To secure your dream human resources job, you’ll need to impress the employer with a stunning CV – and your CV will be viewed by the very department you’ll be working in – so it has to be good!
The below CV writing guide includes an example of a HR generalist CV and will teach you how to create an interview-winning application.
- HR generalist CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your HR generalist CV
HR generalist CV example
This a good example of a HR generalist CV which contains all of the information that an employer would need to know, and presents it in a well- structured, easy-to-read manner.
Take some time to look at this CV and refer to it throughout the writing of your own CV for best results.
HR generalist CV structure & format
Think your CV is just about words? Think again.
Facilitate ease of reading by working to a simple structure which allows recruiters to easily navigate your experience.
- Length: Whether you’ve got one year or three decades of experience, your CV should never be more than two sides of A4. Recruiters are busy people who’re often juggling numerous roles and tasks, so they don’t have time to read lengthy applications. If you’re a recent graduate or don’t have much industry experience, one side of A4 is fine.
- Readability: Recruiters appreciate CVs that they can quickly scan through without trouble. Ensure yours makes the cut by formatting your headings for attention (bold or coloured fonts should do the trick) and breaking up long paragraphs into smaller chunks or short, snappy bullet points.
- Design: Don’t waste time adding fancy designs to your CV. It generally adds no value to your application and may even end up distracting recruiters away from the important written content.
- Avoid photos: If your CV has photos, images or profile pictures, hit the delete button. They’re not needed and won’t add any value to your applications.
Structuring your CV
For easy reading, write your CV to the following CV structure:
- Contact details – Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by listing your contact details at the top of your CV.
- Profile – A short and snappy summary of your experience and skills, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the position.
- Work experience / career history – Note down all your work history, with your current position first, then working backwards.
- Education – A short list of your academic background and professional/vocational qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – This is an optional section, which you can use to highlight any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Start off your CV with a basic list of your contact details.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It’s often helpful to make a new email address, specifically for your job applications.
- Location – Share your town or city; there’s no need for a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure the information on them is coherent with your CV, and that they’re up-to-date
Quick tip: Delete excessive details, such as your date of birth or marital status. Recruiters don’t need to know this much about you, so it’s best to save the space for your other CV sections.
HR generalist CV Profile
Your CV profile is the first thing recruiters will read – so your goal is to give them a reason to read onto the end of the document!
Create a short and snappy paragraph that showcases your key skills, relevant experience and impressive accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should prove to the reader that you’ve got what it takes to carry out the job.
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- Tailor it: Not tailoring your profile (and the rest of your CV) to the role you’re applying for, is the worst CV mistake you could make. Before setting pen to paper, look over the job ad and make a note of the skills and experience required. Then, incorporate your findings throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid cliches: If there’s one thing that’ll annoy a recruiter, it’s a clichè-packed CV. Focus on showcasing your hard skills, experience and the results you’ve gained in previous roles, which will impress recruiters far more.
What to include in your HR generalist CV profile?
- Summary of experience: To give employers an idea of your capabilities, show them your track record by giving an overview of the types of companies you have worked for in the past and the roles you have carried out for previous employers – but keep it high level and save the details for your experience section.
- Relevant skills: Make your most relevant human resources key skills clear in your profile. These should be tailored to the specific role you’re applying for — so make sure to check the job description first, and aim to match their requirements as closely as you can.
- Essential qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant HR generalist qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: If spelling and grammar are not a strong point of yours, make use of a writing assistant tool like Grammarly. It’ll help you avoid overlooking spelling mistakes and grammar errors and, best of all, is completely free!
Core skills section
Make sure that your most valuable skills aren’t missed by adding a bullet-pointed core skills section like the one below.
This should also be heavily targeted towards the role you’re applying for.
For example, if the job advertisement lists certain skills as “essential”, then you’d list them here.
This immediately helps the reader to see that you’re a perfect match for the job.
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Work experience/Career history
Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring your roles
Whilst writing your CV, it’s essential to look at it from the eyes of a recruiter.
If they’re met with giant blocks of text which are impossible to navigate, they might get frustrated and skip onto the next CV.
Instead, make use of the 3-step structure shown below, to give them a pleasant reading experience.
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
“Leading a Team of HR Administrators within the HR Function of this non for profit Charity, reporting to the HR Manager, I play an integral role in overseeing the smooth running of the HR function including New Starters, Payroll and Employee Relations. ”
Use bullet points to detail the key responsibilities of your role, highlighting hard skills, software and knowledge wherever you can.
Keep them short and sharp to make them easily digestible by readers.
- Provide Senior Managers with accurate employee related monthly reports and statistics
- Support Managers with Staff Appraisals/Development
- Develop and deliver coaching sessions offering guidance and advice to employees
Round up each role by listing 1-3 key achievements, accomplishments or results.
Wherever possible, quantify them using hard facts and figures, as this really helps to prove your value.
- Streamlined the companies Recruitment Process cutting it’s quarterly spend by 25%
- Proposed and implemented moving all personnel files from a dated in-house database system to an efficient and professionally recognised HR system, saving the company 10 hours a month during the Payroll process
Next up, you should list your education and qualifications.
This can include your formal qualifications (a degree, A-Levels and GCSEs), as well as sector-specific HR generalist qualifications and/or training.
While school leavers and recent grads should include a lot of detail here to make up for the lack of work experience, experienced candidates may benefit from a shorter education section, as your work experience section will be more important to recruiters.
Interests and hobbies
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
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Essential skills for your HR generalist CV
Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.
However, commonly desired Human Resources generalist skills include:
Training & Development – You may provide and managing job-related training to employees and individual to help them thrive in their role.
Payroll – Managing a high-performance payroll system is a vital task that may be accompanied by needing to fulfil tax obligations for your company.
Scheduling – You will prioritise tasks for a team or your entire company calendar. You will need to be able to create a plan that allows staff to achieve their goals.
Staff Compensation – HR handles incidents of work-related injuries or illnesses as well as redundancies, you will need to understand the ins and outs about monetary value to employees in exchange for work performed.
Employment Knowledge – You will need to create, read, and interpret employment reports using data coming from different systems and models of thought.
Writing your HR generalist CV
When putting together your HR generalist CV, there are a few key points to remember.
Always tailor your CV to the target role, even if it means creating several versions for different roles.
Additionally, remember that the structure and format of your CV needs just as much attention as the content.
Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send. If you’re unsure, consult Grammarly – it’s free!
Good luck with your job search!