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Human Resources Manager Resume Example & Writing Guide

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Human Resources Manager Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Empowering employees and nurturing culture. The HR team takes responsibility for a company’s most valuable asset: its people. When it comes to writing your resume, employers need to see that your experience fits their specific needs. The examples that an HR Manager chooses to share in their resume are a reflection of their understanding of what challenges they might face in the role. You will impact the performance of countless others, so the employer has to be convinced of your suitability. Reassure them that you are a safe pair of hands by following the tips in this guide and secure the opportunity to shine at your interview. But how do you write a resume that showcases every aspect of such a varied role? This guide will show you how to:

  • Build a compelling HR manager resume that excites employers
  • Communicate a blend of hard, soft and technical skills
  • Ensure that you use role-specific language to pass the ATS test
  • Prove you can handle the challenges of the present and the future.

Along with our sample resumes and builder tool, we will help you to reassure and fascinate your dream employer, while also making sure that you make it past the ATS gatekeeper first. You doubtless possess outstanding people skills. Now you need to bring them to life in your resume.

What does a human resources manager do?

There are very few roles that have such a broad impact on an organization. A great human resources manager can make a difference to every single employee. When the performance and well-being of your colleagues is at stake, HR takes central stage. With people spending ever more time and energy at work, the role of the human resources manager has never been more important. The HR resume has to strike a balance between the demands of the current role (depending on where the employer is in their business cycle) with what might change in the future. There are three basic considerations:

  1. Ticking the boxes for each role while also highlighting broader experience
  2. Getting past the ATS where specific keywords will illustrate your experience
  3. Conveying your individual impact on people, projects and profits.

Depending on the size of the company and the industry in which they work, the scope of responsibilities for a HR manager can vary greatly. In a bigger human resources department, a role that revolves around learning and development may not get involved in performance management or organizational development. In a smaller company, a typical day might include recruitment, performance management, internal communications, policy development, leadership coaching, compliance work or employee training. This is a highly abbreviated list and each activity requires a different set of skills. While the responsibilities listed in the job description might be relevant for the time when the employee is hired, the fluid nature of the role will mean that different demands may appear in the future. Each branch of human resources is intimately linked, so it is therefore important that every HR resume showcases a broad range of experience alongside the specifics needed for any given role.

Statistical insight

According to DataUSA, HR managers earn an average of $90k per year in the U.S., which is vastly higher than the national average of $53k. How is this stat important for your human resources manager resume? It shows the fact that companies expect a lot from an HR manager and compensate accordingly. It’s a competitive role with serious responsibilities, high pay and valuable contributions to a business.

Employers are looking for an HR professional who can adapt to be the guardian of their unique employer brand, using their interpersonal experience to overcome delicate issues, their influencing skills to bring about organizational change and their vision to help their people navigate through an ever-changing world. When an employer reads a Human Resources resume, they need reassurance that you are the person that will be able to get the best out of their people, whatever the role might entail. But what elements of the role could you include in your resume?

  • Many HR Managers have a recruitment remit – how do you go about attracting and retaining talent?
  • Some design, direct and manage organizational development that encompasses such things as employee development, succession planning, organization design and change management.
  • Collaborating with managers around performance management and compliance is vital for the working environment.
  • Human resources managers are central in the training and development of their people and they lead the compensation and benefits discussions to link growth with rewards.
  • They are the guardians of the employer brand and seek to nurture and communicate the culture to both an internal and external audience.
  • They are trusted coaches for senior managers and a valued sounding board for all. As technology and remote working increasingly impacts the employee experience, HR is helping to shape the workplace of the future.

In human resources, no resume is the same. What do you choose to include in yours, and why?

How can you beat the ATS algorithm?

Applicant Tracking Systems work based on analyzing resumes for keywords. Each section of your resume has a certain amount of terms relevant to the employer, the hiring manager and the job application. Applicants that understand how an ATS works have an actual chance of delivering their resume to human eyes, so the recruiters can see and evaluate them. The keywords for a human resources manager will vary drastically depending on the demands of the role. While it is important to showcase your breadth of experience, the ATS system may only be looking for certain keywords, so sprinkling your resume with role-specific words and terms that the hiring manager will have specified will be crucial to passing the first stage of the selection process.

This system impacts your summary and skills sections the most, where you provide descriptive terms of your professional character and skill-set. The trick to a great resume with a natural flow is to balance the need for inserting the necessary keywords without making it all look artificial. Below, we will offer resume samples that will guide your way.

Expert tip

In many of our guides, we suggest researching the employer’s website or careers page to better understand the company. Deconstructing the job listing itself is vital as well . For the HR manager, this is doubly important, as this may be part of your future remit. Analyze their employer brand presence and you will better understand not only the skills they’re looking for, but also the questions you may be asked during your interview.

How to write a human resources manager resume

Before we detail each section of your human resources manager resume, you have to know what those sections are. Your CV should include the following elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

We will start with a deep dive into how to craft an amazing summary.

Resume summary example

While your employment history and skills sections focus on your experience, the free-flowing summary should be used to convey your personal and cultural fit. After an employer reads the HR manager’s resume summary, you want them to be thinking one thing: “This person sounds like one of us.” It isn’t “this person has great skills” or “this person has achieved a lot.” That comes later. First and foremost, it is vital for someone working in human resources to fit in with the culture that they are going to nurture and lead. If there isn’t that sense of personal fit, everything else is irrelevant. The summary section is arguably the most important part of your resume and although an ATS will scan every word, sometimes the summary is all that a human might read in detail. Given the varied nature of the HR role, it is impossible to include every skill and project, but if the reader feels that there is a personal and cultural fit, they will continue to the more detailed employment and skills sections.

Use the summary to show off your human side. 

The most important consideration when writing a summary remains the imperative to make a prospective employer feel something like you will fit in. If you can’t make them stop and think about how you will enhance their employer brand, how will you nudge your colleagues along the required path? HR managers do sometimes have to make cold and clinical decisions, but your resume summary should be positive and warm.

Highlight depth of industry expertise.

While your experience is likely to be wide ranging, choosing the most relevant keywords for the role will serve to highlight how well you understand the challenges. Using the summary to adopt a “narrow but deep” mentality will set you apart from most other generalist resumes. Just because you are focusing on specific skills does not preclude that you possess many others. And we can’t stress this enough: custom tailor your resume for each specific job application! Hit all the “pressure points”, desires and needs relevant to this specific employer.

Statistical insight

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the highest paying industries for HR managers are: internet publishing and broadcasting (ads, media, search engines etc.), software publishing, communications, audio and video equipment manufacturing, as well as computer equipment manufacturing. The salaries in some cases can be x3 or x4 of the average.

What’s the takeaway? 

The modern professional world is built on specialization, even with professions and areas of expertise. As we noted before, custom tailoring (!) your resume to corporate culture, specific skills and so on is extremely important to stay competitive.

If you choose to delve deep into a couple of relevant areas in your summary, any employer will be intrigued, and they will want to arrange that interview to find out more about them and others. Take your lead from the job description. This is your starting point when it comes to keywords. If there is a good correlation between the job description and the summary, the more likely you will be to pass the ATS test. Word clouds are useful software to pick out hidden patterns from the text and can inform how you present yourself. Research what your employer says about their brand online and make sure that your summary (and the rest of your resume) mirrors their language. 

The resume example text below will give you a starting point, but if you want to gain more insights into related HR roles, read our our related Human Resource resume examples . They include an Human Resource Generalist resume sample, an HR Director resume example , a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) resume sample, a Recruiter resume sample and a   Human Resources Assistant resume sample.

Adaptable resume summary example

Experienced and self-motivated Human Resources Manager with five years of industry experience overseeing the Human Resources Department of a technology company and working to implement programs and changes that enhanced the company. Knowledgeable about employment law and effective organizational planning. Highly competent communicator skilled in developing initiatives that improve company profitability and growth. Proven track record of successfully managing Human Resource efforts and leading teams to work toward company goals. 


Employment history sample: highlighting similarities

While your future company might have preconceived ideas about your previous employers, the detail within your employment history should seek to highlight reassuring similarities. As both HR manager roles and company cultures can vary greatly, potential employers will firstly be seeking reassurance when they view the employment history of an HR Manager. If their initial reaction on viewing a certain employer is less than positive (and it might well be), your job is to convince them that your experience there is more relevant to them than they might think. Convince them that you will be a productive manager and a stellar addition to the corporate family. .

Your employment history should not only focus on the scope and outcome of your projects, it should also ideally highlight your specific input. They might be seeking to implement something similar, and it is important to know that you can deliver as opposed to just taking part. Switching your language from “we” to “I” in certain situations can leave a lasting subconscious impression. The rule of thumb is to use Reverse Chronological order for listing past jobs: from the most recent to oldest. At the same time,  the timeless nature of many HR interventions means that performance management or coaching experience (for example) from seven years ago may be just as relevant for today. Try to spread the story of your experience out across your previous companies – your future employers will not penalize you for experiences you had ten years ago. 

Expert tip

If you are doing a detailed description of a project, you might consider using the STAR method; S - the situation that you were in; T – the task(s) you had; A the actions/strategy that you used; R- the result you achieved. This helps to keep your explanations logical and straightforward.

There are many skills that might portray you as an industry pioneer if you demonstrate them early enough. Maybe you led one of the very first employer branding programs or consistently adopted the latest recruitment technologies? If it sets you apart from other candidates, talk about it. Illustrate your examples with measurable results, and where possible put them into context of what went before. HR has to show that it is creating value for the business and if your resume is devoid of numbers or percentages, alarm bells will start ringing. The reputation of HR for being soft and fluffy is not a true picture – HR people need to be ruthless if their work is not having a positive impact on profitability. It is also important to cover how you worked with stakeholders, influencing their decisions and encouraging their contribution. No human resources manager works in a vacuum, and it is vital that a collaborative thread runs through your work history. Talk about how you work with others and then talk about it again.

The resume examples below and explanations of your skills could also be integrated (based on available space and order of relevance) in your summary and employment history sections

Adaptable resume employment history example section

Human Resources Manager at City Waterworks, Spokane
April 2016 - September 2019

  • Served as the first point of contact for virtual & onsite employee inquiries 
  • Tracked HR issues to resolution & escalated, if needed 
  • Coached managers & employees on performance matters 
  • Managed virtual & onsite onboarding/offboarding 
  • Completed HRIS data entry, reporting, auditing, & processed payroll requests 
  • Supervised HR Coordinator 


Regional Recruiter at Vitamin T Talent, Seattle
November 2014 - March 2016

  • Identified & recruited highly qualified talent via ATS, job boards & personal networks 
  • Maintained positive connections with all potential & placed talent 
  • Negotiated contract terms with talent & oversaw credentialing process 


Human Resources Manager at Docal Technology Inc. , Seattle
July 2010 - October 2014

  • Managed and led a 1- person team of Human Resources professionals. 
  • Identified company setbacks & developed & implemented solutions. 
  • Worked on behalf of employees to ensure a safe & healthy work space, conducive to results. 
  • Communicated strategic planning results to the CEO & addressed any issues that needed tending to. 
  • Helped to ensure employee retention by listening & understanding the desires & needs of employees.

CV skills example: experience is everything

HR is a skills-heavy occupation. You need to demonstrate that you have done what your future employer needs you to do - learning “on the job” will always be seen as a risk. Your list of skills is your human resources calling card. Each area of HR can be broken down into separate competencies and the skills section is the place to showcase the blend that is most relevant to your future employer. By all means, talk about your strengths, but if your strengths do not correspond to what is needed, that is wasted space. The role of human resource manager is so varied that it is important your resume contains a good mix of hard and soft skills – with a few real-life examples where possible. You will not have the space to highlight each skill for every role, so space them out amongst all your roles, with the most important skills for the role in question listed in your most recent couple of positions. 

Statistical insight

According to a study of 140 000 HR job listings done by Rasmussen, the 9 most in-demand skills for HR are: 

  1. Managing employee relations (including conflict resolution)
  2. Employee onboarding
  3. Knowledge of HR payroll systems (Human Resources Information Software, HRIS / HRMS)
  4. Employee performance management (through addressing needs, improving the work environment etc.)
  5. Teamwork and collaboration
  6. Scheduling
  7. Client relations / customer service skills (both for resolving workplace problems and improving employee interactions with clients)
  8. Project management
  9. Worker’s compensation (especially related to workplace incidents)
Adaptable resume skills example section
  • HRIS Technology
  • ATS & CRM Software
  • Employee Recruitment & Retention
  • Online Sourcing
  • Program Management
  • Training & Development

Education section: qualifications are key

While most human resource managers possess a bachelor’s degree, many have higher qualifications and there are a multitude of courses around various aspects. While a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business qualification is preferred, most HR professionals will have been fully trained in employment law, compensation, organizational design, employee development, labor relations, training and safety practices amongst many other things. You might consider it obvious that you have covered these topics, but not to mention them in the education section is a mistake. Your professionalism is reflected in your desire for constant learning and if the last course you did was five years ago, this does not give a good impression. If you include the qualifications that are most relevant for the role, you will immediately stand out as someone who will be a safe pair of hands. Little details at the end of a resume make all the difference. Leave a lasting impression with your education.

Adaptable resume education example section

Master of Science, Human Resource Development, University of Houston
August 2007 - May 2010


Bachelor of Communications, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
August 2003 - May 2007


Resume layout and design: highlight the measurable

Making decisions about how to structure your resume is important to highlight the parts of your experience that are most relevant for the job in question. There are no specific rules about which format to choose, but we can suggest some guiding principles: Firstly, ensure that it is visually clean, easy to read and symmetrical. You will have a lot to say about your achievements, but the starring moments of your career will be lost if it is cluttered. Secondly, don’t make it too densely technical in any sections. A recruiter without a deep understanding might skip over to more readable parts. Including technical terms is good for the ATS, but make sure that they are integrated into the story of your career. Including a huge list of skills is rarely a good idea. Make sure that all of your resume can be “read” by humans and machines. Not all ATS systems will pick up on what is in a header section for example. Ensure that your resume has a logical flow.

Expert tip

Note that when using standard text editors like Microsoft Word, your formatting may “break” on another person’s computer, leading to an embarrassing visual mess. That’s why the generally accepted format for submitting resumes (especially) via email is PDF, which is the resume.io standard. Avoiding bugs in formatting, using professionally tested and designed layouts is one of the keys to success.

So, what layout is best for a human resource manager? Your resume is likely to be heavy on terminology and industry buzzwords, so it is important to make your resume easy to read and avoid long blocks of text. Bulleted lists grab the attention of the ready and make sure that you do not talk about too many different projects for any one employer. Make sure that your statistics and measurable successes stand out the most with a liberal use of bold type. Our template collection has a wide range of attractive layouts – choose one and make it your own through our editor tool.

Key takeaways for a human resources manager resume

  1. You will be representing your employer to their people, so make sure you speak their language
  2. Summarize your elevator pitch with emotive language and impactful examples.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of the employer’s brand by sharing your relevant job history.
  4. Communicate your mix of hard and soft skills with specific achievements in context.
  5. Ensure that the layout of your resume is a blend of practicality and creativity.
  6. Share what, how, where, when, and why certain actions have led to the desired result.
  7. If your resume doesn’t show you as a leader, how will you lead their people?

Above all, make your life easier by creating a resume in a few easy clicks in the resume.io editor!

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