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CSA Cavalier

2 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2003 :  19:25:49  Show Profile
I generally lurk in the shadows on this site. I am posting without my name or company name as I am a principal with a nationwide cat company and prefer the security of anonymity for this particular posting. Not one of the biggest vendors but, in my opinion, one of the best. I am writing to hopefully shed some light on this subject of resumes and how to break into the "bidness".

We receive a lot (A LOT) of unsolicited resumes. I am the one who sifts through them and files them accordingly. To streamline the process I have three doors for these resumes.

Door Number One: Former contractors, former auto sales/body repair people, former real estate appraisers, former insurance agents, and former anything that is not related to insurance adjusting. This door is for the folks who have no experience in adjusting a claim and who prefer to explain to me how their unrelated skills can quickly be converted to the claims field. This door is for them folks that couldn't make it in their chosen field. Sorry, but that's reality.

Door Number Two: High school and college graduates with a limited understanding of the King's English or basic grammar structure. "I looking for a position with you company." Also, the ones who hide their lack of communication skills with $67 words that I have to go look up in the dictionary. I'm not wasting my time doing that. Believe me, I know why you're sending me a resume. If you prefer to waste your time with unsolicited resumes, at least keep it simple, to the point, and with Standard English construction.

Door Number Three: These are the folks who enjoy listing all the other vendors they've worked with since 1957. Of course, they fail to realize that all these vendors are also my competitors. Let's say that ABC Adjusting is my biggest competition in the Texas market and I know in my heart that the adjusters they use put out an inferior product. How do I know this? Because I know we put out a superior product. When I get a resume from an adjuster who has plenty of experience in the claim industry but 80% of that experience is with ABC Adjusting then, in my mind, this is an ABC adjuster and will always be an ABC adjuster. I'm also suspicious. Why is he coming to me now? Did he have a falling out with ABC? Did they run him off or did this adjuster become dissatisfied with them? These are questions you do not want raised in my mind if you are serious about getting on our list.

Here are the lessons you need to learn from my experiences.

First, if you are serious about getting out on a storm then get out to the storm. If you have claims experience, then find where the vendor has his storm office and go talk to someone face to face. Bring a copy of some estimates you have written in the past (oh, and that resume, if you insist). When all of our regular adjusters are working and I'm casting about for extra help, if you are standing there, ready to go to work, then chances are good that are I'll give you a shot rather than looking up someone in the resume file. Don't count on unsolicited resumes, unless you just enjoy typing up your accomplishments. They are not productive in this industry and, in my personal opinion, are a waste of time. In other industries (sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc.) they are the way to go, but not for this business that we have chosen. I cannot remember the last time I called someone to work a storm just from a resume. It doesn't happen.

Second, if you have no claims experience then the best way to get out on a storm is to get out to the storm. Find an adjuster who will be working and make some type of arrangement for assistance services. Computer entry, drawing diagrams, making phone calls, anything that will get you out to the actual storm. We have found several good adjusters who have started out by working as an assistant to one of our regular adjusters. Those former assistants made themselves known and are now working claims as adjusters.

Third, if you list the vendors you have worked for by name then you run the real risk of listing one of my enemies and you will never know which one not to list. Tell me the storms you have worked (Northridge Earthquake 1994; Hurricane Lili 2002; Oklahoma Tornado 2003; etc.) and the insurance carrier to whom you provided your services. I know who the major vendors are for the carriers. Also, show me a sample of your work. A sanitized copy of an estimate with a sample of a short caption report is a good way to demonstrate your adjuster skills and communication talents.

The new adjuster who is looking to break into this business should be out and about breaking into the business. Flooding the market with resumes then sitting at home and complaining about how no one has called you to go to work is indicative of an adjuster who is not very hungry. A hungry independent adjuster will go out and kill something. A hungry independent adjuster will make himself known.

As my grandmother used to tell us, "Tell the truth and shame the Devil". The truth is that this industry really is a good ole boy network and you have a choice. Either sit at home and complain about it or go out and become one of the good ole boys. It can be done. I've seen it happen too many times.


1200 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2003 :  22:24:10  Show Profile
Reality - it does cut quickly to the bone, doesn't it?

Don't be offended or discouraged by what the Cavalier says. Notwithstanding the fact that I got my first cat adjusting call as a result of a resume I mailed; the Cavalier does tell a real tale of those that receive a lot of resumes.

I can relate to it quite well, thinking back to my carrier days, when we seemed to always be looking to hire one type of an adjuster or another; but the 70's and 80's were certainly a growth period for adjusters.

Unsolicited or solicited through placement agencies or newspaper ads, regardless of the experience sought, Cavalier's 'Door Number One' (my shredder) would comprise at least 50% of the received resumes. It would not be uncommon to receive at least 200 resumes for every claims job advertised, along with at least 20 per week unsolicited the rest of the time.

With the same context, Cavalier's 'Door Number Two' (my pail) would comprise at least 40% of the received resumes. I find Cavalier's comments in this section humorous, but so true.

With the same context, Cavalier's 'Door Number Three' (I gave these to HR to weed through) would comprise at least 5% of the received resumes. Again, his comments about competing vendors and his knowledge of them is very realistic; and I relate it to how other carrier claims offices were run and the class of business those others carriers wrote creating a certain mix of claims that the adjusters were exposed to.

However, the lessons to be learned that Cavalier has also clearly laid out are worth adding to a new adjuster's personal marketing strategy.

I never refused to meet anyone in our reception area who came knocking on our door wanting to deliver a resume and introduce themself. Maybe I'm 'old school', but the 'cut' of the person, their deportment, handshake and their ability to speak normal were important to me; and regardless of the positive or negative result of that brief meeting, it stuck with me and I noted their resume accordingly.

The person who had the 'gumption' to show up, look sharp, talk normal, etc; got our call for a detailed interview at the appropriate time.

So as the Cavalier says, get out there, hit the pavement, and sell yourself!
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1014 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2003 :  23:08:17  Show Profile
I agree generally with what Cavalier and Clayton both have said. There is much insight and wisdom to be gleaned from the language of their experiences.

I do however have to chuckle at the rather diabolical point which Cavalier makes under Door Number 2 wherein he first criticizes those subordinate who slaughter the Good King's English (a pet peeve of mine also Cavalier) yet then conversely criticizes those with the larger command of the English language than his own.

*(Post edited so as not to offend those readers who simply cannot recognize the use of "tongue in cheek" literary devices or satirical style.)*

Edited by - JimF on 06/20/2003 07:17:13
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1200 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2003 :  07:05:40  Show Profile
Mr. Flynt, in the day to day life of the real world with Mr. & Mrs. Joe Public, there is little interest in listening to someone trying to impress and brow beat others through their use of "$67" words or phrases. In fact, I suggest it creates barriers to effective two-way communication.

Your presumption that Cavalier and his carrier clients never handle claims for english profs or those who have completed university, is both silly and callous. But, I do agree that with such an exhibit of attitude that you have painted with your post; it would preclude you from any chance of employment with Cavalier.

I suggest that you can not beat the general population into submission or agreement on any point you are trying to make, with the use of your "$67" words or phrases. In the example of your post, I suggest you have generated approximately 938 useless counterproductive dollars.
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258 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2003 :  11:24:05  Show Profile
My husband is a career counselor and finds that many people do not have great skills at writing a resume. From Cavalier's points, I would say, that unless you are seeking a job with a carrier, he is probably right.

As to the other issue being discussed... the use of language. My family lovingly calls me a "walking thesaurus". I am always looking for exactly the right word to use, even if it is obscure. However, I often catch myself when talking with some homeowners having to back pedal after that big word comes to explain what I mean in simpler language. I have a college degree and have always been an avid reader so the big words come easily to me. My greatest success with homeowners comes from using language on their level, and if an "insurance word" is needed then making an appropriate explanation of that word. (Can't imagine why there would be needs for those $67 words in a resume anyway???)

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310 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2003 :  13:59:05  Show Profile
Well said Jennifer. I am certainly not a master of the English language. I learned to water ski that semester. But I believe, as you do, my success as a claim rep came from my ability to communicate with all the different people I met.

A good book on coming up with a good resume is called "Knock'm Dead Resumes". Any big bookstore will have it.

Good luck

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11 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2003 :  15:28:47  Show Profile


paul brosch
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7 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2003 :  20:40:49  Show Profile

CSA Cavalier,

Now, here comes the "unsolicited" responses to read. Your grandmother IS a very wise lady!

As a new standby Kansas rookie, I do have the 'gumption' to show up, look sharp, talk normal, get out there & hit the pavement (even done that a few times with no success) to become one of the good ole boys. Timing is critical for pavement jobs. Even have the will and work ethics to do a darn good job for the team. I'd fit in pretty good too!

Oooh, how I wished these companies would stop asking for these 'unsolicited' resumes too! I agree that a resume is not productive and most of it is yesterdays news anyway.

Looked at myself through your three door test. Well, I will keep it short but truthful.
Door One: Former Contractor: Yep / Reality: Yep / Experience: Strong will to be successful at anything I do.
Door Two: English class was not my strong subject. When CRS sets in my dictionary is nowhere in site.
Door Three: Not Me! Don't know who, what, or how to penetrate Fort Knox. Now, I have certainly put my name on the map.

After all this being said, I don't mean to shame the devil....just point me in your direction. Probably going to need help now. I don't mind standing there waiting for a chance on one of those positions.

All joking aside, sure glad you broke the silence. I did find you topic interesting and helpful. This site is a good forum for excellent information.

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Brooks Todd

43 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2003 :  07:56:56  Show Profile
Seems like this is a very elitist field. I built cellular sites, who are also elitist (tower hands). All replies and forums seem to be very negative.
Just like in the cellular industry, the veterans hated to see new blood in their field.
Have a good one.
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2 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2004 :  13:22:01  Show Profile
Originally posted by Brooks Todd

Seems like this is a very elitist field. I built cellular sites, who are also elitist (tower hands). All replies and forums seem to be very negative.
Just like in the cellular industry, the veterans hated to see new blood in their field.
Have a good one.

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