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How to Get — and Keep — a Job as a Human Resource Manager

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A human resource job takes a special kind of person to do the job right. Do you think you have what it takes? This article provides human resource professionals, or professionals looking to get human resource jobs, with some tips on how to get a job as a human resource manager. Be sure to pay heed to the section ''Keep Your Job as a Human Resource Manager by Not Doing This.''

An Indefinite Definition of a Human Resource Manager

In order to get a job as a human resource manager, you have to understand what will be required of you. You will be required to oversee the personnel department of a company, organization, or agency. You will be involved in all manners of employee supervision, hiring, training, evaluation, and conflict management. In many cases you will be the mediator or point of contact between upper management and employees.



Getting a Job as a Human Resource Manager — Tip No. 1: Hone Your ''People'' Skills.

Human resource managers must be familiar with local, state, and federal labor laws. You must disseminate information pertaining to workplace safety as well as company policies and procedures regarding vacation, sick time, and benefits. Plus, depending on the employer, you may also be responsible for payroll.

Getting a Job as a Human Resource Manager — Tip No. 2: Get Certified.

Much training is involved to acquire the skills and knowledge to become a human resource manager. The more certification, training, and education you have under your belt, the more marketable you will be to employers. Some of the required certifications and areas of expertise are as follows:

  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
  • Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
  • Certified Benefits Professional (CBP)
  • Global Remuneration Professional (GRP)
  • Work-Life Certified Professional (WLCP)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Office of Environment, Health & Safety
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Human Resource Information System
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Workers’ Compensation
Getting a Job as a Human Resource Manager — Tip No. 3: Highlight Your Skills, Training, Certifications, and Expertise.

Begin with your cover letter and resume. In the human resource industry, skills, training, education, and knowledge are key. List your skills at the top of your resume. Be sure to include all certifications and degrees you have, as this will make you more marketable to employers.

References from former employees you’ve supervised will also give you a leg up. Employers need to know that you can effectively manage others, and former employees with whom you’ve had great relationships will help point that out.

Your cover letter will help you connect with an employer on a personal level. Tell employers why you entered the human resource field and what you will bring to their companies — namely, skills and expertise.

Getting a Job as a Human Resource Manager — Tip No. 4: Determine Who’s Hiring.

Use job boards to find openings. Human resource associations will provide you with the latest news in the human resource industry.

Also ask yourself where you want to work as a human resource manager. Do you want to work in a corporation? With a government agency? Do you prefer small companies? The human resource industry is huge, and you have many options.

Keep Your Job as a Human Resource Manager by Not Doing This.

This is a true story, as unbelievable as it may sound. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the clueless.

Now, humans inevitably make mistakes. That’s why pencils have erasers, as the saying goes. But if you’re a human resource manager, some mistakes simply cannot be made.

Case in point: I used to work for a small company. Duties overlapped as there was minimal staff. It was hard work, but we felt like a family. The human resource manager took on several duties. Benefits administration. Conflict management. Hiring and training. Office administration. The list went on and on. And unfortunately for us peons who counted on each and every paycheck to survive, the list included payroll.

Perhaps poor, oh, let’s call him Bill, was doomed from the start. But regardless of the amount of work one has, one cannot make mistakes when it comes to payroll. The employees will be up in arms if their pay is ever messed with.

And so it happened. Bill paid Aaron Fitzgerald under the incorrect Social Security number. The Social Security number didn’t even belong to anyone in the company. Needless to say, the ''typo'' caused a range of problems. Also needless to say, Bill is no longer with the company.

If handling payroll, quadruple-check your work! Human resource managers are the resources employees go to for assistance in a range of areas (salary and raises, benefits, vacation, workplace issues), so if you are thinking about getting a job as a human resource manager, then you must have the necessary skills to deal with people on a day-to-day basis.

Employers too reach out to human resource managers for a variety of issues, such as hiring and firing and inter-office communication. Thus, the job of a human resource manager is essentially to serve as the mediator between various individuals and groups with an organization. If this is something you excel at, then you will be successful as a human resource manager.
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 policies and procedures  human resource managers  conflicts  human resource manager  industry  offices  benefits  labor laws  safety  managers


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