Jobs in HR – Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Next HR Job

​If you’re feeling you CAN'T win BIG in your current role, either RESOLVE to step up your performance TODAY or move into a new HR role elsewhere. NOT TOMORROW. NOW.

Alan Collins
Writer, Blogger

Do you want to discover how to make your HR job Hunting more effective? Do you want to know the 5 ways in making your resume stand out from the rest and speak blatantly about you?

While looking out for jobs in the HR Department, one of the biggest advantages you get is that you can apply for an HR job in ANY sector. Be it in Manufacturing, IT, Financial institutions, FMCG, Service industry or even as a matter of fact Startups, unlike other roles (marketing, operations) that are kind of stereotyped in nature, you can join the HR Function in any sector irrespective of the industry you are currently working in.

Amazing, isn't it?

You can earn some brownie points at the interview table by sharing your knowledge of the industry you're currently working in. However, the final hiring decision will not be solely judged by your sector specific knowledge but primarily on account of how well you understand the business and display your people management skills and competencies in the interview.

An exposure in multiple sectors, adds credibility and diverse experience in your HR role and portfolio.

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But the secret is that even if there are so many jobs in the HR space, the vast majority of jobs in human resources are NEVER ADVERTISED and are either closed internally or through a reference.

Surprised. Even I was when I came to know about it.

Apart from hiring directly from premier MBA colleges, most of the HR managers prefer closing their HR positions either internally or through referencing from reliable sources. As mentioned, only a few jobs (around 30%) are floated in the market as most of the Hiring Managers are cautious while recruiting in the HR function. They want to be 100% sure that the person they are hiring has a strong ethical background and possesses good people management skills. Hence, even by chance you look at so many published HR jobs on various portals, only a few of them are closed from outside.

In this post (a part of our getting jobs in HR series) I’m going to share how using these simple yet effective techniques can help you win BIG and land up getting your next job in the HR function. Whether you’re just starting your career or you’re performing a senior or middle level role in HR, the techniques that I will share in these short series of blog posts will definitely go a long way helping you in future.

So without wasting more time, let’s quickly dive in.

My Story...

Let me share my own job hunting story with you. I still remember the frustration when I was out of college in 2006. My friends who passed out with me were too finding it hard to get a decent job. It was kind of knocking each and every door and forget about letting you in, nobody even wanted to listen to you. When I look back at my those good old days, I learnt and realised a fact that finding a decent start in the HR space was struggling then as a fresher and even now when you have gained a fair amount of exposure in the HR vertical.

What do you think? Do you feel that it is challenging to get a job in HR in any decent company? Please comment. I want to know your views.

Job Hunting - Modus Operandi

How do you normally approach the process?

  • You search and apply to jobs matching your expertise on LinkedIn or other job boards. You visit the career section of other organizations and submit your resume for a relevant role.
  • You directly contact companies or recruiters if they have any job opportunity for you

You repeat the process until you finally get a job or you are totally exhausted.

After putting so much of efforts and time, are you really sure that the job offer will be exactly what you were looking for? What is the kind of career you are looking to make in the HR vertical? Are you looking for government jobs in HR or are you open for corporate assignments as well? Do let me know your preferences in the comments section at the end of this post.

For this post, I will be touching upon important aspects of resume writing and making it stand out from the rest.

The Shocking Truth about Resume Writing

I understand it takes time and efforts to update your resume and it takes a hell lot of time if you're doing it for the very FIRST time. It becomes even more demotivating that after spending hours on perfecting your resume you still don’t know where to start. Randomly you post your resume on various job portals and then just wait for God (some recruiter) to call you. Also, recruiters who call you often don’t understand your work profile or the oppurtunity they want to offer, doesn’t make you feel excited. You connect with various people (online as well as offline) and then you don’t hear back from them.

Depressed? You’re not alone in this world.

Most of us follow the above listed methodology and few of us are successful in getting the right job.

So, what does this mean to you as a job seeker.

Are there no jobs in the HR function?

Is the hiring for HR jobs in the industry been frozen?

Are people in the HR role, not moving or changing companies?

Share your thoughts by commenting on what can be the possible reasons for such a scenario in the industry. Let me hear your problems.

While the companies are expanding globally and huge investments are been made, managing people is one of the top most priority for any CEO. Hence, to manage his people effectively, all CEOs are looking for good HR thought leaders and practitioners for taking care of their workforce.

But then why are these HR jobs not visible to everyone? Are all the companies closing their HR jobs internally, which I believe is not possible. 

So where are all these jobs going and how are companies recruiting HR people when they are not advertising their positions in the market.

How to take charge of your job hunting Process?

My Approach...

I took a different approach in addressing this concern. Back in 2006, I started my HR career in a startup taking care of business development and recruitment for them. Even though I was doing fairly well with them, I was always longing to be on the other side of the table. In my initial days, I changed jobs frequently which made me look like a "job hopper" but my focus and intentions were clear. To work in the core HR department in a corporate. I finally got a break in HR in 2008 and where I am today is all on account of focussed and dedicated efforts in the RIGHT direction.

So, what all things we should do so as to find our dream job in the HR domain? Stay tuned as in my subsequent posts, I will be revealing more techniques on this subject. 

But for now, let's work and get our basics right.  

Master these 5 techniques to create a killer resume for your next job in the HR Function

1. A single copy of your resume would not cater to address all the Job requirements in the HR function.

Applying to all HR jobs with the same uncustomized resume is a total waste of time.

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For example, my current role is of an HR generalist or an HR Business Partner. If tomorrow I am looking for a Talent Acquisition role, I may customize my resume to highlight areas where I have significantly contributed in recruitment and hiring. If another day I am applying for a talent management role, I may not send the same copy which I made for my TA role.

Sounds logical? 

If you are aware of the role, try and present your credentials in a way that your resume is in line with the requirements mentioned in the job description

Note: A single solution will not be applicable to solving multiple problems.

2. Impress your recruiter by giving him what he wants

According to a research, recruiters hardly spend 30 seconds while going through resumes. To get their attention in these 30 seconds of time frame, you need to provide meaty information that quickly gets their attention. By making customizations I am not telling you to fake on anything. Its all about placing the most relevant information at the right place thereby helping or enabling the recruiter to quickly make decision as to whether or not to shortlist this resume for the next level.

Always consider your resume a mere knock on the door. Whether you will be invited inside totally depends on how good you are at creating a GREAT first impression.

3. Craft your resume for your next HR job in such a way that it portrays you as a solution provider.

Most of the companies today has what we call as “Job Descriptions”. Before applying to any job, read the JD carefully and then think and analyze as to what typical problems will be faced by an HR manager in such a role. Whether the JD is related to recruitment or training or any other role, the JD will help you to visualize as to what probable problems the company is facing and how you can be their LIFE SAVER.

The reality is no one is interested in listening to what you did way back when. They want to hear everything that you can do to help them TODAY. Right here. Right now.

People are looking for problem solvers and if you can’t articulate or present yourself as to how you can contribute in enhancing retention, improving revenues, cutting down on costs and making the company competitive, it would be better for you to sit and relax at home.

4. Avoid the biggest turn offs in resume writing 

Laszlo Bock, Head of people operations at Google shares the ways to correct the biggest mistakes he sees on resume made by people.

Laszlo Bock Head People Operations, Google

I have seen A LOT of resumes. Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters. The toughest part is that for 15 years, I've continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. What's most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these are good, even great, people. But in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don't need to compromise on quality. All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.

In his intriguing post here on Linkedin, he shares how to avoid common mistakes in resume like typo, length, formatting and the most important about lying.  Continuing on the similar lines, he wrote his second post in which he addressed key questions that were raised by readers in his first post. Read both his posts to get hands on advice from the People Manager of the company which is considered to be the 'World's Best Places to Work'

5. Try and quantify your achievements so that it can be measured

In continuation to his last post, Laszlo Bock shares his personal formula for writing winning resumes here. He suggests a simple formula in making your accomplishments stand out. Present each of your achievements as:

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]

Makes sense? Definitely when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

Start mentioning your achievements with an active verb, numerically measuring it, giving it a baseline for comparison and detail out what you did to achieve your goal. Check out his post and learn a more logical way of presenting information in your resume.

So, just to summarize and conclude on what we've discussed in this post:-


Make Your HR Job Hunting process effective by:

a) Understanding the job market and why these jobs are not advertised online

b) Finding a job in HR is a systematic process

c) You need to have a focussed approach while applying for HR jobs


Make your resume stand out from the rest so that it gets recruiter's attention

a) One size doesn't fit all - customize your resume as per the desired role and DO NOT blast the same copy to all the recruiters.

b) How to showcase yourself as “Captain America” and that you will be the best bet for any hiring manager.

What was your most effective job hunting strategy?

What I've shared above is my experience on how to get jobs in the HR department. I believe I’m still on a learning journey on this topic and would love to hear what you’ve learnt on this topic. Feel free to share your views with an example of what you’ve done with a link and share your lessons in comments below so that we all can improve on our mission to get jobs in the HR department.

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