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Old 02-09-2018, 07:56 PM
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Default Resume Critique: Experienced Actuary

Hi there-

Well my last thread asking for advice was a total dud so I just decided to go for it (mods, if you see this, please delete my last thread).

Attached is my resume, and I would greatly appreciate any advice. This is the first time I've updated it since applying for entry level jobs several years ago. The update is prompted by my plans to apply for Master's programs.

Some thoughts:

1) Since this is for a grad school app, should I put Education above Professional Experience?

2) Too wordy on the experience?

3) Is there a better way to format the MOOCs? I could try and give them their own section but space is limited.

3a) That third MOOC is obviously something I took for personal interest on a humanities topic, so I figured I would include it as it makes me look well-rounded. But the topic does make it pretty incongruous with the rest of that section. Recommend a change?

4) I could probably fit one line at the bottom for general interests. I kind of like seeing that on resumes for interview candidates I see, as it makes them look well-rounded to me. I decided to leave it off but might add it. Any thoughts? Items would be Literature, News/Public Policy, Fitness, and Dogs.

4a) Eh, as I read that list... eh... not sure.

5) Take out the bullet on FCAS? I want to make sure it gets across to the admissions people, who may not be as familiar with the actuarial credentialing process, that I busted my ass. I also think the no fails is a feather in my cap. The online application does have a space to describe credentials, so I will put something there. But I kind of like it on the resume as well.

6) Is the sub-bulleting for California work too much? It's kind of my biggest assignment and has led to diverse projects, so I didn't want to glaze over it.

Thank you very much.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:21 PM
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If you haven't done so already, I think you should post this on a non-actuary board, like one that caters to prospective graduate students. The reason why is because most actuaries here will be able to understand your resume completely - which is nice for us, but we can't give you the perspective of someone who is unfamiliar with our profession - so posting it elsewhere will help you make your resume simple enough for outsiders to understand.

1) No comment. I personally don't care when reading resumes, as long as it's there.

2) It's wordy. Making your bullet points concise would also free up more whitespace for bigger margins, which would make the resume more aesthetically pleasing.

3) I'm thinking something like:
Udacity/Coursera: A, B, C

With the way you've got it listed, the word "Coursera" is repeated twice, so that's redundant. Another way to format it is:

Udacty: A
Coursera: B, C

Which looks cleaner, but takes up an extra line or two - that would require you to take some things out of your professional experience section. That's up to you.

5) This is okay, I've seen it on some resumes. I think it's more clear on a time basis, like "Completed exams in X years when the median is Y years, passed all exams on the first attempt."

6) Yeah, it's a bit much - from a formatting perspective, that is. The extra indent is leading to some of the nested lines only being 1-4 words long. Finding a way to shorten those lines, or maybe rearranging that section to not have an extra indent, would free up 4 more lines.

The extra indent also sticks out. I think it's a cleaner look to only have one level of indent since there's only one section that has a 2nd level of bullet points.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
If you haven't done so already, I think you should post this on a non-actuary board, like one that caters to prospective graduate students. The reason why is because most actuaries here will be able to understand your resume completely - which is nice for us, but we can't give you the perspective of someone who is unfamiliar with our profession - so posting it elsewhere will help you make your resume simple enough for outsiders to understand.
Yeah, I agree with this.

Also, I didn't comment in the first place because when I was applying (which was quite a while ago) I don't think I bothered with a resume because there was a spot on the application for pretty much everything (and room for things that didn't fit their format, if I remember right).

If you're going resume, though, I might think of it as a CV instead and ignore the 1-page rule - use the academic include-everything standard. But again, I think another board might be worth checking.

Once you've gotten rid of the 1-page limit (or even if you haven't), I'd try to make it look much more open. It's incredibly dense and there's no space anywhere. (Actually, you do use space in one spot that makes it harder to read - between the employer and the bullets) 1" margins, space before and after section separators, indent all text under the section headings a bit, ...

I'd think that school would be expected above experience. Imo academia cares about that even more than industry.

I'm not fond of the two levels of bullets. It seems especially bad at the start of the resume, and at the start of a dense resume, since the format doesn't stand out at all as it is.

You didn't put your degree, just the major. That would seem to be a very important omission.

I'd leave off "Microsoft".

I think the "including..." in community service is just filler. Except maybe the consultation on debt, which really doesn't fall under day-to-day.

Having the overall date range with the company makes it more confusing. The first thought is that you were working two jobs for the past 3 years. You pretty much have to scan halfway down the page until you hit the next date range to figure out that they weren't concurrent jobs with identical descriptions.

Just saying what you did generally sounds stronger than hyping, imo. I'd not use "heavily" and "significantly" and "all aspects" and stuff like that. You also use a bunch of weak works - contributed, have gained, have seen (which gets misread to start), coordinated, took part, collaborated, acted.

Don't leave out articles. They're really small and greatly aid readability. So, "in THE challenging California market", for instance. "Completed THE ... exam process.." etc

I also agree with CS on the questions, with the addition of
1) Yeah, I think so.
3) I like CS's format. you're trying to squeeze it for a 1 page limit, but I don't think you need to do that.
4) When space isn't a limit, you'll just include it, right?
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:46 PM
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Thank you very much for the feedback. I made a lot of revisions and am attaching the revised version. I would appreciate any further feedback.

- Let it go onto two pages.

- Cleaned up the employment section, just treating the two rotational roles as separate jobs essentially. Because of this the company is listed twice which I think is fine- you all had said it was confusing how i had it before. Put a page break after the first one since I couldn't fit much of the second on the first page.

- Cut down on the wordiness, and used stronger "action words." Added articles.

- Added something I forgot- that I took over some supervisory responsibilities this year. Perhaps too fresh to include, but I feel like managerial experience is always good to include. I put this in the present tense which seems more appropriate, but I guess it does sort of clash with everything else being in the past tense. Still seems better that way IMO.

- Combined volunteer experience with other activities/interests. Put these in present tense as well.

The online application includes descriptions of education, certifications, work experience, scholastic and professional awards, programming language familiarity, course content familiarity (i.e. calculus, linear algebra, conditional probability, statistical hypothesis testing, and programming), and career objectives. Because of this, I decided to keep the resume in a professional version rather than converting it to more of a CV type document. I think the resume is supposed to detail professional experience predominantly in this application, with the aforementioned other sections dealing with education.

Thanks again. Tried to very subtly shout out to the AO by adding "forums" to my reading materials. Prefer "forums" to "fora" by the way.
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Last edited by djdadude; 02-10-2018 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:40 PM
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I'd also urge you to run this by some academics who aren't too familiar with actuarial stuff.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:54 PM
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Sorry OP, I'm so confused by your since 2012 and since 2015 jobs that I just can't even figure it out....
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikelfritz View Post
Sorry OP, I'm so confused by your since 2012 and since 2015 jobs that I just can't even figure it out....
I started in March 2012 in one pricing unit. In June 2015 I rotated to a different one. I'm putting the more recent position first.

Is your assessment based on the OP version or the subsequent one I posted?

Would you suggest just combining it all into one position?
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