How to Land That Elusive First HR Job

Build experience. This can be as simple as volunteering in HR departments of local charities in your neighborhood. It is a win-win situation for both parties. You get to help out while building your experience, and they get to have more momentum toward their cause.

Gain skills. If you have a degree that is totally unrelated, think of doing a post-graduate degree with a cooperative option in local colleges. These programs will provide the foundation and the necessary knowledge to be able to practice.

Work in recruiting. Working at a recruiting agency is a good way to build hands-on experience. However, it may not be suited for all, as some environments can be too sales driven.

Establish a personal brand. Personal branding is how you present yourself both online and offline. Consider having a polished online presence, including a professional picture, and ensure you’re presenting your best possible self.

Get social. Get on the Twitter bandwagon. Let’s not write about that awesome party you went to but rather what the latest trends are in the field you’re interested in.

Start a blog. Start writing on practices, tips and insights. HR requires such a wide variety of skills, including presentation and writing, both in analytical and business voice.

Attend industry events. Start the conversation by saying, “How can I help you?” rather than “What do you do?” This gives a different tone to the conversation. Being involved in the local HR community is good, but you also have to step out of it to gain more valuable connections.

 Understand the big picture. Learn how to demonstrate and understand how HR can add value to organizations. Whether it’s increasing retention or reducing recruitment cost, you need to know how it affects the bottom line.