Am I being naive?

Perhaps I am! I’ve been applying for HR jobs left, right and centre and nothing, not even an interview. It’s really demotivating as I worked extremely hard to get my CIPD qualification, so much so that I am about to start my level 7. Now I may not have worked in a solely HR role but I do have experience and many transferable skills that I feel would benefit many organisations. I would have thought that being CIPD qualified would mean something? And it’s not like I am applying for BP roles. I know I need to take a pay cut and work my way up but there’s just been no interest in what I have to offer
  • Not naive but as said in response to your question last week it’s tough and there is over supply. So without direct experience you have to work extra hard. It can be done but not easy.

    Btw getting L7 qualified might in short term make things harder not easier.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks Keith. It’s just so frustrating and demotivating when you work so hard on something because you are passionate about it, to then see that actually it won’t help your situation.

    Why do you think taking Level 7 would make things harder in the short term?
  • And also, how are we meant to gain experience if no one will give us the opportunity. It’s that double edge sword again ‍♂️
  • In reply to Andrew:


    I note below my comments from a 2016 thread - mainly as I think it was helpful then and still relevant today (www.cipd.co.uk/.../267866

    "There are a number of threads about getting our first HR job either as a new graduate or as a transferee from another career / profession. Main highlights of them appear to be:

    1) There are lots of people who want to work in HR
    2) There are a lot less HR jobs than people who want them
    3) Most employers now have the luxury of looking for people who are experienced AND qualified often beyond where people "need" to be
    4) People found it a longer and more frustrating process than they hoped
    5) Many people found the best route was from within their existing employer and moving into HR projects or support roles or at least within their sector.
    6) Fewer people out there were open to giving people their first "chance" at the moment given the range of people qualified and experienced out there
    7) Volunteering, third sector and the public sector were all avenues some people recommended.
    8) Some people struggled to maintain the level they were at and had to step down wards to transfer into HR

    Its a very rewarding and worthwhile career so stick at it - but be prepared to be creative and flexible about opportunities and look in your own organisations first.

    Best of luck"
  • In reply to Andrew:

    Andrew Neil said:
    Why do you think taking Level 7 would make things harder in the short term?

    Because it confuses recruiters who often like simple easy narratives. 

    If you are applying for a lower-level role and are already L7 their concern will be will you stay? If this just a foot in the door?

    Also whilst academically many people can do a L7 qualification you won't get the most out of it without practical experience. It becomes academic theory not lived experience.

    A HRBP with L7 is one thing, a HR Administrator may well throw up more concerns for a recruiter than it solves meaning they move onto another candidate. Not saying it's right or the best solution but it's how it is I think.

    Your key focus now needs to be getting experience then (IMO) adding qualifications on top.

  • Just to add to Keith's points on the Level 7, you might find the actual course difficult or at the very least not as meaningful without practical experience to relate it to. Academic HR is very different to real world practice and I think trying to focus on actually getting some experience would be the best way forward.

    Wishing you the best of luck!
  • Thanks Alys. That’s the thing, I do have experience as I’ve been very lucky in my career to be given exposure to lots of HR/ER activities but definitely worth thinking about
  • In reply to Andrew:

    But with respect Andrew - and I do empathise with your frustrations as I went through similar agonies myself - while it is claimed there is experience on your part the lack of interviews might suggest otherwise. Something isn't quite clicking into place here, it might be the vacancies are not best matched to your skill sets, your applications are not specific enough for the job role, you may be applying for lots of jobs but failing to align the application to the job if you're going for a blanket approach. Has anyone given you feedback on your CV? Are you clearly demonstrating the scope for each of your roles coupled with a brief summary of your achievements? Yes, experience is important, achievements and bringing benefits to the organisation is just as important. Perhaps a look at the Careers section on this website (if you have not already done so) might help to identify areas which could be addressed and help with getting that all important interview? Link is:
    Good luck.
  • In reply to Clare Marie:

    Hi Clare
    Thank you so much for your feedback. I have actually had my CV reviewed and revised by a CV expert, focussing more on my HR/People experience and still little to no luck. I will check out the careers page as you suggested and hope for the best.
  • In reply to Andrew:

    If you want to send me your CV I would be happy to give you an unbiased opinion.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith, that would mean the absolute world to me. Thank you so much
  • In reply to Andrew:

    Hi Andrew
    Fantastic offer from Keith to look at your CV.
    I had my CV looked over by a very experienced and lovely HR lady (all for free I might add) and I made several changes as per her recommendations.
    I started getting more interviews and landed a dream permanent role. I have also (quite a few times) been told how impressive my CV is.
    It really can make all the difference.
    Good luck :)
  • In reply to Lisa:

    Hey Lisa, thanks for getting in touch! I paid for my CV and LinkedIn to be updated to showcase my HR/People skills but looks like I may have wasted my money lol! Let's wait and see what Keith says
  • In reply to Andrew:

    Well done to you Andrew for reaching out and asking for some guidance. Just keep crunching away and you'll get to the finishing post. It's good to hear your CV was reviewed although I'm fearful it may be too generic. Whilst it's a long winded process it really pays to select a small number of vacancies and tailor your CV to each of those roles to demonstrate how your skills and experience match THAT job. I'm certain Keith's feedback will greatly help. :-)