Optimize Your Resume to Land a Risk Management and Insurance Job — Here’s How
Whether you’re starting a brand new resume or giving your existing one a facelift, the writing process can leave you totally stumped. Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.
The bad news is you’re going to have to tailor your resume to each job you want.
Including words and phrases companies use in their job descriptions draws a direct link between what they want and what you have to offer. This is particularly important if you are submitting an application through an online portal. These services are programmed to pull out key buzzwords to streamline the hiring process. If you don’t pay close attention to the words you are using, then you may be filtered out before your resume even gets to a human being.
Now for the good news. We’ve got a solid template and tips to help you land your dream job. The best way to write your resume depends totally on the industry and job you’re targeting. Here’s how to knock a business and insurance resume out of the park.
The verdict is split on whether objectives are worthwhile or a waste of space. We’re of the opinion that most of the time, the information here is extraneous. If you have other stuff to highlight, the real estate is better spent adding detail about internships or part-time jobs that gave you valuable experience.
However, not all first-time resume creators have enough experience to fill the page. If you are going to include an objective, make sure it is very specific to the position you want — as in, use the company’s name — and the employer’s values.
The education section of your resume should be short and sweet. List the university you are attending or attended, degree earned or to be earned and year of graduation. If you have completed or are completing any minors or certificate programs, highlight those in the line below your major. This can give you a competitive edge and offer another topic to discuss in an interview.
While your GPA may be a great reflection of your hard work, employers aren’t always particularly interested. Some may specifically request a GPA or transcript, in which case it should be added to your resume for that specific application. If you’d like to highlight your academic successes, list any Latin honors or academic awards that you received to demonstrate your educational prowess.
This section should take up the bulk of your resume and should be the most tailored portion of the page. Dig deeper into the job description, responsibilities and requirements to make sure that you’re hitting as many of them as possible in this portion. It should also reflect the skills that you will list in the following section — but more on that later.
In general, you should always list prior work from most recent to the oldest job you had that’s still relevant to the application. Use strong action verbs (orchestrated, programmed, developed, pioneered, spearheaded, achieved, reorganized, upgraded) and hard numbers as much as possible.
But do not exaggerate your experience. Too often, candidates will add fluff to this section to give the appearance of more experience. Then, when they’re asked about that experience in an interview, they sound like an idiot.
If you’re a college student, it’s a safe bet you know how to use Microsoft Office. While tech savvy used to be a selling point, proficiency in basic software programs is now expected across the board. Unless a job listing specifically lists a unique program or knowledge base that is beyond the norm for 20-somethings, you can cut computer skills out of your resume.
Instead, think about some of the intangible skills you possess. Things like management experience, leadership skills, attentive listening and adaptability are all important to employers and cannot easily be taught. Listing such skills will also give you a reason to provide examples of your work to the interviewer in order to back up those skills. Go into the interview prepared with an example that shows the company exactly why these skills are important and how you’ve implemented them in your work.
Often, your hobbies, part-time jobs and volunteer work can provide depth on your resume and a personal touch to give human resources reps insight into your personality. As much as they are looking to find the best candidate, companies are also evaluating how your personality and passions will fit in with those of the other employees.
As helpful as this section can be, make sure you have a smart story or anecdote from the activities you list.
Now, about that cover letter. Check out our expert insights into job applications and Answers to 9 Common Job Application Questions.