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How to Format an HR Business Partner Resume

Choosing the correct format for your HR business partner resume is an essential step in your job search. Most HR business partners should use a chronological resume, which emphasizes work history and is the most common format. This format allows you to show an employer you’ve taken on greater responsibility throughout your career.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and some job seekers should use an alternative resume format, such as the functional or combination. The functional format highlights skills and qualifications, downplaying work experience, while the combination format balances skills with professional experience.

Let’s take the candidates below as an example. They share many skills and career highlights but have taken dramatically different career paths. Candidate A always works full-time for established companies, working his way up the corporate ladder. Candidate B often works contract positions and took a few years off to spend time with his family. The former chose a chronological resume, while the latter opted for a functional one. Any overlapping skills in their resumes are in bold.

Chronological Resume

Candidate A

  • 13 years in workforce
  • 4 years at this job
  • BBA Management and Human Resources
  • MBA Human Resources Management

Work Experience

HR Business Partner, Global Logistics Inc.
08/2018–Current, San Diego, CA

  • Provided HR support to over 400 employees, managers and executives across three different sites.
  • Led the rollout of a leadership program across two sites and 20+ managers to formalize and increase the adoption of a new performance review system.
  • Led a compensation realignment initiative for 200 highly compensated wage earners; instituted base caps in place of incentive compensation, directing the implementation of the corporate mandate.
  • Conducted hundreds of compensation assessments, including promotions, reclassifications, merit increases and job offers.
  • Partnered with business leaders to create a new people strategy centered on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Functional Resume

Candidate B

  • 5 years in workforce
  • 6 months in current role
  • BA Psychology
  • MS Management

Areas of Expertise


  • Oversaw a compensation realignment initiative for dozens of highly-compensated earners.
  • Skilled in compensation assessments, from reclassifications and promotions to merit increases and job offers.

People Strategy

  • Have provided HR support to 300+ employees, managers and executives across two offices.
  • Established a leadership program to encourage using a new performance review system.
  • Knowledgeable in a variety of effective diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

HR Business Partner Resume FAQ.

What does a business partner do in HR?

HR business partners ensure the policies and procedures throughout a company align with its business objectives. Unlike other HR roles, business partners focus less on compliance and administration. Instead, they work closely with the C-suite executives to ensure the business goals and HR policies are aligned.

The day-to-day tasks of an HR business partner include:

  • Consulting with leadership about HR matters.
  • Providing feedback on HR policies.
  • Analyzing trends and metrics to inform programs.
  • Managing and allocating HR funds.
  • Supporting employee productivity.

What are the top three competencies you look for your HR business partner to possess?

Research suggests the top three competencies for HR business partners are:

  • Business knowledge. Their ability to understand business imperatives makes business partners stand out from other HR roles. You want someone who comes in to have a business background or at least in-depth experience working with senior leadership teams.
  • Change management. After surveying a company’s departments, HR business partners frequently advocate for changes to programs, policies and procedures. Skill in managing the transition is critical.
  • Data fluency. Straddling the line between two data-driven groups (human resources and C-suite executives), business partners must be able to collect, analyze and interpret data, sharing findings across departments.

How to write an HR business partner resume?

When you sit down to write an HR business partner resume, follow these steps:

  1. Write down your contact info.
  2. Analyze the job description and highlight keywords related to your previous positions.
  3. Write a thorough list of your work experience, including highlights of your responsibilities and achievements in bullet-point lists.
  4. Add a professional summary or resume objective.
  5. Build a skills section, making sure to include soft skills and hard skills.
  6. List your education.
  7. Consider additional, optional sections like volunteer work, certifications and special projects.
  8. Proofread the resume before you submit it.

If you’re unsure where to start, you should use our Resume Builder, which walks you through the process step by step.