Han Ji-min began her career in the entertainment industry by appearing in commercials and music videos when she was still a teenager. She gained wider attention after landing minor roles in the hit dramas All In and Dae Jang Geum in 2003. In 2005, she had her career breakthrough in the KBS2 revenge drama Resurrection, which won her Best New Actress at the KBS Drama Awards. That same year, she made her big screen debut in the movie Blue Swallow, in which she was nominated for Best New Actress at the 43rd Grand Bell Awards. In 2007, she bagged Excellence Awards for the dramas Yi San and Capital Scandal. In 2012, she headlined the SBS fantasy romantic comedy Rooftop Prince, which earned her two Top Excellence Awards. She then collected Best Actress trophies from various award-giving bodies for her memorable portrayal of the titular character in the 2018 drama film Miss Baek. In 2019, she took home a Top Excellence Award at the 38th MBC Drama Awards for her performance in the romantic drama One Spring Night.

Han Ji-min majored in social welfare at the Seoul Women’s University. In 2009, she published the book We’re Already Friends: Han Ji-min’s Philippines Donation Book, which features stories and drawings of her time volunteering at a school in a deep mountain village in the Philippines. She was also designated as goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2012.