Laying the Foundation for Your Actuarial Career

Laying the Foundation for Your Actuarial Career

Laying the Foundation for Your Actuarial Career

By: Caitlin Cunningham, Sr. Recruiter & Amanda Kapellen, Recruiter

Today’s US entry-level actuarial market is strong, but it is also very competitive. Therefore, building a well-rounded resume is more important than ever. Some of the key components hiring managers focus on include exams, education background, computer skills and internship experience. With regard to exams, typically having two to three preliminary exams completed is ideal going into one’s full-time actuarial job search. In terms of academics, at least a Bachelor’s degree will be needed.

Hiring teams prefer quantitatively focused studies, including majors such as Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Finance and Economics. The stronger one performs academically in coursework and area(s) of focus, the more positions one may find himself or herself able to consider. Another important consideration is the technical skills acquired via work experience, school and/or self-study. Some of the most highly sought after computer program and language experience in today’s market is in Excel (i.e., macros, pivot tables and vlookups), Access, Visual Basic/VBA, SAS, SQL and C++.

Furthermore, actively seeking out actuarial internship opportunities throughout the course of your academic career and in conjunction with a full-time search presents the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in the profession. These roles offer industry exposure in actuarial functions and relevant technical skills—not to mention that this resume builder can help distinguish you from the
competition.

Beyond the exams, education, technical skills and internship experience outlined above, there are additional strengths to factor in when building your resume: supplemental (nonactuarial) work experience, activities and leadership, languages spoken, volunteer projects, etc. As a job seeker, put your best foot forward with a strong, polished resume (carefully formatted and thoroughly proofread) and cover letter (tailored to each company and role) in order to make a positive and lasting first impression with potential employers. To connect with DW Simpson’s entry-level recruiting team, please complete our brief candidate questionnaire at: www.dwsimpson.com/cform.html.

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