Want a career in HR? Here’s 5 ways to achieve it in summary:

  • Getting into Human Resources (HR) can be achieved through various paths, and the specific route may depend on individual preferences, education, and experience. 
  • An educational background in HR with a relevant university degree and taking part in Internships and entry-level positions are perfect for kicking off a career in HR 
  • Certifications and professional development, regular networking and having transferable skills are also vital to getting a career in HR. 

If you’re looking to become an influential and trusted partner at the highest levels of business, then a career in HR might just be for you. 

Being a human resources professional can offer a varied and rewarding career path. And, although it’s true HR teams have suffered from a long-standing negative image, the fact of the matter is: HR teams are vital and trusted partners at boardroom level… and with good reason! 

Want a career in HR Here’s 5 ways to achieve it Cezanne Blog

As an HR professional, you get to work closely with people, helping them thrive in their careers while contributing to the success of the organisation. Whether it’s using powerful HR software to seek out top talent, fostering a positive company culture, or resolving tricky conflicts, HR allows you to make a tangible difference every day. It’s easy to understand, then, why people operations are one of the fastest growing professions in the UK today! 

Plus, it’s not just the day-to-day activities that make a career in HR incredibly fulfilling. HR professionals can constantly learn and grow alongside an ever-evolving landscape of workplace dynamics and human behaviour.  

If you’re passionate about making meaningful connections and creating long-lasting, impactful change, a career in HR might just be the perfect fit for you! 

Starting your career in HR 

Getting into Human Resources (HR) can be achieved through various paths. However, your specific route may depend on individual preferences, education, and experience. Remember, HR is a hugely diverse field with various specialties: including recruitment, training and development, employee relations, and compensation and rewards – there really is something for everyone! 

Tailor your own approach based on your interests and career goals within the HR profession. Additionally, gaining practical experience, staying updated on industry trends, and building a strong professional network can contribute to a successful HR career. With all that in mind, here are the 5 most common ways to enter the field of HR: 

1. Have an educational background in HR or a related field 

Many HR professionals start their careers by earning a degree at university, with a 2:1 often being considered the minimal level of achievement for employers. But, it’s worth noting that many HR professionals aren’t necessarily graduates of human resources. 

A degree in a subject such as business management, economics, finance or psychology may improve your chances of landing that first HR role and provide a strong foundation in HR principles. Although of course, a degree in human resources would be ideal to kick start your career and give you the perfect starting point. 

If you’re wanting to pursue education at postgraduate level, it’s worth considering a course that’s accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Even if you don’t undertake a postgraduate or master’s degree in HR, you’ll still need some form of CIPD qualification in your career – especially if you’re looking to move into senior roles in the future. Speaking of which… 

2. Obtain certifications and undertake professional career development 

If you don’t have a graduate qualification, there’s still a route into by obtaining HR-related certifications.  

For example, you could earn the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, or the Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) – both valuable credentials for people who want to perform general HR and HR-related duties. These formal certifications can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to the field 

As well as formal certifications, there are also a wealth of learning courses that can enhance your career development and show your commitment to potential employers. The CIPD offers a huge portfolio of evidence-based learning courses that are perfect for budding HR professionals, or even if you’re just looking to enhance your career in the ever-changing world of work. 

3. Gaining internships and entry-level positions 

Having an educated background and qualifications are important, but real-world experience is also vital for a career in HR. Look for internships or entry-level positions in busy HR departments to gain hands-on experience. These could include roles such as an HR Assistant, HR Coordinator, or Administrative Assistant with HR responsibilities. 

Those entry-level roles will give you the opportunity to learn what HR does from the ground up. You’ll also become familiar with best-practice ways working, the common processes HR teams undertake every day, and even gain insights from seasoned HR pros. 

4. Attend networking and industry events 

One more sociable way to nurture a career in HR is to join HR-related conferences, workshops, and networking events. Networking at professional HR events can open doors to job opportunities and provide valuable insights into the HR industry. Plus, you’ll also get the chance to connect with other professionals in the field. 

As well as attending HR-themed events, look to become a member of professional organisations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or other local HR associations. These groups also offer networking opportunities and resources to aid career development. 

5. Leverage your transferable skills if you’re changing career 

Lastly, it’s worth remembering that many people transition into HR from other fields. If this applies to you, assess your skills and experiences to identify how they align with core HR responsibilities, and be prepared to showcase their relevance during any potential job application process. Transferable skills that are valuable in HR include strong communication, problem-solving, organisational skills, and attention to detail.  

You can follow all the latest news from the world of HR by following us on our LinkedIn channels. Plus, we also have a heap of informative HR guides and reports – check them out by following the link below. 

Click here to view our library of free guides and HR reports.

Kim Holdroyd author image

Kim Holdroyd

HR & Wellbeing Manager

Kim Holdroyd has an MSc in HRM and is passionate about all things HR and people operations, specialising in the employee life cycle, company culture, and employee empowerment. Her career background has been spent with various industries, including technology start-ups, gaming software, and recruitment.

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