The insurance industry is a great place for students and recent grads to pursue an exciting and fulfilling career, whatever their educational background. The representation of young people working in the industry is growing dramatically. In 2017, 38% of the Property and Casualty insurance workforce was made up of Millennials – that’s an increase of 11% in just five years. With the Boomers reaching retirement, and new positions being created, there has never been a better time for students and grads to hatch their careers in the insurance industry. We have some practical tips for your job search and how you can master your time at career fairs to find your best fit in the insurance industry!
Be Open Minded
Both in your online job search and at a career fair, be open to exploring roles and opportunities that you may not have considered before. The insurance industry is so large, that there could be roles and career paths you never knew existed. Approach your job hunt with an open mind, but also be open to learning about the various disciplines in the insurance industry.
When you met industry professionals at career fairs, ask them questions about their current role, and what inspired them to work in the insurance industry. Everyone’s path is different, so keeping an open mind and genuinely asking these types of questions can open up different avenues for you to explore. Bonus – this is a great way to connect and network!
Organization will help you stay focused and make your job hunting experience much easier. Create tools that will help you in your job search and at career fairs. Use spreadsheets and calendars to keep track of upcoming events, job posting deadlines, and jobs that you’ve already applied for. If you are a list person, use that to your advantage! You will want to prioritize what events you can attend and what job postings are the right fit for you. Especially when applying for positions, think about quality over quantity.
You’re meeting and connecting with industry professionals at career fairs, so ensure that you save your contacts! Collect business cards from potential employers and contacts and make sure to reach out via email the next day after the event. Take a picture of the front and back of the business card with your phone, so you can make a quick note about the company, the contact and some reminders about your interaction to include in your follow up email!
Preparation is Key
Do your homework! Explore roles and various companies that you’re interested in working for and try to discover what events their recruiters or senior management will be attending. Visit company websites, social media, job postings, LinkedIn profiles and other resources to gain valuable insight prior to attending the event. This will ensure you are better prepared with questions, comments and talking points so you can make a great first impression. If you have people in your circle already in the insurance industry, this could be a great time to reach out to them and ask for an introduction with potential employers.
Networking is an important part of a job search and career fairs are the perfect opportunity to do just that. 44% of current employees were referred by someone working within the insurance industry. This just goes to show how important creating connections and networking is to land a job in the insurance industry. Be prepared to engage and ask questions!
Bring Your Resume
Ensure that your resume is up to date, and ready to be handed out! Even though, the hiring process has become increasingly automated and digitized, having paper copies is a great idea so that you can introduce yourself and break the ice with a potential employer. Some employers at career fairs prefer to have you apply on-line, so don’t be discouraged if they tell you they don’t collect hard copies of your CV. But you’ll always be ahead of the game by having a copy on hand, just in case.
When refreshing your resume, make sure it’s tailored to the insurance industry and the job posting that you’re applying for! It may be a great idea to have a couple of versions so that you can have role-specific resumes along with general information about yourself and experience for career fairs. You want to look professional, and there’s nothing worse than handing out a resume to a company that was intended for a different prospective employer!
Dress to impress! Wear clean, wrinkle-free and professional attire to put your best foot forward. First impressions are important as it’s the first introduction to a potential employer to ask questions and share what you have to offer. Smile, speak with confidence and genuinely connect! When you are authentically you, people want to take the time to speak with you and get to know you. Career fairs offer a short window of time, so make it count.
Career fairs are a great resource for you to connect with professionals in the insurance industry during your job search. By following the tips outlined above, you will be able to navigate your next career fair with confidence – taking you one step closer to hatching your career in insurance.