Actuarial Analyst Cover Letter Examples

Donna Bass
4023 Villa Drive
South Bend, IN 46625
(111)-384-3980
[email]
Aug 31, 2012
Ms. Gloria Pettit
Farmers Insurance Group
521 Devils Hill Road
Jackson, MS 39211
Dear Ms. Gloria Pettit,
I am writing in regards to your open position of Actuarial Analyst. I strongly believe that I am the ideal person to fill this position because I have eight years of experience working for Mercury Insurance Group where I held this job title. While happy with the time I have spent with this company and grateful for the experience I have gained, I am ready for a more challenging career. I believe that I can achieve this goal by filling the position being offered by your company.
I have a master’s degree in actuarial science and a bachelor’s degree in business. I have experience extracting and manipulating data, creating comprehensive analytical reporting and rate testing. I thoroughly understand statistical methodology and I know how to calculate insurance rates accurately. I also have experience in researching and excellent communications skills.
I have a flexible personality that allows me to adapt to demanding situations, solve unexpected problems and I have the ability to work well with a team or on my own. I am certain that my positive, upbeat attitude and my determination to produce solid, reliable results will be a great asset to your company.
I fully believe that a meeting would be beneficial to both of us and I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to discuss my experience, training and educational background in more detail. I am very interested in learning more about your company as well. You can reach me at (111)-384-3980 and I am looking forward to your call.
Sincerely,
Donna Bass
Donna Bass
Resume Attached as MS Word Document


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econfkw

11-08-2008, 01:27 PM

Do the HR and actuarial manager really care about the cover letter?
Below is mine. How is it?
Is it necessary to include company address?

Date
Company name
Company address

Dear Hiring Manager:

I am a graduate of "A" University sociology MA program. I am currently a biology PhD candidate from "B" university. I have finished my dissertation and I have passed the SOA Exam P, FM, MFE, and CAS 3 in 2007 fall. Please accept this letter as part of the application to the job posting as "actuarial analyst" at "monster.com".

I'm switching from academic to the actuarial industry because of the job stability and rewards of being an actuary. Moreover, I like mathematics and working with large data set. . My involvement with academic will be very limited. I'm very committed to be an actuary

I have been teaching econometrics at various colleges for a few years. This experience is invaluable in the sense that, I acquire the skill to explain complicated concepts in a simple manner, to audiences who have limited knowledge of the subject. I have also taken a number of graduate-level Mathematics -Finance courses at the "C" University. I can show you my transcript during the interview.

I am sure that my academic background and bilingual ability would prepare me working for a dynamic organization like yours. I'm very interested in working at the "pension" area. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Peter Pan


tommie frazier

11-08-2008, 02:12 PM

cover letter should be short and to the point. no need to tout your qualifications-they are in the resume.

the more one writes, the more likely there is some grammatical gaffe or some other oddity that could dq you. if you have some odd circumstance to explain, then here is where to do it (but briefly).

if they didn't bring people in for interviews, a long cover letter would matter more. but this isn't an essay for getting into college.


deathfrombelow

11-08-2008, 03:40 PM

This is too long. All of the academic stuff should be on the resume, but the question you need to answer (in my opinion) in your cover letter is why the heck you want to be an actuary when you have 1.) an MA in sociology, 2.) a Ph.D. forthcoming in Biology, and 3.) teaching experience in econometrics.

This letter just screams "can't figure out what he/she wants to do in life", and you need to make it scream "I want to be an actuary". If you're just applying for a run of the mill analyst position, you're likely very qualified with the exams alone, so there's little need to sell your other academic stuff in the cover letter. Focus on communicating why you're sure you want to be an actuary. Companies don't want to invest in training you to be an actuary if they think you're going to bail in a year.

Also, I would remove the "fluffy" stuff about your personality, etc.

Just my $0.02.


econfkw

11-08-2008, 03:43 PM

why the heck you want to be an actuary when you have 1.) an MA in sociology, 2.) a Ph.D. forthcoming in Biology, and 3.) teaching experience in econometrics.
Just my $0.02.

Folks, take it easy. I make up the sociology and biology things. It's internet forum. no one gives 100% true info. my cell # can't be 911.

Don't u think econometrics related? It's regression.

I have been considering to cut 2nd half of para 4. The research work may be irrelavant and make myself over-qualified. and your opinion is.....

Someone recommended me to explain how much I will be committed to be an actuary. The employer might worry that I find the actuary job not challenging enough. I might quit very soon or switch to another company. Frankly, I don't mind boring job. I care about the reward more. I can find challenge somewhere else, like learn skiing, driving. I can still teach part-time and cowrite paper occasionally. I won't and I can't switch job anyway because I need sponsor. I'm also tired of moving around in the past few years, so I don't like changing jobs. But I can't be that plain honest in the cover letter. any suggestion?

Anyhow, need to include company address? or is it optional?


deathfrombelow

11-08-2008, 03:50 PM

I make up the sociology and biology things. privacy.

econometrics should be related.

That's a better situation if the soc/bio are really more finance/econ/etc. type stuff.

However, the issue is not entirely whether or not it's "related", but why someone with a lot of credentials that are valuable in academia who has invested a very large amount of time, tears, and money to train to be a researcher now wants to go into a field that requires a BA/BS and a couple of exams.

That's what you need to sell.


Bobby

11-08-2008, 03:53 PM

Most important things in the cover letter are:

-Telling them that you're interested in an entry level actuarial position
-Telling them briefly about a few qualifications (which university you graduated from and your degree. Perhaps how many exams if it's impressive.)
-Telling them why you're interested in their field
-Telling them why you're interested in their company
-Thanking them for taking the time to read your letter

Each of these things should be be as short as possible.


deathfrombelow

11-08-2008, 04:04 PM

I make up the sociology and biology things.

econometrics should be related.

I have been considering to cut 2nd half of para 4. The research work may be irrelavant and make myself over-qualified.

Anyhow, need to include company address? or is it optional?

The company address is not very important. Frankly, if you're submitting this online, it's probably completely fine to leave it off. All of the stuff you read in books about "how to write a cover letter" is mostly drivel.

Your cover letter will get a 20 second lookover by an HR screen and a 10 second lookover by the hiring manager. They will only come back to it if they have some question about your resume to which they hope to find the answer in the cover letter.

The question they are going to have on yours is the one I raise above. You have a large advantage over other people who have tried the same move from Ph.D. to actuary since you have exams passed (shows dedication to the field).

Also, I'm not trying to be mean here, only helpful. You need someone who speaks English natively or very, very well to help you with the phrasing on this thing. Like it or not, there are people in the world who are going to view you negatively as a candidate based on the language in the current letter.

Those are the two things you should tackle before you worry about including the address or not. Good luck!


econfkw

11-08-2008, 04:48 PM

Peter Pan has revised the cover letter. short enough?

still not sure whether I make the my case strong enough. I mean to convince the employer that I'm committed to be an actuary and don't mind repetitive job. suggestion pls..

Any other question, pls call my cell - 911.


tommie frazier

11-08-2008, 11:32 PM

"potential rewards" screams "just for the money". once should never be so honest, unless applying to work at a hedge fund.

completely drop 2nd to last paragraph "while my..."

final paragraph should just be a wrap up and thanks and I hope to hear from you. "thanks you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you." pretty sure they'll call the number on your resume and job app, so why write it here?

redo it, reread bobby's post #6, and tighten the writing up. have a native speaker review it more. (again, the longer it is, the more ammo you provide for them to discredit you as able to communicate-do you want to do that?)


Jim Luther Davis

11-08-2008, 11:47 PM

all the crap about you is in the resume.

attach it to an email which reads something like "please find attached resume in response to the available position with company xyz. thank you for your consideration and i look forward to seeing you next monday morning when i begin working circles around you jerky."

maybe edit the last line.

i think cover letters suck. when i review resumes, i pretty much toss those with cover letters and most resumes that have multiple pages unless the first few lines of the resume catch my eye like "degree in actuarial science/mathematics" or "soa exams a, b, c etc".

i set fire to resumes with cover letters containing more than a couple lines and those with the super worthless crap degree "MIS" or something of the like.


econfkw

11-09-2008, 01:35 AM

all the crap about you is in the resume.

i set fire to resumes with cover letters containing more than a couple lines and those with the super worthless crap degree "MIS" or something of the like.

revised again.

You might misunderstand the purpose of the above letter. I only write 3 lines when cold-emailing chief actuary my resume. When you find a job from their company websites or school career center, and you are asked to send them a cover letter, you can't write a couple of lines.

The director of my school career center told us to include a cover letter whenever asked. Many companies called to complain that a lot of students failed to include a cover letter. They won't consider those applications. so they won't burn those cover letters.

some of the crap are not in my resume. I took those math-finance courses at another university thru some joint university program. It's not part of my degree. That university is very prestigious. I have no space to include a section like related courses in my resume, so I put it at the cover letter. But you guys are right, make it short. I cut the course titles.

I have asked at this forum about the 'rewards' argument. Most ppl thought it's OK, so did the career director of my school. let me give some more thoughts over it. At least I will make it "job stability and rewards", instead of "rewards and job stability". sound less greedy?

Anyway, am I making my case strong enough to convince the employer that I'm committed to be an actuary?


Jim Luther Davis

11-09-2008, 02:22 AM

revised again.

You might misunderstand the purpose of the above letter. I only write 3 lines when cold-emailing chief actuary my resume. When you find a job from their company websites or school career center, and you are asked to send them a cover letter, you can't write a couple of lines.

The director of my school career center told us to include a cover letter whenever asked. Many companies called to complain that a lot of students failed to include a cover letter. They won't consider those applications. so they won't burn those cover letters.

some of the crap are not in my resume. I took those math-finance courses at another university thru some joint university program. It's not part of my degree. That university is very prestigious. I have no space to include a section like related courses in my resume, so I put it at the cover letter. But you guys are right, make it short. I cut the course titles.

I have asked at this forum about the 'rewards' argument. Most ppl thought it's OK, so did the career director of my school. let me give some more thoughts over it. At least I will make it "job stability and rewards", instead of "rewards and job stability". sound less greedy?

Anyway, am I making my case strong enough to convince the employer that I'm committed to be an actuary?

the actuarial field is such a narrowly defined career that some career advisor at a college wont really have a clue when it comes to this specific field.

actuaries are generally the exception to the rule. you search actuary.com or whatever websites, you find people on soa.org and email them cold, whatever, a couple lines is sufficient. at the entry level, showing you have an exam or two, a related degree with a reasonable gpa, it all speaks for itself.

actuaries are smart and to the point, they don't need a letter with a load of fluff. send them a concise resume with necessary points and a very short email and that is sufficient. they'll get the point.

otw, go with your local career advisor and write a wordy letter and atach a wordy resume.


tommie frazier

11-09-2008, 02:28 AM

mentioning that you will still be working part time elsewhere is another red flag. awesome, we can hire a guy who has another job in an area he is perhaps better suited for, bc he says he's committed to the new career, but keeping a toe in the pond over there? why in hell would you ever tell someone that? do you think it helps make the case that "you are committed" to leaving the old gig for a new career?

take the advice we are giving you. Jim Luther Davis was very clear: keep it minimally short. we don't care about the subtle crap you feel obligated to share thinking it makes your case. a cover letter as short as JLD suggests is a cover letter, and meets the requirements. a cover letter is NOT going to get you the interview-i read them for examples of terrible grammar, over-selling, and other off topic garbage that those new to the workforce seem to think relevant. none of what I find helps the candidate.

why are the super relevant courses not on your resume? can't fit it in under education?

short version: read post 6. read JLD. read my posts. ignore the career service person at your school. if they want a cover letter, write it as short as you can. the interview is where you can sell. you won't get an interview as easily with a crappy rambling cover letter.


econfkw

11-09-2008, 03:50 AM

actuaries are generally the exception to the rule. you search actuary.com or whatever websites, you find people on soa.org and email them cold, whatever, a couple lines is sufficient.

JLD, you are still talking about 'emailing' directly to actuary. I said that, I only write 3 lines when emailing to the manager. I'm talking about writing to the HR.

The HR is the first person reading your resume and cover letter. If the HR sees a cover letter with only 3 lines, they will burn it. They will assume that the applicant is sloppy. Their mindset is different from yours. They really expect a cover letter that looks like the sample that we pick up from the career center.

when I paste the cover letter into word, it's only half page.


econfkw

11-09-2008, 04:06 AM

mentioning that you will still be working part time elsewhere is another red flag.
why are the super relevant courses not on your resume? can't fit it in under education?


I deleted the teaching part-time part. But I want to add that teaching at college is not a big deal. It's only 2.5 hrs a week. I spend very little time preparing for class. Also, they only pay $2500 / semester. No one will go back to academic for this reason. But I have to admitt that most people don't know it.

I never said that those math-fin courses are super-relevant. They are extra credentials. I only use 1 line to describe it, trying to make path for an interview.


Jim Luther Davis

11-09-2008, 04:09 AM

JLD, you are still talking about 'emailing' directly to actuary. I said that, I only write 3 lines when emailing to the manager. I'm talking about writing to the HR.

The HR is the first person reading your resume and cover letter. If the HR sees a cover letter with only 3 lines, they will burn it. They will assume that the applicant is sloppy. Their mindset is different from yours. They really expect a cover letter that looks like the sample that we pick up from the career center.

when I paste the cover letter into word, it's only half page.


no i'm not still talking about emailing directly to actuary as you put it. i'm simply talking about submitting a resume to a company who hires actuaries.

i'm not so sure why you are have requested feedback about applying to a company about an actuarial position and then are so unreceptive to what you've heard so far.

you are seemingly ignoring the fact that this field is unlike most others. you really don't need a detailed cover letter. it's not that important.

do you have a math or math related degree? do you have actuarial exams passed? (maybe at least 2 or more?). if the answer to both those questions is yes, then one thing you can do is submit your info to a recruiting firm and you will have your phone ringing very soon.

if you have a related degree and 1 exam or no exam, then maybe you need to consider a few things. if no exams, then your transcript is going to matter. it will be looked at, i'd look at it. how did you perform in calculus? what about anything in probability theory?

either way, if your degree is in a related field, one that shows you've taken classes that apply to the actuarial exams, your cover letter is going to mean very little. i could care less your cover letter says what an asset you are blah blah blah. are you able to teach yourself certain levels of mathematics on your own without an instructor? an exam passed would show that.

if your degree was in P.E. and you had 3 exams passed, i'd be pretty interested in what you have to offer minus a cover letter. i'd be inclined to bring you in for an interview and see what you had to offer aside from being a bookworm.

in essence, what you are not grasping here, is that a cover letter is not going to make much of a difference. if your CL was so spectacular and you had no exams, the next candidate who had a couple exams with no cover letter will catch my eye way before you would.


deathfrombelow

11-09-2008, 12:55 PM

I have asked at this forum about the 'rewards' argument. Most ppl thought it's OK, so did the career director of my school. let me give some more thoughts over it. At least I will make it "job stability and rewards", instead of "rewards and job stability". sound less greedy?


The fact that the "career director" read your cover letter as originally posted and didn't help you fix the glaring grammatical/word choice stuff pretty much destroys his/her credibility. If those people were really any good at getting jobs, they wouldn't be working at a college career center. Their job is just to make you feel a little bit better about the massive amount of money you drop going to college.

Listen to the people who have actually hired actuaries. You have some exams, and you are a viable candidate. Take the advice of the people who have been on the other side of the hiring process.


have you stated anywhere, on cover letter or resume, that you need a sponsor? seems like this little piece of important detail has been overlooked.


tommie frazier

11-09-2008, 10:12 PM

look, i'll try to say this nicely: you aren't getting it, at all.

your letter still has weird off topic stuff that you somehow seem to think still needs to be said. "my involvement with academic [sic] will be minimal." there is no reason at all to mention that, as it is assumed by a hiring company of a full time employee that their involvement in other possible full time commitments is minimal.

so, you can keep grasping at straws and using some of your first letter (which was terrible, btw), or get in line with what the rest of us are telling you. keep it very short. keep it on topic.


Bobby

11-09-2008, 11:48 PM

You still don't seem to be listening to us. The cover letter is not something that is going to get you the job. It's just a short note to try to get you considered for a phone interview and to get them to look at your resume. You can explain why you want to be an actuary on the phone interview. The people who are looking at your resume, whether it be an actuary or an HR person, are very busy. They don't want to read a lengthy letter.


I am a graduate of "A" University sociology MA program. I am currently a biology PhD candidate from "B" university. I have finished my dissertation and I have passed the SOA Exam P, FM, MFE, and CAS 3 in 2007 fall. Please accept this letter as part of the application to the job posting as "actuarial analyst" at "monster.com".

I'm switching from academic to the actuarial industry because of the job stability and rewards of being an actuary. Moreover, I like mathematics and working with large data set. . My involvement with academic will be very limited. I'm very committed to be an actuary

I have been teaching econometrics at various colleges for a few years. This experience is invaluable in the sense that, I acquire the skill to explain complicated concepts in a simple manner, to audiences who have limited knowledge of the subject. I have also taken a number of graduate-level Mathematics -Finance courses at the "C" University. I can show you my transcript during the interview.

I am sure that my academic background and bilingual ability would prepare me working for a dynamic organization like yours. I'm very interested in working at the "pension" area. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Peter Pan

I would change it to something like this:

Dear Mr. Awesome Actuary,

I am graduating from Harvard with a degree in Biology this May and am interested in an entry level actuarial position with your company. I have passed SOA Exam P, Exam FM, and Exam MFE. Further, I am awaiting the results of SOA exams MLC and C which I took this November. My resume is attached.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and consider me. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,
Tinker Bell

If you know a lot about their field, you can add why you want to be a pension actuary, or a life actuary, or a health actuary, or a p&c actuary. This should only be a couple of sentences though.

Also, if you do research on their company, you can add a couple of sentences about why you'd like to work for them.

However, since you're not a native English speaker, I don't know if those two are good ideas. If you write something new for every letter, most likely they will contain grammatical errors.

Also, no need to convince them why you want to be an actuary in your cover letter. Your exams passed show that you're serious about the field. As well, you do not need to mention the CAS Exam 3L when applying to an SOA job. It just shows you do not know who you're applying to.


When you finally get a cover letter that makes your point and does it concisely, have someone whose first language is English go through it and fix all the ESL grammar oddities.


Make sure to find a native English speaker to clean up your final copy.
If the other school is impressive, fit it into your resume.
If your resume suggests you might need sponsorship and you don't, make sure to mention it.
Keep it short.

I'm in the minority here. I've brought a couple of people in for an interview on the strength of an interesting cover letter. But to be very blunt, you don't write well enough (in English) to pull that off, so you may as well go for "efficient".


econfkw

11-10-2008, 10:57 PM

If your resume suggests you might need sponsorship and you don't, make sure to mention it.
Keep it short.

looks like only the large companies require applicants to send them cover letter. You have to complete a survey anyway. One of the question will be "do you need sponsorship now or in the near future?" so I don't bother to add this piece of info to the cover letter. If the company is not going to sponsor, the resume will never be passed to the manager.

thanks for you opinion.


You're welcome.

You may not be interested in my opinion, but I do a lot of screening of entry-level applicants. If you will need sponsorship, sure, just say so when asked. But if you went to college in another country and write with a foreign accent, but DON'T need sponsorship, mention it either in the cover letter or in the resume itself. (e.g., "other: US Citizen") It'll make me feel warmer and fuzzier when I review your resume prior to the phone interview. Really.

Also, it's not an on/off switch. My employer does sponsor people, sometimes even at entry level. But the bar is much higher for candidates who will need sponsorship than for citizens and permanent residents.


I've gotten a couple of private notes since that last post. Sorry, all, but I would like to preserve what little confidentiality this ID has, and I will not give out the name of my employer.

By the way, I've been a hiring actuary at three different companies, and at two of them "green card status" was a live issue, because we did hire people who needed sponsorship. I understand that's getting less common, as it becomes harder to get the visas even with sponsorship. I know there are employers who will still do it in certain situations, however. So good luck, all.


And I've gotten more PMs asking about what makes a strong cover letter. I figured I may as well answer here. First, here's what DOESN'T make a strong cover letter:

* details that are better covered in your resume (that's what the resume is for)
* long descriptions of my company (if I care, I already know that)
* how you are hardworking, enthusiastic, etc. (fine during the interview, but too much in a cover letter.)
* anything that's really long. (the shorter, the more likely I am to read it.)


In general, this is the place to say (succinctly) why you want a job with my firm.
If you have something unusual that you want to explain, such as why you, a successful chemist, want to become an actuary, the cover letter is the natural place to put it.
If you have something unusual that we wouldn't know from the resume, but that makes you a stronger candidate, this is your chance to say it.

One of the cover letters that attracted my attention did so because the author wrote well - he communicated better than the typical candidate, and was able to demonstate it. And that despite being a foreigner. The other told an unusual story about the person, and piqued our interest.


Here's a good cover letter approach -- 3 paragraphs as follows:

Par 1: Identify how you learned of the job opportunity (e.g. was it advertised at Monster.com or Contingencies or Business Insurance or National U/W). Perhaps you researched the company and learned they are the 5th largest employer in Boston.

Par 2: Identify quickly why you're qualified for the opportunity. Cite your education, exams, your skills or something that may set you apart.

Par 3: Ask for an interview.

Example:

Having seen your firm's advertisement for an entry-level actuarial assistant at the college placement office at Catatonic State University, I am pleased to submit my resume outlining my qualifications for your review.

From the advertisement, I understand your firm seeks a recent graduate from an accredited university with at least two exams. From my enclosed resume, you will note that I have passed the first four exams, and I am registered to sit for the next exam this coming May.

I request the opportunity to meet with you at your convenience to learn more about the actuarial analyst position in greater detail, and to convey more details about my background and experience.


Sincerely,



Hoping to get a job with my incredibly elegant cover letter


I look forward to seeing a copy of my cover letter come across my desk next week.


Vorian Atreides

01-18-2009, 12:09 AM

If you've met someone specific (like at a job fair), be sure to mention that person by name in that first paragraph (unless you know that mentioning it wouldn't work in your favor).


Cash? How quaint?!


Clam Chowdah

01-18-2009, 11:29 AM

If you've met someone specific (like at a job fair), be sure to mention that person by name in that first paragraph (unless you know that mentioning it wouldn't work in your favor).

I'm a little apprehensive about doing that even if the meeting was favorable.
Wouldn't some people see this as tasteless name-dropping?


tommie frazier

01-18-2009, 03:01 PM

not tasteless. saying "I spoke with Ned Flanders at the Springfield College job fair..." is fine.


Wigmeister General

01-18-2009, 04:39 PM

:iatp:

In fact, it provides some feedback to the Company to learn where it's recruiting efforts are worthwhile. ("Boy, that Ned Flanders is doing a did-ly, dood-ly, bang-up job recruiting at the Springfield College job fair.")


I'm a little apprehensive about doing that even if the meeting was favorable.
Wouldn't some people see this as tasteless name-dropping?No, it's not "name dropping" to remember the name of they guy who spoke to you at a career fair. That's why they went there.


stbaugh13

01-18-2009, 07:53 PM

You're welcome.

You may not be interested in my opinion, but I do a lot of screening of entry-level applicants. If you will need sponsorship, sure, just say so when asked. But if you went to college in another country and write with a foreign accent, but DON'T need sponsorship, mention it either in the cover letter or in the resume itself. (e.g., "other: US Citizen") It'll make me feel warmer and fuzzier when I review your resume prior to the phone interview. Really.

Also, it's not an on/off switch. My employer does sponsor people, sometimes even at entry level. But the bar is much higher for candidates who will need sponsorship than for citizens and permanent residents.

Lucy who is your employer.


I work for a P&C insurance company, and beyond that prefer to remain anonymous.


creepypasta

01-19-2009, 09:36 PM

for companies that you apply online for that dont mention to whom and to what location to address your cover letter to, what do you do? i even emailed them and i just get an automated response


Old Timer

01-20-2009, 10:59 AM

You may want to read the few hundred posts on this site that tell you exactly how to get your resume in front of the correct people. Some are even stickied. Take a few hours to read through them all. It will be time well spent and save everyone from having to repost the same suggestions again. Claude might even put a link in here if you don't feel like looking for yourself.


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