Getting into HR field: How to use my transferable skills


As a career counselor and program manager in higher education for 10+ years, I have strong skills in coaching, administrative and operational support, cross team collaborations, event planning, student and client onboarding, and student recruiting. I'd like to use these transferable skills to get into HR (at this time, I haven't had any luck).

Currently I'm taking a HR management certificate program from HRCI and have a Master's degree in Counselor Education.

I'm interested in Employee Onboarding and Talent Acquisition roles. Also, HR Assistant roles where I'd perform support for various HR functions.

I'd love to get in touch with a HR professional who could assist me with connecting my skills in order to get my foot in the door. I'd also welcome any direct advice on how I could personally go about this new journey.

Thank you so much in advance for your time and consideration.

Happy Halloween 🎈🎃


Hi Karla, I'm not an HR professional (I'm a career coach), but I thought to send a few tactical ways to go about your search:1. Gather a list of job descriptions that describe the kind of role(s) you are looking for2. Highlight/note the key skills/experiences that the job descriptions mention3. Update your resume to use similar language (words) to describe your previous roles/experiences4. Consider creating a resume that is half cover letter/half your past experiences, so it's one page that has a story/intro about who you are and what you've done, a summary of your transferable experiences in a more narrative tone and then a list of your past experiences like on a regular resume. (Happy to share a file if you'd like, just DM me)Then focus on getting 5-7 informational interviews with the people that have the title/roles you want. Cold message on linkedin and warm leads can come from Elpha and other communities. Post on Linkedin as well that you are transitioning and looking for meeting with HR professionals.Hope this gives you a starting point! Good luck!
Hi Karla, I'm a recruiter and haven't worked in other HR areas outside of recruitment, but what you said about yourself reads like a great HR profile already! Coaching, admin, project management and onboarding are already good examples of HR work you have done, and I'm surprised that you said you haven't had any luck. What stage of the interview process do you struggle the most with? If you want to move past the application review stage, it might just be a matter of describing your past experiences in the same way. I'd recommend mirroring / using the same vocabulary as the HR job descriptions you apply to. You can also check out LinkedIn profiles of HR professionals and see how they described their HR work experiences. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for your suggestions and your time. I appreciate you!
Hi Karla! I'm part of an HR talent accelerator through SHRM. Could be a good resource!
Thank you, Ashima. I'm not a SHRM member so I cant look at the link but if I do become one, I'll surely go back to this. Thanks so much.
Hi Karla,I'm a career coach, and a former HR professional. I've helped people make transitions into HR in the past, and would say the biggest thing is learning how to repackage your skills so they fit in the realm of what the company is looking for. The more you could connect, link and show similar stories and examples (ex: how you've assisted with hiring in the past, trained or helped onboard someone), this is key to what they would look for. From what you've breifly mentioned though, sounds like you have good bones for a role in HR. Then it's about practicing your responses. Good luck and feel free to reach out!
Thanks so much, Michelle. I'll keep trying. Have a beautiful week. - K