What HR Students Need to Know

Last week I sat down at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and spoke with some of the students about what they need to know as they prepare to leave school and enter the real world.

I talked about some of the career aspects: negotiating salary, establishing credibility, networking, etc. I also talked about some of the things I learned very quickly after I left school (namely, the degree isn’t as helpful as most schools would lead you to assume). Many of the topics I discussed are a part of the entry level HR course I developed last year. (Side note: I’ve had a few senior level HR pros sponsor that short course for their entry level HR interns/admins, because it focuses on some of the early career skills that many of us had to pick up in bits and pieces. I think that’s awesome that they help them by putting them through the course!)

It was a fun, informal conversation, and I just wanted to take a moment to share the slides here (subscribers may need to click through to view). The two slides that are my favorites are the ones that describe what HR people do and what great HR people do (slides 11 and 12). If you’ve been here for a while, those won’t surprise you, but they still are good to review once in a while!

If you could sit down and speak with some students preparing to enter the HR field, what would you tell them? What advice would you give? Any “hard lessons” or practical advice you’d like to share up front?

2 thoughts on “What HR Students Need to Know

  1. alison williams

    I think its hard to get that first job without any experience. What would you give as advice for the newbies to land the first job in hr?

    1. Ben Post author

      Hey, Alison! I normally suggest these types of things when I’m working with those trying to break into an entry level HR job:

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