Fall is just around the corner, which means it’s actuarial hiring season!
Actuarial employers start looking to fill their entry-level positions EARLY. If you’re graduating next spring, looking to change careers, or on the hunt for a summer internship, you’ve got to start now!!
So, you want to get noticed by employers this hiring season. How do you stand out from the competition and finally get that interview?
Luckily, I’ve done some research on exactly what employers are looking for. And the answer to that is top actuarial candidates!
What makes a future actuary a top candidate? You need to meet a few requirements:
- Pass at least 2-3 exams
- Strong technical skills
- Great communication skills
- Bachelor’s degree
- Related experience
Getting all these qualifications is the BEST way to make sure you’ll get hired. When you have all the skills and experience that employers are looking for, hiring you is a no-brainer!
But, most future actuaries don’t know how to prove their skills and stand out from the competition, even when they have all the right qualifications.
Here are my top three tips to increase your chances of getting an actuarial job this fall recruiting season!
Tip #1: Not All Available Jobs are Posted Online
Did you know that only about 20% of actuarial jobs are posted online?
You read that right, only 20%! So where are the rest of them?
They’re in what I like to call the hidden job market.
All these jobs that don’t get posted online are getting filled before the employer needs to make a job posting…often through the company’s network.
Here’s what that could look like:
- The hiring manager knows someone who would be perfect for the job, so they offer it to them directly
- The job gets posted on the company billboard and filled internally, either by someone who already works there OR by someone an employee recommends
What’s the common denominator here??
If you have connections at the companies you want to work at, you’re way more likely to hear about these opportunities before they make it to a job posting.
That means more opportunities with LESS competition!
But outside of building your network, what can you do to increase your chances of getting hired?
The Dream 10 List
You can start by creating your Dream 10 list. This is a collection of 10 companies you’re genuinely excited to work for. These are the ones you’ve researched thoroughly and genuinely admire.
To create your Dream 10 list, I recommend researching different companies in your area and seeing what they offer when it comes to:
- Actuarial Development Program (click here to learn more about these!)
Make a list of your top 10 options, and try to build your connections with these companies through LinkedIn and networking events.
Stand Out with Snail Mail
Here’s a tip that Actuary Accelerator Community (AAC) members do: Send your resume via snail mail.
Yes, you read that right! Most applicants these days submit their resumes electronically, so receiving a physical copy can be a refreshing surprise for recruiters. Your paper resume will likely get on to the recruiting team’s desk, right in front of them, making it more likely to be reviewed.
This unconventional approach can also help you to get considered for unposted job opportunities!
Keep in mind that the real trick is to get creative. Think differently and make an impression!
Tip #2: Craft a Winning Resume: Sell Yourself, Not What you Want
It’s so, SO important to have a professionally written resume that markets your skills and experience effectively.
A well-written resume can help you get the job or internship, AND it can also increase your potential earnings by 7%.
Now that you know the importance of a good resume, let me tell you about a common resume mistake you absolutely DON’T want to make.
So many future actuaries make their resume about what they want, instead of why employers should want THEM.
And that’s 100% incorrect! Think of it like a product advertisement.
When promoting a product, successful companies don’t say, “Buy our product because it will make us tons of money.”
They know that customers don’t care about what the company wants – they care about why it will benefit them. Employers are the same way!
So instead, they focus their message on how the product will benefit the customer. And that’s exactly what your resume should do!
How exactly do you do that?
Remove the objective statement at the top of your resume and replace it with a career profile. Summarize what makes you a top candidate and emphasize how you can contribute to the company’s success. Use this strategy in your emails and cover letter too!
By showcasing your value, you’ll pique the employer’s interest and set yourself apart from the other applicants.
Tip #3: Follow Up!
After submitting your application, don’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring – follow up! This simple step gives you a second chance to grab the recruiter’s attention.
So, when can you send a follow up?
I recommend waiting about two weeks after applying before following up, or two weeks after the company’s application deadline if there’s a specific cutoff date.
If you haven’t heard anything within that time frame, it’s completely acceptable to reach out.
When you follow up via email, make it easy for the employer by including your resume in the email. If you decide to call, you might even score a short interview right then and there. Make sure you’re prepared for that if you call!
I recommend following up on all your applications. If that isn’t possible, at least focus your follow-up efforts on your Dream 10 list, the companies you’re most passionate about.
There’s no harm in following up. It shows your genuine interest and determination! Make sure to follow up when you can.
This fall recruiting season is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to secure that actuarial entry-level job or internship!! Take advantage of the hidden job market, transform your resume into a compelling marketing tool, and don’t be shy about following up.
Want expert help becoming a top actuarial candidate, plus access to a community full of future actuaries like you? You belong in the Actuary Accelerator Community (AAC)!
This community helps future actuaries get their first real actuarial job by helping them rise from beginner up to becoming a top actuarial candidate. When you join, you’ll get access to networking courses and events, a Resume Master Course, interview prep, and tons of other job search resources.
You can even get access to technical skills training!
Want to take your actuarial journey to the next level? Click here to check out the Actuary Accelerator Community!