Resumes & Cover Letters

5 HR skills everyone should have on their resume

Written by Kate Lopaze

As a human resources professional (or an aspiring one!), you can probably give all sorts of sage advice about what kinds of skills employers look for on a resume. But what about your resume? What HR skills should you be using to move your own resume and opportunities to the next level?

Benefits and compensation

Being able to recite, chapter and verse, what benefits your organization offers may seem like something you do in the normal course of your job. And while it may well be a part of your day to day, it’s also an important skill set that makes you valuable to any HR department, so call it out.

There’s more to it than simply knowing what your organization does. What other systems and tech are companies using to manage employee benefits? Are there any big developments on the horizon? Specific expertise or certification on common industry programs are a good point to list on your resume, even if your organization doesn’t use them (yet). It makes you a go-to expert on internal issues relating to benefits and compensation, and shows that you’re thinking beyond what’s in front of you.

Talent acquisition and recruiting

Even if you think of yourself as more of a generalist, recruiting is a hot topic for future employers. Hiring is getting more and more complex, and those who can navigate (and innovate) the process are in high demand. Being up on the latest sourcing trends and tech is essential for any HR professional, even if it’s not really in your everyday work. Flexible expertise makes you more marketable on the job market. It also makes you more essential where you are, come evaluation and promotion time.

TA and recruiting expertise also builds and showcases leadership. Aspects of the process like implementing processes, negotiation, and candidate evaluation show that you can apply your skills with confidence, and aren’t afraid of big projects that require a host of other skills to manage.

Data analytics

Data, data, data. Right now, it’s what every organization, in every field, is harvesting to make essential decisions about products and services, customer service, and workforce building. It’s a language that every HR professional will need to speak. If you can show fluency now, that’s a huge plus on your resume. Data analytics influence so many aspects of HR, and your organization in general: strategy, resource allocation, and executive decision-making all depend on it.

The most valuable professionals will be the ones who can read reports and system outputs and see real-world applications. You don’t need to sound like an IT expert, but being able to make connections between basic data points to spot trends, make predictions, and evaluate how things are working is a skill that hiring organizations want to see.

Diversity and inclusion

Inclusivity is no longer something that organizations can ignore. The world is diverse, and bringing that diversity in perspectives and cultures to the workplace is an asset for any organization that commits to it. Many organizations have it as a goal but don’t always have the strategy for getting there. That’s where the skills of HR professionals come in. If you’ve worked on diversity initiatives, developing inclusive hiring processes or creating more diverse culture within the existing organization, this is absolutely a skill you should showcase on your resume—and be prepared to discuss.

Specific certifications

It’s no secret that a few letter combos trailing a name means instant credibility. Having Human Resources certification by industry groups like SHRM can boost your resume instantly. If you take courses and certification programs, you’ll make sure that you’re always growing and building the skills you need.

You already know what makes a great resume, because it’s literally your job to know. But sometimes it can be easier to evaluate others’ resumes than to make sure our own are hitting those same high notes. If you’re looking to boost your HR career with a promotion or new job opportunity, make sure you’re giving your skills the spotlight they deserve.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.