How to Write a Winning Human Resources Resume
By Guest Contributor
Many companies and organizations are expanding, meaning they’ll require the unique skill set of a well-educated and highly competent human resources representative. This fact, and your love of people, spurred you on to earning a master’s degree in human resources. The interview is lined up and you have your favorite suit pressed, but you aren’t sure how to write a resume that will highlight your accomplishments and educational background while making you stand out from the crowd? When it comes to writing a winning human resource resume, it’s all about being specific and knowing what kind of employee the company wants to hire.
Do Your Research
Before compiling your references or giving a second thought to your cover letter; research the company and the job description. Go over every aspect of the organization or company’s philosophy and keep them in mind while writing your first draft. For instance, if the company is well-established with a reputation for being no-nonsense and extremely professional, reflect similar attributes. A smaller, non-profit might be interested in past volunteer work instead of your affiliation with certain professional organizations.
Find a Great Template
Once again, you want your resume to stand out from the stack of similar white sheets of paper on a HR representative’s desk, but you also want it to appear well planned and professional. Many overlook the importance of a great resume template, so don’t hesitate to choose one that highlights your strengths. For instance, a straight chronological resume is great if your past work experience is vast. If you’d rather highlight your skills, a functional resume is the better option. This format allows you to draw attention to what you learned from your relevant previous job experiences rather than simply listing off the vast number of non-related positions you’ve held in the past.
Keep it Professional
Many individuals make the mistake of including too much personal information in their resume. There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as past volunteer work, but for the most part it’s important to keep it simple by only listing your educational history, past jobs and any certifications or training you possess.
Your first draft is filled with terms and phrases that are relevant to the human resources field. From “conflict management” to “general administration;” you’ve covered every attribute of a successful human resources employee. When it comes to creating a successful and noticeable human resources resume, it’s all about relevance and specifics. Let the HR representative know that you have past experience in hiring and firing or that in your last job you helped create human resources-specific software. Don’t be ashamed to highlight your past successes; just make sure you keep it pertinent to the human resources field.
Check, Double Check and Triple Check Everything
As with most aspects of life, your computer’s spellchecker is fallible. Before printing off your final draft, go over every word and sentence of your resume with a fine-toothed comb. The most obvious issues are spelling errors, but don’t forget to look for other common grammatical issues, as well. Read the resume out loud a few times to make sure it reads well and makes sense. Finally, check one last time that you’ve remembered to include your name, address and telephone number on the resume. Your credentials might be impressive, but there isn’t an HR representative in the world that will hunt you down if you forget to include your telephone number.
Get a Second Opinion
Print out a copy of your resume and hand it over to a past employer, colleague or knowledgeable friend and ask for a second opinion Take all of the criticism into consideration and don’t hesitate to use their suggestions to make your resume better. It’s equally important to also follow your instincts and only take to heart any suggestions you truly feel will improve your chances of landing the job.
It’s never a bad idea to include any additional degrees, certifications and training you possess, just once again make sure they’re relevant. For instance, your certification in CPR might not impress anyone, but that masters in project management will definitely pique a HR representative’s interest.
Stewart Jacobson is a contributing blogger and full-time student for his masters degree in human resources. When Stewart isn’t studying or writing, he can be found working part-time as a project manager for a small construction company.