How to break into HR

I would be so greatful to gain some insight into how to break into HR. 

Since leaving University, I've worked as an administrator. When first looking at HR roles I was unsuccessful but saw many advertisements wanted a candidate who had either completed or were studying towards Level 3 CIPD. Since then I've completed the Level 3 Diploma in the hope that could give me an edge but I'm still struggling. I've been lucky enough to have a few interviews and the feedback has always been positive but they always say they decided to go with someone with more experience. I know this pandemic has impacted a lot of companies and it's harder to get a job right now than it was even a year ago, I'm just despairing at the constant rejection.

  • Welcome to the forums

    If you use the search facilities, you will see a fair few related questions offering lots of support and advice and a few success stories to show it can be done

    Hers one to start


  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    25 Feb, 2021 17:44

    Welcome to the Community, Kathryn.

    You might also find these CIPD webinars helpful.
  • Hello Kathryn,

    I'm sorry to hear about your struggles trying to break into HR.

    Before I reply can you clarify if your previous work as an administrator was within HR or something similar?
    Also, how many years experience have had in an admin/HR capacity?
    Finally, what HR roles are you actually being interviewed for, but sadly not getting?

    This sounds similar to the situation I found myself in i.e. the despair of constant rejection, but it would be foolish of me to guess without knowing your answers to the three questions above.

  • In reply to James Webber:

    Hi James

    My work as an administrator was in the NHS so wasn't exactly within HR but I tried to help my manager out with HR related tasks such as helping put together a job description, filtering candidates and assisting with interviews. I've done similar in my current role as well (working with content for a website company) trying to get experience and knowledge where I can to make me stand out as much as possible.

    The HR roles I've had interviews for were basic HR administrator roles, I had feedback from one company saying they had over 200 applicants so they shortlisted candidates with experience.
  • In reply to Kathryn:

    I see. Well that's good experience to have anyway. I don't have any of that! :)
    I'd emphasise this enthusiasm and interest in all things HR in your interviews (unless you're already doing so?). Employers will always react positively to motivated people.

    Also, if it makes you feel any better, I have a HR degree and have around 9 years of experience working in a variety of HR roles and I was told the 200 person spiel too :/
    And, yes, I was applying for the basic/entry level HR roles too.

    But don't despair I managed to secure a role in HR quite recently (and it was a temp HR Advisor role), but it has taken me around 10 months to do so.

    Have you had an job recruiters contact you directly?
    I've found that I've had much greater success (getting interviews that is and ultimately this particular new role) when they have contacted me asking if I'd be interested in a particular job rather that the, essentially, speculative submission of my CV via the varied job websites.
    I'd say my success rate for said 'speculative' submissions was easily below 5%. Probably even below 1%.

    P.s. This reply isn't meant to dishearten nor discourage you. I just wanted to relate to your current situation when compared to mine.
    Your situation will change, you just have to perceiver.