into it. Then, review the listing. Organically incorporate as many of the same nouns, verbs and modifiers in your resume text as possible.
Resume summary example: be convincing
The number one idea to remember is that when you get your first job, probably as a human resources assistant, you may be looking at other job applicants’ resumes. Therefore, it’s important that you show HR managers right away that you know what a great resume looks like by creating one of your own. The summary is the place to do that.
Since you don’t have much experience in the field, your summary must be convincing. HR managers understand that as an entry-level human resources employee, you won’t have much experience, but you must show you have the skills necessary to begin your career in HR. Sometimes, HR is called the “people” department because you are the face of the company for workers.
We say that so you understand how important it is to be an excellent communicator and to convey that throughout your resume. Your profile, also known as a summary (or personal statement), gives you a chance to be a little creative as you highlight your professional personality and skills. This section should be about 100-200 words, but since your employment history section is likely to be short, you will have the room to expand to the 200-word maximum limit.
You will find an entry-level HR resume example summary below.
Motivated human resources professional with a drive for serving as a dedicated support specialist and energetic team member. Adept in assisting with the recruitment of employees, as well as the management of existing employees. Experienced in managing employee and community outreach programs, and dedicated to working towards the mission of a company.
Employment history sample: transferable skills
As your career progresses, your employment history section (also known as the work experience section) will make up the bulk of your resume. An entry-level resume may organize sections in a different order, so consider moving it below your skills or education section if you have a stellar academic background or many human resource courses.
If you have work experience in human resources or a related field, list those jobs here. Even if you have worked a clerical job, you have transferable skills. Use each bullet point in your job description to highlight a different skill you will use in an HR position. If you are applying to be an HR generalist or an HR assistant, you probably have relevant skills that recruiters and hiring managers will be looking for. Likewise, if you have greeted or been responsible for acclimating new employees to your workplace or led any training programs, those skills are valuable in an HR department.
Use strong action verbs to describe any work you have done in human resources, a problem you solved and its result, or a process you improved. This is often referred to as the STAR method (Situation, Task, your Action, positive Result). Remember that your cover letter complements your resume, so you can add more information there as well.
You will find an entry-level HR employment history resume sample below.
- Led the recruitment process with organization and passion.
- Informed employees on benefits, and managed safety and wellness programs.
- Brainstormed and initiated programs that impacted the company in positive ways.
- Handled employee complaints, concerns, and personal matters with confidentiality and professionalism.
- Aimed to create a motivational company culture where employees remained happy and satisfied.
CV skills example: make it count
Your CV skills section may be your most important real estate! Why do we say that? Because you don’t have a depth of experience to draw on, but you do have skills you can highlight. Consider all the abilities necessary to be a great HR assistant: organization, communication, computer skills, knowledge of employment laws and regulations, attention to detail, understanding of safety requirements, presentation skills, project management, event planning, etc. Remember that you have soft skills, or people skills, that you have been using throughout your life and that can be listed on this part of your CV
Make a list of all the skills you’ve used in your academic career and your previous jobs. Then, analyze each job listing and craft your skills section to match the abilities your prospective employer seeks.
You will find a skills resume sample below.
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Office Technology Systems
- Strategic Planning
Entry-level HR resume education example
Your education plays a bigger role in your career when you are just starting out especially if you have a degree in human resource management or business administration. To rise to human resources manager, you may need a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree will get your career started.
If you have a great GPA and have just graduated, consider adding that information; otherwise, leave it out. Any coursework you completed outside of school, including any retraining courses if you are a career-changer or any certifications you have earned, can also be listed here.
If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor's, you may leave out your high school diploma.
See resume example for an education section below.
- 2012-2014 Molloy College, Associate of Public Relations New York
- 2008-2012 Dover High School, High School Diploma Dover, Delaware
Resume layout and design: lasting impression
First impressions are lasting, so spend some time making your resume look great, too! Our resume templates are field-tested and designed by experts, so they are an excellent resource.
Remember that recruiters and hiring managers are busy and want to be able to find relevant information quickly. Make sure your contact information and previous job titles stand out. You may personalize the layouts, but keep these rules of thumb in mind:
- Leave enough white space to avoid a cramped look
- Use simple, legible fonts
- A little bit of color goes a long way
- Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Key takeaways for an entry-level HR resume
- You want to be an HR professional, so your resume is a great way to show you know what makes a great candidate.
- You have more attributes than you realize and your skills section can make a big difference.
- Check out our entry-level HR resume sample for more ideas on creating a great layout.