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How to Write an HR Generalist Resume

Your HR generalist resume format is as important as how you write your resume. This sample resume demonstrates the best resume layout to follow: 1-inch margins, bullet points and clear resume headings for each of the following sections.

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  • Professional header and contact info

    • Include your name, contact information and a professional email address.
  • Compelling summary statement

    • A brief resume summary or objective highlighting two or three human resources-relevant skills, experience or accomplishments.
  • Highlight your skills

    • Create a dedicated section to showcase hard and soft skills specific to human resources work, like analyze, collaborate and conduct.
  • Emphasize your work history

    • List your work experience in reverse-chronological order. Include job titles, company names, dates of employment and key responsibilities and achievements for each role in a bullet list.
  • Supporting education section

    • Detail your educational background, mentioning any relevant degrees, diplomas or certifications obtained.
  • Additional sections

    • You can add resume sections for licenses, certifications, industry memberships or unions, awards, volunteer experience or spoken languages.


How to Write an HR Generalist Resume Summary

The resume summary is a critical section that introduces your HR expertise, accomplishments and the value you bring as an HR generalist. Crafting a compelling summary can make a significant impact on potential employers. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful HR Generalist resume summary:

Be concise and engaging

Keep the summary brief, ideally two to three sentences, and make it attention-grabbing to encourage employers to read further.

Highlight relevant experience

Emphasize your years of experience in human resources, specifying areas of expertise such as recruitment, employee relations and HR policies.

Showcase achievements

Mention notable accomplishments, such as streamlining HR processes, implementing successful training programs, or reducing employee turnover.

Tailor to the job

Customize the summary for each application, aligning it with the specific HR requirements and the organization’s values.

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Good HR generalist resume example

“Results-driven HR generalist with seven years of experience managing full-cycle recruitment, employee engagement, and HR policies. Successfully implemented performance management initiatives, resulting in a 15% increase in employee productivity. Proven track record in resolving complex employee relations issues and fostering a positive work culture. Highly skilled in compliance with employment laws and regulations.”

This HR generalist resume summary effectively showcases the job seeker’s years of experience and key HR responsibilities. Specific achievements, such as improving employee productivity and handling employee relations, demonstrate their value as an HR professional. The summary is concise, informative and tailored to the specific skills and experiences sought after in HR generalist roles.

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Poor HR generalist resume example

“Experienced HR Generalist with knowledge of HR tasks and employee management. A team player with strong communication skills.”

This HR generalist resume summary must be more specific and highlight the job seeker’s unique HR expertise. It uses vague language and generic skills that do not set the candidate apart from other applicants. The lack of specific achievements and details weakens the impact of the summary, making it less compelling to potential employers.

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Try the resume objective if you’re a first-time job seeker, freelancer or career changer. This alternative introduction pitches your transferable skills and downplays your lack of directly-relevant experience.


How to Add Your HR Generalist Work History

The work history section of your HR generalist resume showcases your relevant experience and achievements in human resources. This section allows potential employers to understand your HR expertise and the impact you’ve made in previous roles. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful HR generalist work history resume section:

Relevance is key

Focus on relevant HR roles and experiences. Include job titles, the company or organization’s name, location, and dates of employment.

Highlight responsibilities

Detail specific HR responsibilities and tasks you handled in each role, such as recruitment, onboarding, employee relations, performance management, and HR policy development.

Quantify achievements

Emphasize any quantifiable achievements, such as the number of successful hires, employee retention rates, or cost-saving initiatives you implemented.

Showcase HR skills

Mention any specific HR skills you utilized in your roles, such as conducting interviews or training sessions and managing employee benefits.

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Good HR generalist work history sample

HR Generalist Sears, Seattle, WA | January 2016 – Present

  • Managed full-cycle recruitment process, resulting in a 20% decrease in time-to-fill for vacant positions.
  • Led employee engagement initiatives, increasing employee satisfaction by 15% within the first year.
  • Conducted training sessions on HR policies and procedures, improving compliance and reducing HR-related queries by 30%.

This work history highlights the job seeker’s significant contributions and achievements in various HR responsibilities. Specific metrics demonstrate their impact on recruitment and employee engagement, showcasing their value as an HR professional.

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Poor HR generalist work history sample

HR Generalist Sears, Seattle, WA | January 2016 – Present

  • Handled HR tasks and employee-related matters.
  • Assisted in recruitment and onboarding processes.

This HR generalist work history lacks specific details and quantifiable achievements. The description needs to be more generic and highlight the job seeker’s responsibilities or contributions to the organization. The lack of specific accomplishments weakens the overall impact, making it less compelling to potential employers.


How to Write a HR Generalist Education Section

The education section of your resume is essential to showcase your academic qualifications and any specialized training that enhances your HR expertise. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful HR generalist education resume section:

1Start with your highest degree

Begin with your highest level of education obtained in HR or a related field. Include the degree earned, the name of the educational institution, location and graduation year.

Education formatting example:

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Graduated: May 2020

2Include relevant coursework

Mention any specialized or HR-related subjects you completed during your education that align with the job requirements.

Relevant coursework example:

  • Employee Relations and Labor Law
  • Strategic HR Planning and Management
  • Compensation and Benefits

3Add certifications or training programs

If you have obtained any HR certifications or completed specialized training programs, include them to demonstrate your commitment to professional development.

Certifications formatting example:

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – HR Certification Institute (HRCI)

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Tailor your education section with relevant education and training that directly align with the skills and requirements of the factory HR generalist you are applying for.


15 Skills for Your HR Generalist Resume

The skills section of your resume is a crucial aspect that showcases your diverse skill set and competencies in human resources. This section allows potential employers to understand the range of soft, hard and technical skills you possess as an HR professional. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful HR generalist skills resume section:

soft skills

Soft skills

  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict Resolution
hard skills

Hard skills

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Employee Relations
  • Performance Management
  • HR Policy Development
  • Compensation and Benefits Administration

Technical skills

  • HRIS (Human Resources Information System) Management
  • HR Compliance and Labor Laws
  • Data Analysis and Reporting
  • Training and Development
  • Employee Engagement Strategies
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Remember to tailor your skills section to include the most relevant and desirable abilities for the specific HR generalist position you are applying for.


20 HR Generalist Action Verbs

It’s essential to showcase your proactive contributions and leadership abilities as an HR professional. This article presents 20 resume action verbs specifically tailored for HR generalists. These power words will energize your resume, demonstrating your active involvement in various HR tasks.

  • Advise
  • Analyze
  • Collaborate
  • Conduct
  • Develop
  • Evaluate
  • Facilitate
  • Implement
  • Lead
  • Mediate
  • Negotiate
  • Organize
  • Oversee
  • Plan
  • Resolve
  • Streamline
  • Train
  • Update
  • Validate
  • Workshops


Additional Resume Sections

Consider adding the following sections to your HR generalist resume based on your specific circumstances and to enhance your qualifications:

  • Certifications: Include a separate section to showcase relevant credentials, such as Professional in Human Resources (PHR), SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM®–CP) or Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®).
  • Professional Development: Use a professional development section featuring workshops, seminars or human resources programs to replace or supplement your education section.
  • Awards and Achievements: If you have received recognition or awards for your performance, productivity, or safety record, include a section to showcase these accomplishments.
  • Volunteer Experience: Replace your work history section with a volunteer section if you have less than three years of experience. Use this space to demonstrate relevant skills or attributes, such as evaluate, facilitate or implement.
  • Language Proficiency: Since human resources work can include a diverse range of employees, advertise your fluency in other languages as a workplace boon!
  • Memberships: Let hiring managers know about your membership to industry-specific organizations or unions.

Use a Cover Letter to Express Yourself

A resume is a concise overview of your skills and experience — a cover letter expands on this foundation. Add a cover letter to share one or two examples of how you excelled in similar roles or how your skills match a company’s needs. Use this sample as a guide or visit our helpful resources to boost your application.

HR Generalist Resume FAQ

How can I tailor my HR generalist resume to a specific job posting?

Carefully review the job description and identify critical skills and qualifications sought by the employer. Customize your resume by emphasizing relevant experiences and using keywords from the job posting to align your expertise with the HR generalist role.

Should I include references on my HR generalist resume?

No, creating a separate reference page with names, titles, contact information and a brief description of your relationship with each reference is best. Provide this page when requested during the interview process.

How can I demonstrate my HR leadership abilities on my resume?

Showcase your leadership skills by highlighting instances where you've led HR initiatives, managed teams or collaborated on HR projects. Use action verbs to describe your leadership contributions, such as "developed," "led" and "implemented" HR strategies.

Is it necessary to include every HR task I've handled in my work history?

Focus on relevant HR experiences that align with the job you're applying for. Highlight key achievements, such as successful recruitment, employee relations and HR policy implementations. Tailor your work history to emphasize your strongest and most impactful HR responsibilities.

Can I include HR-related volunteer experiences on my resume?

Yes, including HR-related volunteer work can be beneficial, especially if it demonstrates transferable skills such as communication, teamwork or employee engagement. Highlight specific HR tasks you performed during volunteer experiences to showcase your HR capabilities outside of formal employment.