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An HR generalist is a human resources professional that does a wide variety of jobs, typically working a little bit in all different areas. When applying for an HR generalist position, you need to be able to highlight the reasons that you’ll work well in all sorts of HR functions. Here’s what you need to know about writing a CV for this job search.
An HR generalist needs to have a wide range of skills, which can include benefits administration, worker’s compensation, talent acquisition, performance reviews, new hire orientation, processing leaves of absence, and doing exit interviews. That means it’s important to highlight the fact that not only do you have a wide variety of existing skills, but you’re also flexible and able to pick up new company policies easily.
Your CV structure will partially depend on the CV format you choose for your CV. The most common is the chronological format, which emphasises experience, but the functional and combination formats can also be beneficial in some cases. Regardless of the format you choose, you’ll use the following sections, although they might be organised differently in your CV depending on your format.
The CV header is where you will add your contact information, including your full name, phone number, and professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile. It goes at the top of your CV and is part of the CV design.
The first actual section in a human resources generalist is the professional summary or career objective. This is a 2-3 sentence paragraph at the very top that summarises your certifications, your years of experience, and anything else you find important for a hiring manager to know. The summary will highlight your experience, while the objective, more frequently used in entry-level jobs, will state your goals and top skills.
HR management requires a wide variety of skills – try to match your skillset to what the job posting lists. Here are a few skills to consider:
The exact skills you’ll need will vary from one HR department to another. The most important skill you can have is adaptability, so you can learn the HR policies of a specific department and incorporate them into your experience.
Next is your work experience section. This is where you will include any previous job titles you held that were related to human resources. A professional CV will typically include 10 years of experience at most. Include any HR professional experience, even experience that doesn’t specifically include the job title of Human Resources. You will want to include the company name and dates of employment in this section.
A human resources manager typically needs at least a bachelor’s degree, often in a field like business administration. Certain positions may require a master’s degree. In your education section, you’ll typically also list any organisations you belong to, like the Professional Body for Human Resources and People Development.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you are writing your HR generalist CV:
Yes. A cover letter allows you to ask for the interview, express more of who you are, and discuss your best qualifications. Check out the HR cover letter example at CVHelp to learn more about how you can craft your cover letter.
Almost always. An HR generalist is not an entry-level job. This means you need experience so you can show you know how to do the job. Remember, however, that relevant experience can include other HR jobs, volunteer work, and internships, so you might have experience even if you haven’t previously worked as an HR generalist.
CV keywords are an important part of changing up your CV so that you can apply to different jobs. When you use them, you’re able to project an image of yourself that’s exactly what the hiring manager is looking for. Read our article about how to use CV keywords in the link above so that you can effectively customise your CV.
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