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  #1  
Old 07-18-2019, 07:31 PM
hefferTx hefferTx is offline
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Default Seeking Resume Critique & Advice for Internships - With Questions

Hello, I'm a college student entering my third year and I'll soon be applying for actuarial internships. I would love to get an internship and thus wish to have a strong resume. I've attached my resume and appreciate any and all critiques/ advice. I also have specific questions below, which I completely understand any replies that don't answer the questions and instead just give their advice. I'm also interested in people's thoughts on whether or not this is a "good" resume that they imagine will get me interviews.

Spoiler:

1) Would it be better to remove the music news publisher activity and instead include my first job as a grocery store bagger?
2) Section title: "Skills" or "Computer Skills" or "Technical Skills"?
3) Section title: "Experience" or "Work Experience"?
4) Section title: Is "Leadership & Activities" a good title?
5) Should I list each skill separately as a bullet point like I've done, or instead list levels of knowledge/ proficiency and then list each skill with that level of proficiency? I.e. having it as Advanced - Excel /n Intermediate - VBA, PowerPoint, Word /n Beginner - Java, SQL, Access?
6) Is there a better way to list my skills in general?
7) Is it okay that I don't have 3 bullet points for every activity?
8) Is my research work worded finely/ understandable as to what I did?
9) Is "Preliminary Passed" okay for my FM exam? Or should I just say "Passed"?
*Edit*
10) Is it good to have the Microsoft software listed with Microsoft in front of them? Better to do MS instead? Or perhaps not include Microsoft/ MS at all?

Lastly, I will be sending this resume for a job shadowing which is occurring before the start of the year. I listed SQL as one of my skills, but I haven't started learning yet, I just know I will have a basic understanding of SQL before the start of the semester. Is it okay to have the skill listed in this way?

Thank you for the help in advance! It feels good being able to have my resume reviewed by those in the field.

Last edited by hefferTx; 08-02-2019 at 10:13 PM..
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2019, 11:37 AM
jwitt25 jwitt25 is offline
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IMO, the makings of a good resume are there, but changes are needed.

Here are my opinions:
  • You need more white space on the resume. It is very dense and there are too many words in bold. It is difficult to draw the eye to a specific spot when there is so much going on in terms of formatting.
  • Grammar is incorrect for the "Preliminary Passed" statement.
  • A lot of the bullets are fluff that are implied by the job title.
  • You use passive verbs in your bullet points that don't add anything to the resume. Participated, helped, work in a team, and others are all phrases that make you seem like you are not actively involved and engaged.
  • List skills as computer or technical skills. Move the section up as it is more important than your other 2 sections.
  • In my opinion, stating that you are "advanced" at something implies that you won't need training on how to use that tool. I would find that to be highly unusual that an intern applicant is advanced with Excel. For me, it is better to know if you are familiar with the tool, can learn it quickly, and can learn it without much help from your manager.

To answer your questions:
  1. After removing the fluff, you will have space to add your first job. At this point, it shows that you will show up and maintain a professional demeanor.
  2. Answered above
  3. Doesn't matter to me
  4. Seems to fit
  5. Formatting looks fine as is. Listing proficiency for software is a risk. Every person has a different idea of beginner, intermediate, and expert. If you don't meet their definition, then you come across as lying on your resume which is a bad thing to do.
  6. Read other posts in this forum if you want other ideas.
  7. You don't need to have 3 bullet points for everything. In many cases, it takes away from your chances because the bullets are weak.
  8. That should probably go under work experiences. There are likely better ways to phrase your work so that you can demonstrate what you've done.
  9. You'll want to use "preliminary" until the pass is official. However, the grammar is off.
  10. Don't list skills that you don't possess!
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2019, 01:20 PM
RannowA RannowA is offline
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Too dry, needs flavor.

Try https://novoresume.com/
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2019, 01:27 PM
hefferTx hefferTx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwitt25 View Post
IMO, the makings of a good resume are there, but changes are needed.

Here are my opinions:
  • You need more white space on the resume. It is very dense and there are too many words in bold. It is difficult to draw the eye to a specific spot when there is so much going on in terms of formatting.
  • Grammar is incorrect for the "Preliminary Passed" statement.
  • A lot of the bullets are fluff that are implied by the job title.
  • You use passive verbs in your bullet points that don't add anything to the resume. Participated, helped, work in a team, and others are all phrases that make you seem like you are not actively involved and engaged.
  • List skills as computer or technical skills. Move the section up as it is more important than your other 2 sections.
  • In my opinion, stating that you are "advanced" at something implies that you won't need training on how to use that tool. I would find that to be highly unusual that an intern applicant is advanced with Excel. For me, it is better to know if you are familiar with the tool, can learn it quickly, and can learn it without much help from your manager.

To answer your questions:
  1. After removing the fluff, you will have space to add your first job. At this point, it shows that you will show up and maintain a professional demeanor.
  2. Answered above
  3. Doesn't matter to me
  4. Seems to fit
  5. Formatting looks fine as is. Listing proficiency for software is a risk. Every person has a different idea of beginner, intermediate, and expert. If you don't meet their definition, then you come across as lying on your resume which is a bad thing to do.
  6. Read other posts in this forum if you want other ideas.
  7. You don't need to have 3 bullet points for everything. In many cases, it takes away from your chances because the bullets are weak.
  8. That should probably go under work experiences. There are likely better ways to phrase your work so that you can demonstrate what you've done.
  9. You'll want to use "preliminary" until the pass is official. However, the grammar is off.
  10. Don't list skills that you don't possess!
Thank you so much! You are very helpful.

A few follow up questions if that's okay..
1) Do you have any suggestions as to how to make my resume less dense? The only idea I have is to increase the spacing between things. Also any recommendations on things I can un-bold?
2) Would "Preliminary Pass Exam FM/2" be correct grammar?
3) I'm trying to figure out which descriptions are the most fluff-y. The only thing that I can identify as probably fluff is the third bullet point of my server job, which I can remove. Was there anything in particular besides that which stuck out to you?
4) Even though my computer skills aren't that impressive you still think they should be right below my exams?
5) Before the start of the semester, I plan on making a sort of advanced-excel skills checklist and being sure that I can use all the main and important advanced excel functions/ capabilities and also I'll be trying to learn helpful keyboard shortcuts. At this point you still think it would be best for me to list it as an intermediate skill?
6) My research assistant job is not really that intense or formal. We meet every week or two and then do work independently. Because of this I thought it would be better to list it under my activities. Knowing this do you still think it should be under experience instead?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RannowA View Post
Too dry, needs flavor.

Try https://novoresume.com/
Since you linked a resume builder are you referring to the formatting being too dry? I used a different resume builder and then converted it to a word document that I can easily edit and would prefer to keep this format.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2019, 03:25 PM
RannowA RannowA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hefferTx View Post
Since you linked a resume builder are you referring to the formatting being too dry? I used a different resume builder and then converted it to a word document that I can easily edit and would prefer to keep this format.
The style is too dry. It might look fine to the old grandpas here, but I'd prefer looking at something a little more modern.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2019, 04:09 PM
jwitt25 jwitt25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hefferTx View Post
Thank you so much! You are very helpful.

A few follow up questions if that's okay..
1) Do you have any suggestions as to how to make my resume less dense? The only idea I have is to increase the spacing between things. Also any recommendations on things I can un-bold?
2) Would "Preliminary Pass Exam FM/2" be correct grammar?
3) I'm trying to figure out which descriptions are the most fluff-y. The only thing that I can identify as probably fluff is the third bullet point of my server job, which I can remove. Was there anything in particular besides that which stuck out to you?
4) Even though my computer skills aren't that impressive you still think they should be right below my exams?
5) Before the start of the semester, I plan on making a sort of advanced-excel skills checklist and being sure that I can use all the main and important advanced excel functions/ capabilities and also I'll be trying to learn helpful keyboard shortcuts. At this point you still think it would be best for me to list it as an intermediate skill?
6) My research assistant job is not really that intense or formal. We meet every week or two and then do work independently. Because of this I thought it would be better to list it under my activities. Knowing this do you still think it should be under experience instead?
1) Your first work experience can be summed up as "helped remote students setup iPads." Unless you did something to improve the process or remove glitches, the fluff is not worth using 3 bullets of space. You can figure out the rest.
2) Yes
3) Any bullets that do not show a skill required for the job or an accomplishment should be thought of as fluff. A resume is a sales document that sells you! For every bullet, you should ask "does this help show that I can do the work & analysis in the job?" Additionally, all of your verbs are passive. Starting a bullet with "Work in a team..." is weak and reads as being a passive participant rather than an active participant.
4) Up to you. Intern resumes are expected to not have much content to them. Exams, GPA, and software are typically the important issues. Your company will train you as long as you have a good attitude.
5)Again, my biggest issue is with applicants who greatly overstate their skills. An example would be listing SQL as a skill when you've never used it in your life. I equate that with poor judgment (can't properly assess your skills) or outright lying (listing something that you know nothing about to get a job).
6)Anything that has analysis or office experience should be considered a professional experience. If you are getting paid, it is a job.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2019, 03:09 PM
hefferTx hefferTx is offline
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It would give me a lot more peace of mind if I received feedback from more than one source so that I don't have to post elsewhere to receive feedback as well. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwitt25 View Post
1) Your first work experience can be summed up as "helped remote students setup iPads." Unless you did something to improve the process or remove glitches, the fluff is not worth using 3 bullets of space. You can figure out the rest.
2) Yes
3) Any bullets that do not show a skill required for the job or an accomplishment should be thought of as fluff. A resume is a sales document that sells you! For every bullet, you should ask "does this help show that I can do the work & analysis in the job?" Additionally, all of your verbs are passive. Starting a bullet with "Work in a team..." is weak and reads as being a passive participant rather than an active participant.
4) Up to you. Intern resumes are expected to not have much content to them. Exams, GPA, and software are typically the important issues. Your company will train you as long as you have a good attitude.
5)Again, my biggest issue is with applicants who greatly overstate their skills. An example would be listing SQL as a skill when you've never used it in your life. I equate that with poor judgment (can't properly assess your skills) or outright lying (listing something that you know nothing about to get a job).
6)Anything that has analysis or office experience should be considered a professional experience. If you are getting paid, it is a job.
1) IMO it feels like summing it up as "helped remote students setup iPads" ignores the other important things I did that employers would like to see in a work experience (worked in a team, distributed to the entire freshman student body, performed customer service, multi-tasked by helping multiple students simultaneously, practiced troubleshooting/ problem solving, public speaking by helping supervisors present). Also isn't improving processes/ removing glitches asking for a lot in a job like this that doesn't really give me opportunities to do that? I understand why that'd be important in an analytical/ real-world/ actuarial job but for a basically minimum wage job in my mind what's important is that I did the things that I listed above.
6) The research doesn't provide office experience and I am also not getting paid.

Thank you for the advice again and for answering my questions!
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2019, 06:03 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hefferTx View Post
It would give me a lot more peace of mind if I received feedback from more than one source so that I don't have to post elsewhere to receive feedback as well.
Mind if I post this on r/ChoosingBeggars?

1) If you have other good sources for feedback, why wouldn't you use them?
2) Complaining here, about the help you're receiving here, is poor form in general.
3) When people took the time to give you good advice before, you decided to delete your posts so the thread made no sense, leaving it worthless for anybody else that might be looking for the same advice later - which makes it hard to justify taking the time to give advice a second time IMHO.


Here's my unsolicited advice: Asking for help, complaining it's not enough, and then destroying the trail so nobody behind you can benefit isn't really the right approach in general. You should change this mentality if you want to be successful as an actuary, or really in any role anywhere that is collaborative.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2019, 07:53 PM
hefferTx hefferTx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Mind if I post this on r/ChoosingBeggars?

1) If you have other good sources for feedback, why wouldn't you use them?
2) Complaining here, about the help you're receiving here, is poor form in general.
3) When people took the time to give you good advice before, you decided to delete your posts so the thread made no sense, leaving it worthless for anybody else that might be looking for the same advice later - which makes it hard to justify taking the time to give advice a second time IMHO.


Here's my unsolicited advice: Asking for help, complaining it's not enough, and then destroying the trail so nobody behind you can benefit isn't really the right approach in general. You should change this mentality if you want to be successful as an actuary, or really in any role anywhere that is collaborative.
I was worried that + this thread together could allow certain people to figure out who I was. I've always been a bit paranoid about my anonymity online due to doxxing-esque experiences I faced when I was younger. I didn't think anyone would have an issue with me trying to protect my anonymity. I apologize and didn't consider your point about others looking for the same advice.

I also apologize if it came off as me complaining about the help I was receiving. I'm very thankful for the help I was given and have made much improvements to my resume because of that help.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2019, 06:30 AM
Kalium Kalium is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hefferTx View Post
It would give me a lot more peace of mind if I received feedback from more than one source so that I don't have to post elsewhere to receive feedback as well. Any help is greatly appreciated!
In the professional sections people generally only respond if they have something new to add. A single early comprehensive response might be the only one you need - and get. It doesn't mean that others aren't reading your resume, and (in not replying) are agreeing with any existing feedback.
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