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HR Assistant - Advice

stefuhkneestefuhknee Spread Love it's the Brooklyn Way member
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Hey ladies so I'm mostly a lurker but recently @theycallmelinz posted about looking for another job outside of her specialization and it was almost as if I could've written it as I'm experiencing similar frustrations in my own field and you all gave amazing advice so I'm hoping you wouldn't mind sharing some of that wisdom with me.

A little BG, I have a BA in English LA but I haven't used my degree to help me find work instead I've been working in logistics and intermodal dispatching for almost a decade. I recently (Sept '14) took a new job working for a different transportation company solely dispatching and handling customer service pretty much on my own. I've realized that dispatching just isn't for me and I want to start new somewhere else and have the opportunity to grow within the new co.

I've been doing some searching and HR has caught my eye. I'm working on my resume so I can start sending it out for HR Assistant positions. I feel like I have a lot of transferrable skills that would make me a good candidate but most of the positions I see are looking for  at least 1-2 yrs. of "HR Experience".

I think what I'm  trying to ask is if anyone works in the field what are some of the most important qualities that you would look for in an HR assistant where you could overlook the lack of specific HR experience?

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theycallmelinz

Re: HR Assistant - Advice

  • Hi! I was an HR Assistant for a few years earlier on in my career.  I didn't have a degree in HR (but did do a paid internship at the company before getting hired on).

    I now recruit for HR.  We don't have HR assistants here but think I might be able to help. In general for entry level HR talent we look for: strong communication skills, ability to handle confidential information, eager to learn, strong interpersonal/relationship building abilities, great at multitasking and highly organized.

    I normally am not a fan of functional resume formats, but they are good for when you are looking to make a complete career change, and want to highlight skills vs. actual jobs/experience.

    Other advice would be to do some networking within the companies you're looking at! If you know anyone else who might work there, see if they can help you get connected with the recruiter. Most recruiters will contact referrals, so will give you a better shot vs. just another resume in the stack!

    stefuhknee
  • stefuhkneestefuhknee Spread Love it's the Brooklyn Way member
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    Hi! Thank you for the advice. I've reached out to some friends and sorority sisters to see if I can get any help with a referral. I definitely feel like I have the qualities you've listed so Im feeling a bit reassured, thanks again!
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  • theycallmelinztheycallmelinz Georgia member
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    Since I posted that original thread, I've been working really hard on updating my resume and job hunting, which is a job in itself! Good luck on your search and getting a job that better fits what you want!
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    stefuhknee
  • littlepeplittlepep South Carolina member
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    I don't have any advice on getting to HR, but I just wanted to say to not be afraid to apply to jobs just because you don't meet 100% of the qualifications. I read in an article about pay discrepancies that women are less likely to apply for a job if they don't meet all of the qualifications, whereas men tend to apply for all kinds of job, even if they don't meet very many of the qualifications.

    Tweak your resume to show off your skills and just apply! I think all jobs tend to put 1-2 years of experience on entry level positions. It doesn't necessarily mean they won't consider you.
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    stefuhknee
  • stefuhkneestefuhknee Spread Love it's the Brooklyn Way member
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    @theycallmelinz‌ same to you! Sending all the good mojo your way!

    @littlepep‌ thanks! That's good advice. I don't want to let those experience qualifications deter me too much but I'd feel more confident knowing exactly what specific skills they were looking for so I could make a case for why I'd be an ideal candidate despite not having that specific experience.
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  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
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    In my experience, "1-2 years experience" is something a company includes when they mean "this is entry level and in a perfect world we'd get candidates who already have experience, but we know that's unlikely." Don't be too deterred by it.

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  • I was almost an HR assistant right out of college when I got my first job. I originally applied for a receptionist job and was asked if I would want to move to HR within 6 months of being with the company. I recall my boss there saying one of the reasons she wanted me to work in her department was because of how well I was able to communicate with others, being extremely organized and able to pick up things very quickly. My duties mainly consisted of new hire paperwork, handling termination paperwork, entering benefits into different system, maintaining HRIS changes, answering employee questions, filing, etc. 

    I'm now a recruiter at a different company and we don't have an HR assistant. If we were to hire somebody I would definitely look for in someone who has experience working in an administrative office environment, excellent communication skills (possibly worked in customer service before),and someone who has maintained or familiar with some kind of data system (who could easily pick up an HRIS system). Of course there's other transferable skills that would apply.

    I definitely think you should apply for the position even if you don't have the 1-2 years experience they're probably looking for. Putting yourself out there never hurts! 

    I got my degree in political science and was planning on going to law school but, with the way the economy was/is I chickened out. So I'm really happy I found a job in HR. I like what I do and I think it's a very diverse field and you can go into different areas. 
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  • stefuhkneestefuhknee Spread Love it's the Brooklyn Way member
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    @amelisha- Thanks, that's definitely encouraging.

    Couggal12- Thank you very much for the detailed response. I guess I am a bit afraid to put myself out there and breaking up is hard too. I'm feeling guilty about wanting to leave my current position but I am so ready for a change and it seems like HR is a very viable option for me.

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  • @stefuhknee I can understand the guilt, and also the unknown. I felt that way when I left my previous position a few years ago. I think HR is a great field to get into but, of course I am bias. There's always new laws and other changes that come up so it's always keeping me on my toes. 
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