How to get a job in HR with no experience (4 ways to kickstart your HR career)


Hands on a laptop.

Human Resources is an incredibly rewarding career if you enjoy building relationships with employees, exploring performance incentives and developing the company culture. But how can you kickstart your HR career with no experience?

Here are our top 4 tips to help you get on the HR career path.

Read more: Why is HR important to a company?

1.    Emphasise transferable skills in your CV

Employers look at your work experience to understand if you have the skills necessary for their HR role, such as:

•    Emotional intelligence
•    Communication skills
•    Interpersonal skills
•    Organisational skills
•    Efficiency and time management

However, these skills are not exclusive to HR roles. If you have demonstrated these skills in a previous non-HR role, you should emphasise this in your CV and discuss how you can transfer them to an HR environment.  

The soft skills an employer is looking for will often be listed in the person description part of the job advert so make sure to carefully read this section so that you can tailor your CV to highlight the skills each job advert mentions. 

2.    Use alternative ways to get HR experience

A common misconception is that you need to be in an HR role to get HR experience – however, this is not the case. 
If you are already in employment, approach your HR department and see if there are projects you can get involved with or support on. Most people will gladly accept offers and help and it can be a great way to get experience without an HR job title. 

Another way to get HR experience is to volunteer your time with local charities and non-profit organisations to complete HR tasks for them, including:

•    Recruitment
•    Staff training
•    Conflict resolution
•    Payroll

3.    Lean on your network of contacts

The adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has some truth to it… While good connections won’t help you secure a long-term job you aren’t right for, they can help to get your foot in the door when you have little to no previous HR experience. 
Your contacts can keep an eye out for HR openings at their companies, make initial introductions, and vouch for your transferable skills. 

4.    Get a CIPD qualification

While a CIPD qualification is not a legal requirement for a role in HR, many employers will not consider candidates who don’t have (or aren’t working towards) CIPD accreditation. 

CIPD qualifications cover a range of topics in varying detail depending on the level of the course to ensure that you’ve got the essential knowledge at every stage of your career. Having a CIPD qualification reassures employers that you have the knowledge and professional skills to competently and confidently carry out your role in HR even if this is your first role.

The CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate In People Practice is ideal for you if you’re new to HR and are looking to develop the key skills you need for entry-level roles such as an HR Administrator or HR Assistant.

When you complete a CIPD qualification you can also register as a CIPD member. A CIPD membership gives you additional perks that can help you get your first job in HR, such as:

•    Access to the CIPD community of other professionals 
•    Volunteering opportunities
•    Career support & guidance 
•    Networking opportunities

We understand the HR profession like no other training provider. That’s what makes our courses great. Our tutors are industry experts and use a wealth of HR experience to bring your CIPD course to life. You’ll be encouraged to apply theory and models to your workplace, meaning you can add immediate value at work by applying your learning directly to your role.

Looking to break into HR or advance your career further? Register your interest in our HR courses or call one of our Qualifications Advisors on 03452 032 103 for more information.