Should I re-apply for my position?

I
have been HR and training officer for a housing association for 15 months and
have just discovered that my role and that of the facilities manager are to be
merged from April. I can apply for this post, but there is no guarantee I will
be successful – this is my first HR post. The timescale gives me a few months
to find another post, but my relatively short experience will not help. I have
gained a broad base of knowledge as it is a relatively small organisation and I
ran the department virtually single-handedly for three months while my manager
was on sick leave. How can I make the best of the experience that I do have? I
am also considering looking for an interim appointment to get me out of the
public sector.

Anna
Cook, project co-ordinator, Chiumento

Facilities
management is a completely separate sector to HR. Unless this particularly
appeals to you, you run the risk of diluting your HR experience with something
that will not be perceived as of much value to prospective employers.

If
you want to stay in HR but want to move to the private sector, you will have to
develop a strategy that focuses on your transferable skills and experience.
Highlighting the time you spent covering for your boss and detailing your
achievements will help do this.

Work
on your CV to ensure it does you justice. Highlight your experience and
achievements – things you have done that have made a difference in your current
role.  Circulate it to HR agencies, and
ask for feedback and tips on making it more attractive to private-sector
employers.

Interim
work could offer an opportunity for you, but you may find your lack of
experience makes this harder than you think.

At
this stage, it probably makes sense to try to find a job with an organisation
that will increase your HR experience.

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning

You
have a lot going for you in applying for the combined post and it would
certainly increase your experience. The HR role is more demanding of specific
knowledge than the FM role, and you have proved yourself to be able by covering
the sickness period.

FM
is about property management and is usually a very pragmatic area. There is
training available, such as the BIFM parts 1 and 2, which we and a few other
providers offer. A lot of the syllabus is on management and personnel and you
could learn up on property portfolio management, premises maintenance and
property law quite easily.  

My
advice is to go for it – there are always lots of opportunities for doubly
qualified people, and you may never get such a good chance again!

Jo
Selby, associate director, EJ Human Resources

If
you are finding that your length of experience is going against you, you may
wish to review your CV and ensure that you are communicating your depth of
experience effectively, detailing your achievements in the role. In addition,
make sure that you also include the experience you gained during your
university work placements as they too will have given you valuable HR
exposure.

When
you register with agencies, ensure that they fully understand the depth of your
current role and gain their input as to the kind of opportunities available to
you.

Interim
appointments are worth considering as they can give you the opportunity to work
in different environments and learn different skills while you are looking for
the right permanent role.

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