While we previously provided actuarial resume tips, this is the full guide on how to write an actuarial resume.
How to Use This Guide
First download the below actuarial resume template. Then either print it out or have it open in another window so you can refer to it.
The guide will walk you through each component, explaining what that section is for and how to write for it.
Actuarial Resume Template
Actuarial Resume – Layout
You can use any layout you wish for your actuarial resume. There are many templates out there and it’s up to you to decide which layout you want. The requirement is what an actuarial resume should look clean, easy to read, and professional.
-Name and Contact Information
-Education (with actuarial science exams passed)
Actuarial Resume – Exams
This is the main difference between an actuarial resume and a normal resume. An actuarial resume lists actuarial exams and credentials at the top, where as non-actuarial resumes tend to list exams and qualifications at the bottom.
Actuarial exams are more important in the earlier stages of your career. A college student with actuarial exams passed shows committed interest in becoming an actuary. It also speaks to your ability to pass exams.
In the later stages of your career, actuarial exams become less important. This is because as your progress in your actuarial career, more people at your experience level are fully credentialed actuaries. If all candidates have passed all their exams, you don’t need to emphasize that on your resume. The main reason however is experience trumps exams. A superstar ACAS is much more valuable than a random FCAS.
Actuarial Resume – Education
I suggest listing your education at the top while keeping the section small. Include your school’s name, type of degree, and expected/actual graduation dates.
Graduation dates are important so employers can have a mental image of your career progress and what kind of employment you’re looking for. For example, some firms only hire Juniors (3rd Year students) because they want to try them out for an internship before graduation. Or if they’re looking to hire someone who’s starting in next two months, they won’t even consider interviewing someone who has 2 years of school left.
Don’t include courses taken or projects you’ve worked on. Good interviewers don’t care what courses you’ve taken. It’s insignificant to your candidacy and takes up space. It also implies that you don’t have a lot of other things going for you.
Do include awards and scholarships. If there’s a dollar amount associated with the award, put that in. This is to tell employers (implied) significance of the award. If it’s merit based, put that in. In the United States, a lot of students get monetary grants for things other than merit. Good interviewers want to weed those awards out, and we may assume that anything not explicitly listed as merit based does not count.
Actuarial Resume – Experience
This is the major meat of an actuarial resume. This is where an unbiased interviewer would spend most of the time reviewing and judge you the most on. While disheartening, prestige of your prior internships and experiences matter.
Use action verbs.
Use past tense for past employment. Use present tense for present employment.
Be consistent. If you use date abbreviations for the time period (eg: Apr instead of April), use them for all experiences.
Focus on what you accomplished. It’s okay to have a few sentences on what you worked on especially in roles where you only work on a piece of a project instead of bringing it to completion. But focus on what you accomplished.
“Used Excel to work with data” -> Bad
“Saved team 4 hours of formatting work every month by creating macros in Excel to automate data pulls” -> Good
Volunteer and Unpaid Experience
Should you list volunteering and unpaid experiences in the experience section of your actuarial resume? I’ve heard it go both ways.
YES: Some interviewers don’t mind since they still view it as experience. The majority of HR resume screeners fall into this camp. Hiring managers, it varies depending on their background.
NO: Some interviewers will deduct significant points if they see this happen. The rationale is that:
1) If your work is worth something, then you will have been paid for it. Therefore, unpaid work means you do not contribute anything of value.
2) Listing it in Experience and leaving the compensatory nature of it ambiguous could be you trying to mislead them into thinking the experience is better than it really is, which breaks trust. This would be automatic rejection from this subset of interviewers.
If you put volunteering and unpaid experience in a separate section, these interviewers might see it as slightly unfavorable but won’t automatically junk your resume.
Actuarial Resume – Skills and Interests
This is the last section of the resume. It’s usually looked at last, and is used to determine your personality and technical skills.
List your technical skills here. This may include programming languages, databases, statistical techniques, and other software you’ve used. Keep in mind that anything you list here will be fair game for interviewers to ask you about during an interview. Make sure you know anything you list here well, or be clear about your level of knowledge. It is better to list “Python (Beginner)” than to list “Python” and then fail a basic interview question.
Hobbies and Interests
Hiring managers will be working with you a lot if you get hired. While actuarial resumes are professional, you still want to show your personality within reason. List hobbies and interests that are socially acceptable and are not too polarizing.
Examples of good hobbies: Chess, travel, horseback riding, team sports.
Examples of bad hobbies: Shooting ranges, drinking, partying, drugs, passing out.