Know your worth – 2014 salary survey now here

Time to get a feel for the job market with the 2014 Australian insurance industry salary guide thanks to YIPs' Australasian sponsors, Reed Insurance. Reed have also helpfully included an analysis of the current state of the market as well which is well worth checking out.

Click here to view the salary guide and market review: you will need to be registered as a YIPs member and also, logged into the site.

We are currently working on getting a New Zealand insurance industry salary survey too.

YIPs roll out 2014 events

YIPs events across Australian and New Zealand have began for 2014 with Queensland's inaugural Putt Putt event already selling out and strong interest in the YIPs Western Australian 2nd Annual Regatta and Victoria's '90s Throwback' themed networking drinks.  Events in Auckland and Sydney will be unveiled in the upcoming days.

Head to our Events section to register now or sign up as a member so that you don't miss out on member-only early-bird tickets.

YIPs website – so hot right now

We have recently upgraded our website platform to keep and looking fresh and sexy (like us).  Unfortunately this has meant that some older web browsers are now not properly displaying some of the images on our site.  For the IT types out there, this appears to stem from HTML5 incompatibility issues with internet explorer versions 8 and older.

The YIPs website should display properly in the current versions of most web browsers (especially Google Chrome).  As those of you who attended (or are going to attend this year) our Cyber Risks CIP seminar series will know/find out, it is generally recommended by IT security people that users run the current version of web browsers which have all the latest security patches and updates installed.

To check which version of internet explorer you are using, go into the Help Menu/"About Internet Explorer" or speak to your IT department.

Festive Season Greetings from YIPs

As 2013 draws to a close, YIPs wanted to take the opportunity to look back over what has been a very exciting year for us and to thank our members and sponsors for their continuing and unwavering support.

YIPS has continued to grow through the past year, with our membership base having more than doubled than at this time last year to over 2,300 members across Australian and New Zealand. In addition, to this and have clocked up a total of 62,000 page views with our  following of our new Google+ and Instagram social media sites all growing with Facebook, Twitter,  and LinkedIn by the hour.

In 2013 we successfully ran 18 events including several which sold out within hours, including our first CIP accredited event. Oh, and don’t forget we have finally crossed the Tasman to launch our newest branch in Auckland so let any kiwis you know, to sign up.

Running an organisation such as YIPS would not be possible without the dedication of our team of volunteer committees across branches. Further, the high level of support we receive from the industry – most importantly from our Australasian sponsors OAMPSRGL ForensicsReed InsuranceMoray and Agnew, and Rock IT . Without their support, and the support of our local event sponsors, the hard work of our team of volunteers would be for nothing.

After everything though, it all comes down to you – our members. Your continuing support and engagement is why we keep doing what we are doing – creating opportunities and tools to assist you develop and progress your careers in Insurance and developing solid professional relationships within this wide and wonderful industry of ours…keep a look out for more new additions to our website and exciting events in 2014.

Have a safe festive season with your loved ones, and recharge for the even bigger YIPs year which 2014 is shaping up to be.

Best wishes

Sampath Soysa
Australasian President
on behalf of the YIPs Management Committee

YIPs Australasian Management Committee

YIPs Doubles Member Numbers in under a Year

In under a year, Young Insurance Professionals Australia and New Zealand (YIPs) have doubled their membership reaching the incredible 2,100 members milestone in November 2013.

Sampath Soysa, Australasian President said “2013 has been a successful year all around for YIPs with an expansion into New Zealand with an official launch in July 2013, our first ANZIIF CIP and NIBA CPD accredited in Melbourne on Cyber Liability  and also our Victorian President Karen McKenzie winning an industry award from Women In Insurance recognising, among other things, her outstanding work with YIPs”.

Mr Soysa acknowledged the ongoing support of YIPs sponsors OAMPS, Reed, RGL Forensics, RockIT and Moray & Agnew Lawyers who have helped YIPs thrive, noting "our Australasian sponsors are the organisations which have been the most proactive in recognising the need to attract young insurance professionals into the industry and also, to ensure they are supported in their career choices within the industry after that."

YIPs are finishing the year across both Australia and New Zealand with their hugely popular End of Year Events to be held throughout October and November having already held Halloween events in Auckland and Melbourne (sold out) on 31 October and with upcoming events in Sydney (Thursday 14 November), Brisbane (Friday 15 November) and Perth (28 November).  Click here for more information about those events, or here for photos from YIPs' previous events.

Young Insurance Professionals Australia and New Zealand (YIPs) started in Melbourne in late 2010 and was launched in NSW, QLD and WA in July 2012 after a gap for was identified in the market. As well as holding networking and education events for young professionals in the industry, the group has also developed a website targeted at people who are new to the industry or considering joining it.

Karen McKenzie wins inaugural Women in Insurance Excellence Award

Karen McKenzie, Claims Manager and Australasian Vice-President of Young Insurance Professionals (‘YIPs’) Australia & New Zealand Inc was awarded the inaugural Women In Insurance Excellence Award by the Victorian branch of Women In Insurance at its annual AGM and Trivia Night on 22 August 2013.

Karen, who is a Liability Claims officer at Catholic Church Insurance in Melbourne, was recognised by her peers as, ”…being the best at what she does and inspiring the next generation of women in insurance and the insurance community at large.”

Karen has been actively involved in the Insurance community in Victoria, both professionally as an outstanding claims professional at various organisations, and as a leader of organisations such as the ANZIIF Victorian Generation-I Committee and most recently in her current Position as Victorian President and Australasian Vice President of YIPs.

Australasian YIPs President, Sampath Soysa, who also attended the sold out event, stated

The YIPs organisation is extremely proud of Karen and are delighted that Women in Insurance have recognised her many accomplishments and outstanding leadership with this award. Karen truly embodies the spirit of the award given the singificant personal investment she puts into developing and mentoring her claims staff, and from being one of the founders of and most highly-regarded leaders within the YIPs organisation’.

Please contact the YIPs Australasian Media & Communications Officer for any media queries.

Join YIPs

Welcome FY14 YIPs Australasian Sponsors

YIPs are delighted to start FY14 by welcoming back founding sponsors OAMPS, Reed Insurance and Moray & Agnew Lawyers all of which have confirmed their continued sponsorship and support of YIPs into the new financial year FY14. They are joined by international forensic accounting firm RGL Forensics and most recently, insurance Cloud-computing solutions provider, RockIT.

YIPs Australasian President, Sampath Soysa, noted that the Australasian sponsorship of YIPs by these sponsors, ‘... reflects these organisations’ outstanding foresight, commitment and willingness to invest in the next generation of insurance professionals, especially their career development and retention within the insurance industry.’

Sampath also noted that, ‘...As YIPs expands into CIP/CPD events this financial year and other exciting projects in the pipeline, we truly values the support of their sponsors in making these goals achievable and encourages YIPs members to support those organisations, who continue to support us.’

Any inquiries about YIPs sponsorship can be made via the website form or by email to

You’re just a Google search away! How social media is helping bosses in the screening process

Social media is playing an ever-increasing part in securing that dream role.

As a recruiter, I've seen candidates potentially scupper their chances of landing an interview due to inconsistent or unprofessional behaviour on social media.

If you think hiring managers dont "Google" you or check your Facebook before inviting you for an interview, think again!

With more and more recruiters and hiring managers checking your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles, its crucial that you present yourself professionally and consistently online.

Here are out Top 10 Social Media Tips for job seekers to ensure you have everything you need to know to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons:

Top 10 Social Media Tips

Infographic by


YIPs hits 1,800 members!

YIPs has now passed another major milestone by reaching 1,800 members across Australia and New Zealand. This follows the recent New Financial Year events held in Victoria, New South Wales and the launch of our New Zealand branch, where a large contingent of new members have come from.

The timing of this means there will be plenty for our QLD members to celebrate at their FY14 event tonight (waitlist still open) and in WA tomorrow night (Friday 12 July). A limited number of tickets are still available for WA.

Head over to the Events page now so you can join these celebrations too.

QLD and WA welcome FY14 this week!

Calling out to all of our QLD and WA followers, we are looking forward to welcoming the new financial year this Thursday 11 July (Brisbane) and Friday 12 July (Perth)!

These events follow on the heels of sold out events in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand last week, and are shaping up to be every bit as epic.

If you haven't got your ticket already, then register now by clicking here.

Welcome FY14 and our New Zealand Branch

YIPs member-only ticket registrations have been outstanding for the July events to be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and our newest branch, Auckland.

Melbourne and Sydney have already sold out - who will be next? The Trans-Tasman race is on!

If you missed out on a ticket, we have wait-lists for all events so make sure you register for the event in your region using the promotional code sent out to members (also listed in the Members log in area).

Don't miss out on these winter warmer events to take your mind off the cold outside.

Want to be a part of YIPs?

YIPs are now recruiting for enthusiastic and motivated people to join the YIPs committees in all regions, including our brand new committee in New Zealand.

If you would like to join YIPs and be a part of the dynamic and driven team, please click on The Team/Join the committee on our website and complete & submit the application form.

Applications for the 2013/14 positions close 31st May 2013 (positions commencing July 2013) so get your application to us ASAP!

Kia Ora New Zealand YIPs… July 2013!

YIPs are launching our New Zealand branch in July 2013 in our usual spectacular fashion, so spread the aroha (= love) and share the link with all your Kiwi insurance contacts on both sides of the Tasman.

Encourage them to sign up as YIPs members now so that they too can now experience the business networking, career development resources and in-road into the Australasian insurance community, which YIPs has to offer.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou (We will see you again)

YIPS Vic and Qld branch president changes

The YIPs Australasian committee wish to congratulate and welcome Karen McKenzie to the presidency of the Victorian YIPs branch, and Emma Topen to the role of president of the Queensland branch. We also wish to thank Vijay Edwards for his formation and leadership of the Queensland branch from its beginnings.

Emma and Karen's appointments mark the start of an exciting new phase for YIPs in the upcoming weeks including the launch of several new website sections on and major series of events across Australia and New Zealand in the first week of July 2013.

WA YIPs Sundowner – Save the Date

The YIPS Western Australian Committee together with its generous sponsor Oamps and event partner Willis, are pleased to announce our Autumn Sundowner Networking Drinks. Save the date (18 April 2013) so you can enjoy a warm autumn night with your insurance colleagues!

Full details and ticket information to follow.

YIPs members will get the first opportunity to register for this event which will book out, so make sure you encourage your YIPs contacts to sign up now so that they don't miss out!

RGL Forensics Announced as new YIPs 2013 sponsor

YIPs are delighted to announce that RGL Forensics will be a new national sponsor of YIPS in 2013. The growth of YIPs ANZ has been rapid within the last two years which is evident with membership numbers increasing from 150 to over 1,000 in this short period.

This new relationship with RGL exemplifies not only the increased support of the association but the dynamic range of professionals represented in the Insurance Industry. Furthermore, it highlights the insightful and progressive organisations which support and invest in the developing of the next generation of Insurance Professionals.

RGL are a specialist international forensic accounting and consulting firm which provides services to insurance industry clients, especially in large loss and business interruption claims.

RGL partner Ryan Carruth commented "We recognise the importance of nurturing and refining fledgling talent for the future. Sponsoring YIPs is a great opportunity for us to show our continued support of the development of young professionals in the insurance market in which we work.”

We look forward to working with RGL and our other national sponsors, OAMPS Insurance Brokers, Moray & Agnew Lawyers and Reed Insurance during the upcoming year including, for the first time, providing specialised CPD/CIP events.

We encourage you to visit RGL’s website to find out more about them, the services they provide, and the career opportunities available.


It's probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underutilised by job-seekers; dress for success!

When it comes to job-hunting, first impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product - yourself - to a potential employer. The first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking. Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression.

 How should you dress? Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigating of your prospective employer so that what you wear to the interview makes you look as though you fit in with the organisation. If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or under dress (the more likely scenario), the potential employer may feel that you don't care enough about the job.

 Hints for Dress for Success for Men and Women

Attention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women. Make sure you have;

  • Clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • Well-groomed hairstyle
  • Cleaned and trimmed fingernails. If wearing nail varnish, ensure it is neat and not chipped.
  • Minimal cologne or perfume
  • No visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercings for women
  • Well-brushed teeth and fresh breath
  • No gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • Minimal jewellery
  • No body odour
  • Cover tattoos.
  • Men should wear a plain suit, one colour shirt (not black or navy) and a simple tie.
  • Finally, check  you attire in the bathroom just before your interview for a final check of your appearance, to make sure your tie is straight, top button of your shirt is done up, your hair is combed, etc.

Looking back on 2012 and forward to 2013…

After a very exciting and successful first formal year of operation, the respective YIPS committees around Australia and New Zealand would like to thank and extend to all YIPs, the warmest of well wishes and festive cheer.

We thank everyone who has supported YIPs throughout the year, especially our various wonderful sponsors and those of you who been involved with and attended our events - we do this for you and it's been very rewarding working with you all to achieve the success we have in such a short time.

We look forward to entering 2013 with even more vigour and, of course, good times.  In the new year you can look forward not only to more of our fantastic networking events, but we also have a couple of surprises in store... (did someone say CIP events??)

In the meantime, have a very merry and safe festive season, and a great 2013.


We've all heard stories of candidates who looked great on paper but who were absolute disasters in person. With fewer and fewer interview opportunities available in this competitive market, it's essential to make the best possible first impression. You can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the top 10 worst interview bloopers.

1.       Poor Handshake

The three-second handshake that starts the interview is you first opportunity to create a great impression,. But all too often an interview is blown right from the start by an ineffective handshake. Once you've delivered a poor handshake, it's nearly impossible to recover your efforts to build rapport.

 Here are some examples:

The Limp Hand (or "dead fish"): Gives the impression of disinterest or weakness

The Tips of the Fingers: Shows lack of ability to engage.

The Arm Pump: Sincerity is questionable, much like an overly aggressive salesman. Even if you're a seasoned professional, don't assume you have avoided these pitfalls. Your handshake may be telling more about you than you know. Ask for honest critiques from several friends who aren't afraid to tell you the truth.

2.       Talking too much

Most interviewers loathe over-talkative candidates. Over-talking takes a couple of forms:

  • Taking too long to answer direct questions.

The impression: this candidate just can't get to the point.

  • Nervous talkers.

The impression: this candidate is covering up something or is outright lying.

 To avoid either of these forms of over-talking, practice answering questions in a direct manner. Avoid nervous talking by preparing for your interview with role-play

3.       Talking negatively about current or past employers/managers

The fastest way to talk yourself out of a new job is to say negative things. Even if your last boss was Attila the Hun, never, never state your ill feelings about him/her. No matter how reasonable your complaints, you will come out the loser if you show that you disrespect you boss because the interviewer will assume that you would similarly trash him or her. When faced with the challenge or talking about former employers, make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences.

4.       Showing up late or too early

One of the first lessons in job-search etiquette is to show up on time for interviews. Many job-seekers don't realise, however, that showing up too early often creates a poor first impression as well. Arriving more than 10 minutes early for an interview is a dead giveaway that the job seeker has too much time on his or her hands, much like the last one picked for the football team. Don't diminish your candidate desirability by appearing desperate. Act as of your time were as valuable as the interviewer's. Always arrive on time, but no more than 10 minutes early.

5.       Treating the receptionist rudely

Since the first person you meet on an interview is usually a receptionist, this encounter represents the first impression you'll make. Often that receptionist's job is to usher you into your interview. The receptionist has the power to pave your way positively or negatively before you even set eyes on the interviewer. The interviewer may also solicit the receptionist's opinion of you after you leave.

6.       Asking about benefits, vacation time or salary

What if a car salesman asked to see your credit report before allowing you to test drive the cars? That would be ridiculous, and you'd walk away with disgust. The effect is about the same when a job-seeker asks about benefits or other employee perks during the first interview. Wait until you've won the employer over before beginning that discussion.

7.       Not preparing for the interview

Nothing communicates disinterest like a candidate who hasn't bothered to do pre-interview research. On the flip side, the quickest way to a good impression is to demonstrate your interest with a few well thought out questions that reflect your knowledge of their organisation.

8.       Always accept the offer of a drink

An ill-at-ease candidate seldom makes a good impression. The first signs of nervousness are verbal ticks. We all have them from time to time -- "umm", "like", "you know". Ignore the butterflies in your stomach and put up a front of calm confidence by avoiding verbal ticks. You can also sometimes avoid verbal ticks by buying yourself some time to answer questions by sipping on a glass of water before each answer.

Not enough/too much eye contact

Either situation can create a negative effect. Avoid eye contact, and you'll wear the interviewer out. If you sometimes have trouble with eye-contact balance, work this issue out ahead of time in an interview practice session with a friend.

10.   Failure to match communication styles

It's almost impossible to make a good first impression if you can't communicate effectively with an interviewer. But you can easily change that situation by mirroring the way the interviewed treats you. For instance: If the interviewer seems all business, don't attempt to loosen him/her up with a joke or story. Be succinct and businesslike.

If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his/her interest. Often the items on display in the office can offer a clue.

If asked a direct question, answer directly. Then follow up by asking if more information is needed.

Allowing the interviewer to set the tone of the conversation can vastly improve your chances of making a favourable impression. You can put the interviewer at ease and make yourself seem more like him or her by mirroring his or her communication style.

Final Thoughts

Just as a strong resume wins you an opportunity to interview, strong interview skills will win you consideration for the job. You already know that you won't earn an interview unless your resume sets you apart as a candidate of choice. Similarly, you should know that polishing your interview skills can mean the difference between getting the job offer- and being a runner-up.

Start your job search with a resume that creates a stellar first impression, then back those facts up with your extraordinary interview skills. You will have made yourself a better candidate by avoiding these ten interview pitfalls. And no one will have to talk about you as the candidate who "almost" got the job.

Perth YIPs 6 December – regatta postponed **FLASH MOB** event instead

Due to an inclement weather forecast, the much anticipated inaugural Young Insurance Professionals Regatta has been postponed until Thursday, January 24th, 2013. All other details remain the same.

What does this mean for our Perth YIPS? Well, to ensure you don't forget us until then in the frantic Festive Season, the Young Insurance Professionals Committee of Western Australia cordially invites you to YIPS WA **FLASH MOB**, 6th December, 2012 - click here to register. No ticket, no entry.