Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
21 Nov 2012

How to prove your commerciality

21 Nov 2012 • by Changeboard Team

Why your CV should prove your commerciality

This is due to the way departments are now functioning, with an emphasis on business partnering and a more sophisticated approach. HR departments require professionals with a better commercial understanding in terms of linking HR to the overall objectives and strategy of the business.

If you’re currently in the market for an HR role, the more senior or the more strategically-focused the role, the more important it is that you accentuate your commercial skills on your CV and at interview. Proving your commerciality will help show you can be an asset to an organisation. 

Conveying your commerciality

If you’re a commercially-skilled HR professional, stating so on your CV doesn’t prove it’s true. You need to provide evidence that you possess commercial skills, and with limited space on your CV it’s best to choose the most recent and relevant examples.

If your CV doesn’t prove you’ve added value to your organisation in metrics, you can’t show you have commercial skills. Don’t waste space with a long list of responsibilities; make sure a large portion of your CV is given to bullet pointed achievements. Use real-life figures as your achievements; show employers exactly how much you saved or made for your organisation.

At interview it’s important you talk about wider business issues that affect HR, as well as business successes and objectives. Try not to focus on just human resources; link HR strategy to the commercial side of your expertise. This will be your best chance to discuss your commercial skills because you’ll have the time to explain a situation, what you did and what results you got. So, although you’ll have detailed some of this on your CV, it’s worth taking the time to prepare your interview answers and giving clear, concise responses that fully show your knowledge and experience. 

Why its important to prove your commerciality

A CV that doesn’t speak numbers or a candidate that can’t discuss commercial details in an interview won’t grab the attention of a hiring manager. In a competitive market HR professionals must work to show they have good business acumen and commercial understanding.

Businesses are developing the way HR departments function, and their impact needs to directly affect the organisation’s metrics. Not only do you need to prove to a prospective employer that you have the skills required to make a tangible difference to their organisation, you must also stand out from the crowd of other candidates.

In order to add value to an organisation (for example: reducing spend and adding value to the bottom line), you’ll need to show you have more than traditional HR skills. Showing strong commercial knowledge and expertise about the organisations you’ve worked for and the industries they operate in is essential. Your perspective on how HR strategies can be used to deliver on an organisation’s short, medium and long-term objectives is crucial to demonstrate too.

There are many employers who now feel that HR of the future will be far more strategic and more involved with business objectives. If you don’t possess commercial HR skills, now is a good time to expand this side of your expertise.