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Thread: Resume Advice?

  1. #1
    RWL288
    Guest

    Resume Advice?

    I graduated during the summer with a degree in B.A. in Economics and I just passed P/1 but I don't have any relevant work experience. (no actuarial internships; my only work experience is in construction and at a golf course). Since this makes my resume kinda weak I'm trying to find a way to make up for it. I'm wondering if emphasizing that I'm self-taught calculus and probability is a way to do this? One the one hand, it shows that I'm motivated and able to learn difficult material on my own which is obviously very important in the actuarial profession. On the other hand, I worry that potential employers might see my lack of formal mathematical education as a weakness. I was very rigorous in my self-study of calculus, probably more so than a university course would be, however, I'm afraid "self-taught calculus" might be viewed as "skimmed calculus, learned what I needed to for P/1." What do you guys think, should I emphasize this or not? Has anyone else had to make up for having no work experience and if so how?

    tl;dr: how can I compensate for having no relevant work experience on my resume, should I emphasize that I am self-taught calculus/probability?

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by RWL288 View Post
    I graduated during the summer with a degree in B.A. in Economics and I just passed P/1 but I don't have any relevant work experience. (no actuarial internships; my only work experience is in construction and at a golf course). Since this makes my resume kinda weak I'm trying to find a way to make up for it. I'm wondering if emphasizing that I'm self-taught calculus and probability is a way to do this? One the one hand, it shows that I'm motivated and able to learn difficult material on my own which is obviously very important in the actuarial profession. On the other hand, I worry that potential employers might see my lack of formal mathematical education as a weakness. I was very rigorous in my self-study of calculus, probably more so than a university course would be, however, I'm afraid "self-taught calculus" might be viewed as "skimmed calculus, learned what I needed to for P/1." What do you guys think, should I emphasize this or not? Has anyone else had to make up for having no work experience and if so how?

    tl;dr: how can I compensate for having no relevant work experience on my resume, should I emphasize that I am self-taught calculus/probability?
    The best person to ask about this is NoMoreExams. I really don't know how they would view it, but if you pass exams I guess your knowledge of calculus must be at least at a satisfactory level.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Posting Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,110
    Quote Originally Posted by RWL288 View Post
    I graduated during the summer with a degree in B.A. in Economics and I just passed P/1 but I don't have any relevant work experience. (no actuarial internships; my only work experience is in construction and at a golf course). Since this makes my resume kinda weak I'm trying to find a way to make up for it. I'm wondering if emphasizing that I'm self-taught calculus and probability is a way to do this? One the one hand, it shows that I'm motivated and able to learn difficult material on my own which is obviously very important in the actuarial profession. On the other hand, I worry that potential employers might see my lack of formal mathematical education as a weakness. I was very rigorous in my self-study of calculus, probably more so than a university course would be, however, I'm afraid "self-taught calculus" might be viewed as "skimmed calculus, learned what I needed to for P/1." What do you guys think, should I emphasize this or not? Has anyone else had to make up for having no work experience and if so how?

    tl;dr: how can I compensate for having no relevant work experience on my resume, should I emphasize that I am self-taught calculus/probability?
    You study for exams on your own, self teaching yourself Calculus is all good but it's not anything that will necessarily impress anyone. To your point about rigor... what does that mean? Did you go from baby Rudin? Grad Rudin? Did you learn Gauge theory? In any case, that probably won't impress too many people either. A large part of studying for exams (and they get bigger and more complicated) is knowing what to study. Saying you can prove convergence doesn't help you at all on 1/P and your goal was to pass the exam.

    So my advice is this, don't put it on the resume. When asked how did you prepare for the exam, mention that you had to teach yourself from scratch and what your study schedule was like, etc.

  4. #4
    RWL288
    Guest
    Thanks, sounds like good advice. I guess since it's questionable it's better to leave it off. If they ask, I'll tell them. If not, then I won't.

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