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  #1  
Old 10-25-2019, 04:26 PM
jshill89 jshill89 is offline
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College: BYUI-Alumni
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Default Let me know what you changes you all recommend

So, I am trying to switch careers here and I hope that once I finally get into the field then I could start cranking out exams more frequently. I am open to suggestions as I have used the same general format for a few years and haven't had as much success as I would like.

Donít let the length of this post discourage you. Check out the resume and donít read any further if you donít want to know my background/life story.


I have been with the same company for almost 5 years with three different positions and I completed an internship for a health insurance carrier while I was working one of these full time positions and I tried to put something there to show that I had a part time and a full time position at the same time since I have to explain this in every interview, which I figure is going to happen every time.

One thing that I really want to change is the third bullet point on my internship. I just have a hard time condensing it and using the right wording which would be appropriate for a resume since I only worked in the field for a few months, whereas I have been doing accounting for 6 years and am very familiar with the terms. If nothing else comes out of this then at least being able to reword that bullet point would probably be very beneficial. For this project I was tasked with finding out how much our dental plan paid dentist in comparison to the competition to see if we were comparable. A secondary assignment would be to see if we would be able to add a second, more narrow, network and how much less we could reduce the allowable amount to pay. I pulled dental claims data where we were the secondary insurance and I compared the allowable billing amount from the COB to essentially figure out what the fee schedules were for other carriers. I was able to see which carriers had more than one network and compare their primary plans against our own and use their secondary ones, if one exist, as a baseline to where we could start pricing to be comparable. I showed that we could lower the allowable amount by up to 12% and the new plan would be comparable to the those of other carriers. This did not factor in any type of geographical location or much beyond just the data; this was only an internship and I had limited time to complete this project.

Tldr: Trying to switch careers, any advice would be helpful, and I need help rewriting/rewording point #3 on the internship position.
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Last edited by jshill89; 10-25-2019 at 04:35 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2019, 05:15 PM
lllj's Avatar
lllj lllj is offline
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I would remove the black border. I would also change "special skills" to "computer skills" or just "skills."

Personally, I'd remove the "profile" since this isn't something usually on resumes. It seems like cover letter content. Maybe others will have different opinions.

Because some people may be only familiar with the exam abbreviations, I'd probably list the abbreviations (at least in parentheses, but you could also replace the exam name altogether). If you apply to property and casualty positions, rename them to say Exam 1, Exam 2, and Exam 3F, since these are the names the CAS uses (note: 1, 2, and 3F are not different exams, the CAS literally just calls the SOA exams by a different name).
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2019, 05:26 PM
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lllj lllj is offline
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Also, if your GPA is decent, I'd put it on.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2019, 12:29 PM
jwitt25 jwitt25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshill89 View Post
So, I am trying to switch careers here and I hope that once I finally get into the field then I could start cranking out exams more frequently. I am open to suggestions as I have used the same general format for a few years and haven't had as much success as I would like.

Don’t let the length of this post discourage you. Check out the resume and don’t read any further if you don’t want to know my background/life story.


I have been with the same company for almost 5 years with three different positions and I completed an internship for a health insurance carrier while I was working one of these full time positions and I tried to put something there to show that I had a part time and a full time position at the same time since I have to explain this in every interview, which I figure is going to happen every time.

One thing that I really want to change is the third bullet point on my internship. I just have a hard time condensing it and using the right wording which would be appropriate for a resume since I only worked in the field for a few months, whereas I have been doing accounting for 6 years and am very familiar with the terms. If nothing else comes out of this then at least being able to reword that bullet point would probably be very beneficial. For this project I was tasked with finding out how much our dental plan paid dentist in comparison to the competition to see if we were comparable. A secondary assignment would be to see if we would be able to add a second, more narrow, network and how much less we could reduce the allowable amount to pay. I pulled dental claims data where we were the secondary insurance and I compared the allowable billing amount from the COB to essentially figure out what the fee schedules were for other carriers. I was able to see which carriers had more than one network and compare their primary plans against our own and use their secondary ones, if one exist, as a baseline to where we could start pricing to be comparable. I showed that we could lower the allowable amount by up to 12% and the new plan would be comparable to the those of other carriers. This did not factor in any type of geographical location or much beyond just the data; this was only an internship and I had limited time to complete this project.

Tldr: Trying to switch careers, any advice would be helpful, and I need help rewriting/rewording point #3 on the internship position.
To start, I would be a bit confused on how you completed an internship, which is generally a full time gig during business hours, and had a full time job at the same time. Additionally if you wanted actuarial, why weren't you offered a full-time gig after the internship?

As lllj stated, ditch the border. It condenses the resume and makes it difficult to read.

Here are my opinions on the resume itself:
  • The 'Profile' section adds nothing for me. It seems to contain a lot of fluff that should be communicated through your bullets about work experience. If you can't communicate your "Profile" highlights through your experiences, rewrite your experiences.
  • The goal of a resume is to show that you are capable of the job and get an interview.
  • Your resume currently reads as a list of job duties. Additionally, everything comes across as very passive. There is an art to truthfully selling yourself. Stating that you "assisted" in a project is not a good way to sell yourself. You did the work, so it is best to state that. "Assisted" sounds like an experienced person told you exactly what to do and you added no value/critical thought to the project.
  • The order of your bullets is insightful into how you view your work and accomplishments. Put the most impressive accomplishments first.
  • A list of computer programs/programming languages works well to communicate skills. The rest of the bullets are fluff that clutters up a resume.
  • You can abbreviate exam names to save space.

Overall, you have the makings of a resume that can get interviews. You'll need to add some more white space and rewrite your bullets so that you come across as being active in the process (i.e. demonstrating critical thinking).

Last edited by jwitt25; 10-28-2019 at 12:53 PM..
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2019, 06:49 PM
jshill89 jshill89 is offline
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Thank you all so far. As for the internship not becoming an actuary job, the company keeps hiring interns during their busy season just to help them get by. I did have an interview for a data analyst position that opened up, but didn't receive it. At the time they needed personnel with more SQL experience.

I thought that the border on the resume would just make it different, and I have been wondering if I should eliminate it. 2/2 people agree to eliminate it. I definitely need to turn the bullets from job duties into accomplishments and I will need to sit down and just think of what I have been doing over the years.

I realize that there is filler that just needs to be cut out, especially if it does not apply to the actuary career, and I will need to fill up that open space with real content.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2019, 07:10 PM
jshill89 jshill89 is offline
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Thank you. You have confirmed what I felt like I needed to eliminate. I guess I could add my GPA as it was a over 3, although I will have to dig around to find it. I haven't really thought about my GPA in years since after a few years of accounting experience it is irrelevant.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2019, 07:12 PM
jshill89 jshill89 is offline
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Thank you. You have confirmed what I felt like I needed to eliminate.

I'll have to dig around to find whatever my GPA, it was at least a 3, since it is irrelevant in accounting after a few years of work.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2019, 01:48 PM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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I'd get rid of the exam names. Even SOA just refers to the exams as Exam FM, etc throughout the website. Listing "Financial Mathematics" just makes the page more dense. You don't want dense. I'd list the exams vertically rather than using two columns. I'd make it more tabular, so "Exam FM", then a left-aligned column with "Passed"/"Sitting", and either a 3rd left-aligned column for date or dates on the right margin. Then you can get rid of the bullets, too.

I agree about getting rid of the profile. It's just a dense block of text that is hard to read and doesn't really say much. If you keep it, I'm not sure that I'd declare myself to be an accountant. Yes, you want to get across that you've got accountant experience/skills, but I'd think you'd want your identity to be actuarial rather than accountant.

I'd not list skills so high. First, by listing experience (and education) lower, you seem to be saying it's not that important. I think your experience can be your strongest point. Also, if the reader doesn't have context of what you've done at work (and school), it is much harder to get across the strength of the skills you have.

I'd leave off "Microsoft" and Office. I'd leave off the "in many programming languages including".

I'd put the employment and education dates on the right margin. It takes work to build a timeline for you with where the dates are now. Resumes are generally scanned rather than being read. If you make the reader work hard, the reader may just give up and move on to another resume.

I'm not a big fan of using all caps.

I'd use commas instead of hyphens.

It's easier to read with just "B.S., Accounting" rather than the long "Graduated...". I'd probably just just the grad date rather than attendance range. Oh, but I guess you didn't get a degree from Sierra. I guess you need range, then. But, anyway, I'd be consistent in dates - include the months in the ranges.

I jumped over the employment part because it looks daunting. I'm not sure how much of that is the black outline, but without having read it, I'm pretty sure you have way more bullets than you need.

First bullet is way stronger if you skip the first half and say you generated pricing (or priced?).

Second bullet doesn't say anything. First, assisted is a very weak start. There's no point in mentioning anyone else. Reports aren't work mentioning (although what is accomplished because of those reports might be). Here's the thing, though. You should very much be considering these ad hoc projects for possible bullets. Those often make the best bullets. They're the ones that are more likely to have quantifiable (or at least identifiable) results. And results are what sell you best. It doesn't matter if that was only a couple hours of work or whatever. You're not trying to give an accounting for all the mundane stuff you've done. All you should care about is what sells you best.

Yeah, 3rd bullet is awkward and too long. One thing is that the point isn't analyzing claims. As mentioned above, the point is the result. Maybe thinking about it that way will help.

The automation bullet is also way longer than it should be. Automated report generation through VBA and SQL? But, again, this is better if you can list it as a result. Do you have an estimate for how much time this automation saves? If so, make that the point.

Then just thin out the accounting bullets.

You don't need "several" or similar words.

"Provided recommendations" takes you out of the position of authority and I'd try not to do that. Can you quantify? That might make it impressive.

The "Designed code..." is another than doesn't really say much. You're better off with fewer stronger bullets than lots of weak ones - especially when there are so many that the reader may quit.

I get that you're trying to point out computery stuff that you've done in your jobs, but I'd be careful in how that affects the view of you in the jobs you've had. I guess my point is that you are a senior accountant. The higher up the company you move, I'd expect your view and bullets to become bigger - focused on the business, maybe. So when you list tasks like "implemented the import of data", it *may* increase the view of your computer skills, but that comes as a tradeoff with the view of you as an accountant. I'd expect a focus on the bigger picture, not on tasks. Just something to think about.

Those three reconciliation bullets seem like they're really all just one, but split into pieces. There's nothing wrong with one or no bullets at all.

Don't say "in a timely manner" or anything like that.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshill89 View Post
I will need to fill up that open space with real content.
Don't fill space to fill space. If something doesn't make a better job of selling you, you're better off without it.
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