Are newly-qualified HR professionals given the same opportunities as others with experience when applying for jobs?

Hi All

I am currently studying the Level 3 Foundation Certificate in HR Practice and wish to continue to complete Level 5 next year.  I am funding my study myself as I developed a keen interest in this field while working in HR Admin before the company went into administration.  I would appreciate any advice as I am aware that many students are currently working in HR while receiving training at the expense of their employer,  they are able to put their knowledge into practice well in advance.  Realistically from an recruitment perspective, are they more employable than someone in my shoes who won't have achieved the same in-depth experience? 



  • Keith

    | 10635 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    16 Dec, 2015 21:06


    Well done on continuing your studies in difficult circumstances.

    The hard answer is yes someone with recent relevant experience AND a qualification is likely to have a recruitment advantage over some one with either /or.

    But also don't underestimate enthusiasm, passion and commitment they all go a long way.

    Good luck..
  • Andrea

    | 1 Posts


    24 Dec, 2015 11:10

    Hi Shelley,

    From my experience, somebody that is already on a self-funded CIPD course and is keen to continue to study further afterwards will stand out as being ambitious and determined and this should go in your favour. Make sure your CV highlights your current study and mentions your future plans, and be sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm at interviews - That really is the key, showing your dedication to the industry.

    Good luck!
  • Mark

    | 138 Posts

    Chartered Member

    24 Dec, 2015 11:21

    I agree with both Keith and Andrea - yes you are at a disadvantage, but it is a strong selling point to any employer that you are self-funding as this shows a genuine commitment to wanting a career in the field.

    I've recruited both experienced HR professionals and newly qualified HR professionals and on each occasion I've considered what I needed to meet the circumstances at that time. For example, In one role I needed someone to hit the ground running due to a difficult set of challenges so I opted for experience. In another example I recruited for someone as part of a team of two HR professionals where the other HR professional was suitably experienced allowing me to recruit someone less experienced who could learn and develop within the role.

    Don't let it put you off. What you are doing is impressive, make sure any recruiters see that.
  • Ray

    | 2634 Posts

    Chartered Member

    24 Dec, 2015 12:37

    Congrats on sticking to the studies. It clearly shows a degree of tenacity and commitment that an intelligent employer should be able to recognise.

    When I recruit, there are several things I look for in a professional candidate :

    • Have they demonstrated that they possess the necessary know-how and skills in a working environment with the understanding of how to use them? As you rightly say, you are short on this point.
    • How committed and engaged are they in pursuing their career and future professional development? You have some strong points here - be sure you sell them
    • How will they fit with other people in the team (no clones please, I want access to constructively conflicting viewpoints). If you get to interview try to sound out this aspect and sell to the company the ways in which you could add something to the team by being different (unless of course they want a clone)

    As Keith says sometimes it's necessary to have someone who can operate from day one - I can understand that. There are other times when under-recruiting can offer deveelopment opportunities for the person concerned and that in turn can help with their motivation and engagement - usually they are cheaper too, which sometimes help ;-)     Going down this route clearly involves a calculated risk for the employer, but often it is a risk worth taking - try to sell this angle as well.

    Good luck!

  • In reply to Ray:

    Merry Christmas Shelly, I think you have had some wise input from the others and I think that you knew the answer before you put the question forward. Nothing wrong with this but have some inner faith in yourself. The journey into your chosen career path will have some ups and downs and, lets be honest, a fair amount of luck. By this I mean being in the right place at the right time. But having some inner faith/ strength and confidence will lead you towards being in the right place at the right times. Do not assume all experienced HR managers that have been in the field longer than you are better than you. Be you and show you energy and determination and with the right mindset you will be suprised what will come your way.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Thanks Keith, I appreciate your feedback.
  • In reply to Mark:

    Thanks for your feedback Mark. Hopefully I will be given an opportunity to prove myself eventually. I'm sailing through the course with ease and alongside determination and commitment my goal is to succeed in the field of HR.
  • In reply to Ray:

    Thanks Keith, I have taken your comments onboard and will use them to support my future applications. Hopefully any potential employer will see the determination and commitment I have. If being given an opportunity means me working at the minimum salary I would welcome it with open arms because it's my passion to develop within the field of HR.
  • In reply to Shelley Merchant:

    My apologies Ray, I addressed the above message to Keith. It was intended for you. Regards, Shelley
  • In reply to Mahesh Chauhan:

    Thanks Mahesh, I appreciate your feedback. So many of the students I am studying with are currently working in HR and competition is tough. I will certainly keep going with it though. The opinions of yourself and the others has definitely boosted my confidence that newly qualified applicants will still be considered. Thank you
  • In reply to Andrea:

    Thanks Andrea :-)
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