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Your Transferable Skills in the Human Resources Industry Might Qualify you for These Other Roles

Among their many duties, human resources professionals are accustomed to being the ones who are doing the hiring and firing. Now, their jobs are being threatened thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

Human Resources employee speaking with new hires at a company

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions of workers across industries, and human resources professionals are no exception. White-collar workers, like those in HR, have begun to feel the impact of layoffs and corporate hiring freezes. With businesses closing and billions of people out of work globally, the fallout is expected to last for a while, according to The New York Times.

If you worked in human resources and lost your job, take heart. Although it may not seem like the best time to find work, many companies are still hiring vigorously right now and need people with your skills and credentials. Afterall, your experience as a human resources professional has given you a skill set that you can use in a multitude of industries. Here, we show you how and where to apply your skills.

Transferable skills, education and training to emphasize on your resume

Whether you are a recruiter, labor relations specialist, training coordinator or a human resources assistant, coordinator, intern, benefits administrator or executive, you have valuable skills that you can apply to jobs across industries. These are called transferable skills, or skills that are sought after by employers outside of human resources. Emphasizing them on your resume now will give you a jump on the millions who will soon be conducting their own job searches.

Below is a breakdown of the hard, technical and soft skills you may have mastered as a human resources professional that you should consider adding to your next resume:

Hard and technical skills: Hard skills include sales experience, the ability to train employees, proficiency in another language, business operations awareness, managerial experience, administrative tasks, recruitment, onboarding and project management. Technical skills include, Human Resources Information Software (HRIS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), Microsoft Office, talent management software, database management.

Soft skills: Communication, empathy, decision making, customer service, team building, negotiation, persuasion, organizational skills, collaboration, conflict management, leadership, ethics

Certifications and training: Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), Senior SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

Education: While a degree is not necessary for a job in HR, it is a highly competitive field, so if you have a bachelor's or master's degree, add it to your resume. If you have concentrations or additional studies in business or human resources make sure you highlight those as well. Human resources certifications should be listed under a separate header.

These industries are hiring people with your skills

Some industries, such as large grocers, government agencies, nonprofits and freight companies are hiring in mass right now and need your transferable skills. e'll show how and where to match those skills to get work in this challenging economy.

If you work as a recruiter, labor relations specialist, HR generalist, human resources assistant or employee benefits administrator, your skills qualify you for a variety of jobs in industries that are hiring right now, including:

  • Administrative assistant (for example, at a local nonprofit)
  • Virtual executive assistant (for example, for a CEO of a tech company)
  • Receptionist (for example, at a nursing home)
  • Sales associate (for example, at an essential retailer like Target)
  • Stocker (for example, at an essential retailer like PetSmart)
  • Package handler (for example, for a courier company like DHL)
  • Driver (for example, at a freight company like ABF)
  • Meal delivery person (for example, for a restaurant delivery company like Good Eggs)
  • Grocery delivery person (for example, for grocery store like Albertsons)

If you work as an employee benefits administrator, training specialist, human resources manager or HR operations coordinator, you could  qualify for many of theses available jobs, including: 

  • Bank teller (for example at a bank like Bank of America)
  • Caregiver (for example, at a health facility such as a hospice)
  • Cashier (for example, at a drugstore like Rite Aid)
  • Sales representative (for example, at a manufacturing company like GoJo)
  • Sales manager (for example, at essential retailer like Home Depot)
  • Warehouse supervisor (for example, for an essential retailer like Costco)

How to apply for these roles and what you'll need

If you are applying in person, you'll need a current email address and phone number; a resume and identification, such as a driver's license or passport.

If you are applying online, you'll need a current email address and phone number; a current resume; and a brief cover letter explaining what you'll bring to the table if you are hired.

How to find these jobs in your community

How to create a resume that will capture employers' attention

As an HR professional, you know that a well-written resume is the best way to show hiring managers why you are a great fit, even in the midst of a pandemic. While some industries are eliminating the need for resumes during mass hiring efforts, most of the positions you will likely apply to as a human resources professional will require a resume.

The best resumes speak directly to the requirements outlined in the job ad, so make sure you match your experience and skills to each role. Highlighting your transferable skills and what you have achieved over the course of your career will also set your resume apart from other applicants.

Add a strong cover letter, even if one isn't specifically required. A cover letter is your chance to highlight the most impressive parts of your resume and explain why you are changing jobs or industries. A cover letter template can help you craft the perfect cover letter quickly and easily.

Below, we've provided a sample resume to help you as you update yours for your new position.

Text resume example: A recruiting specialist applying for a sales manager role

Name: Stewart Boyer
Address: Henderson, NV 89011
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Email: example@example.com

Summary Statement:  Goal-oriented Human Resources Specialist with years of experience in training protocol development and policy implementation. Strong financial acumen with demonstrated success in budget development and adherence. Accustomed to analyzing company needs and developing long-term solutions to meet personnel objectives.

Summary of Skills:

  • Coordinates and supervises the work of specialists and support staff 
  • Excels at overseeing an organization's recruitment, interview, selection and hiring processes 
  • Handles staffing issues well, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures

Key Skills: 

  • Business requirements understanding
  • Project staffing 
  • Candidate pipeline management
  • Interviewing techniques 
  • Recruitment strategies
  • Time management
  • Networking and applicant sourcing 
  • New hire orientation

Work History

Recruiting Specialist
Kaplan College
Peridot, NV
3/2018–3/2020

  • Screened all applicants based on qualifications and background to meet and exceed rigorous standards. 
  • Promptly corresponded with all applicants and coordinated and conducted interviews.
  • Supported management in developing and implementing personnel policies and procedures leading to a 14 percent increase in employee retention.

Lead Recruiter
Carlson Companies Inc.
Reno, NV
2/2015–9/2017

  • Maintained relationships with technical professionals to gain industry knowledge and obtain referrals.
  •  Followed up with notable applicants sourced via pipelines, events and job fairs. 
  • Ensured candidates fit the hiring manager's desired employee characteristics and qualifications through a comprehensive screening process producing a turn over rate 20 percent lower than last quarter. 

Human Resources Assistant
AXON Ghost Sentinel Inc.
Lancaster, NV
7/2012–2/2014

  • Analyzed and modified compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and comply with legal requirements. 
  • Improved productivity initiatives utilising a team of 8, while coordinating itineraries and scheduling appointments. 
  • Administered compensation, benefits and performance management systems and safety and recreation programs.

Education & Training

Bachelor of Arts – Human Resources Development
Nevada State College
Henderson, NV

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

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Kellie Hanna

Career Advice Expert

Kellie is a San Francisco-based writer and editor with a broad background in digital media. Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, she served as online entertainment editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area where she took on a variety of digital content roles, including: senior editor, writer, content manager and strategist for leading high-tech companies such as IBM, Xerox and SanDisk, as well as for several start-ups. Most recently, Kellie has written for Smart Meetings magazine, Chronicle Books, LiveCareer and Resume Now. She enjoys helping job seekers find their voice so they can develop their unique talents and love what they do. She has a B.A. in English with a writing minor from Temple University, where she was a member of the Honors Program.