5 Skills on the Resumes of Great Human Resources Managers

HR Managers spend their time looking at other people's resumes and aren't experts in building their own. Here are the 5 categories of skills that are key to stand out as an HR manager

HR Managers spend more than their fair share of time sorting through the countless applications and resumes for all of the positions within the company – except their own. This makes it challenging to stay current on what employers are looking for on the resume of human resources managers.

Ready to start looking for your next challenge, but not sure where to start in building your own resume? Here are the 5 skills that every great HR manager should have on their resume:


The core responsibility of HR Managers is often about communication in writing (policies, performance reviews, reports) and verbally (training, presenting, etc.). All of this communication is also happening with a highly diverse audience – from the receptionist to C-Suite and everyone in between. This means that it is crucial that a great human resources manager will have excellent communication skills. Consider the following as ways to capture solid communication skills on your HR manager resume:

  • Negotiation. Things like collective bargaining agreements, employee separation, employee benefits plans are all good examples of what HR managers may negotiate. Add in a positive result from the negotiation and you now have a solid achievement for your HR manager resume!

  • Policies. Crafting a technically solid and compliant policy is key to the core of every human resources department. Make sure to mention examples of some of the specific policies that you have created from concept to implementation.

  • Training. The ability to manage and present training is key to ensuring that every employee has the right tools to perform their job. Include examples of the training that you helped create, helped present, or help manage.


Human resources managers are constantly problem-solving at every level of the organization. They are also doing this while managing political tensions within the organization and sometimes with clients. A great HR manager knows how to solve these problems while respecting the perspective of each person involved in the situation. Here are some examples of common problems solved by HR managers to think about for your resume as a human resources manager:

  • Investigations. Many problems can arise in an investigation of a policy violation that requires quick thinking by the HR professional managing the process. Think about including the stats on your investigations or the results as a great way to showcase problem-solving and critical thinking skills on your HR manager resume.

  • Workforce Management. Scheduling the right people at the right time can be both a science and an art that is key to the bottom line. Consider including examples of how you created an effective solution or the software implementation that resolved the complex challenge using data.

  • Head-count reductions. Companies in all industries go through head-count reductions or large restructuring for many reasons. Showcase your problem-solving abilities by including examples of how you transitioned many employees successfully within the organization or helped the department leaders identify ways to streamline the operations to avoid absorbing the duties to other roles within the company.

  • Talent Development. In this era of talent shortage, all HR departments are constantly working on ways to develop talent from within while also serving to retain the right people for the organization. Providing an example of how you solved this problem at another organization on your resume goes a long way to convince any company that you can help them with the same problem.


Human resources can be a broad field where some companies tend to place the policies or programs that do not fit easily into other departments. This means that a great HR manager must be a master at organizing and prioritizing their responsibilities. Here are a few ways to showcase your organization skills without sounding cliche:

  • Direct Reports. Managing people within the HR department or finance department means that you know what it takes to keep yourself and others organized while staying on track for the organizational goals. Incorporate details about your management experience to showcase your organizational skills.

  • Program Management. The increasingly complex regulatory landscape means that HR needs to have a firm grasp on the statutory requirements, changes, and the variances across jurisdictions. Including these details from your experience can help to highlight your organizational skills as a great HR manager. **Pro Tip: Take your resume to the next step by incorporating the actual program or policy names to capture some keywords that employers are looking for right now.

  • Budgets. Headcount can be driven by finances and HR is frequently at the center of the annual budgeting process. Remember to include examples of ways that you have saved money while launching new offices, divisions, or streamlining operations as a great way to showcase your organization skills.

  • Reporting. HR is increasingly driven by data that yields big organizational changes. Consider highlighting your ability to spot and synthesize this data in an actionable report to a diverse audience. This can also help to demonstrate your ability to focus on the details while managing the bigger picture.


Discretion is often the middle name of any great HR Manager. Obviously, that’s not really the case, but a great human resources manager knows that they are the example that many employees, department heads, and leaders will point to when an issue arises. So, HR managers need to lead by example by constantly reflecting an outgoing personality and a strong moral compass. Consider the following examples to illustrate your sincerity when you include integrity on your HR resume:

  • Confidential Data. Human resources house a great deal of confidential data about the employees that work at the organization (past, present, and potentially future). This means that the HR manager needs to know how to protect the data and how to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. So, think about including examples of internal controls to manage data access, mapping data in technology changes, and potential automation that you have implemented through the HRIS.

  • Workers’ Compensation. Claims may be common in some companies, but the investigations require an additional level of discretion and professionalism to ensure that the employee’s medical records are secured while the companies interests are protected. This means the HR manager has to walk a fine line throughout the process from gathering the details about the incident, to training to prevent a recurrence, to future hiring practices.

  • 401k or Employee Benefits. Not only are these plans highly regulated (for good reason), they also have a number of requirements in who can qualify to serve as the administrator. So, consider reflecting your ethics by including a statement about how you serve as the company administrator for the plan and what that actually means. ​


The title HR Manager means that you are a leader within the organization. And, most likely, responsible for people that report to you within the human resources department. This means that you need to showcase your leadership skills on your resume to illustrate that you are a great HR manager. Here a few examples that may help reflect your leadership abilities:

  • Talent Development. A great leader knows that they hire people who are smarter than them and gives them the tools to succeed. Showcase your knowledge as a strong leader by including examples of cross-training, job-swapping, or other talent development programs to reflect your leadership style.

  • Staff Retention.  A human resources person who leads a group of people that stick around in their department. Or, a high company employee retention rate because of an employee engagement program created by a great HR manager are surefire ways to showcase the leadership skills.

  • Subject Matter Expertise. Include examples of the programs or areas where you are strongest and make sure to cite to the laws or regulations as these are important keywords that may be searched for within the ATS.

​There are many more skills of a great human resources manager that are substantive and interpersonal. Start writing your human resources manager resume by focusing on what makes you different from the competition. Step back and take a hard look at your resume to evaluate whether you would present the resume to your boss for your job.  If not, then you probably have more work to do.