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How to Start a Career in Human Resources

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More and more organizations realize the significance and need of human resources in today’s rapidly advancing world. Organizations with HR departments are shifting towards making the human resources office a part of their growth strategies. It’s a 180-degree flip from the age-old concept of HR departments taking over the paperwork for recruitment processes and employees’ records only.

With advancements in HR field, there is an increased demand for employees within the sector on a global scale. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, HR management scores one of the highest ranks in terms of job openings and average salary in the upcoming years.

Knowing this, a career in human resources may look like a dream. Whether you’re stepping into the corporate world for the first time or jumping careers for a better opportunity, here’s everything you need to know on how to get a job the field:

  • Acquire a Degree

Organizations are more likely to hire a HR professional with a relevant educational background in this field. A degree in human resource management gives the individual an edge, as they have the formal knowledge required for the position. Moreover, recruiters usually prefer hiring employees with higher education in HRM than someone who only has a BBA degree. However, for an entry-level position, a degree in a related social sciences subject, alongside professional certifications from recognized institutions such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), can make you qualifiable for the job as well.

  • Gain Experience

A degree doesn’t guarantee a job in HR, considering that recruiters give equal, if not more importance to practical experience over theoretical knowledge. Those with on-ground experience of working in HR have the upper hand over those who have never set foot in a department. But what if you’re just starting a career in HR and have no prior practice? Find internships or voluntarily work with an organization’s HR department. Not only does this put your knowledge and skills to work, but it also gives the recruiter a positive sign that you’re serious about an HR role.

  • Build Your Networks

Today’s corporate world, especially the HR sector, revolves around networking. A HR professional is a ‘people’s person’. In other words, they need to master building and maintaining relationships. While it’s one of the key skills for a HR employee, networking can help you land an HR job in the first place as well. Use your connections to find an HR job opening that matches your interests and skills. The most tried-and-tested methods for building a successful network include connecting with alumni, professors, and other HR employees. Another technique is socializing on social media platforms and events like seminars, workshops, and meetings. 

  • Develop the Right Skills

A career in human resources focuses more on an individual’s soft skills rather than their technical skills. A 2016 study shows that 93% of employers say that soft skills are essential when hiring employees for positions. HR roles fully test a person’s soft skills. Nowadays, the most in-demand traits for managerial positions are communication skills, management skills, critical problem solving, and emotional intelligence. Develop these skills by stepping out of your comfort zone, learning and applying these skills, and taking feedback from the experts.

  • Review Your Resume

Once you have what it takes to work in HR, it’s time to apply for a position. However, before sending out proposals to organizations, make sure you look over your resume thoroughly. Ensure that everything from your educational background to work experience is updated. When specifically applying for HR roles, focus on the relevant aspects in your resume. In this case, a recruiter wants to see if you’re good at communication skills instead of your software expertise. Even if you’ve never worked as a HR manager before, use your resume to your advantage by highlighting managerial tasks and responsibilities in your previous projects and work history.   

  • Look for Jobs

For many, finding an HR position is the hardest task. When they do come across a job opening, the entry-level salary doesn’t meet their expectations. It’s important to know that you need to gradually climb your way up in HR, meaning you won’t be earning thousands of euros immediately, especially if you’re starting out. Organizations need to hire a strong candidate who can add value to their HR department. Unless you tick the above criteria, they’ll find someone more ideally suited for the position. Explore job boards, social media postings, and google search results for HR positions that are accessible to you. Look at the criteria; some organizations might be offering a lower salary for inexperienced candidates. Meanwhile, others may have listed a prestigious salary range but at the cost of multiple years of experience in HR. Additionally, your social circle can inform you if they’ve come across any opportunities, so you can ask them to keep an eye out.

  • Don’t Settle

Organizations view their employees as assets, and they understand the importance of strategically aligning their business goals with human resources. In any career, employee retention rate is higher for those who excel in their jobs. Organizations need their employees to learn and grow in their careers consistently. Establishing your importance in the organization is critical, and it only happens when you keep adding value to your work. Instead of settling into the handful of tasks as a newly recruited HR employee, think about how you can continue striving towards promotions, better opportunities, and, ultimately, success.

Kickstart Your HR Career With EU

EU Business School opens many opportunities for aspiring  managerial leaders to climb the ladder in the HR sector. We have a specialized MBA in Human Resource Management exclusively designed so that students learn through a practical and interactive educational environment. Through this course, students gain detailed insight and skills that prepare them for the modern business world. Learn about the programs, campuses, how to apply and more on our website.

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