Getting into HR

Good Afternoon All,

Just completed my level 3 and is now looking to start as career as a HR advisor and I'm finding it difficult to even get an interview. I am currently working as a tore manager and done some HR duties. Can anyone advised on the best was for me to start climbing the ladder.

Your respond will be greatly appreciated 



  • Hi,

    I think the general consensus here is that it is very difficult to get into HR. Hopefully if you use the search function you will find some of the other discussions about this and some pointers.

    Have you tried tailoring your CV so that your HR duties are highlighted, or have you thought about initially trying for a HR Admin/Assistant role?

  • In reply to Nicola:

    Hi Nicola
    thanks for your reply.

    Yes I have tried and the feedback I'm getting is that there are candidates with more HR experience who is more suitable for the role.
  • Hi :) Hope you're well. I would suggest going into an entry level HR role such as assistant or administrator if you are struggling to get Advisor roles. Plus when I started out in HR I am so glad I started at entry level as you learn so much and with the right managers (regardless of your role) they can act as your mentor! I would also see if you can volunteer in a charity / shadow someone in a HR role for a week or two to also put that on your CV to show you are forward thinking.

    Hope that helps.
  • In reply to Bhavika:

    Hi Bhavika,

    Thanks for you advise.
  • Hi,

    I was in a similar position being a retail store manager. Although I knew I did a lot of HR in my role as there was no direct HR support, getting that across on your CV is very hard.

    I completed my level 3 and directed my applications to smaller, private firms who aren't looking for the essential criteria to be MCIPD and 10 years exp.

    Luckily for me, they concentrated more on me and as I had HR experience in my role could answer interview questions with ease, they hired me as their new HR Manager.

    Don't lose hope, its not impossible! :)
  • The fact is that it's a numbers game, Yaniquesha. If there are equally-qualified and more experienced candidates, then you're always going to be at the bottom of the list.

    Ways to get a foot in the door:

    Try to build a relationship with a good agent. If they know you, your ability and your readiness to work, it will be easier for them to place you because they will sell you to their clients, even if your CV is weak, by emphasizing your value.

    Discuss your ambitions with your LM. If an internal opportunity arises it will help make sure you're first in line. If not, then your LM may be more sympathetic to negotiating a reduced notice period. And speaking of which...

    Reduce your notice period, by hook or by crook. Your best pathway into HR will be with a temp role. Such roles are often urgent needs, so the best candidates will be those who can start tomorrow. To be so ready needs one of three things: (1) not being currently in work; (2) having an arrangement with your employer than you can leave on zero notice, or (3) being prepared to dump your employer without notice and hang the consequences.

    1) is easy to do but risky, obviously. 2) is hard but the best possible approach. I don't recommend 3) but if your new employer isn't too worried about references, you might get away with it.
  • In reply to Robey:

    Hi Robey,
    thanks for you advised. I really appreciate it.
  • In reply to Katie:

    Hi Kate,
    Thanks you. I am willing to leave my current job to pursue my career in hr . I just want 1 person to give me that chance if even on a trial period for me to prove myself.
  • In reply to Robey:

    I think I need to spend more time on my cv or get help selling myself..
  • Hello,

    You've had some good advice on here, particularly with regards to building up a relationship with a good agency. That's a great start and I would echo that advice.

    You need a multi pronged approach though and I would suggest also having your CV checked over by friends/family who may have experience in this area or just a general good grasp of CV writing. For a start, it needs to be well written, easy to read and well presented. Often it's not what you've done but how you sell what you've done. You need to use the right language that's going to jump out at recruiters. Look at the HR language on this website - employee relations, organisational change, talent management etc. These are all buzz words and will jump out from your CV like a light if you can include them, regardless of your current job title.

    It's also often 'who you know'. Get your name out there as somebody who has a passion for HR and is looking for an opportunity to help out - speak to friends, family etc.

    Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn and then be sure to include your LinkedIn URL on your CV so that employers can see that you come recommended.

    Have you tried the NHS? They are often looking for 'bank staff' on a zero hours basis and in my experience have opportunities in HR even if it's to help them out with filing as a lot of it is still paper based.

    These are just a few things - it's not easy but you have to approach it at many different angles.
  • Hi Yaniquesha,

    Well done on completing your level 3, i recently have finished too and just waiting for my certificate to come through. Being confident in your interviews is my best advice, I managed to secure my fist HR job last year just before starting this course. My company obviously saw something in me as i had no previous experience in HR when i started but it really has been the best thing I've done.

    I would also say look into Assistant/Admin roles to start with. I am currently an assistant but still get involved in advising. I mostly prepare contracts, offer letter, disciplinary meeting letters etc so you get a real insight into everything.
  • In reply to Emma:

    Hi Emma,

    Thank you .. Yes I have applied for a HR admin with no luck as yet. I am hoping to get something before I start level 5 in September. x
  • In reply to Craig:

    Hi Craig,

    thank you some valid information there. thanks
  • HR is an area where experience counts as much (probably more) than qualifications, so I think you'll be unlikely to step straight into an Advisor level role. Level 3 isn't really Advisor level either. So keep looking for that first admin level role - it's where nearly all of us started and the experience you gain is invaluable. HR admin covers a hell of a lot more than filing and data entry type work that you might find in general admin jobs.
  • In reply to Fiona:

    Totally agree Fiona, I am in my first HR job as an assistant but do all the advising (as we dont have an advisor) with the support of my manager as well as all the contracts and offer letter etc