Q&A: What Are Good Jobs to Have Before Going into Human Resources?


Q:  I’m studying to go into human resources right now and I’m already stressing over a resume. All my current and previous employment is waitressing, bar tending, and being a pharmacy tech. I’ll be done school in May so I wanted to get a job that really stands out to future employers.

A:  Rachel, it’s good that you are starting to make preparations for your dream career in Human Resources.  I’m also glad to see that you are thinking of how to best market yourself as you get ready for graduation.  To really impress a future employer, you will need to arm yourself with several things.  Among them -a solid work ethic and transferable skills. As you are probably aware, you can demonstrate your work ethic by having good attendance (including punctuality and longevity) in a job.  Transferable skills, if you aren’t familiar with them, are skills used in one job or career that can also be used in another.  These include things like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and intellectual skills.  If you think of it this way, there’s no reason you can’t win with what you already have.

Here’s what I mean – being a Waitress requires a high level of communication, problem-solving, time management, and working with people, as does being a Bartender.  Working as a Pharmacy Technician requires the same skills, in addition to some level of math and science reasoning, the ability to deal with confidential records and situations, and a high level of accuracy.  Let’s compare those with the skills it takes to be a Human Resources Assistant, for example.  Human Resources Assistants are required to have a high level of communication skills (check!); they must be able to identify problems and review information to come up with solutions (check!); they have to be able to manage themselves and others, time, and things (check!); they have to be able to manage confidential information and situations (check!); and they have to be aware of others and look for ways to help them (check!).

As you wind down your academic career, be sure to take advantage of any internships that may be available in Human Resources.  Whether paid or unpaid, lengthy or short, an internship can help you get your feet wet in your new career and expose you to some people and activities that can only benefit you as you get closer to achieving your goals.  Some internships even turn into permanent positions for those who do well.  You can find out more about internships in your area by visiting your school’s career services office or by reaching out to one of your HR instructors.

In addition to this, be sure to solidify your clerical skills as there is a lot of paperwork involved in Human Resources.  Working in a office environment can only be a plus.

Best wishes!


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