/ Asked by Nia
How can I break into the HR field with a masters degree in HRD, but little practical experience?
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Thursday, September 15, 2016
It can sometimes be overwhelming when you are looking to make a move from one career to another. Congrats on your Masters and your interest in HR. The best course of action when you are looking to make a move into an area that you don't have a lot of hands on experience is to network and take on any work that can be relevant to what you want to do. I recommend using LinkedIn and seeing who is in companies that you would like to target or roles that you would like to be in. Reach out to these individuals and see if you can set up informational conversations. Learning directly from people in the roles that you are interested in will help you understand what you need to do to get there, as well as provide you with a relationship you can hopefully build on when a position comes open. In addition, if you are currently employed, but not in HR, can you take on projects that would provide you with experience in what you want to do? There are transferable skills with regard to project management, communication skills, analytics, which can be tied into a HR role. If you aren't currently employed, are there any HR groups or organizations you are a part of that you can network with and see if there are any side projects you can do for them to give you more hands on experience? Stay the course and good luck in your new field!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, September 16, 2016
Human Resources can be a difficult field to break into, but there are a couple of different routes that you can pursue.  One is to seek out and apply to positions in HR rotational development programs.  There are programs designed for future leaders in HR.  A recent graduate is hired into these programs, works in a few different assignments, and eventually is placed in leadership or high level individual contributor position.
Another route is start in the recruiting space.  There are many employment firms who will hire into recruiter positions without any experience.  The experience you gain in the position, however, can give you the exposure and practical HR experience that you need to eventually get into the HR position that you desire.
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Great question! Human Resources is often difficult to get into. I would recommend looking for HR development programs or entry level recruiter roles. Both types of positions will give you relevant experience and great exposure into the company and its culture.
Best of luck!
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