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  #21  
Old 01-04-2012, 05:00 PM
alphatmw alphatmw is offline
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alright all i'm saying is i went out of my way to mention it in my cold emails/cover letter and a handful of responses have specifically said "impressive exam progression" etc. maybe they would have even if i only noted it in my resume, but i doubt it.

also keep in mind my only contact has been with the chief actuaries, etc. not HR. i think its important to keep everything short and succinct in these cases and try to get their attention ASAP.
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  #22  
Old 01-04-2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by alphatmw View Post
here's what i think would be most useful for both AO regulars and newcomers looking for advice. start a series of threads, but don't sticky them, which all have a common title (e.g. ELSFAQ: Entry Level Series FAQ). the series of threads would include career changer advice, interview tips, job search advice, etc etc. then when someone asks for advice, you can say "search title: ELSFAQ" and they would find the specific thread in question.

the general FAQ right now is too long for anyone looking for a specific question and search function is far from perfect (often turns up threads from 2002 which aren't exactly reassuring to rely on).

also, its 20x more reassuring to have someone say the exact same advice as a reply to your question than to read the stock response from the exact same question you were going to ask. for career changers especially, it's a lot to ask for them to decide on this drastic change based on an FAQ without wanting to start their own thread. i think these FAQs should welcome people to add in their own questions to bump the thread when needed. future career changers would then have the FAQ responses plus a dozen other questions/answers from new posters.

we would also add a sticky note telling people to use the ELSFAQ search obviously.

if people here agree this would be useful and would help contribute to it (since i don't have the knowledge to fill it out myself), i'd be willing to set it up.
Thread tags could accomplish this without all the work, but we have a history of abusing those so don't use them much, although I do think the functionality is in place still here.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2012, 08:34 PM
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Annie Howe Annie Howe is offline
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Hey, I read it, I am a career changer.
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  #24  
Old 05-17-2012, 02:45 PM
DeZen274x DeZen274x is offline
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Originally Posted by Peetie Skunk View Post
Since this is the career-changer advice thread I figure I might as well go into a little detail about my experience changing careers. My situation is not unique, as I have seen many others in very similar situations. Hopefully it is helpful to someone.

Before deciding to be an actuary I had been working in a blue collar job for about 8 years. Although I had a bachelor's degree, it was not in a quantitative field and the highest math I had ever taken was algebra. Once I decided I wanted to be an actuary I read up thoroughly here on the AO, beanactuary.org, and the US DOL website in addition to going out and speaking with actual actuaries about the profession.

It was my understanding that the field was highly competitive to get into at the EL, and with my limited math skills and a 2.5 GPA it would be nearly impossible for me to get into the field (and this has proven true). Thankfully, I'm not one to give up very easily.

Since the highest math I ever had was algebra, I was completely underprepared for any actuarial exams and decided to go back to school for another degree in AS while continuing to work at my job. This is not a requirement for career changers who have a bachelors degree, but it was necessary in my case due to the lack of math skills. One needs at least a solid foundation in calculus before sitting for exams, and my program gave me that. In addition, my program at school provided me opportunities for networking, study groups for exams, and specific classes tailored towards passing exams.

Because of my low GPA and lack of pertinent experience, initially no employer would even look at me. I spoke with actuaries who I knew and they advised I pass at least two exams and I would have somewhat better odds at finding an actuarial job. So, in my first year of studying AS, I passed Exam P/1 (using Actex) and Exam FM/2 (using ASM).

Once hiring season started the next year (yes there is a hiring season for EL candidates and it tends to occur in the fall) I had the two exams passed, but still had some hurdles to jump over (given that I had a sub 3.0 GPA and no internships). I had my resume critiqued here on the AO, critiqued by the actuaries I knew, and by my career services office at school. After I thought my resume was as good as it could get, I sent it out to over 100 companies with a tailored cover letter for each company (never a form letter), keeping track of any and all contact I had with a company on a spreadsheet. I applied both online and emailed the hiring manager directly if I could (you can figure out how to find hiring managers in the EL Advice thread).

In the end I ended up getting about 8 or 9 on-site interviews and 3 offers, however there were 3 very important factors which helped me get the job: quickly passing exams, interviewing well, and networking.

If you can pass exams quickly, especially while working, this will make you stand out to employers.

As for the interviewing and networking, I think it is important to point out that any contact with a potential employer is an interview whether you realize it or not. I always made sure I was dressed at least business casual if I was meeting a potential employer (business professional if the meeting was a formal interview), had a copy of my resume on hand, and was knowledgable about the company with plenty of questions ready. If you can learn how to network effectively this will get you interviews. I had a few interviews for positions I didn't even apply for, but the hiring manager had received my resume from someone I had contact with previously.

In the end, I was hired for a job which about 400 people had applied for and which I was probably one of the least qualified applicants on paper, but because I had been networking with a few of the hiring managers directly for at least a year and was able to interview well I ended up getting the job.

Learn to network. Networking is key.

Credit to DTNF if I referenced anything in his sig-line and for the idea of starting a Sticky Career Changer thread.
thank you so much for sharing this. I was a Legal assistant before. Once I decided to become an Actuary last year, I started to study the actuarial exams and passed exam P and FM so far. But I sent out more than thirty resumes, but never heard any response! should I be more patient?
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  #25  
Old 05-17-2012, 02:51 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Will being more impatient help?
Keep sending. Companies are offering, or have already decided on, just-out-of-school candidates their jobs. These kids were already interviewed months ago. When some of them decline, then it's your turn to shine.
After a week of no response, you should call or e-mail again.
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DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.
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  #26  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:03 AM
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Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is online now
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Actuarial Foundation offers "scholarships" for Exam reimbursements. Details & discussion in the following thread.

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=253628
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  #27  
Old 08-05-2013, 01:57 PM
checkraise checkraise is offline
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This thread has been quiet...

Have a question about how it looks on the resume when you show that you pass exams and do nothing with it for a while.

Been working in a low level database analyst job for a few years at a medium sized startup company. Just got a preliminary pass result for P/1 in July and anticipate passing FM/2 in October. However, I don't think I will be applying for an actuarial job within the next year or two. This may be my mistake, but I am holding on to my position for now to see how the company does in the future. (Pipedreams of stock options being worth something)

My question is, how is the job market looking these days for career changers, and do companies look down on people who pass exams without acting on them immediately? Should I study for and try to pass a third exam if I don't send out any resumes within the next year?

Thanks.
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  #28  
Old 08-22-2013, 04:45 PM
GabeolithicMan GabeolithicMan is offline
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Exclamation entry level folks in Nashville, TN

Hi all, This post is meant to serve as a warning to all the entry level people in TN to proceed with caution when dealing with Actuary Resources, INC. I know that this topic has been discussed before but I have recently noticed a ton of entry level job postings from this guy so I though it would be helpful and hopefully preventative for some actuarial newbie guys/gals to post a refresh. So, a red flag recap...

1. Company has changed its name at least three times..."Actuaries Now" seems to be the most current. Recruiters rely heavily on trust and reputation.....hmmmmmm.

2. His job posts do not refer to actual jobs.

3. He attempts to sell you a study course for exam P/1. Please Please Please don't buy it. There are much better - and cheaper! - alternatives, like ASM and theinfiniteactuary.com

4. Mentions in posts that to be considered for the position you must be willing to prepare for P/1-the first actuarial exam. In the current state of the economy, most companies want you to have passed exam FM/2 as well, in addition to an internship, a process that can take a couple of years.

5. If you decline said study course - already passed exam P/1? - contact with Mr. Butler stops.

6. He will not (Cannot?) provide any references.

7. He will not disclose which companies he professes to recruit for.

8. He lists required qualifications for these "jobs" that are laughably inadequate (a 2.7 GPA for example, most companies only consider 3.5 and above), along with a description of what an actuary is, in what seems to be an attempt to ensnare young/unaware entry-level candidates that are desperate for a job into buying his study course.

9. The quantity of his posts would suggest that the Nashville market for entry-level actuarial candidates is larger than that of the entire east coast, and maybe Chi-town too. Please be assured, it is not. And TN companies generally recruit entry-level candidates directly from Vanderbilt and MTSU, which both have actuarial programs.

10. Will ask you to write a testimonial before you are successfully placed.

At best, Mr. Butler's job postings are incredibly misleading, at worst they are illegal. As someone who has some experience with the actuarial industry and the legitimate recruiters that work within it, as well as Mr. Butler himself, I know that all of the points I have listed are red flags on both an individual and cumulative basis. Just google "Actuarial Resources business review" to see what I am on about.
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  #29  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:37 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Yeah, we heard you the first time.
Career-changers are a subset of entry-level. And EL's should not use recruiters, period.
It's great that you think you're providing this exclusive information.
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DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.
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  #30  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:12 PM
GabeolithicMan GabeolithicMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yeah, we heard you the first time.
Career-changers are a subset of entry-level. And EL's should not use recruiters, period.
It's great that you think you're providing this exclusive information.
Not sure how you got the impression that I thought the info was coming exclusively from me, but thank you for your very valuable and useful input. You seem like a super nice person and conversationalist.
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