Chasing a career in HR & People

Hello Everyone,

I'm Eddie.

I am not your typical HR professional as my career has spanned fashion buying, account management, and recruitment. I have ample experience of managing teams and have had experience and exposure to:

  • Team management
  • Recruitment
  • Talent development
  • Change management
  • ER & Disciplinary action
  • Performance management
  • Delivering training and
  • Senior stakeholder management

I was given the opportunity last Aug to take a professional career break and dedicated my time to full-time study for my CIPD level 5. My last module is in marking as we speak and I am so looking forward to being qualified. 

I would love to connect with you as I am seeking any advice on how I can successfully transition into an HR Advisor or HR Generalist role. I know I have plenty of transferable skills and first hand experience in much of what I believe would be valuable to the role. I am a hardworking and dedicated professional who wants to add real value to a business. 

I have applied to over 35 roles so far and have yet to have any bites on interviews. I know I just need to be given a chance as I know how much I can bring to a role. 

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Hi Eddie, if you have not started then join and engage with your local CIPD branch - there is a good chance your next employer is at that branch.
  • I'd interview you from that "cover letter" alone :) HR professionals who have "been there and done it" in terms of working operationally and leading the "on the ground" teams of a business are so important. Make sure your CV highlights your HR-based experience more strongly that your operational - it might be worth considering a skills-based CV rather than experience-based if this is a change of path for you. I find this a useful guide: www.prospects.ac.uk/.../skills-based-cv-example
  • In reply to Steven :

    Hi Steven,
    Thanks for engaging with me on this. I'll be sure to check them out.
  • In reply to Sophie:

    Hi Sophie,
    That made me smile, thanks for the confidence boost. I believe the major barrier for me is being able to stand out on my CV amongst all of the other talented individuals who have held HR positions. It's great that you mentioned a 'skills based' CV as this is something I have wanted to get thoughts on. Thanks for highlighting the link for me.

    I found out on Friday that I have provisionally PASSED my L5 (pending CIPD moderation) so am hoping this will also make me more appealing to employers now.

    The biggest asset I have is my skillset and ability with relationship building and stakeholder management which I know is integral in the world of HR/People. Difficult to get that across on paper, but will do my best.

    Thanks for engaging with me.

  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    8 Apr, 2024 15:10

    Hi Eddie, not sure if you've come across this page on the CIPD website but some useful info here too on transitioning into the people profession: www.cipd.org/.../

    Great news re your level 5 - congrats Raised hands

  • In reply to Johanna:

    Hi Johanna, thanks for the link and the praise! I'll take a look.
  • Congratulations on your L5 qualification! That's great.

    One piece of advice I'd give you is to apply to roles within the sectors you've already got experience in - whilst your HR experience is developing, the sector knowledge that you bring will be a real asset to any HR position. Make sure you spell that out to them in your application - and ensure you speak from the heart (as you have in this posting) about your enthusiasm for the new role.

    Good luck!
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Hi Nina, Thanks for your kind words about my L5. Although it was challenging I managed to achieve 4 high passes, 2 passes , and 1 low pass, showing that my experience helped me have a good understanding of the theory and can apply to real life situations.

    Your advice is great and I am prioritising creative industries as this is where the bulk of my experience is. I've also taken Sophie's advice and re-worked my cv to be 'skills based'. Hoping this might help me get more traction to getting interviews booked.

    The rest of the week I will continue to network and apply for roles.

    For anyone else reading these posts please do drop me a comment or share any advice.

    Thanks again,

  • Eddie, don't give up! People with experience outside the HR role are valuable in HR and too few IMHO.
    I came to HR from a commercial background and being able to talk to managers from a business perspective made the HR role so much easier and improved relations. Not to mention being better for the organisation.
    Good advice to network using the local CIPD branch. Recruitment is still who you know.
    Emphasise the benefits your organisational experience brings to a HR role. And be humble enough to take a role quite junior or not quite what you want - once inside it's easy to demonstrate ability.
  • Hi Eddie, congrats on passing your qualifications and good luck in your search. I'm hearing that the market is quite tough and competitive at the moment and so hope you don't lose heart when you face rejections. It only takes one to be the right one.

    You've some great advice below. I'd add:
    *Pull out all your people experience and position it front and centre on your business social media profiles - Linked In.
    *Polish up that CV and position all thosee key skills, people experience and learning on it. Make sure it includes outcomes of what you have achieved for businesses you have worked for and have a cracking opening position/profile statement at the top. "Creative, committed, experienced professional, with recruitment and management skills, looking to use my CIPD qualifications in a dedicated HR role.....for example"
    *Network - online and in real life. People buy people and it could be one of your existing connections can help facilitate some introductions if you let them know what you are looking for.
    *Listen to career change podcasts and or read about making the switch to practice that sales pitch and interview qs. My Squiggly Career is a good one.

    I didn't start my career in HR and navigating the switch from line, project and people management in quite a niche area into an HR/ people role was a challenge but it's possible when we focus on our transferable skills and experience and make that our USP. Good luck.
  • In reply to Anne:

    Hi Anne, Thanks for taking the time to comment and for your advice. It's great to see you took a similar path coming into HR later in to your career. Both Steven and your advice about the CIPD branch is great and I will be sure to get in touch with them this week.

    I'm definitely humble and happy to take a more junior role to get my feet under a desk and prove myself. I'm definitely looking for a role that I can learn in and hope to have supportive managers.

    Thanks again.
  • In reply to Sharon:

    Hi Sharon, Thanks so much and all of what you said is super helpful and I'll be sure to action these points. I've heard from some recruiters that the HR market is starting to gain a bit more traction but agree that it's definitely a tough one, and I know that I am up against lots of competition.

    I couldn't agree more that 'people buy people' and networking is a passion of mine. If you know of anyone in your network that it would be worth connecting with please feel free to mention them to me. My linkedIn is www.linkedin.com/.../

    Thanks for wishing me luck and hopefully I'll be able to write a post soon about my new role.

    Thanks again for commenting.
  • In reply to Eddie :

    So glad the market might be getting a bit more traction. It would be nice to see that and I know it varies across locations, disciplines and levels.

    I'm so pleased you love networking. It's most likely that people who have worked with you - in the past or present- could hold the key to finding your employer of the future. That might be by introducing you to others, recommending you on Linked In or, if they have moved to a company you are interested in joining, provide useful information to you. They can be some extra eyes, ears and cheerleaders even to help you. You might then be able to help them in the future too.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    10 Apr, 2024 14:00

    In reply to Eddie :

    Hi , FWIW, you come across as a thoroughly decent bloke, so all power to your elbow. Glad you're receiving some great advice here.

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Hi Steve, I appreciate that. Having worked in recruitment previously I'm not naive to the fact this could be a bumpy road to get to where I want to, but I have got this far right. Thanks for the encouragement.