Arpit Surana shares tips for graduate jobseekers looking to gain that first actuarial role
Getting that first break is always hard – and actuarial jobs are no exception. When you’ve sent out dozens of CVs and not heard back from a company, it’s hard not to become discouraged, especially in times of COVID-19 or recession when many people are losing their jobs and unable to find new ones.
A study conducted by Glassdoor found that, on average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 CVs. Of those candidates, four to six will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. Another study by Ladders found that it takes a recruiter just six seconds to review and evaluate a CV.
We all know there is a gap between supply and demand when it comes to graduate-level actuarial jobs. However, despite this, numerous vacancies are filled each year and many graduates are still getting hired.
Most of the time the problem is not with the jobseeker’s abilities, but with the way they are looking for a job. Many people spend too much energy on traditional methods, overlooking some of the most effective, more unconventional ways.
Hiring is a tedious process and, most of the time, hiring managers are overwhelmed by the amount of CVs they receive. It’s always a good idea to send a follow-up email to the hiring manager. A recent study found that 73% of the hiring managers prefer jobseekers to follow up with them within one to two weeks – and yet almost nobody does it. Remember, though, that while it’s important to remind the hiring manager of your interest and qualifications, it is also crucial not to make them feel hounded.
Ensure the follow-up email is positive, friendly and brief. Re-attaching your CV is also a good idea. The last thing you want to do is be pushy and risk being removed from consideration. Also, don’t follow up more than twice. If you never hear back from the employer, it’s time to move on.
A study has shown that 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. Most candidates either write a generic email without highlighting their skills and achievements, or write a long email that mentions everything about themselves, which no one has time to read. The best strategy is to write a short and direct email that highlights your key strengths and achievements.
The actuarial profession is a small world and most jobs are never published on job portals. To get those hidden vacancies, it’s important to build connections – and what better way than through LinkedIn? I have seen many students get job offers even before they have graduated, all because of their social presence on LinkedIn. Staying active on the platform has a number of advantages:
- It helps you to stay up to date with industry trends
- It allows you to connect with more professionals and build a valuable network
- It increases your exposure to vacancies.
Writing frequent posts and articles is the best way to build connections. It not only helps you increase your knowledge, but also showcases your knowledge and skills to potential employers.
If there is a vacancy you are interested in, ask a current employee of that company on LinkedIn to refer you before you apply directly. This can increase the chances of getting selected, since the person might be directly sharing your CV with the hiring manager.
Application Tracking System (ATS) is a software system used by various companies to automate the recruitment process, enabling them to automatically select or reject CVs that do not qualify for the job. There are numerous free ATS checking websites that provide scores for CVs.
There’s nothing more frustrating than an unsuccessful job hunt, but giving up altogether isn’t the answer.
Arpit Surana is a guest student editor