How to get a job in HR (without any experience)

Want to start a career in HR?

If you’re a creative extrovert who enjoys working with people, a career in HR or L&D could be a great way to hone your skills and thrive in a career you’re passionate about. But how can you get your foot in the door? It might be easier than you think.

We spoke to AVADO, the UK’s No.1 online provider of professional qualifications, to find out how you can break into the HR industry:


Utilise your transferable skills

Let’s face it, all experience is good experience.

Whilst it might feel like your current skills aren’t relevant, you’d be surprised at how much what you’ve already learnt could benefit you in an HR role.

For example, soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and time management, can be gained in a variety of environments – whether it’s through working or volunteering, studying at school, college, or university, or even through your hobbies.

Luckily, they’re also just a few of the key skills needed to thrive in the HR industry.

So whether you carried out a successful group project whilst studying, you’ve worked in a people-focused environment like customer service, recruitment, sales, or hospitality, or you’ve played the role of a key decision maker in your current role – you’re exhibiting all of the core skills needed to succeed in HR.

What are transferable skills?


Tailor your CV

If your previous experience is in another industry (or you’re coming straight out of education), your CV is likely tailored in the wrong direction.

In other words, if you’re struggling to get interviews, it’s not you – it’s your CV.

Not only will a tailored CV demonstrate a genuine interest in the role, it’s also the perfect way to frame your skills and experience – making your suitability clear to recruiters.

So before you apply for any job, give your CV a makeover. How? Simply use the job description to figure out what the employer is looking for, and place an emphasis on those skills and attributes in your CV. Whether it’s dedicating more space to certain areas of your experience (and removing others), or ordering it in a different way.

And don’t forget to write a clear and concise personal statement, that makes your interest in a role in HR immediately obvious.

Tailoring your CV: What you need to know

Five ways to refresh your CV


Take an alternative route

OK, so you’ve been applying for HR jobs with no luck. What now?

Moving into a new industry isn’t always easy (or instant), but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You just need to try different routes.

Firstly, do some research into the possibility of gaining HR experience within your current role. Even if there aren’t any HR or L&D opportunities available at your organisation, there are other ways to gain essential skills – without changing jobs.

For example, a secondment is a great way to gain practical experience in HR, as well as get a feel of whether the role is right for you. You could also ask your manager if you can take on new responsibilities (e.g. people management) within your current role that may make you more employable in the HR industry.

Lastly, getting a job in HR isn’t necessarily an immediate leap. Sometimes it might require a step sideways.

That might involve gaining experience in similar positions (e.g. recruitment, customer service, admin), for example, that will gradually build the skills needed to progress to a role in HR.

Changing careers: What you need to know


Get qualified

Gaining an industry recognised certification is a great way to improve your employability, especially if you’re lacking in practical work experience in the field you want to enter.

And for those looking to start a career in HR? A CIPD qualification is the industry standard.

Not only is it often seen as a prerequisite for HR professionals, its world renowned reputation is guaranteed to add credibility to your skillset, and help you gain the core knowledge you need to progress in this field.

And with a wide range of courses available, teaching everything from employment law and employee engagement, to resourcing and talent planning, from foundation level to intermediate, there’ll be something to suit you.

What’s more, most CIPD courses can be studied entirely online, at your own pace, flexibly, and around you and your commitments – meaning you won’t need to quit your job or travel to get qualified.

Five reasons you should become CIPD certified right now


Why study with AVADO?

AVADO are the largest training provider for professional qualifications in the UK with an active community of over 20,000 students studying to secure their next promotion, a higher salary or to take their career in a new direction.

They are CIPD Enterprises’ only official online learning partner for qualifications in L&D and HR, enabling you to gain access to exclusive CIPD experts and content you won’t find anywhere else.

Other benefits of studying with AVADO include:

  • They offer over 26 years’ worth of experience in online learning
  • Their courses are 100% online
  • 96% pass rates on our HR courses and 91% pass rate on our L&D courses
  • All students are assigned and supported by a personal tutor
  • All courses are taught by CIPD experts and L&D professionals
  • Flexible and interest free finance payment plans are available



Find out more


 Want to learn more about how a CIPD qualification could change your career? Enquire now.


avadoAVADO is the largest online provider of professional qualifications in the UK, with courses available in HR, Accountancy, Bookkeeping, Business and more.


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