Writing a CV or resume for an HR Manager role can often feel like a balancing act. On one hand, you need to showcase your expertise in human resources, and on the other, you need to demonstrate your ability to manage and lead.
This article is designed to guide you through the process of creating a CV or resume that not only highlights your skills and experiences but also positions you as the ideal candidate for an HR Manager role.
We’ll provide practical tips and real examples to help you craft a document that could pave the way to your next HR Manager interview. Whether you’re updating your existing CV or starting from scratch, these insights will ensure your application stands out in a competitive job market.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 HR Manager CV Tips – Recap
- 10 HR Manager CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
HR Manager Job Description Example
HR Manager – Dynamic and Growing Company
We are seeking an experienced HR Manager to lead our human resources department. This role is pivotal in fostering a positive work environment, ensuring compliance, and driving HR initiatives that support our company’s strategic goals.
- Develop and implement HR strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall business strategy.
- Bridge management and employee relations by addressing demands, grievances, or other issues.
- Manage the recruitment and selection process, ensuring a fair and efficient hiring practice.
- Support current and future business needs through the development, engagement, motivation, and preservation of human capital.
- Oversee and manage a performance appraisal system that drives high performance.
- Maintain pay plan and benefits program, assessing the competitiveness of current programs and proposing adjustments when necessary.
- Ensure legal compliance throughout human resource management, staying updated on HR policies, practices, and trends.
- Develop and monitor overall HR strategies, systems, tactics, and procedures across the organization.
- Nurture a positive working environment by maintaining a program of employee wellness and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion.
- Oversee and manage training and development programs to align with the company’s objectives and employee career goals.
- Report to management and provide decision support through HR metrics.
- Proven working experience as an HR Manager or other HR Executive.
- People-oriented and results-driven.
- Demonstrable experience with HR metrics.
- Knowledge of HR systems and databases.
- Ability to architect strategy along with leadership skills.
- Excellent active listening, negotiation, and presentation skills.
- Competence to build and effectively manage interpersonal relationships at all levels of the company.
- In-depth knowledge of labor law and HR best practices.
- Degree in Human Resources or related field.
This is an exciting opportunity for a dedicated HR professional to join and contribute to a vibrant team. If you are passionate about HR and highly efficient, we would like to meet you. Join us and be a part of our progressive team, where your skills and experiences will be valued and nurtured.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
HR Manager Professional Summary Example
- With over 10 years of experience in Human Resources, holding an MBA in Human Resource Management and a SHRM-CP certification, expertise spans across talent acquisition, employee engagement, and HR analytics, utilizing tools like Workday and BambooHR.
- Most notable achievement includes leading a company-wide cultural transformation at a previous organization, resulting in a 40% increase in employee satisfaction and a 25% reduction in turnover within two years, achieved through the implementation of innovative HR strategies and employee wellness programs.
- Recently managed a team of 15 HR professionals, focusing on integrating AI-driven recruitment systems and cloud-based HRIS, enhancing recruitment efficiency by 30% and streamlining employee data management processes.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When writing about your responsibilities on your CV, focus on how you’ve excelled in those roles, especially as an HR Manager. Instead of simply stating “Managed employee relations,” you could say, “Effectively navigated and resolved complex employee relations issues, leading to a 30% reduction in workplace conflicts.” This approach not only shows that you handled employee relations but also demonstrates your success in improving the work environment. It’s about turning a basic duty into a story of achievement.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
HR Manager CV Tips – Recap
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far:
Understand the Role and Tailor Your CV
Every HR Manager role can have different expectations. Before writing your CV, understand the specific requirements of the job you’re applying for. Tailor your CV to highlight experiences and skills that align with these requirements. 🎯
Highlight Key HR Skills and Achievements
Focus on key skills such as employee relations, talent management, and organizational development. Use specific examples to demonstrate your achievements. For instance, mention how you improved employee retention rates or streamlined recruitment processes. 🌟
Use Quantifiable Metrics
Numbers speak louder than words. Where possible, quantify your achievements. For example, “Implemented a new performance management system, resulting in a 20% increase in overall productivity.” This provides concrete evidence of your impact. 📈
Showcase Leadership and Management Qualities
As an HR Manager, leadership is crucial. Highlight experiences where you’ve led teams, managed conflicts, or driven HR initiatives. This could include leading training programs or managing HR department restructures. 👥
Keep It Concise and Clear
HR Managers are expected to communicate effectively. Reflect this in your CV by being concise and clear. Avoid jargon and overly complex language. Aim for a CV that is easy to read and understand. ✂️
Reflect Your Understanding of HR Trends and Technologies
Show that you’re up-to-date with the latest in HR. Mention any HR software you’re proficient in, like SAP SuccessFactors or Workday, and discuss how you’ve applied current HR trends in your roles. 💻
Professional Development and Certifications
Include any relevant HR certifications, like SHRM-CP or PHR, and ongoing professional development. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current in your field. 📚
Proofread and Format Professionally
Errors in an HR Manager’s CV can be a red flag. Proofread your CV multiple times and consider a professional layout that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. 🖋️
HR Manager CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.