Human Resources

How to Write Your First HR CV (Even If You Have No Experience)

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We all have to start somewhere.

You may not have any experience of HR at the moment. That’s absolutely fine. All great professionals have to learn their craft and that takes time, effort and hard work.

But how do you write your first HR CV if you have no experience of the profession?

We’ve examined the process here and created a free CV template for you to use too.


No experience? No problem

 

First of all, before we dive into how to create a HR CV, let’s answer this question definitively.

If you’re starting out, there is nothing wrong with having no practical work experience of HR.

No serious employer would expect someone seeking an entry-level HR role to have decades of work experience and knowledge behind them. In fact, if someone that experienced was seeking an entry-level role, it would probably set eyebrows a-waggling amongst recruiters.

What employers do expect is that people interested in getting involved in HR have some key transferable skills and an interest in the subject. They might look for entry-level qualifications too, like the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice.

With that over, let’s examine how to write it!


1. Your details

 

The first section of your CV should be your details. This section is basically just a logistical one, giving the potential employer all of the details they’ll need to consider you. You usually include:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your address
  • Your phone number

Make sure you keep the format simple and clear, and for the sake of clarity (and the mental wellbeing of graphic designers all over the world) only use one font in the overall CV. Avoid WordArt like the plague.

Eg.

Mary Maclean

2/1, 123 Fake Street, Portobello, Edinburgh, E15 123

 marymaclean123@gmail.com                                                                       01234 456 789

 


2. Personal Statement

 

The personal statement is a few short sentences that summarise your professional expertise, strengths and interests, and describes what you have to offer as an employee. It sits right at the top of your CV and can make a memorable first impression on a recruiting manager – as well as the candidate filtering software that come companies use to screen applications! That’s why it makes sense to take some time to get this section right.

Make sure to:

  • Use clear keywords (but stay away from clichés and jargon)
  • Keep everything succinct and to the point
  • Try to use quantifiable evidence to back up your points (eg. “I have X years’ experience working with X”)

To put it simply, use this section to summarize your key skills, experience and why that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Eg.

Personal Statement

I am a highly methodical, enthusiastic and committed professional with 5 years’ experience of working within customer-facing team environments. I am looking to gain an entry-level role in human resources and am currently studying the CIPD Foundation Certificate to develop my HR skills.

pexels-ketut-subiyanto-4560150

3. Career History

 

If you’ve never worked in HR before, you’re probably looking at this section with complete horror, but don’t worry! It’s easy enough to create a CV without any experience of working in HR at all.

The trick is to examine the transferable skills that you’ve gained in your current role and look at how you can bring these to the role that you’re currently applying for – or to the wider industry.

Do this by checking out the job description for the role that you’re applying for and looking for the key attributes that the role demands. Then create a list of your previous roles and the main skills/attributes that they required, and try to match the skills that you used to the ones that are needed in the role that you’re applying for.

In terms of structure and to make it easier to write, it’s best to break this section down into smaller chunks:

  • Job role and employer details
  • Dates you worked there
  • Summary of role
  • Role responsibilities
  • Relevant achievements in that role

If you don’t have any career history, put down any volunteering roles that you’ve performed in the past or any work experience sessions or internships that you’ve completed. You could also move your education section above the career history section, if that’s more relevant to the role.

Eg.

Administrative Marketing Assistant, A Company, Edinburgh, UK

February 2018 – Present

I am responsible for providing administrative support to the marketing team across events, brand partnerships, and digital campaigns.

Key responsibilities:

  • Creating performance reports
  • Invoicing clients
  • Arranging travel and accommodation
  • Arranging internal meetings
  • Monitoring an email inbox

4. Education History

This section is designed to help employers get an idea of the level of your level of general and specialist knowledge. In it, you list details about types of relevant education that you’ve undertaken and any qualifications that you have.

You generally include information like:

  • Where you studied
  • When you studied there
  • What you studied (subject and type of qualification)
  • The grade you received
  • Any achievements or awards you received there

This doesn’t need to be an overwhelmingly detailed section that goes all the way back to your first preschool or nursery –  you just need to start from your high school/secondary education to the present.

Listing qualifications that you’re currently studying is really important here too – especially if you don’t have any work experience of human resources at the moment, and you’re coming into the sector for the first time.

Industry-renowned qualifications like CIPD qualifications are definitely something you should list on your CV, as they prove to employers that you’re learning the high-quality skills, knowledge and experience that they look for in top job candidates. You might not have the skills on paper just now, but you have evidence that you are learning them and will have them soon!

We’ve got a handy blog that walks you through how to list one of these in-progress qualifications that you can check out for some advice.

 

Eg.

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development | June 2021 - Present

CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice (expected completion March 2022)

 

University of Bath | September 2008 – June 2012

B.A. (Hons) in Communication Studies (2:1)

 

Catkins High School, Wrexham | September 2003 – June 2008

A Levels: History (A*), English Literature (A), Art (B)

GCSEs: 8 GCSEs (grade A-C) including Maths and English

 

pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3760067

5. Interests and Hobbies

 

Including your interests and hobbies on a CV can seem like an odd thing to do. After all, conventional wisdom tells us that everything we do at work has to be framed professionally, so if we were following that logic, why include how you enjoy making kimchi or love to crochet?

Well, hobbies and interests can tell an employer a lot about your personality, and traits that might be particularly useful to the role that you’re applying for.

If you love to play football and play for a local team, for example, that can show employers that you’re a good team player, have dedication to a task and can be relied upon. Likewise, if you like to knit in your spare time, that can show an employer that you’re good at planning, focusing and paying close attention to detail.

A good rule is to only include hobbies and interests that have a clear relevance in some way to the role that you’re applying for, and where you can demonstrate a clear achievement of some kind. Of course, playing the clarinet is unlikely to be directly relevant to a HR manager role, but the skills associated with playing it could be.

Think carefully about the transferable skills that a hobby presents before using it – watching TV doesn’t have many!

Here are some useful hobbies and interests to include on your CV and what they can say about you to an employer:

Arts and crafts subjects (eg. drawing, painting, knitting)

Creative thinking, attention to detail, focus

Sports (eg. football, hockey, rugby)

Teamwork, dedication, endurance, commitment

Music

Creativity, teamwork, commitment, multi-tasking, self-study

 

Eg.

Interests and Hobbies

  • I play football and am currently Captain for the Women’s First Team at Portobello Beach United. I have been named ‘Woman of the Match’ five times.
  • I enjoy painting and have exhibited at the Tramway, Glasgow, and the Sovereign Centre, Weston-super-Mare.

6.  References

 

References are basically people that you know in a professional setting who can vouch for your skills, knowledge and experience. They are usually people who have directly managed you in the past, or who you have worked closely with in some professional capacity.

There’s no hard and fast rule about listing specific references on your CV. It’s common to leave out any specific details and instead include a sentence such as ‘References available upon request’ to save space.

Sometimes, directly including a reference can help boost your chances of getting noticed though.

Examples of professionals that a lot of people choose to approach for references include:

  • Previous managers
  • Previous team leaders
  • Ex-clients (if freelance)
  • Current clients (if freelance)

When listing them on your CV, you generally include these details:

  • Their name
  • Their job role
  • Their company
  • Their email address
  • Their telephone number

Make sure you’ve approached the people you’ve put down as references beforehand, to check that they’re happy with you using their details and so that they’ve got some notice if the employer contacts them!

If you’re in need of some further advice, this article sums up using references on CVs really well.

So, there you go! We hope you’ve found this guide to writing a HR CV even if you have no experience useful. Good luck on landing that HR role and starting an exciting new career!


 

Template HR CV

 

Mary Maclean

2/1, 123 Fake Street, Portobello, Edinburgh, E15 123

 

 marymaclean123@gmail.com                                                                       01234 456 789

____________________________________________________________________________

Personal Statement

I am a highly methodical, enthusiastic and committed professional with 5 years’ experience of working within customer-facing team environments. I am looking to gain an entry-level role in human resources and am currently studying the CIPD Foundation Certificate to develop my HR skills.

 

Employment History

Administrative Marketing Assistant, A Company, Edinburgh, UK

February 2018 – Present

I am responsible for providing administrative support to the marketing team across events, brand partnerships, and digital campaigns.

Key responsibilities:

  • Creating performance reports
  • Invoicing clients
  • Arranging travel and accommodation
  • Arranging internal meetings
  • Monitoring an email inbox

Education

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development | June 2021 - Present

CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice (expected completion March 2022)

University of Bath | September 2008 – June 2012

B.A. (Hons) in Communication Studies (2:1)

Catkins High School, Wrexham | September 2003 – June 2008

A Levels: History (A*), English Literature (A), Art (B)

GCSEs: 8 GCSEs (grade A-C) including Maths and English

 

Interests and Hobbies

  • I play football and am currently Captain for the Women’s First Team at Portobello Beach United. I have been named ‘Woman of the Match’ five times.
  • I enjoy painting and have exhibited at the Tramway, Glasgow, and the Sovereign Centre, Weston-super-Mare

 

References

Joe Hill

Line Manager, A Company, Edinburgh

joe.hill@acompany.co.uk

01234 456 789

 

William Haywood

Manager, A Cafe, Edinburgh

william.haywood@acafe.co.uk

01234 456 789


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