If you've studied human resources (HR) and are wondering about your career options and how to get your first graduate job, have a look at the following careers information for help and tips. If you'd like to talk anything through, visit the Careers Centre to see a careers advisor who will be pleased to help.
HR and recruitment is a large industry covering all employment sectors. There are HR departments within nearly all organisations and companies. There are many roles available from recruitment consultants to training officers. The industry continues to grow and has been undergoing significant changes in the recent years.
A good level degree is needed, and the majority of graduate schemes and positions are open to graduates of any discipline, although a HR orientated degree would be particularly relevant.
The requirements for roles in the HR and recruitment sector are:
Work experience is crucial as it will allow you to develop the skills needed to enter the sector. Internships are not common in this area, therefore think about gaining work experience through sending speculative applications to relevant companies.
Anyone contemplating working in the HR industry should go to The Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) website where there is a lot of important information and helpful tips on entry as well as access to specific HR careers advice.
There are professional postgraduate qualifications available that are accredited by the CIPD. These are highly regarded in the industry as they demonstrate expertise. They may not be necessary for you to enter the industry, but will help movement to senior levels.
Visit the Careers Centre where there is information on getting into a career in HR.
Job roles within HR and recruitment can vary greatly, therefore you will need to research the different job roles thoroughly to ensure the job matches your skills and interests.
Here are some examples from the Prospects website of roles that graduates with a HR related degree are suitable for:
This is what some of our recent graduates were doing 6 months after finishing their course:
As HR/Personnel departments can be found in the majority of organisations, graduate positions are available across all industry sectors and with a wide range of employers. You could work in-house as part of the relevant department or as part of a consultancy.
Many of the larger companies offer HR as either a specific graduate scheme or as part of a general graduate scheme in the form of a rotation. Smaller companies do not tend to offer graduate schemes, but they may take on HR assistants as and when they are needed. This would mean you would have on the job training rather than a structured scheme.
Recruitment agencies are the main employers for recruitment consultants and they tend not to offer graduate schemes. They usually specialise in a specific industry sector.
Job hunting websites specifically focused on this sector are listed below, along with other websites which you may find useful.
You may also find the typical employers section of the related Prospects Occupational Profiles useful.
Industry professional bodies