I want to move on before it’s too late

came to England from South Africa in March 2000. Although I managed to get an
HR job when I arrived, I took a big drop in salary and position. I knew when I
came to England I would have to serve some time getting back to my previous
level. Although I have now got to grips with UK labour legislation, I find I am
not even getting interviews for the jobs I apply for. Although I have a lot of
high-level qualifications, I don’t have a CIPD qualification. Is this the
problem? What would you advise?

Wilford, consultant, Chiumento

the lack of a CIPD qualification is probably not held against you, it would
certainly be something UK companies would recognise. So in that sense it might
make your job search and the recruitment process easier.

should talk to the CIPD and consider which avenues are available to you to
obtain the CIPD qualification and which methods of study are appropriate. You
might be able to study part-time which would allow you to work at the same
time, for example.

sure your CV properly reflects what you have achieved in your previous HR
roles. In your case you should perhaps not go for a conventional chronological
CV, but start with a summary of key experiences and skills instead. This
approach will allow you to focus more specifically on your achievements rather
than qualifications. Employers are interested in what you have delivered and
whether you could do it for them.

obtain feedback on why you weren’t selected for interview – there’s no harm in
asking and it could provide useful information. You should contact those
organisations you have applied to and ask them for feedback to help you in your
career development.

should also contact specialist HR recruitment consultancies to obtain feedback
and ideas on your CV, as well as how marketable you are in the UK HR sector.
They will also be able to give you their opinion on whether not being CIPD
qualified is an issue.

White, consultant, EJ Human Resources

and use contacts rather than agencies which might struggle to place you in this
depressed market. If someone knows you and can back up your application, it
will greatly improve your chances. Have you considered targeting organisations
with a presence in South Africa? If part of your experience is of immediate
benefit, then an employer may be willing to give you time and training to
develop in other areas.

all employers will recognise the relevance of your domestic qualifications, so
I suggest you contact the CIPD. It may not require as much work as you think to
have your experience and qualifications accredited.

Sussams, recruitment consultant, Malpas Flexible Learning

am very sympathetic to your problem of achieving recognition for your HR skills
and qualifications gained in South Africa.

is a very common frustration of many professionals who come to live in the
UK.  You can now appreciate I am sure,
how competitive the HR recruitment market is in this country and how tight the
person specifications are with many employers.

is certainly desirable for you to become a member of the CIPD, as this will
give potential employers confidence in your UK HR knowledge as well as high
academic background.

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