So, you’re trying to start down the path of cybersecurity employment. If you’ve used killer keywords and managed to make it through whatever Applicant Tracking System (ATS) your potential employers are using in their recruitment process and have successfully placed your resume under the eyes of those potential employers, they can see that you have limited real-life experience in the field. While this may seem disheartening, all that this means is that you need to paint the picture of your life up to your graduation as one that has truly prepared you for this job. Showcase what has brought you to where you are today in your cybersecurity resume.
Craft your first cybersecurity resume with these 8 tips:
- Don’t use a cookie-cutter template pulled from the internet. Take the time to make sure that the resume you create for yourself provides an authentic, individual representation of who you are as a person and as a candidate. You know that you aren’t like anyone else. You need a complete stranger to know that about you, too. Your resume should be crisp, concise, and as quantitative and numerical as possible.
- Display your name and contact information in plain sight. You want to make it as easy as possible for the right person to reach out to you for an interview.
- Begin your resume with your Education section. Write out your degree, your minor and the university you received it from. Find ways to highlight classes related to web programming, cybersecurity, IT or STEM. If you had a stellar GPA or were awarded honors at any point, don’t forget to include them. Specifically list relevant coursework that provides evidence of your learning and research.
- If you had any internships or fellowships, or were asked to be a part of any research studies, these are likely the closest thing to industry work experience that you currently have and should be showcased as such. Succinctly (but effectively) describe the company you interned for, what your role was, how you contributed to the success of that company with specific duties and quantifiable points and how you benefitted your supervisors or teammates as an intern.
- Make sure to mention any organizations you were a member of and how those organizations aided in your professional development (e.g., any conferences you attended, certifications you received, workshops you participated in, competitions you took part in, awards you received, etc.)
- If you held any positions of leadership throughout college, include this to illustrate that you have experience as a leader among your peers in your field or study. Use language that demonstrates your abilities to follow and work collaboratively, as well.
- Even if the jobs you’ve held throughout college have nothing to do with cybersecurity (aka, you bartended on the weekends or worked in shipping at Target), don’t leave these out. This shows that you prioritize responsibility and time-management, respect authority and can multitask. Think of transferrable skills. Gone are the days where employers want single-minded robots with one skill and one skill alone; people want to work with well-rounded “people” people, even in fields as analytical as information security.
- One trend that is emerging amongst cybersecurity resumes is to specifically list skills either along the bottom or in a bullet-point format elsewhere. These skills can be anything from “HTML/CSS” to “penetration testing” to “analytical skills” and more.
No one ever pretended that breaking into the working world and getting that all-important first job was easy, and with four generations currently in the workforce no one will any time soon. With (seemingly) endless determination, however, crafting your perfect cybersecurity resume doesn’t have to be as daunting as you might think.
Want an invaluable resume-builder? Attend our next Student360 event! There, you’ll learn from some of the greatest infosec minds and have the opportunity to network with peers and professionals alike. In the meanwhile, take a look at our blog for most posts and more tips like these.