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What a Career Path in Human Resources Looks Like

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It's not hard to see why so many people are looking to the Human Resources field for their careers. A fast-growing industry with unlimited growth potential, Human Resources offers people the chance to help others while earning a reliable income. Those who have a passion for teamwork and problem solving can find real joy in HR. Anyone hoping to pursue a career in human resources should educate themselves on the education, experience, and certifications necessary to snag the job of their dreams.

Your Career in Human Resources: Certifications and Qualifications

The Human Resources field offers a wide variety of positions, all with varying qualifications. While many entry-level HR jobs do not require coursework or certifications, leadership positions certainly will. Whether you're a working HR professional or simply interested in pursuing work in the field, it pays to study and earn both certifications and degrees. An increased rate of pay is associated with those who take on classes and certifying exams in the HR field.

A career in Human Resources is enriched by certifications like the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), offered by the Human Resources Certificate Institute (HRCI). Though not strictly required, these certifications go a long way to build a resume and lend credibility to your candidacy. In order to register for these certifying exams, though, you'll need professional-level HR experience as well as education in the field. Internships, apprenticeships, coursework and webinars can help inform your decision about which career path to take.

When you've made your choice about pursuing an associate, professional or senior professional in Human Resources, studying is a must. Not to be underestimated, the HRCI tests are tough but fair. HRCI practice exams can help prepare you for whichever test you opt to take. Other options for HR professionals include the exams offered by the Society of Human Resource Management(SHRM). Their certified professional and senior certified professional certifications can lend serious credibility to any candidate

Diverging Paths Within HR

The HR field is incredibly diverse. The duties associated with your role may vary significantly from company to company. Many HR professionals begin as generalists, helping to onboard new employees, manage performance evaluations and benefits. Such a role is excellent for multi-taskers who pride themselves on being jacks-of-all-trades.

After a few years in a generalist position, though, many opt to take on new challenges. Some opt to take a role as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Responsible for shaping an organization's internal structure, these HR professionals recruit and interview new employees. Such a position may involve travel, making it a highly appealing career path for many. To be considered for a Talen Acquisition role, though, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree.

For those hoping to pursue management positions in the HR field, certifications can help pave the way. Professional in Human Resources, or PHR, can help qualify a person for a managerial role. Similarly, the Senior Professional in Human Resources, or SPHR, can give job hunters the competitive edge when searching for supervisory positions. Only those in the most senior of positions should consider the SPHR certification test, though, as the exam is designed for those with authority over HR departments as a whole.

Job Hunting in the Human Resources Field

Applying for HR positions can be intimidating. After all, your application is often handled directly by your future colleagues. Your ability to follow instructions, deliver quality cover letters and your interview demeanor is always important when applying for a new job. In the HR field, however, you may be held to a higher standard. Those hoping for a future in the HR field should conduct their job hunt with as much professionalism as possible.

To get a job as an HR professional, you've got to think like one. Flex your people skills by taking advantage of networking opportunities within the field. Attend job fairs, networking events and don't be afraid to approach strangers via LinkedIn. Your ability to stand out from your peers will get you far in the HR field.

Of course, the best way to ensure you find the job of your dreams is to fit the position qualifications to a T. That includes getting the necessary experience, education, and certifications that are required for the position. While a good attitude and friendly disposition can go a long way professionally, it's hard to be taken seriously without the proper qualifications.

Get the Edge

If you're eager to pursue a career in Human Resources, get the edge you need on your certification tests. Exam Edge offers practice tests in three different HRCI subject areas, with 25 different exams and 25,000 unique questions. Because the tests simulate the actual exam experience, you're not only gaining practice with content, you're actually preparing for the psychological weight of the HRCI tests.

No matter what your goals within HR might include, start off on the right foot with a free sample practice exam from Exam Edge

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