1. Ooze Expertise.
No one knows the insurance industry like you. Your resume is a timeline of when your experience collided with major industry events. Cite your knowledge of industry trends, the effects of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, new product development, ACA compliance and market changes. Paint a picture of overcoming challenges, problem solving, being creative and working collaboratively as only a person with a wealth of experience can do.
2. I Am More Than A ‘Doer’! Accomplishments Over Duties.
Developed a new product? Satisfied a major claim? Wrote the biggest account in the agency’s history? Use accomplishments as section breaks on your resume. The “Objective” section is a perfect place to insert some anecdotal information. So often these sections and cover letters just sound like “Who I Am.” Instead, you want to say, “Who I Want To Be.” Remember, the best indicator of future success is recent history.
Ask the Insurance Recruiter
Q: I’ve worked in the insurance industry for 30 years. I’m in a job search and concerned my experience doesn’t stand out on my resume nearly as much as my age. No one has asked me outright, but I get the sense they care far more about when I will retire then whether I’m right for the job. – John from Boston
A: Dear John, this month I attend my 20-year high school class reunion. In some ways it feels like yesterday. It’s fun to reminisce about the songs and the fashion. In other ways I never want to think about that time again (ugh, homework and my hair). I wonder if the classmates I haven’t seen since I was 18 years old will see me for who I am now or no matter what always think of me as that teenager. So, although slightly different circumstances, we’re pretty much in the same boat. I have some ideas on how to help.
3. The Missing Link. Be Social. Get Your Tech On.
Your resume is a living, breathing digital file. No one prints paper copies anymore. Your resume must feel like it’s state-of-the-art.
- First, your LinkedIn profile link should be listed next to your name, address, phone and email.
- Second, include links to your online bios posted through insurance associations, boards, community organizations, etc. Have you been featured or cited as a source in a business article? Place these links strategically through- out the body of your resume.
- Third, do you blog, write for insurance publications, teach continuing education classes or host webinars?
Make sure all of this information is linked under a separate section just like education and work history.
4. You’re a Big Deal. People Know You.
Just like the great Anchorman Ron Burgundy, you have many leather-bound books and people know you. Seriously, connections are everything. Digital connections go hand in hand with LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is complete and you’ve built up your online centers of influence. These people are your references. The more diverse reference list to accompany your resume the better. This should include former managers, colleagues, direct reports, carrier and broker reps, clients, vendors and third-party advisers (legal, HR and so forth).
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