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Human resources, otherwise known as HR, is the sector of business in which employees are the focus. HR duties include the handling of hiring, firing, employee relations, workplace culture, and compensation. On top of this, HR professionals are often in charge of recruiting, training, and developing employees, as well as managing compliance, government regulations, and payroll. Similarly, HR personnel are typically responsible for assisting, moderating, and resolving workplace conflict. Additionally, they sometimes play a role in handling the productivity and success of the organization. With this being said, how do you go about getting a role in HR?
Get a Degree
The first route of getting into HR is by getting a degree. Schools that offer HR programs usually include courses that revolve around employee training and development, performance management, compliance and legal issues, and organizational theory. This list isn’t exhaustive, and every school will have a different set of courses relating to different aspects of human resources. Additionally, if your school doesn’t have a specific HR degree course, the likes of industrial, organizational, or business psychology will help you crack your way into the HR sector. Degrees are one of the most straightforward ways of getting qualified for a role in HR.
Find an Internship
Ahead of completing your degree, you should start hunting for internship opportunities, which are likely to be offered via your school. This will provide you with extremely valuable first-hand experience that will make you a very desirable candidate in the field of HR. A lot of internships will be unpaid, but the value that you attain from this experience is unmatched. Despite this, you might also be able to get your hands on a paid internship if you’re very lucky. Either way, an internship will provide you with a pathway into the industry that is filled with first-hand experience.
Certifications are very important when it comes to HR and there’s a lot to be said about a well-certified HR professional. Certifications are a simple way of demonstrating your professional achievements and displaying your capabilities in a HR capacity. Typically speaking, you will need to do an exam to gain certification, as this will best convey your knowledge and skills. With this being said, each certification will come with a different set of requirements. Some of the top HR certifications include Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Establish a Network
HR is all about networking with others, so you want to be sure that you establish this network as soon as possible. Whether you utilize social media platforms that are designed for professionals or get involved in multiple HR associations, there are a multitude of ways that you can expand your HR network. Otherwise, you might reach out to professors at your school who have connections in the HR field, as well as contacting alumni of your school. Similarly, you can reach out to companies that you’re interested in working for and pick the brains of the HR professionals in this business.
Refine Your Resume
Your resume is the first interaction that any company will have with you as a professional, so you have to make sure that it stands out from the rest. Before applying to anything, you should always update your CV to match the value and requirements of the job at hand. Even if you don’t have any experience in HR, be sure to mold the descriptions of your previous positions to match the skills that are required of a HR professional.