The job market is finally starting to turn around, and it’s just in the nick of time for many people out there who have struggled for countless months now. Positions are opening up with more frequency, as companies across every industry relax their hiring freeze and start searching for their next high quality employee. Many sectors of the business world have ebbed and flowed with the international markets, but insurance remains steady and reliable through it all. Anyone with dependents in their household is your potential customer, and if you work in property insurance your client base is even larger. Like all jobs right now, a position in the insurance industry won’t come easily. There’s heated competition for every spot, and chances are folks with even more experience than you are waiting in the wings, tired of dealing with underemployment or unemployment. Here are a few strategies to help you find a job in the insurance industry.
First of all you’ve got to figure out which aspect of insurance you would like to work in. Some people focus on health and life insurance, which is a far different beast than property and casualty insurance. Try to find people who have worked in both areas that you can talk to, to get a sense of their experience and the ins and outs of each job. Short of that, do an internet search to uncover as many details as possible. Each aspect has you dealing with a different customer base, and will send your career in a separate trajectory.
Now that you’re clear on which direction to go, get your resume up to speed for the job hunt. Most hiring managers will expect your resume to be tailored to their needs, so think long and hard about the skills that are most important in the insurance industry. Any experience you’ve had in customer service, sales and accounting will help, and obviously any prior work in the insurance industry should be placed front and center. However you don’t necessarily need this experience to thrive in this environment. If you’re good with people, and have found over the years that you’re a natural manager and a strong communicator you could also land a job. You’ll receive all of the specific training you need once you’ve been hired.
With your resume ready to go, it’s time to get it out there. Start out by posting it on the online job boards where these types of companies look for employees. You’ll want to start with the general sites, such as CareerBuilder, Monster and HotJobs, but don’t stop there. Recruiters are also active within the insurance industry, so look for the right people who can help connect you with jobs that aren’t posted online. While you let them work their magic, check in with the websites on a daily basis.
If you’re confident that this is the career for you, you can give yourself an extra leg up on the competition by obtaining your insurance license. Each state has its own licensing program, but you cannot sell any insurance product without being officially licensed. You’ll need to take an exam, and you also might need to pass a few classes. They will all focus on issues specific to the industry, so you’ll be prepared to discuss term life insurance rates, the definition of catastrophic injuries and anything else that could come up surrounding the type of policies you will have to sell. If you have this certification in hand when you go to a job interview, you’ll show the hiring manager just how serious you are about landing the position.