How to Get a Job in Human Resources Without Experience

Tue 14 May 2024

A group of people working in an office

The HR industry has plenty of room for growth and development, with salaries starting around £29,000. Roles in HR also offer high job satisfaction with a study by Glassdoor revealing that two of the top five happiest roles in the UK were both within the field of HR.

So, if you want to get your foot in the door of an exciting industry that offers job security and satisfaction, we’re here to show you a few pathways. 
In this blogpost, we’ll cover ways to secure HR employment without prior experience in the industry, such as: 

  • Enrolling on to a CIPD Level 3 course 
  • Tailoring your CV based on current experience 
  • Developing your personal brand online 
  • Networking and gaining HR experience in your current role 
  • Considering an internship/entry-level role 
  • Staying informed with the HR industry

Understanding the field of human resources 

HR plays a central role in managing an organisation's most valuable asset: the people who work there! HR professionals take on a wide range of responsibilities within the workplace to align with compliance and ensure the smooth running of the company. 
Some of these responsibilities and tasks include: 

  • Recruitment 
  • Employee relations 
  • Training and development 
  • Performance management 
  • Ensuring legal compliance. 

Working in HR requires you to have a wide set of skills that all merge together to effectively manage the human capital of an organisation, such as:

  • Integrity and confidentiality in handling sensitive information and disputes 
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem-solving abilities 
  • Thorough understanding of employment law and industry regulations.  

If you want to enter the HR field, but don’t have any experience, read on to discover some paths you can take to secure employment. 

Professional development HR qualification

Starting off strong, a human resources qualification is undoubtedly one of the best ways to kickstart your career in HR. Although there are many CIPD course levels, we recommended the Level 3 course for beginners. 

Countless students have found this qualification to be their ticket to securing their dream HR role. With practical insights, up-to-date knowledge, and industry-relevant skills, this course equips you to excel in various HR roles. 

So, what does the course cover?

There are four core units that are designed to build your beginner knowledge of HR:

Essentials of People Practice

  • Understanding the employee lifecycle
  • Familiarisation with policies, regulations, and employment law
  • Specialist subjects including recruitment, talent management, reward, and learning and development.

Principles of Analytics

  • Utilising analytics and evidence for decision-making
  • Enhancing working practices through analytics
  • Creating value through rationalisation and situational decision-making.

Core Behaviours for People Professionals

  • Ethical practice and professional values
  • Professional development and continuous learning
  • Consistency in thinking and acting to promote inclusivity and respect.

Business, Culture and Change in Context

  • Understanding external influences on businesses
  • Impact of digital and commercial environment on organisational culture
  • Managing change effectively within the organisation.

Thanks to MOL's Level 3 CIPD course, I was able to kickstart my career in HR, even without any prior experience. The practical skills and industry knowledge I gained were invaluable in landing my first role in human resources.

It's a proven pathway to kickstart your career journey in human resources!

Write a tailored CV based on current experience

You might not know it, but some of your current work experience might be relevant to a HR role. If you've held positions in customer service, administration, or team management, you likely have mastered skills such as communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building – all of which are crucial in HR. 

So how do you highlight these skills to HR employers?

Even if you haven't worked in HR before, you can still show employers you're a good fit for HR roles. Highlight your past experiences where you dealt with customer problems, worked well in a team, helped improve efficiency in the workplace or had managerial responsibilities. 

These skills are important in HR, too. When you tailor your CV to focus on these skills, you’ll prove you're a great candidate for HR roles, even if you haven't worked in HR directly before.

Develop your personal brand online

Building an online presence is crucial these days for employment, but it’s important to do this effectively.

Start by optimising your LinkedIn profile, ensuring it's complete and highlights any HR-relevant skills and experiences you may have - even if some skills were acquired from a non-HR role. 

Engage with industry professionals, share insightful content, and get involved in relevant discussions to demonstrate your HR knowledge and passion. This will help build your network and make you stand out from the crowd.

This means that if you ever see any employment opportunities for an HR role on LinkedIn, you’ll have a stand-out professional profile to show your interest and appear as a strong candidate with passion and interest in the role.

Network and gain HR experience in your current role

You might not be comfortable with a complete career change just yet, and that's okay!

If you have an interest in the HR industry but aren’t 100% sure about making the switch, you can try taking on some HR responsibilities at your current job to get a feel for the role. 

Speak to your company's HR manager about your interest in HR. Ask if there are any HR tasks you can help with, and if you enjoy them and do well, ask for more HR work. Let them know you’re interested if they have a job opening, and to give you a heads-up next time there’s a vacancy.

Consider an internship role

When applying for a role without previous experience, it’s important to manage your expectations and understand that you might not land a high-level position straight away.

Typically, you might have to start with a smaller level role for around a year, gain some experience, and then work your way up. You could even consider an internship or apprenticeship and build your expertise over time!

Stay informed with the HR industry

HR trends are always evolving, with new research and practices emerging monthly! If you want to stay on top, it’s important to keep up. 

Here’s some things you can do to stay up to date:

  • Read HR books and articles
  • Sign up for HR newsletters
  • Follow HR experts on social media
  • Join online HR discussion groups
  • Attend webinars and online events
  • Take HR courses online
  • Join HR networking groups
  • Talk to experienced HR professionals
  • Stay updated on HR laws and regulations
  • Learn from HR success stories.

Joining CIPD and gaining access to their resources has been a game-changer for my career. Thanks to their support, I've developed professionally and gained invaluable insights.

When you enrol on a CIPD Level 3 course, you become a CIPD member and gain access to tons of resources, allowing you to stay informed about the latest industry updates, trends, and developments.

Enrol on to MOL’s CIPD Level 3 Human Resources course to kickstart your career in HR, even without any prior experience!

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