Your resume is often the first impression that potential employers will have of you, so it’s crucial to make it stand out.
In 2022, I spent six months evaluating dozens of winning cybersecurity resumes as I recruited for a US regional bank.
I also evaluated THOUSANDS that were difficult to read. In that role, I recruited for 60-70 open requisitions at any given time. It was bananas!
In the field of cybersecurity, where attention to detail and technical expertise are essential, a well-crafted resume can make all the difference. In this post, we’ll discuss four main steps to help you write a winning cybersecurity resume.
Step 1: Tailor Your Winning Cybersecurity Resume to the Job Description
The first step in writing a winning cybersecurity resume is to tailor it to the job description.
Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes, which means that your resume needs to include relevant keywords and phrases from the job posting.
Take the time to review the job description carefully and tailor your resume to highlight your skills and experience that match the job requirements.
How? I’m glad you asked!
Go find the job description of your desired job.
Hit Command-F (on a Mac) or CTRL-F (on a PC) to bring up the Find box at the top of your web browser.
Note a word or two that gets repeated. If a word shows up highlighted more than twice, then that word needs to show up on your resume!
I have a specific place I want that keyword to show up (ask me).
Step 2: Highlight Your Technical Skills and Certifications
In cybersecurity, technical skills and certifications are essential, so be sure to highlight them on your resume.
Include a section that lists your technical skills, such as:
- programming languages (hello Python and R),
- operating systems (Linux, macOS, or Windows?),
- and security tools (throw a Metasploit or a John the Ripper in there too)!
Additionally, include any relevant certifications, such as CISSP, CEH, or CompTIA Security+.
Step 3: Showcase Your Accomplishments and Impact
While technical skills are crucial in cybersecurity, don’t forget to showcase your accomplishments and impact.
Use quantifiable metrics to highlight your achievements, such as:
“Reduced security incidents by 23% over previous year,”
“Increased system uptime to 99.98%,” or
“Reduced the organization cybersecurity spend by improving vendor selection process.”
Employers want to see how you can make a difference in their organization, so be sure to highlight your successes.
Step 4: Emphasize Soft Skills and Communication Abilities
In addition to technical skills, soft skills and communication abilities are also essential in cybersecurity.
Employers are looking for candidates who can work collaboratively, communicate effectively with technical and non-technical stakeholders, and prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment.
Include examples of your soft skills and communication abilities on your resume, such as teamwork, cross-functional leadership, or solutions-providing problem-solver.
So What? What Now? What Should You Do With This?
In conclusion, writing a winning cybersecurity resume requires:
- tailoring it to the job description,
- highlighting your technical skills and certifications,
- showcasing your accomplishments and impact, and
- emphasizing your soft skills and communication abilities.
By following these four main steps, you can craft a resume that stands out to potential employers and highlights your expertise and value.