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What to do if you want to move jobs in HR

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. 

Is moving really your last resort?

Firstly, ask yourself why you are not satisfied in your current role and explore if there is anything you can do about it. For example, if one of the reasons for your move is that the HR function is not respected in your current organisation, could you take any action to push it higher up the agenda?

You should only think about moving jobs once you’ve certain you’ve tried everything you can. You need to be realistic as the HR market is competitive, so it’s vital you are properly prepared if you want to land your dream role.

Qualities employers are looking for

"As well as technical HR knowledge, employers are really looking for commercial acumen. To get noticed in, you need to ensure you articulate various commercial highlights and achievements in your career history, such as profit and loss and return on investment achieved in real terms, in your CV," said Dawn May, Senior Manager at Robert Walters.

"HR professionals need to speak the same language as line managers across other business areas within the company." 

Highlight your achievements

In the current market climate, employers are seeking measures of how successful their HR function can be. You need to highlight facts and figures regarding cost savings, hires made, employee relations cases and employee engagement surveys as tracking is increasingly crucial in this market.

Dedicate enough time to your application

When you apply for a new role, your application should be achievement-driven and sell to a potential employer the benefits of hiring you and what you can add to their business. 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 Dawn. 

Enhance your skills with continuous learning

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.

Think about contracting

Contracting could be an option to consider if you are not certain what your next career move should be. 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 will quickly and dramatically increase your skills base, industry knowledge, experience and exposure to dynamic environments. And if your contract employer values you and you enjoy the work, a permanent job opportunity may soon follow.

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