What do you do? No really, what do you do?

During a job interview a few years back, an interviewer was reading my resume.’ Reading each occupation, he asked me what tasks did I perform. I answered as completely and truthfully as I could. When he got to the position of Actuarial Clerk, and read my duties, he asked me, ” What do you do.”  On the resume’ I said that I analyzed Statutory Reserves. There are two types of reserves (money set aside and/or invested by life  insurance companies);  GAAP generally accepted accounting principles; and Statutory – State-regulated reserve requirements. Insurance companies must hold a portion of  their assets as either cash or marketable investments. Statutory reserves are  the amount of liquid assets that firms must hold in order to remain solvent and  attain partial protection against a substantial investment loss. Holding  reserves reduces the risk of insurance (compliment of www.investopedia.com/terms).

I used formulas created by the Actuaries (an insurance company mathematician) and programs also created by them, pulled numbers and using their calulations…came up with an answer that kept them informed about the amount of risk the company I worked for had taken on.

The interviewer wanted to know how I analyzed the reserves. After a series of questions…it boiled down to me pulling numbers, calculating a formula, and recording the answer. Now what the answer revealed was a mystery to me. I had no clue what it revealed about the reserves.

From that point on…I listed that I was an Actuary clerical assistant. The job description said I analyzed reserves, but I didn’t..the Actuaries did. I pulled numbers so they could.

In this job market…interviewers don’t spend and/or don’t have  a lot of time trying to pull out what you Really did; the task you Really performed. The days of dressing up a resume’ have passed. Take what you actually do; the task that you actually perform and create your own description. No where in the job description did it say that I would be pulling numbers…it said I would be analyzing numbers. So when an interviewer ask what you do…know what you do and be prepared to tell him or her in plain English.  In other words be prepared to  undress the listed job description.

Happy Job Hunting!!!


About mspam1

I love Interior Design at 62, cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing. It is the right of every dweller to love where they ;live, no matter where and in what that may be in. The goal here is to introduce or reintroduce dwellers to their spaces, make them over and fall in love all over again. You don't have to live on Park Avenue to have a Park Place. There is where my talents begin.
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