Most of the time, sharing shoes with other people is not to be tried. There are, however, times when it pays to pluck up your courage and smell the inside of someone else’s boots; this is the case when it comes to CV writing. Putting yourself in the shoes of the recruiter is undoubtedly the most important part in planning how to write a great Actuary CV. It’s a pivotal concept that marketers use in all their communications: understand your target audience and everything else flows from this.
Plan before you write
You must spend as much time planning and researching as actually writing your CV. A CV written without care that screams ‘me, me, me’ without any thinking of the recruiter is one way to get your CV thrown out. Ask yourself, ‘what skills and attributes are employers looking for in my field of practise?’ Always do your research on company websites, job boards and social media so you can find the perfect answer to this conundrum.
The importance of the person specification
The most crucial source of useful information is without doubt the person specification. The job description will tell you what the requirements of the role are; whereas the person specification tells you what personal qualities and attributes are required to be a success in the role itself. What you put in your CV will be assessed against the person specification. You must make sure your CV covers the points in the person specification clearly and always use examples to illustrate your competence.
Values and culture
Employers place a huge emphasis on values and cultural fit; this is often called the ‘employer brand’. You can have all of the required technical skills but if you do not ‘fit’ with a new employer from a cultural perspective then the relationship won’t be a productive one. Recruitment exercises can be extremely costly so companies are keen to get it right. Make sure you read company websites, they often have vast sections dedicated to their values and culture. If it feels like a good fit, go for it.
Putting pen to paper
When it comes to actually writing your CV, always keep in the front of your mind that it’s not about you, it is about the person who will be reading the CV. Take your professional profile at the beginning of the CV for example; this is your introduction; say something original about your personal attributes and qualities – make sure these are aligned to the role. Weave in words that match with the organisational values and culture of your prospective employer; talk their language throughout the CV.
So remember, it’s about what you can do for your next potential employer; it’s not all about you and what you think is a good CV. If you take the time to understand your audience and tailor your CV, your next step up the actuary ladder may be just around the corner.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official partner to The Actuary Jobs. In addition to a CV writing service, they can help with Linkedin profiles and cover letters. They also publish Perfect CV, a CV writing toolkit with a series of how to write a CV videos, CV templates and an editing and checking service.