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Preparing an HR Director Level Resume

by Jan Simon

Stepping up to the director level in human resources requires more than a degree and years of experience. Competition for management positions at the senior level is stiff. Marketing yourself is vital. To be considered a serious candidate at the first pass, your resume must speak volumes in two pages or less. Create a marketing document that highlights your achievements, experience and core competencies. Before you send your resume off to a potential employer, make certain your resume depicts a business leader who delivers.

Profile

As in any profession, capturing the resume reader’s attention is paramount to further consideration. HR people may be held to higher standards. Having been exposed to resumes ranging from the great to the ridiculous, a potential HR director is expected to produce a high quality advertisement for her services. Power-up your resume profile, which is captured in the first few inches. In bullet points, create an executive summary of your HR experience with quantifiable data supporting your capability to get the job done. For example, you might include in this section your total years in HR, and a mention of your solid expertise in HR functions such as compensation, change management and employee relations. Highlight your organizational background. Perhaps you have a background working in start-up environments, mastering turn-around situations, or held a position with an outside consulting firm.

Achievements

Your resume must prove your career successes and not delineate a laundry list of responsibilities. Use action verbs to start powerful sentences showing your achievements. Detail the action you took to succeed in projects such as ramping-up mass hiring in 30-days, or avoiding a lay-off situation by restructuring jobs. Perhaps you reduced the dollars spent on benefits by changing health insurance carriers, or installed an employee assistance program that resulted in reduced employee sick time. Carefully craft your high level success stories into bulleted phrases under your work history with each employer.

Business Partner

Senior management teams want an HR director who is a strategic partner. Your resume must demonstrate your ability to understand and contribute to the bottom line. Include results-oriented actions that demonstrate your business savvy. For example, implementing strategic initiatives such as centralizing or decentralizing the HR function to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy validates your capacity to improve business processes. Employers scrutinize resumes at this level for examples of how a potential HR director reduced turnover or created an initiative to increase employee engagement.

Education and Professional Development

Create a listing of college degree data on your resume. Additionally, potential employers want proof of ongoing growth. Denote any HR certifications you received. The SPHR designation, earned by passing an exam given by the Society for Human Resources Management, is often expected at the director level. If you do not hold that credential, list any significant HR coursework completed during your career.

About the Author

Jan Simon is a career and life coach with more than 20 years of experience in corporate human resources. She holds a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University. Simon enjoys writing career articles and is a columnist for the CV Weekly. She also publishes a weekly blog called Life on the Sunny Side.

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