Let’s talk about the actuarial resume and what are some things to keep in mind when writing one. I am graduating from college in two months, so right now my resume is pretty much my life. A resume can make or break your job search. It’s what you need to set you apart from everyone else. So if you don’t have this in order, then you are making your job hunt much harder. You still obviously need the accomplishments, but you need to present them in a way that is clear and concise for your future employer to understand. I’m going to try and help get you started by sharing a few things I’ve been told by people who work in career services.
A resume should go in the order that an employer would logically try to set one candidate apart from another candidate. First, as an actuary, what matter most are the exams that you have passed. Most jobs have a requirement of one exam passed, but many require two. So the first thing that you need to include on your resume is the exams that you have passed. If you are scheduled to take an exam, you should list the exam you are sitting for and the exam date. This is the most important thing, and if you are to take anything away from this article this should be it. If you got a high score, you should list it; if you barely passed, you should probably not put it down.
The next thing you need to include in your resume is your education. You only need to write the institution that you graduated from and any academic honors earned. If you did study abroad, you could list that too. Next, you should include your work experience, making sure that you really flesh it out. Obviously, you should list first those that are relevant like actuarial internships. If there are any skills you have gained from previous jobs, you can list those too. Avoid using the first person, i.e., avoid using the word “I” in your descriptions. Try starting descriptions of past jobs with a gerund instead of using past tense verbs.
Then list relevant computer skills like Microsoft Office, SAS, or R. If you and another applicant have the same exams passed, this could be what sets you apart. So make sure you write everything that you know well in this section. Lastly, I would put down any activities that you had while in school that you think would make you stand out from another candidate. I wouldn’t put down anything silly; you need to make sure that you don’t waste a single bit of space. If you want to stand out from the other candidates, you need to put down things that give you more credibility. If you need any more help putting together a resume, go to your University’s career center. Alumni are welcome there too.
This is the advice that many wise people have given me, and it’s the advice that I’m currently using myself to try and make it in this industry. So I hope this serves you well. Keep working hard!