What a good cyber security CV looks like

Credit: ID 126385226 © Alexander Parenkin | Dreamstime.com

Cyber security is one of the fastest growing industries around the world. As more and more companies move their businesses online, the potential for hackers to access sensitive data and use it for their own gains grows.

With a number of governments introducing harsher punishments for companies who don’t properly secure their clients’ data, such as the European GDPR, business owners of all kinds will need to turn their eyes to online security to avoid opportunist criminals laying waste to their own and their customers’ data.

What kind of jobs should you expect?

The most vulnerable industries tend to be the ones which hold the largest amounts of personal data due to hackers’ ability to squeeze more worth out of one target and the potential to gain more in ransom from financial companies and government institutions.

The six most vulnerable industries globally are:

  • Ecommerce/retail
  • Banking/financial
  • Government
  • Education
  • Utilities
  • Health

However, this doesn’t mean that only big businesses in these industries are targeted. Small businesses are just as susceptible to danger and will likely be targeted more and more over the next few years.

What this means for potential cyber security experts is that business can only get bigger. Whether it’s larger companies extending their cyber security department or smaller businesses enlisting the help of security agencies, the work will never dry up.

For those with a talent for online protection, making a good CV is a vital foundation to your job search.

Why is a CV important?

When searching for candidates, recruiters take just six seconds to review your CV before deciding whether to consider you. No matter what great people skills you have or what stories you’ve put in your cover letter to showcase your achievements, if your CV isn’t good enough, you won’t even get a chance with most companies.

Additionally, job listing sites are primarily search engines, using keywords to match the searcher’s intent with the relevant results. If your CV isn’t optimised, your ideal employers won’t even know you exist.

Ensuring your previous positions or experiences have the right keywords for your desired job is the first step you need to take to perfect your cyber security CV.

Once you’ve caught the eye of the recruiter, your CV needs to show them you have both the skills and experience for the role. Not only professionally but personally, your CV should show why you’re the perfect fit. A good CV should read as a mini-business case rather than a list of bullet point achievements.

Common features of a good cyber security CV

Relevant work experience

Experience in the field is vital to getting a job in cyber security. Whether it’s knowing how to code or having your own Open Source projects, having the hard skills to get stuck into the job will showcase your willingness to recruiters and help you secure those interviews.

Some essential skills recruiters look for include:

  • Knowing code (such as Python, Java, C, CC+)
  • Knowledge of different operating systems
  • Firewall and intrusion detection protocols

Specialist fields which can help you stand out:

  • Cisco
  • Cloud
  • Cryptography
  • Open source
  • Penetration testing
  • Risk management

If your relevant work experience is lacking, it’s still worth applying. Showing an enthusiasm for security and a willingness to self-learn can be a deciding factor when businesses are making hiring decisions. If you haven’t got much practical experience, it’s never too late to start. Learn code in your spare time, practice building systems and then attempt to break in or tackle open source projects.

Soft skills needed

No matter what level of experience you have, when you’re going into an interview, you have to get the people on the other side of the desk to like you. Most recruiters, especially for businesses not specialised in IT will be looking for candidates with the necessary ‘soft skills’ to function as part of their business.

Most jobs are looking for applicants who:

  • Know how to work as a team
  • Can interact comfortably with people with no IT background
  • Have the necessary skills to work from their own initiative

Sharing your hobbies on your CV, as well as any examples of group projects you’ve successfully been a part of can be a great help in convincing people to give you a call.

Writing the perfect CV

Once you’ve decided what kind of cyber security job you want, read through some listings for the same title and find ways of relating your past work or academic experiences to those requirements. You can include security work you’ve completed on your personal machine, group work from projects at university or volunteering experience to give you a foot up if you haven’t had a similar role before.

By optimising your CV with the right keywords and including the kind of experience employers want to see, you’re sure to give yourself a good start in the job hunt.

This article was written by Damon Culbert from https://www.cybersecurity-professionals.com/ specialist IT security job site worldwide. Cyber Security Professionals also offer discounted CV writing, social media profile writing and personal branding services.

 

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