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  #1  
Old 01-30-2019, 02:40 PM
Yakshi Yakshi is offline
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Default Career Changer Resume and Cover Letter

After living abroad for several years as a university instructor (economics) in the Middle East, I have returned to the U.S. in the hopes of transitioning into the actuarial field.

My work experience is all over the place. My cover letter feels particularly weak. I plan to personalize each cover letter for each company with a sentence or two.

I haven't had to send out a resume or a cover letter in nearly a decade, so I would greatly appreciate any advice.

I am aware that I'll have to do some explaining about my nearly two-year work gap. My wife and I like to travel.

Edit: Changed attachments to remove personal info.
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File Type: doc Resume012919.doc (33.5 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by Yakshi; 01-30-2019 at 04:38 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2019, 02:01 AM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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Yeah, the two bad things are the hole post 2017 and lack of recent exam progress (especially since you explicitly said in the CL that you were working toward becoming an actuary (and I only realize now that "while teaching ..." is a hedge)). Are you sitting for one soon? You might want to list that. If you're not sitting for one soon, you might want to consider sitting for one soon.

It's particularly bad, as that's really the first thing you see on the resume and it sets a negative impression. Which is bad because...

It's one of the more interesting resumes that's been posted here. One-page is the rule here, but this seems like a resume that people will spend more time on because it is unusual, and I think cutting jobs will cut interesting stuff. I'd seriously consider keeping it at two, but making sure that there's enough of the interesting stuff on p1 to keep the reader going.

If you can make it one page and keep it as interesting, it's better, though.

If you're gonna go two pages, don't cramp stuff at the top. I'd move skills to the bottom. The way you've got it now is hard to read and annoying. And that will make the exams stand out more.

I'd put the exams in chronological order and I'd use only month and year.

I'd not label email and phone.

I'd normally say to use more space on the education to make it easier to read, but space and getting to interesting stuff is important here. I'd probably want the degrees and majors to stick out more than the schools in this case, so I'd probably move them to the left margin. When you put all the info in there, I'd guess there will be some trial and error to get it as easy to read as possible.

I usually prefer bullets, but again with your different and numerous jobs, I see why you've gone with the non-bulleted info. But in that case, I'd keep it as simple as possible. You don't need any description at all for park ranger and dealer. You only need to say simply what kind of attny you were and not list all that stuff.

The unusual part under econ instr is just the entrepreneurial stuff and I'd just say that. And mention if any students became successful from the class project.

Econ and econ inst can be shortened.

You can shorten the translation.

I'd get rid of the bar. Don't you need to pass that to practice? You practiced for years, so you must have passed, I assume.

Now I'm thinking that if you do all those shortenings, it will fit on one page.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:22 AM
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And I like the short and simple CL (and I'm generally not fond of the BS company-specify stuff that you've not added yet). But the resume has a problem of you not having done anything for the past couple years and I'd think that would be one thing you'd have to address in the letter somehow.
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Or if you're in the area, you can come out to the event and say hi, see me get shaved, have a beverage or two, and see an appearance by Stark Raving Dad. It's at the Kerry Piper in Willowbrook, IL on Sunday, March 17th, 2019 probably from about 11AM to 3PM. If you show up, you'll get a chance to hear me sing Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Almost Cut My Hair".

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Old 01-31-2019, 02:23 AM
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And if you appreciate my comments (or not), please consider making a contribution to help children's cancer research. See my sig.
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Or if you're in the area, you can come out to the event and say hi, see me get shaved, have a beverage or two, and see an appearance by Stark Raving Dad. It's at the Kerry Piper in Willowbrook, IL on Sunday, March 17th, 2019 probably from about 11AM to 3PM. If you show up, you'll get a chance to hear me sing Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Almost Cut My Hair".

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  #5  
Old 01-31-2019, 03:20 AM
Yakshi Yakshi is offline
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Fantastic feedback. Thanks for taking the time to do that. About the post-2017 delay: I sent out resumes upon returning from abroad over the summer and fall of 2017, got no bites, and gave up on trying. After that, a bunch of personal issues popped up in the midst of our plans to travel, and the last year was basically wasted.

A friend of my father-in-law who works as an actuary gave me this advice: "Don't take more than three exams. Without any actuarial experience, you'll just end up looking like somebody who likes to take tests."

So that's why I haven't pursued a fourth exam.

Now what I'm hearing is that I should start studying for a fourth exam or else give up on this career choice. Makes sense. It has been a while since I passed C.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Yakshi; 01-31-2019 at 03:24 AM..
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:12 PM
Yakshi Yakshi is offline
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If I've already passed P, FM, and C, but the last time I did so was mid-2016, how effective would it be on a resume to sit for LTAM in April 2019 and IFM in July 2019?

Would the two-year gap still be too much of a negative?

If I end up taking that route, does passing five exams without having a job in the actuarial field start looking like a negative?
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2019, 09:59 PM
Yakshi Yakshi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjvj View Post
And if you appreciate my comments (or not), please consider making a contribution to help children's cancer research. See my sig.
Clicked the link and made a donation. I hope you hit your goal!

I did appreciate your feedback very much. I spent several hours today condensing my resume to one page and adding that I will be sitting for LTAM in April and IFM in July, which will be tight but definitely possible.

I can fill in the extended gap in my resume by mentioning how much my wife and I traveled over that period, which has the benefit of being true, albeit an incomplete story.

Anyway, thanks again.

Last edited by Yakshi; 01-31-2019 at 11:48 PM..
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2019, 01:13 PM
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Your cover letter has a typo. "By" instead of "my."
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:15 PM
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I think you should address the employment gap briefly in the cover letter. Something about how after taking a break from working in order to travel, you are now seeking a position... or something. Right now it looks like you unsuccessfully have been searching for two years.
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 04:46 PM
Yakshi Yakshi is offline
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Thanks.
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