Regardless of the size of the company or its line of business, filling human resources jobs would be among its top concerns. HR staff take charge of hiring needs, including recruitment, onboarding and employee retention strategies. Jobs are bountiful in HR, and will continue to be so based on estimates of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics that project a 5 percent growth rate up to 2024 for this sector. However, it is also a competitive sector especially for entry-level and mid-level positions where job candidates may not have extensive experience and advance credentials. It pays to have a plan to stand out from the crowd.
Strive to be Personable
Jobs in HR may be back-office positions, but the ability to interface with people effectively is one of the primary requirements. You should have the capability of communicating with your peers, department managers and other executives, potential employees and vendors of outsourced services. As such, you should demonstrate enthusiasm, confidence, grace under pressure and a friendly but professional personality when you are given the chance to interact with the hiring managers during the recruitment process.
Get Involved with the Community and the Industry
You may have limited work experience as a fresh graduate, but you can provide evidence that you are a self-starter and a hard worker. Build up resume-worthy involvements, including volunteering with community organizations, supporting fundraising efforts that benefit the underprivileged demographic and participating as a local leader. Prepare to relate the skills and experiences you picked up in non-traditional settings to the requirements of a job with HR. People skills, written and verbal communication skills and the ability to organize and stay organized are critical skills for a successful career as an HR generalist or specialist.
Take the Time to Research the Company
Know more than what is expected from you, and demonstrate that you have done your research by asking incisive and company-specific questions when and if you are given the opportunity. Focus your questions on issues that may not be directly related to human resources tasks but would affect internal procedures, employees and staff. Seek to understand the corporate culture, and find a way to connect with this aspect. It is important to display professional behavior at all times even if you seem to know more about the company than the interviewer. Make sure not to overstep your bounds as a job seeker, and refrain from bringing up negative and controversial topics.
Prepare a Pitch to Demonstrate your Value-Added Potential
Understand that the hiring team runs a tight schedule with a number of candidates being vetted and interviewed for one position. It is a good idea to be prepared with an elevator pitch about why you would make the best candidate for the open position. The focus should not be on your experience and skills because that information would have been covered in your resume and cover letter. Instead, talk about how you can help address certain HR issues and what you intend to bring to the table should you be hired for the position.
If you want to stand out in a pool of job applicants, identify the key competencies required for the position, and match your credentials and qualifications with the requirements. Formulate a plan to present your most compatible persona given the job's must-have skills. To be a standout candidate for human resources jobs, make sure to prepare well for your phone or in-person interview.