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Thread: What do employers look for in an act. student resume?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    68

    What do employers look for in an act. student resume?

    As someone looking to make the switch from mechanical engineering to actuary (and who has passed P and FM), I would like to know what a good entry-level actuarial student resume looks like. Obviously, I should include the exams I've passed. I should also include my college information. My experience as a mechanical engineer and submarine officer would no doubt be of limited relevance, but through my work experience, I feel very good about my Excel, PowerPoint, and Word capabilities, I have experience working through technical problems, I've been in a position of great responsibility (driving a submarine and supervising the operation of a nuclear reactor), and I have public speaking experience as a tactics instructor. Anyway, is there a good format and order for the content of my resume? What catches the eye of potential employers? Presumably, it takes more than a couple passed exams to get noticed by an employer. Unless an employer's demand for actuaries is higher than the supply of actuary student resumes, I imagine it must take something more. Since I don't have an internship to my credit, what can I do to maximize the possibility that employers won't just pass over my resume?

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    138
    This advice might be different from others, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Any decent-sized firm will be getting hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes, a large percentage of which will also have P and FM completed. Few will have your previous working experience. Make your resume look as it would if you were applying for work in any other industry -- do NOT downplay your previous experience. Go to any number of decent websites to get advice on that.

    Use your cover letter to tailor yourself for the actuarial job, explaining why you want to change careers, the preparation you've done in anticipation of that change, and the unique qualifications you can bring to that company. But if you want your resume to stand out, make sure the person on the other side of the desk knows you AREN'T just some 22-year-old who's never held a real job before. (No offense to the 22-year-olds who have never held a real job before on the board).

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