First impressions are powerful. And in many instances, a hiring company’s first impression of you will stem from your actuarial resume. Putting your best foot forward with a well written and formatted professional summary can be your ticket to proceeding with interview conversations—the all-important first step in potentially landing a great career opportunity.
An actuarial resume is an entity of its own, and the checklist below details points to be addressed within. This list serves as an overall guide, of course, with each individual’s background and skill set warranting its own unique presentation. If you have questions specific to crafting or tailoring your resume, contact your DW Simpson Recruiter and he/she will be well poised to guide you.
Actuarial Resume Checklist
- Contact Information. List your full name, followed by any relevant professional designations. Complementary to this, your physical address and the best phone number as well as email address on which you can be reached. For the phone number, it is advised to have a voicemail box set up and a straightforward outgoing message; a professional email address is important as well, typically one that is simple and name based. Candidates may choose to include the URL to their LinkedIn profile as well, ensuring all information published is current.
- Actuarial Exams/Designations. If you are following the actuarial exams path, list a summary of the requirements you have completed thus far, noting passage dates, and include any upcoming exams as well. If you have already obtained a designation or designations, list them atop your resume and note the issuing organization and corresponding date(s).
- Professional Experience. Chronologically summarize your employers and positions held, along with the corresponding dates. Bullet point your responsibilities, noting the functions fulfilled, products worked on, internal and/or external communications involved, and any significant achievements. Incorporate industry-specific terminology as it pertains to your work and accomplishments, given that hiring managers or Human Resources may be looking for certain “keywords” or “buzzwords.” Should you have non-actuarial work experience worth sharing, you may choose to do so briefly in a separate work experience section below the more pertinent information.
- Education. Include the institution attended and degree obtained, and if you would like, the graduation year. It may be appropriate to showcase any notable honors, scholarships or activities. If you graduated within the past few years and earned a strong GPA, you might include that as well.
- Technical Skills. List the computer skills you have developed and applied, organized by type (i.e., programming, database, actuarial software) or skill level (i.e., basic working knowledge, proficient, advanced-level user).
- Ancillary Information. Additional details that might warrant mention include advanced language skills, professional honors and awards, publications, presentations and volunteer experience.
Use a consistent font and formatting, as well as action verbs in the appropriate past or present tense. Finally, ask trusted contacts for their overview and input, and proofread, proofread, proofread!
Ultimately, consider your resume a personal marketing document carefully and strategically communicating your value to a hiring company. With any luck, you will be on to the next step: interview preparation!
By Caitlin Cunningham, Manager & Emily Paxton, Senior Recruiter
About the Authors
Emily Paxton joined DW Simpson in early 2012 as a recruiter on Lindsey Nelson’s team. Aside from her duties as a senior recruiter, Emily has taken over the creation and production of the DW Simpson Actuarial News blog.
Emily moved to Chicago from Omaha in January 2012 – outside of work she enjoys exploring the city she now calls home!
Caitlin Cunningham worked for DW Simpson as a manager, and parted with the company in February 2016. She continues to stay in touch with her DWS colleagues as she pursues the next steps in her growing career.