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  #1  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:05 PM
Burdell67 Burdell67 is offline
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Default Please help edit EL Actuarial Resume + Cover Letter

I should mention: my GPA sucked... it was a 2.3. I'm not sure if I should put it on there.

Also, I graduated w/ an IE degree, so no relevant work experience or internships.

Thanks for reading
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File Type: pdf Resume for AO.pdf (283.2 KB, 87 views)
File Type: pdf AO Cover Letter.pdf (240.9 KB, 88 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2017, 10:34 AM
imareal1 imareal1 is offline
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Managed portfolio of 1 trillion dollars? Really?

Instead of 'Helped to [verb]', just write [verb]ed. These bullets made me feel you merely dabbled in the activity rather than being the driver.

Impressive you passed FM a month after P.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2017, 10:58 AM
jwitt25 jwitt25 is offline
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Try a different mindset. Rather than asking for opinions or advice, you're requesting that we edit this for you? If you take that attitude into the workforce, you will fail.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2017, 12:37 PM
Burdell67 Burdell67 is offline
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@jwitt25 Sorry that was a poor choice of words. My resume, I believe, has little/no errors. I am looking for opinions/advice, especially for my cover letter.

@imareal1 Haha not 1 trillion, but it was in the 7 digits. I figured it couldnt hurt to change the info. Right, Helped is a pretty weak word. Thanks. Ya, it was pretty strenuous
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2017, 02:07 PM
imareal1 imareal1 is offline
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Just read your cover letter. It's bad writing, no offense. Way too many commas. Breaks too many elementary rules of writing, ex. starting sentences with 'but' or 'because'. A lot of awkward phrases. Also, remove the writing where you're teaching your beliefs, such as "Of course, actuarial consulting is more than just being an “excel monkey.” "Simply presenting the material is not beneficial. It is
essential to make a connection with the student, understand his/her knowledge base, and communicate the information in a unique way to that individual".
Why are you lecturing the reader? You're suppose to write about yourself and why you're a good candidate for the job. I understand you're trying to "set up" your point, but ideally you want each sentence to have a direct positive impact on you.

Tip: Make every single sentence work for you. The sentences I quoted above are counter-examples. I think it will help to think and write in an active voice, ex. "I did X which resulted in Y".
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2017, 02:47 PM
jwitt25 jwitt25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burdell67 View Post
@jwitt25 Sorry that was a poor choice of words. My resume, I believe, has little/no errors. I am looking for opinions/advice, especially for my cover letter.

@imareal1 Haha not 1 trillion, but it was in the 7 digits. I figured it couldnt hurt to change the info. Right, Helped is a pretty weak word. Thanks. Ya, it was pretty strenuous
In regards to the resume and CL, here are my opinions.

Resume:
  • Subjects studied is a messy section. It's a giant blob of text that is difficult to comprehend.
  • It was stated in another comment, but the verbs are weak. Helped, pitched, learned, and used are examples of words that are neither descriptive nor eye-catching.
  • It seems strange that you have volunteer activities from 6+ years ago above current work experiences.

Cover Letter:
  • Overall, the goal of a cover letter is to explain holes/red flags in your resume and to show your personality. This letter seemed very generic.
  • Be more direct in your writing. "I realized I wanted to work in a more finance-based field" can be changed to "I realized I wanted to work in a finance-based field." There is no need for superfluous words, specifically adjectives.
  • The cover letter would be the time to disclose a low GPA. Provide a reason for or lessons learned regarding the low GPA.
  • In my opinion, you do not currently have an excellent actuarial knowledge base because you have zero experience and only passed 2 exams.
  • Knowing your GPA, I would question your assessment of strong statistical skills. Do you have any examples, experiences, or maybe a math only GPA which would prove your statement?
  • Most of your second paragraph can either be read or inferred from your resume. There is no new information that would be pertinent to a hiring manager. Also, I never seen the word "actuarialism" until your resume. A quick Google search shows that it has nothing to do with actuarial science.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2017, 05:24 PM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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Didn't read all of the other comments.

The small text seems pretty tiny.

I'd put exams first. I'd left align the pPasses and dates and get rid of the hyphens and "in"s.

I'd put all dates other than exams on the right margin.

I'd abbbreviate B.S. Colon is not commonly used between degree and major. Most places I've seen use a comma. Use a month rather than "Spring". I see no reason to have the hanging indent.

I'd put work next. Some work is more relevant than others, but all is relevant. Putting beneath volunteer work indicates that you don't think it is worthwhile. It's not to your advantage to point that out to the reader.

Don't use parenthesis.

Don't use multiple levels of bullets. There's no reason to not just have "Tutor" directly beneath the company name.

The tutoring bullets are bad. The point of any job is never "learned" and starting with that is bad. Note that the one thing that first bullet never actually says is that you taught. You have a bunch of filler words in there. Unless you have some hard results numbers (which is not likely and not expected for a job like this), you really only need one bullet - "Taught ..." whatever it is you taught. And you don't need to be comprehensive or use formal names of what you taught.

I like that you don't have a bullet for referee. It doesn't really merit one.

Private tutor sounds like BS until you get near the end. Not sure about the end. "Mindset" seems to be the wrong word. It may be right, but do you mean "mental handicap" (as in learning disability) rather than "mental illness" (as in, say, depression, panic disorder, etc)?

I'd not combine computer skills and activities. I'd get rid of the "subjects studied". They seem pretty obvious and, in some cases, duplicate what's already on the resume.

Don't list "Microsoft programs". Explicitly list Excel, Access, and VBA. Don't list "Microsoft". Word, PP, and Outlook aren't worth mentioning.

Leave "languages" off of the end. We're not stupid and we know that HTML, SQL, and Java are languages.

Did E-corp implement your results? How is it going? Have they determined actual savings? If so, just make that the focus of your bullets. If not actual savings, presumably you calculated estimated savings and can go with that. Personally, I don't think you should say "consulted for" unless they paid you, in which case this is in the wrong section. These can be way better bullets.

I'd put that above the investment, probably, unless you can really say something stronger than "pitched", "helped", and "focused". That is, if you have results - because of your pitch, they bought a ton of it and it has outperformed everything and looks to continue to outperform.

You don't really need dates on the volunteer work or to mention HS. They were all very long ago and that doesn't really seem to your benefit. Let the reader think it was more recent. As others mentioned, get rid of the weak helped and worked. You constructed, rebuilt, insulated, and, I guess constructed again for HFH. I don't know that the disabled family part is necessary. And disabled is something you generally don't put in front of "family". I guess everyone in the family had a disability?
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2017, 06:07 PM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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CL.

The letter seems long to me.

I'd put the why-I'm-writing up front. You don't really need to start with your name.

With its focus on, among other things, process improvement, I'd think you could handwave that IE might be one of the more relevant engineering degrees outside of engineering. As such, I'd think you might want to mention that you were an IE grad rather than just the vague "engineering school" grad. (It may not belong in the letter, but, seriously, you should be thinking about how an IE might be related to an actuary and make sure you talk about that in any interviews - any mention of IE gets turned back to actuarial).

The finance-based argument seems like complete BS to me. Even more than other engineering fields, IE is all about the money. Instead, I would mention but might not stress the IE part and would instead just stress that since graduation you've been working at becoming an actuary. So you switch it from a letter saying you're switching from IE to actuary to one that says you're working on becoming an actuary. Mentioning exams seems the obvious point to back it up.

You haven't really listed a lot else to sell as the resume is now imo. So I'd keep the letter shorter. That middle paragraph has a lot of words that don't say much and I'd just completely get rid of it. You can split the first paragraph in two.

I'd definitely not mention Excel (which should always be capitalized) monkey. It has connotations of mindless cutting-and-pasting and that's not what you want to sell as your view of actuarial jobs.

I'd also avoid anything negative. A sentence that starts with "although" is negative.

Any use of "unique" is suspect imo. Its continued use by the SOA (as in "uniquely qualified") has been a source of entertainment on the AO.

Actuarialism?

Final paragraph is more lots of words without saying much, too. "Given an opportunity" seems to imply that you recognize that you aren't really their better choice. Don't admit you're worse than their other choices. That's not a selling point.

Devotion is too strong of a word. No company is devoted to its clients.

Who are you referring to by "those who reap the benefits"?
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