Table of Contents Hide
- What is a cybersecurity resume?
- How to write a cybersecurity resume
- What hiring managers look for in a cybersecurity resume
- Tips for creating a great cybersecurity resume
- How important is a cybersecurity resume?
- Recommended Articles
If you’re applying for a cybersecurity job, your resume is often the first document hiring managers review when deciding whether you’re a good fit.
Online security is beginning to become more of a concern for corporations and individuals alike. The cybersecurity industry has risen in lockstep with the growth of that sentiment: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for Information Security Analysts alone grow at 33%, which is a lot higher than the average. There are more cybersecurity jobs available than ever before, but if you want to land a cybersecurity job, you will compete with thousands of others.
This is why important to create a resume that accurately reflects the technical skills and experience needed to succeed in the information security industry.
What is a cybersecurity resume?
A cybersecurity resume is a document employees in this industry use to demonstrate their skills, experience, and training to potential employers. It shows hiring managers and recruiters that the candidate knows how to protect secure information, install and update security software, recover data, train on security threats and work with other information technology (IT) employees.
You often submit your resume with a cover letter for each position. Jobs that might require a cybersecurity resume include:
- Cybersecurity analyst
- Security analyst
- Information security analyst
- IT security specialist
- Security systems engineer
The goal of a cybersecurity resume is to prove to employers that a candidate has the security experience, programming knowledge, attention to detail, critical thinking, and decision-making skills to be successful in a certain position.
How to write a cybersecurity resume
Here are some steps you can follow to write a cybersecurity resume:
Create a header
The first step is to write a clear header at the top of the page, using an easy-to-read font and white space, that includes your full name and contact information. You might include your full home address or just your city and state. List both your phone number and email below your location.
You might also want to include a link to your professional website or networking profile where employers can learn more about your experience and proficiencies.
Write a professional summary
Craft a compelling professional summary that gets the hiring manager’s immediate attention and explains why you’re the best fit for the job. Professional summaries are two to three-sentence statements that mention your skills and experience.
A professional summary is ideal for employees with lots of experience and states which skills and achievements qualify you for the job.
Include your education
In your education section, add any degrees you have, along with the institution you attended and the date of completion. Mention relevant cybersecurity or IT coursework, which might include operating systems security, cyber defense or security design principles.
These details are particularly useful if you’re applying for an entry-level job and have more classroom hours than work experience.
Describe your experience
List your past work experience, including your most relevant job responsibilities and achievements in your cybersecurity resume. Present this information in three to five bullet points beneath the job title, company name, and dates worked.
Use active voice to ensure your information is confident and easy to read. Spell out acronyms on the first reference, because the first person to read your resume might not be a technology expert. Also, the applicant tracking systems (ATS) many employers use to filter job applications might not search for acronyms.
If you performed similar duties in multiple jobs, find different skills or functions to emphasize in each, rather than repeating responsibilities.
List cybersecurity skills
Employers typically want to know you have the hard and soft skills to succeed in a cybersecurity role. Create a list of technical skills, including the computer languages, platforms, and tools you have experience using. These might include:
- Python scripting
- Data Analytics
- Risk mitigation
Also, emphasize the soft skills cybersecurity employees benefit from, which might include:
- Attention to detail
- Time management
Soft skills can help set entry-level cybersecurity employees who have fewer hard skills apart from other candidates. If you’re an experienced cybersecurity employee with many skills and qualifications, choose only the most relevant for the job you’re applying to in order to avoid long lists and blocks of text.
Add credentials and clearances
To give yourself an advantage over other candidates, seek out and list extra credentials, certifications and safety clearances in their sections on your resume. Higher-level and government cybersecurity positions, for example, usually require clearances such as a Personnel Security Clearance or a Facility Security Clearance.
As the cybersecurity field is changing constantly, employers also may want you to have the desire to learn and have continued your education. List all the relevant certifications you have received, which some companies may value over a college degree.
Proofread your resume
After completing your resume, read it carefully to ensure it has correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Apply the same attention to detail you use in your cybersecurity work to your resume. Ask a friend or former colleague to review it as well.
What hiring managers look for in a cybersecurity resume
When evaluating your cyber security experience, a hiring manager will look for:
Information security expertise
Showcase your knowledge and experience in information security and as a cybersecurity professional, including understanding security vulnerabilities and cyber security risks, implementing security measures, and safeguarding sensitive data. Familiarity with industry-standard security frameworks and compliance regulations is highly valued, even in entry-level cybersecurity positions.
If you’ve completed cyber security audits, or dealt with cyber security breaches, mention that in your cyber security resume summary.
Certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security (CISS), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), or any other relevant certifications validate your expertise in specific areas of cyber security and can enhance your credibility and prove your value to the cyber security team.
Cybersecurity technical skills
Most cyber security jobs require strong technical experience. Highlight skills such as network forensics, intrusion detection, malware analysis, vulnerability assessment, database security, and penetration testing. Remember, an important cyber security resume objective is to demonstrate your ability to identify and mitigate security threats.
Pay close attention to the cybersecurity job description and try to match your skills to their requirements. Match your resume summary to reflect these technical skills highlighted in the job description.
Showcase your relevant experience in the field of cyber security, highlighting specific cyber security projects, achievements, and outcomes. This can include incident response, malware analysis, security architecture design, policy development, or implementing security controls, cloud security, or anything else you may have done during your time working in the cyber security field.
Understanding of cyber security risks
Cybersecurity engineers and cybersecurity analysts have to stay on top of their game. As a cyber security professional, demonstrate your knowledge of current and emerging security threats, such as cyber-attacks, malware, social engineering, or insider threats. Showcase your ability to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks.
Education and qualifications
Include your educational background in information security and technology, particularly if it includes a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Mention any additional certifications, training, or workshops you have completed to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in the cybersecurity industry.
Experience with security tools and software
Mention any experience you have with cyber security software, intrusion detection systems, firewalls, encryption technologies, or other relevant tools commonly used in the cyber security industry.
Penetration testing skills
Highlight your experience in conducting penetration tests to identify vulnerabilities and assess the overall security posture of systems and networks. Emphasize your ability to think like a hacker to uncover potential weaknesses while working as a cyber security engineer.
Awareness of security policies and compliance
Highlight your understanding of industry-specific cybersecurity standards, regulations, and best practices. This can include knowledge of frameworks like ISO 27001, NIST, GDPR, or HIPAA.
Remember to tailor your resume to each job application, highlighting the skills and qualifications that align with the specific job requirements. Use a cyber security resume example to guide you. Use bullet points to clearly present your skills and experience, making it easy for the hiring manager to identify your strengths.
Even if you don’t get a specific job, your cybersecurity resume could be kept in the company’s applicant tracking systems – you never know when a new job will pop up.
Tips for creating a great cybersecurity resume
Be strategic with formatting
With a stack of resumes on the table (or in their inbox), prospective employers can only spend a couple of minutes, max, scanning your resume. So do them a favor; make it “scannable.”
Bold the headings of each section (traditionally, these sections are “About Me,” “Experience,” “Skills,” “Education,” and “References”).
Also, make the title text slightly bigger. You can italicize subheadings such as company names and dates as well. Also, bold the main points of your cybersecurity resume to not only make the document easier to read but also to allow those words and phrases to stand out.
This immediately communicates to your prospective employer that you have the required job experience and understand the responsibilities.
Highlight your job experience
Your job experience is proof that supports how good you are at your job, so take some time with this one. As mentioned above, start by ordering your previous roles in reverse chronological order.
Each short blurb underneath each job experience is a mini slay-the-dragon moment. Highlight your main job responsibilities, as well as how you used them to slay the dragon (solve the problem) and rescue the town (company or client). Then, highlight the significance of this job experience at the end.
What specific skills and lessons did you learn? How does this experience make you a good candidate for the job? How can you use this experience to help the company get the results it wants?
Skills and education: what you need to know
Go beyond the standard “expert in Microsoft” and “good social skills.” Yes, these are important and useful, but be specific: which programming languages do you know? What malware and antivirus programs are you familiar with? List these skills. Bullet points will do. And consider noting expert, proficient, and beginner status.
The education part is your chance to show off the cybersecurity courses you’ve taken and the degrees you’ve earned. Be sure to include any certifications. A simple set of bullet points will work here.
How important is a cybersecurity resume?
Recruiters hiring in the technology industry are going to take a look at your LinkedIn, and social media profiles, along with your GitHub profile. But to get to a stage where they’re screening those profiles, you have to send them a resume that grabs their attention and positions YOU as a strong fit for a role.
Resumes become all the more important when you’re applying for a role in cybersecurity due to the nature of the job itself. When you work in security roles, companies will often have to share sensitive data with you that they expect to be kept away from anyone who isn’t authorized to access it.
Hence, your cybersecurity resume is an opportunity to establish trust with your future employer, which is an important part of the process for them.
A strong cybersecurity resume offers the following benefits:
Increased chance of getting an interview
Cybersecurity is a highly competitive field, so a strong resume is essential for getting your foot in the door. A well-written resume that highlights your skills and experience will make you more likely to be selected for an interview.
Helps with better salary negotiations
A strong cybersecurity resume can also help you negotiate a better salary. When hiring managers see that you have the skills and experience they are looking for per your cybersecurity resume, they will be more likely to offer you a competitive salary.
Opportunities for more senior positions
A strong cybersecurity resume can also open up the door to more senior positions. As you gain more experience in the field, you can use your resume to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments to potential employers.
Gives increased credibility, professionalism, and confidence
A well-written and professional cybersecurity resume shows potential employers that you are serious about your career and that you have taken the time to prepare for the job search. This can increase your credibility and make you more attractive to employers.
A strong cybersecurity resume can also boost your confidence. When you know that you have a resume that highlights your cybersecurity skills and experience, you will feel more confident in your ability to land the job you want.
Lets you stand out from the competition
Cybersecurity is a competitive field, so it is important to stand out from the crowd. A strong cybersecurity resume is a great way to do this. By highlighting your cybersecurity skills, experience, and accomplishments on your cybersecurity resume, you can show potential employers why you are the best candidate for the job.
Overall, a strong cybersecurity resume is essential for job seekers in this competitive field.
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