The HR jobs market is competitive so you’ll need to make yourself to stand out to be successful.
Considering your motivations for moving and what you're looking for in a new role is vital if you are going to make the best impression on potential employers.
Do you really want to move?
The first thing to do is ask yourself why you’re discontented with your current role and explore what you can do about it. If the reason is that the HR function is not respected in your organisation, is there any action you can take to push it higher up the agenda?
Only once you have tried everything you can, should you think about moving jobs. But you need to be realistic. The market is competitive, so proper preparation is essential if you're hoping to land your dream role.
What employers want
"In addition to technical HR knowledge, employers are really looking for commercial awareness. To get noticed in the first place, you need to articulate various commercial highlights in your career history – such as profit and loss and return on investment (ROI) achieved in real terms – in your CV," said Sally Martin, Associate Director at Robert Walters.
"Essentially, HR professionals need to speak the same language as line managers in other business areas within the company."
In addition to technical HR knowledge, employers are really looking for commercial awareness.
Skills to highlight
In the current climate, employers are also seeking measures of how successful their HR function can be. So you need to highlight specific facts and figures regarding cost savings, hires made, employee relations cases and employee engagement surveys. Tracking is crucial in this market.
Spend time on your application
When applying for a new role, your application should be achievement-driven and sell to a potential employer the benefits of hiring you as an employee. It should always be tailored to the selection criteria and explain why you are the right person for the HR role.
"Your CV needs to sell you and show you can add value as an HR professional. Consider what evidence you can offer to convince potential employers that it will be worth their time to interview you" continues Sally Martin.
There's always something more to learn, or something that you can strive to do better than your competitors. Identify these areas, incorporate continuous learning as an integral part of your job, and always seek to keep your skills and knowledge updated.
If you’re unsure exactly what your next career move should be, contracting could be an option for you. It gives you the opportunity to test your capabilities in new environments, helping you to make the next all-important career decision.
Contract roles can also offer you greater flexibility, a good work/life balance and the opportunity to increase hourly earnings. On top of that, the variety that comes with working in contract roles increases your skills base, industry knowledge, experience and exposure to dynamic environments. And if your employer values you and you enjoy the work, you may find a permanent job opportunity soon follows.
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