How to Get Started in Human Resources

Human Resources professional discussing onboarding


Are you a people person looking for a career that will put your personal skills to good use?  As a Human Resources professional, you will work closely with an organization’s most important asset— its employees! If this line of work appeals to you, here’s how you can get started in the Human Resources field:



Get the Right Education

To begin your career in Human Resources, it’s critical that you have strong administrative and computer skills. The right educational program will teach you the software you would most likely use in your role, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and QuickBooks. Because working in Human Resources will put you at the center of all office activity, you should be prepared to work in a modern office environment with employees at all levels. Your coursework should also teach you valuable skills such as time management, organization, and how to be an effective communicator.



Gain Hands-On Experience

In today’s competitive job market, the right experience will set you apart from fellow job seekers. That’s why you’ll want an educational program that requires some on-the-job training. An externship can give you valuable hands-on experience that lets you to apply your knowledge in a real-world setting. It can also help you decide what business environment might be right for you.



Seek Networking Opportunities

“It’s not what you know, but who you know” may not really apply to jobs in Human Resources, but what you know and who you know can position you for success as you enter the field. HR professionals have an eye for seeking out talent, and making the right impression at a networking event could help you get your foot in the door. Your local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Chapter can be a valuable resource. Although you have to pay membership dues, joining as a student rather than a professional is a lot more affordable and can allow you to establish connections that can help you in your job search. And once you have an HR job, your employer might be willing to pay your membership dues since it will provide resources to aid in your professional development.



Get Certified

Earn professional certifications to show your employer that you are well-trained in certain areas of your field. As an HR professional, you will have administrative functions related to office management and you will likely assist with payroll, benefits, and employee training. While job descriptions vary by office setting, one thing you can rely on is that you will use Microsoft Office software. Getting certified in the Microsoft software you will use every day such as Outlook and Excel will show your employers that you are qualified and that you know how to work efficiently. You can also get certified in other important subjects related to Human Resources such as payroll systems and accounting.



Perfect Your Resume!

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. As an HR professional, you will eventually screen resumes to decide who to consider for a role within your organization. So, it’s important that your own resume measures up to the standards you’ll follow to identify talent. Take some good tips on resume building and make sure yours is  well-formatted, free of errors, and that it provides a clear overview of your qualifications and how your skills connect to the job you seek.



Get started on your path to becoming a Human Resources professional today. Career Quest Learning Centers can provide you with the fundamental tools you will need to succeed with our Administrative Assistant program.  Fill out the form to schedule a campus tour today.


“Before Career Quest, I had a job but I just wasn’t going anywhere. I was scared but I decided to give it a shot.  Now I’m the Secretary of the Student Council and ready to graduate!”


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