How to Write the Perfect HR Manager Resume

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for HR Managers are projected to grow by 6% from 2019-2029. This is faster than the average of four percent for all other occupations. Thus, as organizations expand their operations, they will need more HR managers. To make sure you are their top choice, you’ll need to upgrade your HR Manager resume.

Your HR Manager resume should highlight how you lead teams and train the workforce. It should also show your planning skills to execute strategic business goals.

In this article, I’ll break down the process of writing your HR Manager resume to get more interviews. I’ll also share a resume template that you can use and copy.

HR Manager Resume Sample

I will use one of our clients who was struggling with getting interview calls. To protect their privacy, I’ve fictionalized them as “Anne Shirley.”

If you’d like to see my annotated version of her older resume and the steps I took to revamp it, grab it here:

 

 

If you prefer to have me write your resume for you as I did with Anne, invest in my one-on-one resume writing service. As an HR resume expert, I will speak to you about your career history and write your resume from scratch.

Or, read on to learn about how you can redo your resume for HR Manager jobs:

Step 1: Integrating HR Management Keywords into Your Resume:

Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that ATS algorithms “catch.” They help show employers that the candidate has skills that match their job requirements. Keywords also rank you against other professionals applying for similar jobs.

Common categories of HR Manager resume keywords are:

  • HR management terms
  • Licenses
  • Degrees
  • Certifications
  • HRM software
  • HR subject areas
  • Tools

Here are some important HR management keywords. Feel free to copy and paste these to your resume if they match your skillset.

Employee Development

  • Employee Engagement
  • Recruitment
  • Strategic Hiring & Onboarding
  • Coaching & Mentoring
  • Employee Relations
  • Employee Retention
  • Performance Management
  • Talent Assessment
  • Employee Training
  • Diversity & Inclusion

HR Management

  • Organizational Development
  • Leadership Development
  • Succession Planning
  • Culture Improvement
  • Project Management
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Change Management
  • Strategic Goal Alignment
  • Data Analytics & Reporting
  • Program Development
  • Payroll Management

Here are some of the keywords I added to Anne’s resume. By placing the keywords towards the top of her resume, I immediately show readers her skills. This adds weight to her candidacy.

Before, these keywords were missing from Anne’s resume. This was likely hurting her ranking in Applicant Tracking Systems.

You can further tailor your resume to jobs that you’re interested in by looking for keywords in job descriptions. What tools, programs, and HR skills does the job description mention? Work those into your resume as well.

For more on keyword research, check out step #1 here. It touches on identifying and adding the best keywords for your HR Manager resume.

Step 2: How to Create Accomplishments for HR Manager Resume

Once ATS screens your resume, it will be read by a human reader.

Your next task is to impress this reader within seconds, as these screeners spend less than 10 seconds on one resume.

The best way to do this is by replacing responsibilities in the professional experience with accomplishments. Accomplishments are essential for resumes because they show an improvement path. They also help prove to the reader that you add value to the organization.

Anne had a very impressive career history but her resume didn’t reflect it.

To solve this issue, I added more accomplishments to her professional experience section.

Take a look at this example. Which sentence makes Anne sound like a stronger candidate?

Quantitative accomplishments are the best way to highlight how you improved things. An example of this can be an improvement in employee engagement and productivity.

But, if you’re unable to quantify your wins, qualitative achievements also work well. A great way to do so is to mention how you introduced diversity training at work. This shows that you made improvements at your workplace by using your HR management skills.

Questions to ask yourself

The following questions will help you identify your accomplishments for HR Manager resume:

  • Employee Development: What steps did you take to reduce high turnover? What programs did you offer to further employee career growth?
  • Customer Service: How did you elevate customer service across the board?
  • HR Management: What steps did you take to further corporate objectives? What measures did you take to end workplace harassment? What improvements did you make to the HR infrastructure?
  • Employee Engagement: What engagement programs did you introduce to boost employee morale or engagement? How did you deal with product knowledge gaps in employees?
  • Strategic Training & Hiring: What steps did you take to improve cross-functional collaboration? What was the impact of your diversity training on employee morale and performance?
  • Training & Development: Did you introduce diversity training to cater to diverse global clientele?
  • Payroll Management: How did you deal with the challenges of outdated payroll methods? What was the impact of introducing a software solution?
  • Performance Management: What metrics did you develop and track to check employee performance?
  • Employee Onboarding: What employee training and onboarding processes did you develop?

By asking some related questions from the above list and then digging deeper into Anne’s history, I was able to uncover the following accomplishments for her. To see all her accomplishments, check out the complete file above.

Make sure that you cover as many keywords as possible from Step 1 in your job experiences.

A common misconception is that every experience should be included in the resume to showcase all your skills. However, including irrelevant experience will distract the recruiter.

Consider removing or heavily summarizing jobs, especially those that you did early on in your history if they don’t relate to human resources.

Step 3: Creating a Powerful Career Summary for HR Manager Resume

Like most pieces of text, resumes are read towards the beginning and the rest is skimmed. So, it is very important that your resume’s first impression captures your strengths. The best place to do that is the top one-third part of the first page, which we call the “visual center.”

To create a powerful visual center, add the following to the top of the resume:

  • Firstly, your name and contact information. This includes your LinkedIn profile link, city, state, and zip code.
  • Next, a branding statement that creates a compelling value proposition for you and hooks the reader in.
  • Your three best accomplishments from the professional experience or a career summary proving why you are the best fit for the job.
  • A list of your HR skills, created from the keywords listed above.

After creating the visual center, read it out loud, or have a friend read it. If it is interesting for you to read, then it will be interesting for the recruiter as well.

Before

Anne’s HR Manager resume did not have a visual center at all; it dove straight into her work experience:

After

To make a solid first impression and maintain the reader’s attention, we made our point hard and fast. The results are as follows:

First, I wrote a branding statement for her. I also added her three best accomplishments to create an instant value proposition for her. The visual center also included a list of key skills she was most proficient in from Step 1.

I avoided adjectives and self-descriptors like “attentive to detail” and “dynamic.” This is because recruiters consider these words cliché.

Another most important part of the visual center is the contact information. Many people place the contact information in the header. But, the information in headers and footers is not read by some ATS. So, contact information should be written clearly and on top of the resume page. It should include your phone number, email address, city, state, zip code, and LinkedIn profile link.

If you are still stuck and confused about how to create a powerful visual center for your resume, read my guide on engaging resume summaries here.

Step 4: Using Volunteer Experience & Projects

Volunteer experiences and projects are useful if you have employment gaps in your resume. If you have employment gaps in your resume, check out this article that explains many ways to cover them.

Another way to cover employment gaps is by joining HR associations. Taking relevant industry certifications also helps. This will further keyword-optimize your resume and get leverage over other candidates.

Here are a few that will add weight to your candidacy:

Associations

Certifications:

Step 5: Formatting the HR Manager Resume

One main reason behind constant rejections by ATS is using “fancy,” or graphics-heavy, templates.

While writing your resume, reduce the use of graphics and colors. This is important for two reasons:

  1. Graphics may be overwhelming for some recruiters.
  2. They are illegible to some ATS. This can cause the text on your resume to not get parsed.

If your HR Manager resume format is just not compatible with ATS, no matter how well written it is, it simply won’t get read!

Additionally, you should proofread your resume at least three times. This is because typos and grammatical errors are off-putting. Run your resume by Microsoft Word’s spell checker and Grammarly’s free proofreader as well.

Bonus Step 6: Making a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is used as a sourcing tool by more than 94% of recruiters. Therefore, it becomes your first impression when recruiters search for a candidate.

LinkedIn Headline

The first thing recruiters see in your LinkedIn profile is your headline. Unfortunately, it is also the most neglected part. Most people usually put just their job title here. You can use the 220-character headline space for the most impact, the way the headline below does:

LinkedIn Summary

The summary and professional experience sections have a 2000-character limit. They give you enough space to play with words and highlight your accomplishments.

My favorite way to create a LinkedIn summary is as follows. I have used Anne’s experience to give you an example of how to create a LinkedIn summary.

  • Be sure to insert the job title in the opening. You want a strong opening line that’ll grab recruiters’ attention. That is why you want to talk to the employer’s needs at the start. Bring the results first and then talk about how you achieved them. Try not to keep this introduction short.
  • For the second paragraph, pick one of your key skills to elaborate on. You want to pick a skill that aligns with the jobs you are aiming for and expressed in the introduction. You should prove this skill by including one relevant accomplishment from your career. For instance, you can talk about how your employee engagement initiatives helped reduce turnover. Ideally, you want this section to be no more than four lines.
  • For the third and fourth paragraphs, elaborate on two more skills. Do this while maintaining the flow you established in the first two paragraphs. Again, share examples of times when you exhibited these skills and added value to your organization. If you need help brainstorming skills, jump back to the list of keywords I shared with you earlier.

Conclusion

  • You should end your summary by writing a strong call to action.
    • For example: if you are looking for someone who drives strategic corporate objectives, builds productive workplaces, and mentors multifunctional teams, email me: anneshirley@gmail.com.
    • Skip this step if you’re engaged in a confidential job search.
  • Once your summary is complete, add a short list of keywords at the bottom. The keywords selected for this section should be aligned with the jobs you are targeting.

By following the steps above, you’ll create an accomplishment-heavy, keyword-optimized, and ATS-compatible resume and LinkedIn profile summary.

Check out these links for making your resume more attractive to recruiters:

Writing is not everyone’s forte, but it is definitely mine. This is the reason my HR resume writing best practices have been approved by dozens of recruiters in the HR space. If you need help showcasing your skills and career history, upload your resume here for a free critique.

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