No matter what you studied or your experience, the insurance industry is a great place for students and recent graduates to pursue a rewarding career! With over 25,000 professionals expected to retire by 2027, there is a need for talented, creative, and motivated talent to join the industry. It may also surprise you that the representation of young people working in the insurance industry is growing dramatically – 39% of Property and Casualty insurance professionals are Millennials!
The career search can be a scary or daunting process sometimes, especially when searching for your first career. But, we are here with our two-part series with some practical résumé tips to help you find your place in the insurance industry!
Part I – Understanding the Goal of A Resume and Where to Start in Writing One Tailored to the Insurance Industry
Know your Goal
When writing a résumé, many people believe the goal is to get the job, but the resume is only the first step you’re taking towards getting a job in insurance. The real goal of the résumé? To be invited for an interview with the potential employer!
Your résumé is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself for the first time and to draw the employer’s attention to your education, qualifications, and experience. Your résumé should also be tailored to demonstrate how all of these things meet the employer’s needs and why you are the best candidate for the position that you are applying to.
The Starting Point
Thinking about diving right into writing your résumé? You may want to pause and take a moment to do some research before beginning. Before applying to a job in the insurance industry you should:
- Take some time to learn more about the insurance industry. Career Connections can be a great starting point – it has full career profiles, videos featuring the stories of real-life insurance professionals, information on licensing and insurance education, and a job site. They even have a quiz you can take to help you narrow down which area of the industry might be right for you.
- Carefully research each of the companies that you’re applying to. Try and find their mission statement and show how your own values align with each insurance organization you apply to.
- Go to insurance industry events both online and in person! Informational interviews can help you make connections and gain a deeper understanding of the industry.
Create a customized résumé for each of the jobs that you apply to.
Insurance Résumés: The Dos and Don’ts
- Keep it short and sweet. Employers typically only spend 30 – 90 seconds in their initial scan of your résumé, so it shouldn’t be more than one or two pages (depending on your experience).
- Ensure it is easy to read. A minimum of 10pt font should be used.
- Know your format. You should use either a reverse chronological order (most recent experience first) or a functional format where your most relevant experience is first.
- Include your name and contact information in a visible place on each page of the résumé. Be sure to include a professional email address (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org) and a phone number that has voicemail.
- Include an objective and professional summary, as well as details about your educational background, relevant courses you have taken, and your work and volunteer history.
- Use slang or jargon! Employers want to see your writing skills showcased in your résumé. Don’t make reference to your age, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, political affiliations, or sexual orientation (unless it is a bonafide requirement of the position or is tied to experience which is very relevant to the position). Never provide your social insurance number at the application stage. Also don’t forget to include your awards and accomplishments, relevant community involvement, co-curricular activities, and any publications you may have to enhance your application.
Now that you have a better understanding of what the goal of your resume is and how to start writing a resume that is tailored to the insurance industry, you can move on to the nuts and bolts of the resume! Stay tuned for Part II of this series!