When writing the resume for a job in the cybersecurity industry, you need to make sure that you’re checking all the boxes that your recruiter has in mind.
The job hunting market is an extremely competitive place, let alone when it comes to the cybersecurity job industry, so you’ll need all the information to secure that all-important job interview.
I have been a freelance writer in the recruitment industry for several years, advising students, graduates and experienced employees throughout my career, before finally specialising in the cybersecurity industry as a journalist, blogger and adviser. Today, I'm going to take you through the essential do’s and don’ts you need to know when writing a cybersecurity resume.
Do Use Objective Statements
Some industries won’t need you to write an objective statement, but the cybersecurity industry is one that will. Within this paragraph, you need to make sure you’re conveying the message that you’re suitable for the job role that you’re applying for as well as briefly introducing yourself.
Don’t Wander Off Topic
If you’re not strict with the content of your resume, you’ll soon find that your resume is going on and on and on and it could end up being several pages long. A recruiter might have to look through hundreds of resumes that day for this specific role and they simply won’t bother reading all of yours if it's that long, meaning they could miss out on valuable information that wins you the interview.
For example, when you’re talking about the skills and technical experience you have collected over the years, it’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of writing about every single detail you've achieved within each role. Instead it’s important that you remain on topic and only provide the company with information that is relevant to the role that you’re applying for.
Do Orientate Your Resume to the Role
As with any resume, you need to make sure you’re writing a new version for each position that you’re applying for. You need to gear the resume towards the cybersecurity position that you’re applying for, even when it comes to aspects of the company culture and the language they use.
By tailoring your resume, you’ll be dramatically enhancing your chances of securing the job. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a "Cybersecurity Specialist" in a certain company, read the job description to see what they are looking for.
In this example, they may be looking for someone who can analyze their existing systems and networks and provide recommendations on how to improve the overall API security group. They may also need someone who has the ability to write up written reports on major and minor security incidents that have been addressed and corrected by the cybersecurity team.
If these are the job requirements mentioned in the job description, these are the roles that you’ll need to prove that you can achieve in your resume. Don’t forget to back up these points with experience that you’ve got.
Don’t Present Yourself as Overqualified
While it may be tempting to try and sell yourself in the best way possible, writing down your skills and talents in a way that may make you seem overqualified for the position you’re applying for can actually reduce your chances of you securing an interview.
Companies won’t want to hire someone who’s overqualified for a role because they think they’ll leave when something better comes up. Similar to the consideration above, tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for.
Do Use Online Tools for Editing
You don’t want to write a stellar resume only to be let down by a few silly mistakes or typos that you left in the content. Here are some tools that can help you perfect your resume;
- State of Writing - an online writing guide you can follow for a professional resume.
- Resumention - a website full of resume templates and builders for a perfectly formatted resume.
- Assignment Service - a writing agency that can help guide you through the resume writing process, as featured by UK Top Writers.
- Via Writing and Grammarix - these two blogs are full of posts and articles to help you improve your grammar skills.
- Essay Roo - an online writing agency that can write your resume for you on your behalf.
- Cite It In - a free online tool for formatting quotes, references and citations in your resume.
- Essay Writer - an online service with all the information you need on securing and completing an interview, as recommended by the HuffingtonPost in ‘Write My Paper’ feature.
- My Writing Way - a blog with everything you need to know on editing and proofreading processes.
- Word Counter - a free online tool for managing and tracking the word count of your resume.
Don’t Soften your Skills
When it comes to technical roles, it’s easy to forget that some of the skills you know and are trained to do are actually extremely technical to most people, yet they may seem basic to you because you do them every day.
However, it’s important not to downplay the importance or ability of your skills since this could be something that costs you that all-important interview.
This goes hand in hand with the consideration above about over qualifying yourself. While you don’t want to overstate your abilities by claiming you can carry out potentially complicated tasks when you can’t, you don’t want to downplay your skills when you can achieve certain processes, nor hint that you’re unaware of the basics when it comes to working in a cybersecurity role.
Do Consider the Duration of Your Past Employments
If there are any gaps or short job duration in your resume, such as staying at one company for only a few short weeks or months, these gaps will need to be explained in your resume.
“Employers will be concerned for these gaps, but if you have a legitimate reason that you can explain in your resume, you’ll save the question coming up later while minimising the chance that your application will be dismissed altogether,”
- shares Paul Arnold, a career coach at Paper Fellows.
Don’t be a Master of Everything
Hand in hand with some of the considerations above, it’s sometimes too easy to oversell your skills and talents that will not only make you overqualified but can ruin your chances of securing that job role.
This is because the cybersecurity industry is typically looking for individuals who can specialize in the job role that they’re applying for, rather than being a jack-of-all-trades. Cybersecurity is such an important department for businesses nowadays, which is why it’s so important for a company to find the right people who specialise in specific roles.
With this in mind, a modern-day business would rather employ two individuals who can excel, carry out and achieve a certain role or position, rather than a single person that performs averagely at it. This is because cybersecurity is such an important part of modern-day business and rather than spreading an individual too thin and potentially creating security risks, a company would rather have dedicated staff for each required role.
So, remember that the role you’re applying for is very specific to what the company needs and therefore you’ll need to prove that you’re good for that job and that job alone. Share your expertise.
Do Consider the Length of Your Resume
As briefly mentioned above, a recruiter may need to look through hundreds of resumes for the same job that you’ve applied for that’s going to take time. If you’ve written a resume that’s over a page long, you’re going to bore your reader and therefore, won’t have the impact that you desire, potentially costing you the job role and interview.
Always try to keep your resume to a single page where the information is easily digestible and quick to read.
Don’t Focus on Outside Work Activities
For a lot of people, one section of the resume is writing about the kinds of hobbies and out of work activities that you might partake in. However, in the cybersecurity industry, this section simply isn’t relevant.
From personal experience, it’s not likely that a recruiter is going to worry about what you do outside of work, as long as you can remain professional and complete the task at hand. However, this section may become relevant in the case that you are involved in cyber-related activities outside of work, such as blogging or freelance work, which might increase your chances of securing an interview.
Businesses will be looking to hire based on their technical skills and ability to perform the role in question, rather than what football team they play for on the weekends.
Secure That Interview!
As you can see, writing a cybersecurity resume doesn’t have to be as much as a challenge as it may first seem. Using the points above, make sure that your resume is specific and precise and matches the exact requirements that the job role is asking for and you’ll be sure to secure that all-important interview.
Note: This blog article was written by a guest contributor for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of GlobalSign