How To Write A Resume For Insurance Jobs

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When writing your resume, what’s your ultimate goal? To get a job?

If that’s the case, then you probably have the wrong purpose in mind.

Your resume is just one of many steps you may take toward getting an insurance job. The real goal of that piece of paper should be to get an interview with the employer.

After all, your resume is simply an opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential employer and, for the first time, draw their attention to your education, qualifications and experience. Your resume should also demonstrate how you meet the employer’s needs and are the best candidate for the specific position that you are applying for.

Follow these tips, provided by Career Connections, a division of the Insurance Institute, to avoid any risk of missing out on the next insurance job you apply for:

Before you start

Sure, it’s easy to whip up a resume and fire off a dozen or so job applications each day. You might think that the numbers will be on your side, but the truth is employers notice when you do this. Before applying for any insurance job:

Insurance resume dos and don’ts

Do:

  • Keep it concise – no more than one or two pages
  • Make it easy to read – use at least 10 pt font
  • Use either a chronological (reverse timeline) or functional (experience-based) format
  • Put your name and contact information front and centre on all pages, including a professional email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@mail.com) and phone number with voicemail
  • Include an objective and a professional summary, plus details about your education and work and volunteer history

Don’t:

  • Use industry-specific slang, jargon or acronyms if you can avoid it
  • Include references to your age, gender, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation, sexual orientation or Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Forget to include accomplishments rather than tasks

How to write a resume objective

Including an objective on your resume tells an insurance employer that you know what you want and it’s applicable to the role they’re hiring for.

You can simply state the job title you are applying for, or you may include attributes you are looking for as well as the desired type of work (e.g., part-time, full-time, etc.) in your objective.  For example:

Dynamic, detail-oriented and resourceful professional seeking a full-time position in underwriting.

How to write a professional summary

Your professional summary is kind of like a highlight reel briefly showcasing who you are and what you have to offer. Within four to six brief bullet points, a professional summary can include:

  • A statement of your career so far
  • Educational highlights, including post-secondary education and any other credentials or certificates you may have earned
  • Relevant skills and accomplishments
  • Languages
  • Technological proficiency, such as computer programs

Education and professional designations

Whether you put your education at the very top or below your work and volunteer experience, be sure to emphasize any classes and coursework that are related to the job you’re applying for as well as the insurance industry. This is especially important if you’re a student or recent graduate with little or no industry experience.

Bonus: Have you recently completed or are you currently pursuing insurance education or licences? Are you the recipient of any academic award? Put the spotlight on them in this section to really impress a potential employer.

Work and volunteer experience

Forget about listing everything you’ve ever done – that’s so high school. Only include work and volunteer experience that is relevant to the insurance job you wish to be hired for and speaks to the employer’s needs for that role.

Once you’ve hand-picked those experiences, include just two or three bullet-point statements about each experience. Again, these statements should be relevant to your job goal and the employer’s needs, and they should also be accomplishment-based rather than task-based.

What does that mean exactly? Don’t just tell them what you did – tell them how you did it and the results you achieved in your role. Quantify these results and be sure to not leave anything to the employer’s imagination. For example:

Customer Service Representative                                          April 2011 to present
Bank of Nova Scotia                                                                            Vancouver, BC

  • Assisted 50+ customers per day with the completion of routine and business banking transactions including deposits, bill payment and funds transfer; received a rating of ‘exceeds expectations’ in service delivery
  • Ensured compliance with Canadian Banking Association standards and guidelines in record keeping and database administration; received rating of 98% on audit of transaction records

Rather than simply stating that you provided customer service, this example gets much more specific by answering the following questions:

  • How many customers did you interact with?
  • What did you help them with?
  • What systems, programs, tools or processes did you use?
  • Were your customers or employer satisfied with the level of service you provided? How do you know?

Before you apply for a job

Even if you think your resume is 100% ready to go, it doesn’t hurt to have another pair of eyes give it a quick once-over. If you can, work with a career counselor or industry professional to polish your master resume first, and then ask friends or family members to proof-read your applications before you submit them.

Not enough time? Read your resume out loud and compare it, line by line, to the job you’re applying for.

Looking for more insurance resume tips and templates? Visit the Resume Tips and Tools page on the Career Connections website.

 

Insurance is already part of everything you do.
Why not find your career in it? To learn more, visit www.career-connections.info.

 

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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.