In the absence of a significant catastrophe like a hurricane or earthquake, finding a job as an insurance adjuster can prove challenging. The field for independent adjusters can be particularly tricky and those looking to break into the industry need every competitive advantage available to them. Knowing how to write an industry-focused insurance adjuster resume can provide new and experienced adjusters alike with a particularly unique advantage.
Crafting a powerful and effective resume for work as a claims adjuster obviously requires first understanding what particular qualities hiring companies look for. Here are 5 keys to a great resume based upon the particular needs of adjusting firms and insurance carriers:
Key #1: People Skills
Insurance claims adjusters should possess excellent people skills and hiring companies will certainly take notice of a resume that paints a picture of superior interpersonal communication. You don’t have to be Dale Carnegie, but you should be able to demonstrate an ability to deal with a wide variety of people in various stages of stress, anxiety, and agitation. Emphasize in your resume the polite, professional, and cordial manner with which you have effectively dealt with people under the aforementioned conditions.
Key #2: Construction/Engineering Experience
If you are applying for a position as a residential property adjuster, you will most certainly want to highlight your experience with residential construction. Do you have a working knowledge of how a house is put together? Do you know the difference between soffit and fascia? If so, how do you know? Have you worked on a construction crew? Operated as a general contractor? Helped your uncle out with building his deck? Adjusting firms in particular do not want to devote significant amounts of time in training their adjusters in basic construction terminology. Allay their fears immediately by highlighting your facility with the property construction pertinent to the position you are applying for.
Key #3: Computer Skills
The days of hand-written estimates are essentially over for the professional insurance adjuster. Estimates are written and submitted electronically and if you know your way around a computer it will be greatly to your advantage as you put together your resume. Many companies will not even consider a new hire unless he or she is comfortable using Xactimate 24/25 or MSB Integriclaim (the most commonly used property estimating programs). If you don’t know these programs consider taking a course in Xactimate or IntegriClaim. If you are unable to take a course, at the very least you should express clearly in your resume an ability to use Windows-based software. If you are completely computer illiterate, you may consider taking a Basic Computing course before you seriously pursue a career in claims.
Key #4: Insurance Policy Knowledge
Knowing how to read and apply an insurance policy is very important for any adjuster and hiring companies know it. If you have worked in the insurance industry before and have a basic knowledge of insurance terms and concepts you shouldn’t fail to portray as much in your resume. Even if it is as simple as having read your own homeowner’s or auto policy (more than most do!), you will want to let your prospective employer’s know about your comfort level with insurance policy jargon and interpretation.
Key #5: Time Management and Personal Accountability
Working as a claims adjuster, especially if you want to be an independent, requires outstanding time management as well as personal initiative and accountability. In putting together your resume, be sure to think about various experiences in your professional history in which multi-tasking and personal accountability were required and met. Within reason and your own honest ability, project the most professional, capable, can-do image possible. This, as much as anything, will leave a positive and lasting impression on your future employer.
A Final Thought on Your Adjuster Resume…
As resumes and curriculum vitaes are submitted more and more in electronic form, there is a temptation to lower your standards for the appearance and grammatical integrity for your resume. After all, we don’t observe Strunk and White’s Elements of Style when emailing and text messaging – why should we really observe those old-fashioned standards when posting an electronic resume? Indeed, many optimistic job seekers are submitting 2nd to 3rd grade quality material to career sites on the Web. Is it any wonder that no one is giving them a second glance?
Keep your standards high!
Take the time to write a well-considered, grammatically sound, and visually pleasing resume. And if you create your resume according to the 5 keys above, you will absolutely gain a competitive advantage as you look to launch or advance your insurance adjuster career.