So you want to be a superhero and defend the world from supervillains? Then you made the right choice in becoming a cyber professional! Cybersecurity is a hot field with a lot of opportunities; according to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be an estimated 3.5 million available cybersecurity jobs for skilled workers by 2025.
First things first, though: you have to land that job. And how do you go about doing that? The first step to think about is creating a strong resume that truly represents your personality, skills, and experiences. Before diving into the nitty gritty of what a strong cybersecurity resume looks like, let’s take a look at what a resume is.
What is a Resume?
Shrouded in mystery, confusion, and even overwhelm, a resume’s goal is to show the company a brief yet detailed overview of who the applicant is, usually boasting five sections that provide you with the opportunity to show off several parts of both your personal details and professional life. So what are these five parts?
Contact details: as you can imagine, this is how companies will contact you and includes your full name and contact details such as address, phone number(s), and email.
Introduction: brevity and concision are key here. This space is dedicated to writing a short introduction in two to three sentences. Answer the following questions here:
Who are you?
What do you offer the company?
Education: a strong educational background shows many companies that you have worked hard to arrive at where you are now. Here you want to include the university where you studied, your major(s)/ minor(s), and any awards. Be careful to only put pertinent educational information related to cybersecurity and to order it from most recent to oldest experiences.
Work Experience: although education is important, demonstrating that you’ve used your knowledge in the workplace and applied it to new problems is even more crucial in some ways. The jobs you take on in your adult life continue your story beyond a university where employers can see how your goals, ambitions, and values align. In this section, you include the details of your work experience such as the role you had, name of the company, and the amount of time you worked there, in addition to the responsibilities you had that demonstrate that you are the right candidate.
Skills: this section focuses on showcasing both your hard and soft skills that you have picked up along the way and where certifications can be named.
What makes resumes so important?
You may be thinking, ‘wow, on top of everything else, I need to also create and update my resume’; however, resumes are still an essential part of the hiring process. Although the application process may be one click away when you are applying on LinkedIn, Indeed, or on any other job hunting online services, having an updated resume is significant for the following reasons:
Resumes show the meat and potatoes of who you are, leading recruiters to invite you into the interview process with the awareness of your values, identity, and brand.
The sheer quantity of resumes that companies receive is staggering! How do they sift through the ones that they believe to be stand-outs? AI and machine learning help choose the most appropriate resumes based on parameters around keywords and phrases. Knowing the right words will make them choose yours next time.
Resumes also highlight all the skills and benefits of bringing you onto the team and making an impact on their own company.
Resumes for Cyber Professionals
Adventuring out into the world with your head held high and excitement for that first job may be what they show in the movies, but it can be terrifying to expose yourself and take those first steps towards earning your first paycheck as a cyber professional. Everyone has been there before, but an essential part of filling your first position as a cyber professional is about the resume. Some of you may be thinking ‘what do I need to learn about cyber resumes that I don’t already know?’ Let’s answer your question:
Types of resumes in cybersecurity
The following are three types of resumes that you can find in cybersecurity:
Chronological resume: you already know that chronological refers to time and this resume lists all of your information in order from most recent to oldest. If you have a lot of work experience, this may be the most appropriate type of resume since it focuses on showing your consistent and reliable work history. Nevertheless, there’s no need to put more than ten years worth of experience on your resume.
Functional resume: unlike a chronological resume, this type is more beneficial for those who maybe just graduated from university or recently switched careers. So what defines this type? Well, it focuses on the skills you’ve picked up along the way, making them the star of the show and once you choose your most valuable skills, you can then go into further detail on how you went about developing that skill. Further down the resume, you can list any certifications and educational background and later your work experience information including the companies, time spans, and roles.
Combination resume: Not sure which one to choose? You’re in luck since you can have the best of both worlds and combine these two types into a hybrid, beefing up your skills and including your list of work experiences.
Sections of your resume
You’ve seen the types of resumes, you’ve decided which one works best for your cyber professional resume, and you’re ready to write and share your story. Let’s move onto what the different sections of your resume should contain and detail to make your resume exceptional for those recruiters.
This is an optional section that some decide to include in their resumes to highlight certain skills or experiences. If you do want it to be present, you have to ensure that it stands out from the rest. Instead of writing about your current job experience, a fantastic way to leverage this space is to really contemplate the skills you have that set you apart from the rest.
Most people will write about critical-thinking or problem solving skills, but what about your specific abilities? Maybe you won first place at a hackathon and in the process, helped design some sort of software; you can work that into a description such as ‘designed and created software that won first place at a Hackathon.’ Winning a hackathon is no easy feat and shows that you can work on a team while under pressure in a short time frame.
As you can already imagine, this is the section where you have the opportunity to show your professional experiences, naming some very important details such as the position, company, time span of employment, and responsibilities you carried out. This section has its difficulties when choosing the correct language for how you want to describe your responsibilities and duties. Once you’ve chosen the responsibilities from your that will most work for a cyber professional, consider the follow tips:
Use dynamic verbs to captivate recruiters
Include numbers and figures where possible
Vary the language
Limit to three or four points maximum
These descriptions are where you want to shine a bright light onto your hard work and thus it requires powerful, specific words to accomplish that objective.
Education can say a lot about where you come from and the methodologies that you now use in your present life. Here, you want to include any other experiences that show your vast knowledge on the topic, like if you wrote or collaborated on any published papers, supported a teacher as a TA, interned, or even participated in a pertinent student organization.
You may also be unsure of if you would like to put your GPA, and we get it. It can be scary to put that number down, but the truth is that recruiters don’t normally pay too much attention to it. A general rule about GPAs on resumes is that if it is above a 3.5, go ahead and include it.
The final section of your resume comes down to possibly the most important one where your abilities and expertise are put under the spotlight. When employers are searching for the right employees, they highly value the technical skills that potential candidates boast. To make it easier for them to see all your cybersecurity resume skills, you can efficiently and concisely list them out. The following skills are fantastic ones to include on your cybersecurity resume:
Soft skills: adaptability, inquisitiveness and curiosity, logical reasoning, creativity, communication skills, problem-solving skills, composure under pressure, ethics, teamwork
Cybersecurity resume examples
The final step of writing your cybersecurity analyst resume is to take a look at some cybersecurity resume examples. They are a fantastic way to not only feel inspired and take ideas, but also to see if you’re on the right track. You can find great examples here at Resumeworded and they even have cybersecurity resume templates; these tools can help bring your resume to the next level!
Once you break it down into smaller, bite-size pieces, it can seem a lot less scary, right? Knowing what it takes to write up your resume is the first part, but the next part is sitting down and knocking it out. All it takes is a bit of confidence and the guts to start sending those first resumes and with the amount of unfilled jobs for cybersecurity, you’ll get your first cybersecurity analyst job in no time. If you want to dive head first into the field of cybersecurity, have no fear and take a look at our cybersecurity bootcamp!