What HR Skills and Credentials Should You List on Your Resume?


meeting with human resource manager

Whether you currently work in Human Resources or plan to soon, there are skills and credentials that will get your resume noticed. Nearly 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracing systems to scan resumes so it’s pretty likely yours will be reviewed by a bot before a human. But how do you get past the robots? Make sure to include keywords pulled directly from the job description and other HR industry terms. Here’s how to construct your resume to highlight important HR skills and credentials.

Highlight HR Skills that Match the Job You Want

Within the broader HR field, there are specialties. Where do you want to work? If it’s recruitment, explain how you’ve hired in the past. Compensation and benefits? Speak to your understanding of healthcare plan evaluation. Training and development? Maybe you’ve run trainings in the past or produced supporting documents. Highlight whatever skills you have that are relevant to the position you hope to attain.

Incorporate HR Keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases that are relevant to a particular topic and used by technology to trigger a response. In the case of applicant tracking systems, they scan resumes to make sure yours includes the keywords that match the position. Some common HR keywords include:

  • Human Resources
  • HR
  • HR Information Systems
  • HR Consulting
  • HR Policies
  • HR Compliance
  • Recruitment
  • Candidate Screening
  • Executive Search
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Talent Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Employee Relations
  • Performance Management
  • Staff Management
  • Personnel Management
  • Workforce Planning
  • Performance Review
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Benefits Management
  • Employee Engagement

Include Transferrable Human Resources Skills

If you are just starting out in your HR career and don’t have direct Human Resource experience, emphasize transferrable skills you learned on previous jobs. Perhaps you proposed a new program for your company that resulted in cost savings or improved employee or customer satisfaction. Maybe you negotiate with vendors for good prices. Or maybe you run projects at your child’s school or in a volunteer position. Soft skills like good communication, organization, initiative, attention to detail, and empathy all transfer well to the HR industry.

How to Construct Your Human Resource Resume

To appeal to both bots and humans, organize your resume so the most important components are easy to find. Make sure your name and contact info is at the top and then consider these additional elements:


List quantifiable accomplishments related to HR. Some examples are:

  • Filled all open job requisitions within a two-month timeframe
  • Saved $500,000 per year by selecting a new healthcare company for employee benefits
  • Completed 100% of job performance reviews on time
  • Implemented 25 new training and development programs
  • Improved employee retention by 35%


Starting with the most recent, list your previous jobs with a brief description of responsibilities and accomplishments. Include start and end dates and be sure to emphasize achievements such as how much money you saved the company, projects that you initiated and completed, or other major business challenges that you helped to solve. You can leave out older jobs such as part time employment during college if they are no longer relevant to your current career.

If you are a Veteran of the military, include your dates of service, training you received, and relevant job responsibilities.


  • List all your degrees and any certificates you have obtained.
  • Honors and Awards
  • Include any honors or awards you received in college or during your past jobs.
  • Volunteer Work

If you belong to any professional organizations, list your involvement here especially if you held a leadership position. You can also include any volunteer work you have done so an employer can get a better idea of your character.

Include a Cover Letter

Even if the job posting says it’s optional, include a cover letter. It helps you stand out from other applicants and is an opportunity to explain why your skills and experience are a good match for the position.
Be sure to review your resume and your cover letter to make sure there are no typos or grammar mistakes before sending.

Do you want to build an HR career? At National American University, we offer a Bachelor’s Degree in HR Management, as well as an online certificate in HR that will help you prepare you for a rewarding career. And if you already have some coursework or experience in a business field, you may be able to save time and money by transferring those credits to your degree program. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or click learn more.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence