If you’re an experienced actuary contemplating a mid-career move, the vast array of opportunities in the job market can be overwhelming. Deciding between consultancy, insurance companies, reinsurers, or the public sector can be a tough choice. In this article, Rachel Mulleady, an experienced actuarial recruiter at WTW, will guide you through the process of applying for an experienced actuarial role.
When and How to Apply
Experienced actuarial roles will open periodically throughout the year. Stay informed and make sure you don’t miss out on great opportunities. Here’s how you can navigate the process.
Use LinkedIn and platforms like the Actuarial Careers job board to research companies and their cultures. Question if those companies demonstrate what is of most value to you, be that training and development opportunities, variety of work, cultural diversity, wellness support or work style.
Monitor the careers pages of your preferred companies, set up job alerts on job boards and careers sites, and join talent communities for email notifications about new job postings as soon as they open.
Build Your Network of trusted individuals
I use LinkedIn to connect with actuarial professionals at various points in their career, and not just those who are actively seeking new opportunities. I build working relationships and help provide insights for my connections’ future careers.
Reach out to other actuaries working at companies of interest
Get their perspective. Many WTW colleagues take proactive roles in recruitment, when you get one of us, you get all of us.
Time to apply
Once you’ve found a role you like, it’s time to apply. This is where your unique perspective counts.
Your CV should reflect your qualifications, experiences, and skills relevant to the actuarial role. There is no getting away from being able to demonstrate key critical skills within this industry. The actuarial profession is built on integrity and excellence and your CV is the tool hiring managers will use to establish if you meet the minimum criteria required, so be truthful and concise.
- Create a Profile: A brief statement highlighting your career goals and why you’re interested in the company. Highlight how the company aligns with your values and aspirations.
- Customize your CV to emphasize relevant skills and experiences in line with the job description. Address the specific requirements while also showcasing other aspects of your current role that might be beneficial.
- Make each application count: Take the time to demonstrate that you have considered each company’s values and taken on board the requirements of the role and minimize the room for error by duplication.
- Education and Actuarial exams: List your degrees, institutions, graduation dates, and details of actuarial exams passed or pending. At WTW, experience often takes precedence over qualifications.
- Work Experience: Focus on achievements and responsibilities that demonstrate your transferable analytical and problem-solving skills. Yes, actuarial roles are often highly technical, but communication skills can be vital, depending on the role.
- Technical Skills: Highlight your proficiency in software tools such as Excel, programming languages, and actuarial software like R or Python.
- Extracurricular Activities: Include any relevant clubs, societies, or volunteer work that demonstrates teamwork and leadership skills but more importantly reflect your values and beliefs.
Experienced hire roles may involve aptitude tests or case studies, although these are more common for entry-level positions. While test results may not be definitive, they can provide talking points during interviews.
Expect a competitive interview process, often conducted swiftly due to the fast-moving nature of the actuarial market. On average, 2-3 interviews are standard, with a mix of in-person, online, formal and informal stages which may include:
- Technical stage: Be prepared to solve actuarial problems or discuss specific technical concepts relevant to the role.
- Competency-based: Expect questions about your experiences, motivations, and how you handle challenges. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses.
- Informal stage: A chance to ask questions informally, take a tour of the office, meet some peers for lunch/coffee.
Additional Interview Tips:
- Prior to the interview make sure you have researched the company and the role and double check you have all the details for the day.
- Don’t rush the interview process, this is your chance to see inside a company that you intend to spend years to come with.
- Ensure if you need any reasonable adjustments that you have these in place.
Applying for a new actuarial role offers exciting career advancement opportunities. To make the most informed decision and increase your chances of success:
- Stay informed about job vacancies.
- Tailor your CV for each role.
- Showcase your passion and alignment with the company’s culture.
- Stay curious and keep building your network.
Now that you have an understanding of the application process, search for your next experience role here.
Good luck with your application!