By: Jen Foster
The following tips for building an insurance sales resume will help aspiring agents and skilled veterans alike.
1. KEEP IT FREE OF ERRORS
Insurance sales requires exceptional attention to detail and clerical skills. Hiring managers, who often must sort through hundreds of applications for one position, will gladly use a misplaced apostrophe to whittle down the field. Because it’s hard to see mistakes your own work, have someone else proof your resume for errors.
2. HIGHLIGHT SALES ABILITY
More than who your alma mater is, more than your experience in the insurance industry, your proven ability to sell—anything—will get your insurance sales resume noticed.
3. QUANTIFY YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
As often as you can, present your credentials in numeric form—GPA (if above 3.5), workplace rankings, revenue generated, quotas exceeded, etc. Numbers contribute a high degree of legitimacy because they show rather than tell.
4. OPTIMIZE FOR SCANABILITY
We’ve all heard the clich?? that the average hiring manager looks at a resume for only 20 seconds. In actuality, that number is probably lower. Therefore, it’s important to make your key information—e.g., “exceeded sales quota by 257 percent”—easy to find. Once you’ve got your content on the page, spend some time honing your layout and formatting.
5. MAKE SURE IT IS CONTENT-RICH
Although you want your key bullet points to jump off the page and grab a scanning employers attention, you also want to give them some meat, should they like what they see during the first scan and decide to go back for more. Don’t shortchange yourself by omitting detail. Detail adds clarity and credibility to your insurance sales resume.
6. AVOID MICROSOFT WORD RESUME TEMPLATES AND PICK A STANDARD TYPEFACE
Word templates are so overused that they render resumes virtually nonexistent. A quiet yet personal design, even if it’s less ‘professional’ than a template, will be more memorable. On the flip side, do not use boutique fonts to make your insurance sales resume stand out. Pick among these standard typefaces: Times, Times New Roman and Georgia for serif fonts, and Arial, Verdana, Tahoma and Gil Sans for san-serif options.
7. LIST RELEVANT ACHIEVEMENTS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Do you teach a free course financial literacy at your local high school? Did you lead your bowling team to a league championship? That’s definitely the sort of thing to highlight on your insurance sales resume. List activities that show inventiveness, initiative, technical savvy, leadership, work ethic, and community engagement—in other words, list things that are relevant and transferable to a career in insurance.
8. CREATE MORE THAN ONE INSURANCE SALES RESUME
Gone are the days when your resume was a static thing. A savvy agent will tailor her resume to the specific position and employer, taking into consideration the company’s job description and corporate culture. (Note that this requires a certain degree of knowledge of the employer.)
9. PRINT YOUR INSURANCE SALES RESUME ON NICE STATIONERY
This may seem like a small thing, but it isn’t. Consider the tactile message a limp piece of copy paper sends and compare that to a thick piece of stationery.