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#41
01-07-2014, 07:08 PM
 SociableNerd Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Urbana, IL Studying for FM College: UIUC Posts: 34

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lllj It also usually makes it clear that English isn't your first language, which isn't something you want to advertise.
Just by reading my name on the resume it will be instantly clear that English is not my first language, how do you suggest I go around it and why is it that I don't want to advertise it?
#42
01-07-2014, 09:05 PM
 Canadiens Fan Member SOA Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: Canada Studying for DMAC Favorite beer: Blue Moon Belgian White Posts: 4,785

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lllj Just to counter this - I don't love languages on resumes. It's not that I care if you speak multiple languages. That's great. But it's completely irrelevant to most positions. It also usually makes it clear that English isn't your first language, which isn't something you want to advertise. Just my opinion.
Just because English isn't your first language doesn't mean that you suck at it either.

I speak six languages and every interview that I have had, the people interviewing me have been greatly impressed by it.

As DTNF says, speaking multiple languages is a good sign of intelligence.
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#43
01-07-2014, 09:38 PM
 lllj Member CAS Join Date: May 2011 Posts: 5,352

It's just not a relevant skill (in most cases). If it comes up in conversation either as small talk or as a relevant answer to a question (maybe learning a language was a significant challenge you faced, or maybe learning new languages and traveling is a hobby, or maybe you teach languages in your spare time, or something), then that's fine. But when it says something like Skills: Arabic, I'm wondering why this person thinks this is a relevant skill. Your resume is your summary as to why we should hire you.

And then in addition to that, it's an extra signal that English is not your first language, which will send out a hint to people that you might not be great at English - even before the meet you to see for themselves!

Others (for example, Canadiens Fan) may see it as a plus, so this might vary. But personally, this would not in any way make me more likely to recommend a candidate for an interview.
#44
01-07-2014, 09:43 PM
 clarinetist Member Non-Actuary Join Date: Aug 2011 Studying for Rcpp, Git Posts: 6,886

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lllj It's just not a relevant skill (in most cases). If it comes up in conversation either as small talk or as a relevant answer to a question (maybe learning a language was a significant challenge you faced, or maybe learning new languages and traveling is a hobby, or maybe you teach languages in your spare time, or something), then that's fine. But when it says something like Skills: Arabic, I'm wondering why this person thinks this is a relevant skill. Your resume is your summary as to why we should hire you. And then in addition to that, it's an extra signal that English is not your first language, which will send out a hint to people that you might not be great at English - even before the meet you to see for themselves! Others (for example, Canadiens Fan) may see it as a plus, so this might vary. But personally, this would not in any way make me more likely to recommend a candidate for an interview.
I don't have a position on whether language is good or not to have on an actuarial resume, but I could see it being both good and bad. I would think a recruiter would look at languages on a resume and think, "oh, this person's smart." However, this could be taken the wrong way. For example, I tried to use the fact that I took Real Analysis and used $\LaTeX$ (during an interview, not on a resume) to try to make an impression, which unfortunately failed.
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#45
01-07-2014, 09:54 PM
 SociableNerd Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Urbana, IL Studying for FM College: UIUC Posts: 34

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lllj It's just not a relevant skill ..... Your resume is your summary as to why we should hire you.
I understand the point, language skills are not relevant to an actuarial job at the level I am applying for. I need to be targeting consultancies with international practices, probably, in the future...

Quote:
 And then in addition to that, it's an extra signal that English is not your first language, which will send out a hint to people that you might not be great at English - even before the meet you to see for themselves!
I am open to suggestions about what I should to do with my foreign name. Please correct me, if I am wrong, but won't my name send exactly the same signal?
#46
01-07-2014, 10:03 PM
 lllj Member CAS Join Date: May 2011 Posts: 5,352

Plenty of native English speakers have foreign sounding names anyway.

Mainly I just object to people advertising their foreign language skills right along with their computer skills.

But again, others do have different opinions.
#47
01-07-2014, 10:11 PM
 SociableNerd Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Urbana, IL Studying for FM College: UIUC Posts: 34

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lllj Mainly I just object to people advertising their foreign language skills right along with their computer skills.
Upps, this is exactly what I have been doing for some time, by the way! Will stop.

Basically, you object to people showing any irrelevant information for the employment decision on the resume. I understand.

Thanks for encouraging words about the name!
#48
01-07-2014, 10:53 PM
 AB89 Member Non-Actuary Join Date: May 2013 Posts: 736

It's just something to throw on there in its own little section if you have extra space, like how some people put in a hobbies or interests section. Some interviewers find it interesting. Some don't give a damn. It can also be as irrelevant as study abroad, but people like to include that in their education section.
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#49
01-07-2014, 10:55 PM
 SociableNerd Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Urbana, IL Studying for FM College: UIUC Posts: 34

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan Well, this is different! If you want an actuarial job, yes, you should finish college. Chances of landing a job without a degree are maybe 1 in 1000. And there are not 1000 openings, and there are a few thousand candidates. You'll still have to convince someone to hire you to one of their precious "EL's for 22-year-olds only" openings. You should have better luck with the "off-season" when openings occur after those 22-year-olds flake out. (Maybe 15% of them.) Networking will be key. You'll have to find a kindred spirit, or at least someone open-minded enough with the power to take a chance on hiring you over other, more "traditional" candidates. Find someplace that no one else wants to work (we call it "the po' "), lowering the amount of competition. Quick note: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (or Champaign-Urbana), is called the "University of Illinois" to the rest of the USA. Any other U of I requires its city or its general direction. Answers to your questions three: 1. Yes. 2. Yes. your résumé is your marketing tool. Put on stuff that (you hope) will be interesting to the reader, or else they will toss it aside for the next résumé. Or, at least make it seem interesting. Throw it into a bundle, without going into details like employers and such. Have a good story that relates somehow to risks and how to manage them. Like that one time you had to land a plane after the pilots were sucked out of a hole caused by a smaller plane that crashed into it. Wait, that's the plot of "Airport '75." 3. Just state that you have a green card. Your foreign language abilities are a good sign of intelligence (imo). If some company doesn't want you because of that (and don't think HR is helpful in any way to any of us -- make sure an actuary sees your résumé!), well, they weren't going to like you once they met you, either. See you in a few years, after you, well, you know, pass some exams, get a degree, get an internship, get a 4.0, etc.
Thanks, I will proceed. I will be hanging around this forum to ask more questions, though from experienced guys!
#50
01-21-2014, 08:59 PM
 passwordistaco Member CAS SOA Join Date: Jan 2014 Studying for MFE/3F Favorite beer: Sam Adams Posts: 31

Hello everyone,
I just registered for AO so forgive me if I am not following the correct protocol for posting a question.
Anyways, I am a career-changer, and could use some advice on when is the right time to start applying. I just passed Exam P a week ago and I am taking FM in Feb and I am confident I will pass that too. I graduated in 2011 with B.S. in business admin and a concentration in finance. I had a financial analyst type job for about a year after that, then realized I wanted to be an actuary and started looking at masters degrees in a more quantitative field. I took all the prerequisite courses at a local cc at night while I still had the job, then did a one year masters in mathematical modeling in finance. So between those I've taken a lot of the same classes as a actuarial science undergrad degree (calc 1-3, linear alg, lots of quant finance classes, a class on risk and insurance, etc).

So my question is, should I apply now or wait til I pass FM to apply?
quick overview of my resume:

Masters in Mathematical Modeling in Finance
1 year work experience in corporate env. (though not really relevant)
Expert in excel, ok with access
Only very basic knowledge of VBA, C++, Intermediate knowledge of R (not sure how important any of these are)

Also I live in Ct and would probably apply to companies in Hartford, NYC, or Boston, so there are a lot of jobs near me, and I know a lot of people who could put in a good word for me.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, especially from someone who actually hires people.
Thanks!