Comments are closed. Is my training experience holding me back?On 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. “M”writes: I have been employed in the training departments of two blue chipcompanies over the past eight years. My role has always encompassed mostaspects of HR such as discipline & grievance, performance related pay,appraisals, promotions, recruitment & selection, as well as training andtraining management. How can I convince companies that my background issufficient for HR roles as well as training roles? There seems to be an elitist view that training is somehow asecond class profession.VicDaniels, director at Carr-Lyons writes: Ifyou truly have a generalist background and have been undertaking Generalistduties in conjunction with your training work, then your CV needs to reflectthis. Most employers focus in on thefirst few words or lines of a CV. Iwould suggest that you look again at your CV and ensure that the Generalistwork is correctly highlighted and is emphasized before the training work youhave undertaken. Inthe final analysis, however, there is no getting away from the fact that youappear to have worked primarily in training in the last few years and this maywell go against you when you are coming up against Generalists who have hadperhaps more specific experience during that time.MargaretMalpas, joint managing director of Malpas Flexible Learning writes:Well,I certainly don’t think that HR is superior to training but I do think thatthey require very different competencies sets. I would suggest that youreappraise your CV or get someone you trust to critically evaluate it foryou. Does your CV clearly show that you have been involved in aspects ofHR other than training or as a line manager? If you really show the breadth ofyour experience, any sound recruiter will look past the job title. A goodway to do this might be to list a set of up to eight major achievements earlyon in your CV so that the reader’s eye is immediately drawn to these. Good luck, but you shouldn’t find it too difficult to findwhat you want – few people have very wide experience in both HR andTraining.Peter Lewis, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Groupwrites: Your aim is to get an interview where you can convince theinterviewers of the relevance of your knowledge of the subject matter, gainedthrough your training background, allied to the skills perceived as necessaryfor an “operational” HR role. The key steps are as follows:WithCVs first impressions really count. There is usually very little time given to read them, so you need toconcentrate on getting your message across as effectively as possible. A CVwhich is just a list of training roles may not be ideal. Adding a profileoutlining your breadth of knowledge of HR subjects and relevant operationalskills would draw out its relevance to an HR role. These can be enlarged uponin the covering letter, which briefly (no more than one page) emphasizes yourHR experience, with little, or no, mention of training.Yourresearch will have identified the skills and qualities, as opposed tofunctional knowledge required in an HR role. Many of these you will alreadyhave, e.g. achievement orientation, research, influencing and coaching skills.The interview is an opportunity to bring out examples of these from your ownbackground. As importantly, by demonstrating the rigor of your research and thethoroughness of your interview preparation, linking the skills required withyour own experience you should emphasise throughout the quality of yourcandidature.Yourmanagement of your side of this process should aim to disarm what you believemay lie behind the prejudice against people with a training background movingin to HR. One approach may be to demonstrate the skills needed to handleoperational demands, such as proactively and speed of response. At the sametime you can emphasize that your interest in the role derives from an informedviewpointYou could also to explore the possibilities ofmoving within your current company to more of a Generalist or othernon-training area with HR. You have“delivered” in this company and so could well discuss a sideways move at yournext Appraisal or alternatively applying for a Generalist role should it comeup.