How to Develop a Winning Human Resource Resume

Developing a resume to show case your candidacy and qualifications for human resource career opportunities is not all that different from developing any other well written professional resume. You should use a chronological resume format, or hybrid format that includes a summary statement and possibly an "Area of Expertise" section that lists your most relevant skills and qualifications. An effective resume should also focuses on your key qualifications and emphasizes your major achievements.

In preparation for developing your human resource resume, we recommend reviewing the following articles.

For sake of time and focus, we're going to assume that you've thoroughly reviewed the three resume development articles listed above and are familiar with the structure and format of an effective HR resume, and that you have a good understanding of the type of information your resume should include. Now let's focus on what's really important--communicating your skills!

Notwithstanding a growing job market, their is a high level of competition for human resource positions. The key to setting yourself apart from the competition is to develop a resume that highlights and emphasizes the specific key skills hiring managers are searching for in human resource candidates. Below we're going to identify and address each of these skills in detail, and in order of importance.

  • 1. Employee Relations
    Hiring managers are looking for candidates that have a proven ability to strengthen the employer-employee relationship. An effective HR resume will show that you have the ability to identify and resolve employee concerns and develop a satisfying work environment for both employee and employer.

  • 2. Recruiting
    Being able to find and recruit talented employees is one of the most important skills an HR professional can have. Your resume should show that you're effective at connecting with with others, communicating clearing, negotiating contracts, uncovering information, and ultimately recruiting new talent.

  • 3. Human Resource Management
    Human resource management include several different skill sets. Hiring managers want to see that you have direct experience in human resource management or that you have the different sub skills such as leadership, general management, interpersonal communication and critical thinking that are required for a human resource management position.

  • 4. Scheduling
    Scheduling skills are critical to effective human resource management because human resource managers are required to handle many different tasks simultaneously. Being able to prioritize tasks, develop realistic plans, and manage time effeciently are traits a hiring manager is looking for in a resume.

  • 5. Administrative Support
    For mid-size to large companies, administrative support is a vital function within the HR department. Many HR positions require candidates to have the ability to provide administrative support such as staffing activities, administering assessment, recording data, or making arrangements on behalf of team members. Administrative support duties often go beyond the physical job description, but are nonetheless an important element of HR.

  • 6. Business Administration
    Even though the focus of HR isn't business administration, hiring managers are looking for HR managers and professionals that have an understanding of business fundamentals, operations and principles that impact the wellbeing of the company.

  • 7. Labor Relations
    The ability to advise communication exchanges between two parties and focus on team success over individual accomplishment is a valuable skill that hiring managers are looking for. Being able to show, via your resume, your aptitude for labor relations is a big plus and will help get you the interview you're seeking.

  • 8. Organizational Development
    One of the key responsibilities of an HR professional is to attract, train, develop and retain top talent. They must also have the ability to communicate, influence and help others perform their responsibilities in such as way as to improve the overall value and efficiency of an organization.

  • 9. Accounting
    Any business professional, including an HR manager, needs to have a basic understanding of accountancy and accounting principles. Budgeting, measuring financial performance and developing realistic proposals are all HR tasks that require an understanding of basic accounting principles. A good resume will show an HR candidate is familiar with basic accounting principles and concepts.

  • 10. Spreadsheets
    A working knowledge of Excel is expected of most professionals these days, especially those who provide any type of vital business or administrative support function. HR professionals should also have an understanding of how to use Excel (or a similar program like Open Office) to enter data, create spreadsheets and work basic formulas and commands. An understanding of Excel is also critical for managing employment applications, keeping track of data, and performing employee reviews.

Whether it's through job experience, or education, your resume needs to demonstrate that you have each of the human resource skills listed above. Dedicate the most space in your resume to experiences and achievements that demonstrate you have the most important skills hiring managers are looking for such as employee relations, recruiting and human resource management.

Human Resource Executive Sample Resume
The following is a sample resume for an experienced human resource professional seeking employment opportunities as the VP of Human Resources. The resume follows the reverse chronological "hybrid" format which includes a summary statement section, area of expertise section, highlights of qualifications section, education section, certifications section, and professional affiliations section listed in that order. Look for how the resumes emphasizes key skills, qualifications and achievements as they relate to the skills listed above. (Note: For a seasoned professional it's going to be assumed the candidate has basic HR skills such as "spreadsheets" without mentioning them directly on the resume.)

Jairon Niels

108 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95823   •   (916) 421-5542   •

VP/Director Human Resources
Versatile human-resources executive with experience working in diverse industries within a range of domestic and international workforce environments. Strategic professional and proactive change agent with a participative management style who encourages learning and promotes increased productivity resulting in value-added employer-employee relations and exceptional customer service. Expert in team building, personnel issues and organizational development.


  • Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Certified Employment Law Specialist (CELS)
  • Expert in management training, staffing, domestic and international recruitment, policy assessment, union avoidance, EH&S management, policy assessment, performance management and employee-relations programs
  • Compensation and benefits specialist with expertise in design/administration, including stock options, ghost plans, and deferred compensation
  • EEOC, AAP, OSHA, W/C, and other federal, state and local compliance program needs specialist


PHARMACYCLICS, Sunnyvale, CA, 2005 - Present
Director, Human Resources
Directed human resource fuctions at all facilities and offices in the United States, Canada and Mexico for large multi-national outsource provider for neonatology, emergency-medical and anesthesiology services.
  • Developed and executed employee engagement program that resulted in high-performing workforce that contributed to average annual net sales growth of over 140% for 6 consecutive years.
  • Designed and presented unique management-training program to facilitate understanding of diversity issues, employment relations, recruiting, employment law, and organizational development for first-line supervisors to senior-management teams. Program was instrumental in employee retention, increased employee morale, and union avoidance.
  • Implemented human-resources reporting system to update field managers, senior management, and board of directors on progress in areas including recruitment, employee retention, turnover, benefit cost and recruitment cost. Program led to reduction of full-time HR staff and department cost savings of 15%.
  • Managed employee relations for union and non-union facilities of other divisions. Implemented Six-Sigma and lean programs on manufacturing floors that lead to 15% improvement in process outputs between 2008 and 2012.

STANLEY BLACK & DECKER, New Britain, CT, 2001 - 2004
Director of Human Resources & Recruiting
Responsible for overall HR and recruiting activities for Stanley Black & Decker offices in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Developed and implemented Internet-based recruiting program that employed virtual pre-employment/post- offer background searches designed to maxmize fit between candidates and jobs and expedite the hiring process. Program lead to a 20% decrease in time required to process new recruits, as well as a 15% reduction in hiring cost per candidate.
  • Incorporated benefits-program review that resulted in increase in 401(k) program participation from 20 percent to 60 percent and increased assets from $5 million $23 million.
  • Designed and implemented new health-benefit program without reducing benefits to employees; reduced benefits cost more than $4 million for 300 employees to just over $3 million for 500+ employees while improving claims payments.

MARIN COUNTY, San Francisco, CA, 1996 - 2000Present
Assistant Director of Human Resources
Provided day-to-day operational administrative oversight for various functions within the human resources department.
  • Spearheaded implementation of employee compensation and benefits package designed to attract top talent away from private industry. Resulted in addition of several key employees.
  • Implemented several productivity enhancements that resulted in lowering labor costs by 8% in competitive job market where general labor costs were on the rise.
  • Redesigned existing benefits-program that resulted in increase in 401(k) program participation from 60 to 95 percent.


Master of Business Administration, University of Michigan 1995
Bachelor of Science in Organization Development, Arizona State University, 1991


  • Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Certified Employment Law Specialist (CELS)
  • IAML Certificate in Employee Law Relations
  • Certified Lominger Leadership Architect and Voices Administrator


  • Member, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Member, Society of Human Resource Management Global Forum
  • Member, Human Resources Association Los Angeles County (HRALAC)

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