Best HR generalist CV examples for this year

HR generalists are able to manage a wide variety of HR needs. Here’s how to elaborate on the skills needed for this position in your CV.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why use HR generalist CV examples?
  2. What to highlight in an HR generalist CV
  3. The structure of an HR generalist CV
  4. Do’s and don’ts for an HR generalist CV
  5. FAQ: HR generalist CV examples

Why use HR generalist CV examples?

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.


What to highlight in an HR generalist CV

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.


The structure of an HR generalist CV

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.

Contact information

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.

Professional summary or career objective

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.

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:

  • Employee relations and retention
  • Knowledge of employment law (FMLA, ADA, labour relations)
  • Knowledge of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Employee onboarding
  • General legal compliance
  • New employee orientation
  • Project management
  • Employee benefits and enrolment in benefit programmes (healthcare, PTO)
  • Employee engagement
  • Communication 
  • Conflict resolution
  • Performance management
  • Human resource management systems (PeopleSoft, ADP)
  • Interpersonal skills

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.

Work history

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.

Education

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.


Do’s and don’ts for an HR generalist CV

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you are writing your HR generalist CV:

Do:

  • Use the CVHelp CV builder to make it easier to create your CV. This helps you avoid issues with formatting and smaller elements like font selection.
  • Look at HR generalist CV examples before you write yours. These CV samples help you learn what a hiring manager is looking for.
  • Feature all of your most important work experiences, but don’t list every responsibility you’ve ever had. You can save that for your LinkedIn.

Don’t:

  • Talk about specific initiatives you want to incorporate into the company’s system. This is much better suited for a cover letter, where you can talk about the ideas you have.
  • Include bar graphs and other excessive graphic design elements in your CV. This can make it more difficult for a CV to be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is an automated system that screens CVs before a hiring manager does.
  • Include irrelevant work history. Being a business partner or a budgetary executive is impressive, but if you can’t connect it to your HR skills, you shouldn’t include it.


FAQ: HR generalist CV examples

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for an HR generalist application?

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.

Q: Do I need experience to be an HR generalist?

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.

Q: How do I change my HR generalist CV to apply to different jobs?

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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