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How to Get a Job in Human Resources Without Experience

Posted by Jenna Baskin on 11/03/2024
Jenna Baskin
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How to get a job in human resources without experience

Diving into a career in Human Resources (HR) without experience might seem like a challenge, but it's far from impossible. In the heart of Australia's dynamic job market, HR stands out as a field brimming with opportunity, shaping company cultures and driving employee satisfaction across industries.

If you're eager to break into HR, but wondering how to get a job in human resources without experience, we can help you navigate the waters. Whether you're pivoting from another profession, fresh out of uni, or reigniting your career passion, we're here to help you develop a thriving career.

HR in Australia

8 Steps To Get An Entry-Level Job In HR (2)The human resources sector in Australia is a dynamic and essential component of any successful organisation. As businesses evolve and workforce needs change, the demand for skilled HR professionals continues to grow. This demand spans across various industries, reflecting the vital role HR plays in recruiting talent, fostering employee relations, and developing strategic policies that drive organisational success. 

There's no denying that massive external and internal changes have increased the importance of HR in Australia. Employees and managers alike are turning to HR for guidance on navigating 'new normals' since the pandemic hit our shores, and research indicates that 73% of the workforce depends on HR for support in future work, hence transforming HR fundamentals entirely.

Do You Need Experience?

Here's the thing: a common thread across all HR roles is the importance of soft skills and transferrable skills. Effective communication, empathy, problem-solving, and adaptability are just as crucial as technical knowledge in employment law or recruitment strategies. These soft skills enable HR professionals to navigate the human element of their roles effectively, whether it's resolving conflict, managing change, or fostering a positive work culture.

For those looking to break into the HR field without direct experience, understanding these aspects is the first step. Recognising the diversity of roles available can also help you identify where your current skills could be a good fit, and where there are growth opportunities.

Option 1: Explore Educational Pathways

Education doesn't just help with your theoretical knowledge; it's about gaining practical skills that are directly applicable in the workplace.  From understanding employment law to mastering conflict resolution, the right course can transform you into a sought-after candidate. It's your first step in proving to employers that you're committed and capable of being part of their organisational success.

Australia offers a robust framework of HR qualifications to cater to different levels of expertise and career aspirations. Certificate IV in Human Resources is a great entry point, covering the essentials of HR management from recruitment processes to workplace health and safety. It's ideal if you're looking to break into the field with a solid foundation.

For a slightly deeper dive, the Diploma of Human Resources Management offers a more comprehensive look at strategic HR planning, performance management, and employee relations. It's better suited for those who may have some previous knowledge of HR practices, or HR professionals aiming for mid-level roles. 

Option 2: Look Into Internships & Volunteering

Don't have the experience? Get the experience!

Might seem like a catch-22, but there are actually a few different pathways to getting that much-desired experience to kickstart your HR career.

Your first option is to get an internship. Internships are a great way to immerse yourself in the HR field, offering hands-on experience that can make your resume stand out. Many organisations across Australia offer internships for those eager to learn and contribute, even without prior HR experience.

Volunteering is another powerful way to gain experience while making a positive impact. Look for volunteer opportunities in nonprofits or community organisations that need help with HR tasks. Even roles that aren't labelled as HR roles can help you practice relevant skills. Volunteering also shows potential employers that you are passionate and keen to jump in.

Option 3: Apply for Entry-level Hr Jobs

8 Steps To Get An Entry-Level Job In HR (3)Entry-level positions in HR, such as HR assistants or coordinators, are fantastic ways to gain exposure to the field. These roles generally require less experience but offer invaluable insights into HR processes and best practices. They can also serve as stepping stones to more specialised positions as you grow your skills and knowledge.

When applying for these roles with little to no previous HR experience, make sure you're highlighting your soft skills and transferrable skills from previous jobs that make you a good candidate.

Option 4: Network

Building a strong professional network can work wonders in opening doors in the HR industry. Joining organisations like the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) can provide you with networking opportunities, access to industry insights, and professional development resources. You'll be able to attend HR-related events, workshops, and seminars to meet professionals in the field and learn about the latest trends and challenges.

You can also network online. The most common platform is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has more than 11 million users in just Australia accounting for 42.9% of the total population.

Option 5: Leverage Experience From Other Fields

Don't underestimate the value of experience outside of the HR world! Project management, leadership, customer service, and communication roles all involve skills that are essential to working in HR. Make sure these skills stand out on your resume and bring them up in interviews to ensure potential employers can see how it will contribute to your work in human resources.

Remember: successful HR professionals have varied skills ranging from discretion integrity to interpersonal skills. They're involved with employee-centric processes like guiding workers, resolving employee issues, sorting workplace challenges, hiring new staff, negotiating benefits, and supervising performance reviews.

Remember: Customising Your Resume is Crucial

8 Steps To Get An Entry-Level Job In HR (4)It’s essential to customise your resume each time for every position. Usually, an employer is overcrowded with a high number of resumes daily. After every job posting, the recruiter receives approximately 200 resumes in response to that posting... pretty hectic!

This makes it crucial for your resume to stand out from the crowd. Time and time again studies show that tailoring a resume for each job application and company increases your chances of landing the job.

Read our guide for creating the perfect resume.

Start Your HR Journey Today

Ready to transform your passion for people into a thriving HR career? From certificates to diplomas, MCI Institute is here to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to step into the HR role. 

8 Steps To Get An Entry-Level Job In HR (1)

Don't let lack of knowledge or experience hold you back; start building the career you dream of. Explore our HR courses online and get started.

At MCI Institute, our professionals deliver award-winning learning resources to students who want to study HR. A leading education provider service committed to offering multi-channel and human-centric touchpoints – all designed with a single mission- helping HR students connect and engage with HR practitioners.

Book your free consult now

Topics: career coaching, career info, Diploma of Human Resources, Getting a job, HR, human resources, Human Resources Management, job help, resume, online courses

By Jenna Baskin

Jenna Baskin is the CEO of MCI and has over 11 years’ experience in the training and education space. She was responsible for the creation of the MCI's online consumer division, the MCI Institute, and the transition of the organisation into the digital learning landscape. This includes platform partnerships across North America, unique content development, and the introduction of virtual reality learning methodologies.