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Actuarial Career Advice
Advice for actuarial professionals - How to make the most of 2014
Mark Keizner, Business Manager at Reed Actuarial in London, highlights the key trends that will affect the actuarial jobs market in 2014.
Solvency II, telematics and big data lead an increase in opportunities
In the tail end of 2013, we've seen an uplift in the contracting market following the resurrection of Solvency II. Driven by EU backing, and with a new proposed inception date of January 2016, we have seen the start of a marked increase in the demand for contractors with Solvency II skills that will rise throughout 2014.
Within the general insurance market, we are experiencing an uplift in the need for good pricing people. The rise in telematics and big data has driven this, and pricing ability is set to be an in-demand skill for 2014.
Legislative changes to have bearing on jobs market
The EU's drive towards Solvency II, supported by the PRA, will have a big impact on the actuarial job market in 2014. To what extent this is enforced, and in what timescale, will be key in determining the skills that are most in demand in 2014. If the timescale is shorter, we naturally expect to see a steeper rise in the demand for talented contractors.
The enforcement and support of pensions auto-enrolment will continue to effect an uplift in the pensions market.
Three essential considerations for the actuarial jobseeker
Actuarial jobseekers, in an increasingly competitive market, need to know more than ever the answer to these key questions:
- Where do you want to be?
- Why do you want be there?
- What skills do you need to get there?
Before leaving your existing post, you should upskill as much as possible. Then, see if there's an option to move sideways within your current organisation.
If this is not possible, or you still want to leave, ask yourself: "If I was an employer, what would I want to see on a CV?"
Rather than soft skills like communication, focus on the key technical skills required, as well as your achievements from previous positions. Detail your key skills in broad terms first (e.g. 'Pricing and Product Development', 'ICA') in a way that stands out. Then, expand on each with a bullet point list, detailing, for example, your day-to-day responsibilities, your level of seniority, and the software you use. This ensures that your skillset is both easily digestible and sufficiently in-depth to build an accurate picture quickly in a recruiter's eyes.
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Interviews getting tougher as market competitiveness increases
The market is getting busier and more competitive, so now more than ever jobseekers should be very clear on what they want, and why, when entering the job market. With an increased number of candidates, interviews are also getting tougher, which means jobseekers need to be well-prepared for what they will face.
A good recruitment consultant will prepare you before an interview, and Reed Actuarial consultants will always offer up their time to ensure you are fully prepared. We realise the importance of good preparation and offer jobseekers a 30-minute prep session prior to interview.
Questions such as 'You are walking up a hill that is 300m high. It takes you 28 minutes. How many steps do you take?' are becoming more frequent, as interviewers want to determine, often in seemingly abstract ways, your ability to assimilate data, problem-solve and present a solution. Finding out how to long your interview will last, what format it will take, and what kind of questioning or tests you will face are all crucial steps in interview preparation, and it is this kind of research that will stand jobseekers in good stead for 2014.