Are you finding it difficult to apply for actuarial jobs? Check out these applications tips to succeed in your job applications….

Taking your first steps into the actuarial industry

An Actuarial career is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 best in the UK, which is no surprise to those already in the profession. Perks of the job include lack of stress, pleasant working environment, relatively short working hours, high wages, and good future prospects. Naturally, this means that the graduate actuarial roles are very competitive, and you will likely find yourselves up against candidates that are just as academically strong and motivated as you are. So, what can you do to give yourself the edge?

Research and prioritise prospective employers

While you may be seeking any actuarial offer, it is important that you research each potential employer carefully and prioritise your applications for those that you would most like to work for. Things to consider include:

  • The size of the company
  • The sector of actuarial work
  • Company culture
  • Working practices (remote, hybrid, in-office)

Not only will this research help you to prioritise, but it will also prepare you for any interviews you may have. Questions on your knowledge of the company and why you want to work there are almost guaranteed to come up and a strong, prepared answer to these could really set you apart from others.

Knowledge of the profession

Any employer will expect that an applicant has thorough knowledge of the actuarial profession, and most have previously rejected candidates that haven’t shown this knowledge. It is crucial to make sure you thoroughly understand the entire profession, including the exam process and commitments required. You need to know what you are signing yourself up for!

CV typos

A first impression is key, and your CV will be one of the first things a prospective employer looks at from your application. Given that your CV will mostly be the same for each application, there is no excuse for any typos or errors in it. These will likely leave the employer thinking that if the CV was written without the care and attention that it deserves, you may have that same attitude with your work too.

Tailored cover letter

You need to ensure that your cover letter is tailored to each application and not a generic cover letter that can usually be spotted by employers instantly. This doesn’t mean just changing the name of the company and the job role, but rather include details specific to the company and role itself which shows the employer that you want to work for their company on their graduate scheme. For example, if the company you are applying for is purely based in the UK, don’t talk about their ‘global reputation’ – they don’t have one!

Be truthful

As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. For example, don’t overstate your competency in key areas or suggest you have skills that you don’t, often employers will ask for examples or evidence of these and lies will quickly be found out. If you’re caught lying during an interview, this will significantly harm your chances of progressing to the next stage.

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About the Author

  • Name: Adam Smith
  • Organisation: APR

Adam is a Senior Actuarial Associate and Graduate Recruitment function lead at APR, an actuarial consultancy that works across the life and general insurance sectors. APR places more than usual emphasis on the quality of graduate recruits, as demonstrated by their pass rates in the actuarial exams, which regularly excess 80% - far in excess of industry average.

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