HR is responsible for the most important asset of any business – its employees. When the hiring tables are turned, with you pursuing that responsibility in a new HR job, how can your own employee assets be showcased in a persuasive human resources resume?
After all, an HR resume is not about you and your achievements. It is about how you facilitate the achievements of everyone else in the organization who are impacted.
Resume.io is a leading resource for job seekers from all occupational backgrounds, including HR professionals. We provide more than 300 job-specific resume guides and resume examples, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder.
Let us help you confidently express yourself and impress employers with an HR resume that brings your people skills to life. This resume guide, along with the corresponding human resources resume example, will cover the following topics.
- What does a human resources professional do?
- How to write a human resources resume that:
- Talks about your impact on others
- Communicates a blend of hard and soft skills
- Ensures that your resume passes the automated ATS screen
- The best format to structure your HR resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education and skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a human resources professional do?
Depending on the industry and the company size, there are multiple possible career strands for HR professionals. As they grow in experience and job scope, they will take on more challenging aspects of people management. But even junior HR professionals or human resource assistants can be involved to some extent.
In a bigger human resources department, where some roles revolve around learning and development, you may not be involved in performance management or organizational development. In a smaller company, a typical day might include recruitment, performance management, internal communications, policy development, leadership coaching, compliance work or employee training. The following are common elements of a human resources position.
- Recruitment and talent attraction are high on the priority list for many HR professionals and recruiters.
- Some are heavily involved in directing and managing organizational development initiatives, including employee development, succession planning and organizational design.
- Change management can take many forms and HR is often at the core of deciding what might work.
- Companies need to get the best out of their people, so performance management and compliance form an important part of any HR role.
- Human resources managers are central in the training and development of their people, often leading the compensation and benefits discussions to link growth with rewards.
- Human resources professionals may lead the employer branding strategy and seek to mould the company culture.
- HR is also at the bleeding edge of where technology impacts employees, ensuring that their experience is not sacrificed at the altar of the machines shaping the workplace of the future.
Want to stand out from the crowd? View similar resume examples from the Human Resources field:
How to write a human resources resume
Your human resources resume should fit on a single page and include all of these elements:
- Employment history section
- Education section
- Skills section
Before elaborating on how to write the summary, employment history, education and skills sections, one at a time, here is some general advice for ensuring your resume scores high on all counts, and is actually read in the first place.
Whether you're applying to entry-level HR or a more senior role, people are always at the heart of the matter. An HR resume should center around the specific needs of your future employer’s people. You need to understand the challenges that they face, see the business through their eyes and make your own unique contribution to their development and performance. Whether your role is mainly about recruitment, training or more administrative in nature, your success will be measured by the improvements that are made by, or encountered by, those around you.
It is a common misconception that HR is a fluffy, “nice” gig. Of course, there are always different ways to motivate people to achieve set goals, but it is far from possible to always be “nice.” Your HR resume should obviously include a good deal of soft “human” language. But at the end of the day, HR is a business function like any other. Your job is to make a difference to the bottom line, but channelled through the medium of those around you.
Even with the widest possible scope, your human resources resume should still be tightly oriented towards the human challenges that will be keeping the hiring manager up at night. Will you be the person to get the best out of this organization's people, whatever difficulties land on your desk? What examples of your experience might your HR resume include include?
Focus on the results of your work, as well as the impact on individuals. Strike a balance between the demands of your current role (depending on your employer’s business cycle status) and what the future might bring.
How can you pass the ATS test?
In human resources, no resume is the same. Nor can it be taken for granted nowadays that any human will actually read your resume. First, it must get past the automated applicant tracking systems ( ATS) software that will likely be scanning your resume for the “right” words.
Most HR professionals recognize that they cannot do their jobs without a helping hand from technology. You likely also realize that in most large organizations, the first step of the recruitment process involves ATS to screen incoming resumes submitted online. The right keywords must be found to satisfy the ATS algorithms that you are a suitable candidate. Otherwise your resume risks simply disappearing into a machine-infested black hole.
The keywords for a human resources resume will vary drastically depending on the demands of the role. Examining the employer’s career pages and looking at how job descriptions are written will give you a good insight into the organization's HR activities. For an HR professional, this is critical as window to your future role. Analyze the employer’s brand and you will better understand the context of where you might be working and how to present yourself at the interview.
The initial summary, or personal statement, is an important place for keywords and many consider it to be a make or break part of any resume. The hiring manager will spend their first few minutes reading this free-form piece of text.
Choosing the best resume format for human resources
If the human resources position you’re pursuing would be a radical departure from another occupation or industry, or your job background has not followed a linear path of employee positions, take a look at alternative resume formats. Having a consulting background of contract work, or some specialized transferable skills, might be reasons to consider a functional resume structure.
Otherwise, the most familiar, failsafe chronological resume format is ideal for structuring most human resource resumes. It provides the most straightforward overview of your career highlights in the employment history section.
Resume summary example: the right fit
As an important place for using keywords, the summary, or personal statement, could be the make-or-break part of your human resources resume. This free-form text section is designed to catch and hold the hiring manager’s attention at first glance. You want the hiring manager who reads your summary to be thinking,“This job candidate would fit in well with our people.”
In other words, this initial reaction is not about your skills or what you have achieved. The most basic box that must be ticked is whether prospective employers can imagine you working with them. Are you going to be a fit for the culture that you will play a role in nurturing if hired? Are you going to see eye to eye with the people that you are going to help develop? Have you got what it takes to motivate and inspire others? If there isn’t that sense of personal fit, you have no chance.
Although an ATS will scan your entire resume for keywords, it is the summary that a human will read first. That means you can afford to sacrifice artificial keyword considerations and sound as much like “you” as possible. Don’t think about including every skill or job accomplishment in the summary. Just give a truthful flavor of what makes you great at what you do. Imagine the recruiter standing in front of you and hearing your 30-second elevator pitch. In reality, no reader will likely even spend 30 seconds before making a snap first judgement. But if there’s any sense of a personal and cultural fit, the reader will continue to the more detailed resume employment and skills sections.
Show that your personality will fit in
The most important consideration when writing a summary remains the imperative to make a prospective employer feel like you will fit into their human resources team. If you can’t make them stop and think about how you will enhance their employer brand, how will you nudge your colleagues along the required path?
Highlight depth of industry expertise
While your experience is likely to be broad, choosing the most relevant summary highlights for your industry that reflect your understanding of this human resources role will help employers envision you fitting into their team. Just because you are focusing on specific skills does not preclude you from that you possessing many others. You simply don’t have resume space to talk about everything that you are good at.
The job description offers crucial hints
It is often the case that hiring managers will have taken considerable care in writing the job description, so it makes sense to base your main resume summary points on the core messages. Word cloud software is useful for picking up key themes from the job description text to help shape your case. Look into what future employers mention about their brand online and customize your resume so it follows in their thinking.
You can find a human resources resume example summary below.
Experienced and self-motivated Human Resources Professional with two years of industry experience administering policies and procedures in the Human Resources Department of a fast-moving technology company. Adept in implementing programs and changes that enhance company position and lead to success. Knowledgeable about employment law and effective organizational planning. Proven track record of successfully managing Human Resources efforts and serving as a crucial pillar of support for HR teams and employees.
Employment history sample: key details
Human resources professionals have a wide range of potentially resume-worthy career highlights. It is important to adequately cover them, but it’s also critical to ensure that the work experience you feature most prominently is a fit with the expectations of your future employer. Think about what sort of organization it is, and don’t fill your resume with content that won’t be of interest.
You might have completed a fantastic HR project, but if it isn’t relevant to your next employer, spare those details and elaborate on what is relevant. Convince hiring managers that you will “feel at home” working for this organization.
Your employment history should focus not only on what you have done, but what your part was in previous projects. Many people will have contributed to their success, but your future employer will want to know about your specific contribution. There is a big difference between being a spectator and being a driver of progress. Portray yourself as a driver wherever you can by switching your resume pronoun from “we” to “I.”
With the rise of technology and social media, HR is rapidly modernizing, so it is important to show how you have adopted various new techniques and methodologies. The person reading the resume may well be more traditional, but they know that they have to change and they want to bring in fresh innovative talent to help them stay relevant. This will set you apart from many other candidates. Use strong action verbs to illustrate your examples with real results, and back them up with the detail of the context.
Human resource professionals have to show that they are making profitable business decisions. If your resume is devoid of numbers or percentages, the hiring manager will wonder why. It is also important to consider how you collaborate with others. Human resources people cannot work in a vacuum.
Customize your employment history to the employer's needs. Some sample topics to think about for your resume experience: How are you influenced by others and how do you influence them? What (and who) has contributed to the decisions that you have made?
You can find a human resources employment history resume sample below.
Human Resources Professional at Millbank & Cone, Stamford, CT
November 2015 - September 2019
- Assisted in creating documentation for all new hires, and continued to build files in accordance with HR protocol.
- Created a compliance log intended for management use each month.
- Assisted in maintaining all hard copy files for the HR department.
- Developed and implemented company policies and codes that supported long-term and short-term goals.
- Assisted in updating all benefits information, while extending important knowledge pertaining to benefits to employees.
Human Resources Assistant at Millbank and Cone, Danbury, CT
December 2014 - October 2015
- Worked as a reliable and dedicated team member in the HR department, dedicated to fostering the company mission.
- Assisted with recruitment, interviews, and hiring.
- Distributed employee handbooks and answered questions and concerns.
- Reported important events and incidentsto senior HR members.
- Handled paperwork regarding maternity leave and bereavement.
Human Resources Assistant at Jones New York, New York
July 2012 - November 2014
- Assisted senior HR members with various tasks on a daily basis.
- Provided new employees with information and training.
- Organized seminars for employees involving motivation techniques and healthy lifestyle choices.
- Recorded and reported employee issues and brought them to senior HR members when necessary.
- Organized and maintained employee records.
Human resources education sample: a strong foundation
Your education and continuous learning will show that you're committed to the field of human resources even in you come from another background. Don't forget to include your college education by listing degrees in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level.
Most HR professionals will likely have an HR or business-related degree. The majority will also have been fully trained in some or all of these sample categories: employment law, compensation, organizational design, employee development, labor relations, training and safety practices. It might seem obvious to mention these topics on your human resources resume, but it would be downgrading their importance to leave them out.
Below you can see an education section from a human resources resume example.
Associate of Business Administration, Norfolk College, New Haven, CT
August 2013 - May 2017
- Graduated magna cum laude.
- Senior Writer at The Lion Publication.
CV skills example: hiring superpowers
Your human resources resume must be crystal clear about the specific mix of skills that make you perfect for this role. The list of competencies and skills for an HR professional is almost never-ending. There are so many different branches of HR and such depth to each area that you could probably write a separate resume about each job aspect. If your strengths do not correspond to the requirements of the role you’re seeking now, maybe you should be applying for something else.
Writing a resume is easy when your skills match up with the employer's expectations. Include a good mix of hard and soft skills, with a few real-life examples where possible.
You will not have the resume space to highlight each skill for every past role, so space them out in different sections, in order of importance to the job you are applying for and your most recent HR positions.
These longer-format skills examples could be integrated into your employment history section.
- Implemented an employer brand campaign to improve talent acquisition
- Redesigned and introduced a new employee recognition and benefits system
- Streamlined the business facing HR reports and increased their visibility
- Implemented a new performance management system with an external consultant
- Established an in-house recruitment function and refreshed the recruiter PSL
- Partnered with management to introduce remote working guidelines across the business
- Led an audit around compliance with employment law for new affiliates
- Designed a new organizational structure and managed the change process
Check out a resume sample for the skills section below.
- Excellent Communication Skills
- HR Policies and Regulations
- Advanced Software System Knowledge
- Event Planning
- Employment Laws
- Mediation Skills
Resume layout and design
Your human resources resume not only serves as a tool for you to land a job interview, but also shows you are familiar as an HR professional with the job application challenges that other candidates face, and know how to ace them. In other words, your own CV offers visual proof of that you know what a strong application looks like.
Anyone on the hiring side of a human resources position will expect you to making good decisions about the resume layout, design and formatting details. So make sure you go for a classic look, with clean lines and easy-to-read text interspersed with sections of bullet points and lists. The starring moments of your career should jump off the page. Although keywords are important, these highlights should read smoothly and come together as a story rather than a series of individual events.
Just because you're a human resources professional doesn't mean you're a graphic design wizard. Even the experts sometimes need a little help, which is why Resume.io's collection of resume templates are professionally designed to give you a polished and attractively stylish document every time. Our template samples come in four design categories: creative, simple, professional and modern. We recommend a professional template for most human resources resumes. Each one allows you to rearrange the sections, add or subtract ones that suit your needs and adjust the colors and fonts to create a format that is distinctly yours.
After you've perfected your resume template, check out our free cover letter templates to find one that aligns with your resume format and create a personal brand that boosts your chances of landing the job interview.
Key takeaways for a human resources resume
- If hired for this HR position, you will be representing your new employer to the people working there, so your human resources resume should speak their language.
- Summarize your elevator pitch with emotive language and impactful examples.
- Demonstrate awareness of the employer’s brand by sharing your relevant work experience.
- Communicate your mix of hard and soft skills with specific achievements in context.
- Ensure that your resume layout, design and formatting elements blend practicality with creativity.
- Share in your career highlights what, how, where, when, and why certain actions have led to the desired result.
- If your resume doesn’t show you as a successful leader, how will you lead the hiring organization's people?
We hope this human resources resume example has helped you create a CV that blows away the competition and lands you the HR position of your dreams.
If the next step is creating a compelling cover letter, we've got your back there, too. Check out our overall guide on how to write a cover letter complete with dozens of sample sentences and free templates to check out.