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Thread: Putting your exam score on a resume

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Putting your exam score on a resume

    I agree with posts I have seen that for most people it is better to leave a 9 or a 10 off their resume.
    However, I am a math teacher with an Aerospace Engineering degree looking to change careers, and I'm getting the sense that applicants with a more relevant (math, actuary science, etc.) degree have a slight advantage over me.
    If I received a 10 on Exam P, would this show that I'm just as capable of passing exams as a math/actuary science major? Just a thought. Thanks in advance for offering an opinion.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    I put my Exam P score on my resume.

    There's a guy in the math department at my uni that was an actuary for ~25 years. Whenever I told him I made a 10 on the first actuarial exam, he told me congratulations, that's really special, you should be proud, etc. etc. I asked him if I should put the score on my resume or not and he threw back his head and had a right chuckle. He said, "Why wouldn't you? A company would rather hire somebody who made a 10 instead of a 6." Now of course he meant, all things other things being equal, why would a company prefer an inferior score?

    I respect this guy's opinion. As mentioned, he was a FCAS for many years and he worked for a well known consulting company and was often involved in the interviewing process.

    But as you may have seen on this forum, a lot of people think it's a bad idea. Clearly it just depends on the company. I put my exam score on my resume and I have been applying for jobs steadily for 6 months and I have a grand total of two phone interviews and zero on-site interviews. So I don't think it really matters too much. Companies seem to be more interested in number of exams passed and relevant experience. I don't expect to get a job until I pass a few more exams. In particular, my 10 on Exam P/1 appears to be worth sweet F.A.
    The freedom to dream meaningfully

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    When I was first exploring the idea of being an actuary I met with one who had worked in private consulting for many years. He told me that if you score higher than a 6, you've wasted your time studying too much. Now I'm sure he didn't mean that scoring higher than a 6 is BAD but it just gave me the impression that, in general, companies only care about you passing, not what passing mark you made. Scoring a 10 may be an impressive feat but at the same time, it could also indicate that you spend too much time studying and wouldn't be able to contribute valuable hours to your actual work on the job which is what they really care about in the long run.

  4. #4
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    Then I guess it pretty much depends on who your interviewer is. Some people don't like actuaries with high scores, but some do. It's just a matter of principles and personalities. =)

  5. #5
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    I interviewed for an internship couple of months ago and I was asked my score for FM. I got a 9, and somehow I feel that that's one of the reasons I'm offered an internship. Nonetheless, I won't put my score on my resume, but if I'm asked, I won't try to hide either.

  6. #6
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    The other day I asked another FSA who, like the other guy I mentioned in my first post on this thread, laughed in my face when I told him about people not wanting to put high scores on resumes. My 10 is staying on there. :laugh:
    The freedom to dream meaningfully

  7. #7
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    Anyone else with a comment on this question, now that scores are out for the fall exams?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon View Post
    Anyone else with a comment on this question, now that scores are out for the fall exams?
    I put my scores on - I reasoned that it'd show that I'm committed to the exam process. It's strange that this is considered by some people to be a competition where you do NOT want to highlight your successes.

    While not every person that puts their scores on their resume is the stereotypical arrogant impossible-to-work-with math nerd, it's probably true that arrogant people always put there 8's/9's/10's on. However, an interviewer should be able to identify these types of people quickly.

    I would think putting scores on would result in indifference at worst.

  9. #9
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    I've had probably a dozen phone interviews. I've never been asked my exam scores. The place I actually got an offer from (one of the biggest consulting companies) asked for it on their application form, but it was never discussed. For the record, I got an offer with one exam passed, and I only got a 7 on that exam. There must be something else people are looking at, because although the job search process is terribly slow, I've been getting generally very positive responses with my one little exam.

  10. #10
    Actuary.com - Level V Poster
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    As part of my actuarial job, I screened actuarial resumes for a large insurance company for several years. Resumes showing actuarial exam scores were received with skepticism, and all other things being equal, non-score resumes were placed higher. Some managers felt it showed a preference for studying over work.

    Later, at a medium-sized insurer, my manager had a nice wall plaque designed, with engraved metal nameplates for anyone receiving a 10 on an actuarial exam. A few thought it was a good incentive, most hated it, and other managers had mixed feelings. I scored 10 on one early exam, and don't feel it indicated any better work skill in those subjects; other subjects on which I got 6's and 7's became my forte.
    Last edited by JMO Fan; February 2nd 2010 at 10:55 AM.
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