How to create a stand-out CV for your first job in HR

Published: 07 Nov 2017 By Laura Sullivan

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Laura Sullivan at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, shares her advice on how to ensure your HR CV captures the attention of your dream employer

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Since you’re applying for a role in human resources, you’re probably aware that HR professionals have a direct involvement with the recruitment process, in addition to looking after employee welfare and administration practices. 

As a result, there’s a little extra pressure for your CV to be of stand-out quality when applying for your first job in HR.

Utilise the following guide to craft an impressive HR CV that will demonstrate your skills and abilities in the best possible light.

Name and contact details

Your name and contact details must sit proudly at the top of your CV – not the phrase ‘curriculum vitae.’

Under your name, you may like to include a subheading detailing your professional title. This could be your current job title, or your graduate status, for example, ‘First class graduate in Human Resources.’

In addition to your email address and phone number, you might also like to include a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one, as they’re extremely beneficial in the HR industry.

Personal profile

Up next is your personal profile that details three main things: who you are, what you do (or are aiming to do) and what you can offer the company to which you’re applying.

This section should be punchy and only a few lines long. Make sure you tailor it to the job description to immediately show the recruiter you’re a great match for the role and that they should continue reading your CV. 

For example, there’s little value in saying that you’re a HR graduate but dream of pursuing a career in music eventually.

Here’s a basic example of a personal profile:

Ambitious and energetic professional with recent education and hands-on experience in human resource administration; poised to excel in an entry-level HR role supporting recruitment, compliance, organisational development, and staff engagement.

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Education

As a graduate, your degree is likely to be your strongest and most relevant achievement in your skillset, especially if your degree is in HR. Therefore, you should list it ahead of your employment history.

Pick out key modules and skills you have developed through your degree that are relevant to the job description. Entry-level HR roles often require candidates with a mixture of hard skills, such as experience using SAP and MS Suite, and soft skills, such as communication, attention to detail and organisation. Just scan the job description to identify the skills the recruiter is looking for.

Your degree should be listed first in your education section, followed by college, then secondary school. Don’t feel you must list every single subject you studied throughout school and college, just the number of A Levels/GCSEs and the grade brackets will suffice.

Employment history

Like your education section, your employment history must list jobs in reverse chronological order. 

Simply detail the name of the company, your job title and employment dates. Under each position, bullet key responsibilities and achievements in relation to the job you’re applying for to show you’re a good fit. 

If you haven’t had much work experience, you might like to retitle this section to ‘Projects and placements.’ As you may have guessed, you should cover projects and work or voluntary placements from in and out of university, and bullet point skills you have developed in relation to the job spec.

When listing achievements, be sure to show the employer what you have done by supporting your bullets with facts and figures. 

For example: ‘produced letters and contracts for business services’ is good, but ‘produced over 40 letters and contracts for cross-departmental business services with accuracy and efficiency’ is better.
Additional sections

If you think your CV needs some extra oomph, you can add a hobbies and interests section to the end of your CV – but only if it will add value, rather than detract. 

Consider adding hobbies or interests that are either relevant to your industry or are considered unique and interesting. Just be sure to avoid including run-of-the-mill hobbies like socialising or anything too outlandish that might do more harm than good. 

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream HR job.

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