Great Insurance Jobs’ Cofounder Roger Lear is here to help you overcome obstacles to your career and job search. This month, he discusses how to stand out in a crowded field when remote positions draw candidates from across the U.S.
Q: I noticed a lot of insurance jobs have gone entirely remote. What advice would you have that would help me stand out against a talent pool from all over the United States?
A: In today’s digital age, and with a kickstart from the COVID-19 days, the insurance industry job market has cut back on office space and remote work has become much more prevalent. You are no longer competing with local talent; you’re now in a race with a national talent pool. During COVID-19, 85% of the insurance industry enjoyed working from home, and many have decided they will never return to the office.
The challenge occurs when an employer opens a remote position and 100 people apply. You can stand out in this remote-job jungle with the right strategies.
Optimize your resumé to get noticed. The top of your resumé should be your name, city, phone number, and email address. This is immediately followed by the job title you are applying for. If it is a commercial general liability adjuster, that is the title of your resumé. This is followed by a list (core competencies) needed in the job you are applying for. Ensure you add excellent communication and customer response skills in a virtual environment. Only add in skills you have that are needed! Follow this with your work history and expand just the skills required for the job you are applying for. This is good for office jobs as well.
Showcase your tech-savvy side. Remote work relies heavily on technology, so demonstrate your tech prowess. Mention any relevant software or tools you’re proficient in, such as claims management programs, video conferencing platforms, or even your knack for troubleshooting tech issues. Make sure employers know you know your way around technology. This can also be added to the core competencies at the top of the resumé.
Showcase your soft skills. In remote work, soft skills like empathy, enthusiasm, adaptability, and strong communication are just as crucial as technical expertise. Emphasize these skills in interviews by using real work-life experiences. Share stories demonstrating your ability to work well with diverse teams and gracefully handle challenges. Employers want remote employees who can thrive in their tasks and a remote team environment.
Write a fantastic cover letter. If your resumé is optimized, your cover letter will be read. Eighty percent of job-seeker cover letters are generic, and if you want to get a remote position, you better stand out. To do this, your cover letter must let the employer know how you can contribute to their company. For example, showcase your claims closing skills and the amount of money you saved the company. Research the company, discover their mission, and tell them you want to be involved. Finally, let them know you can add tremendous value to the organization in a remote environment and give an example of how you would do this. It is imperative to make your cover letter stand out in, at most, three paragraphs. Whatever you do, do not restate your work history in the cover letter; this is what your resumé does well.
Interview with enthusiasm. You must stand out in the interview. Do company research and give concrete examples of skills needed for the position you are applying to. Dress well, have great lighting and background, and, most importantly, smile during the entire interview.