5 cybersecurity resume tips to help you land the interview — and the job
Writing your cybersecurity resume can be daunting. You may be wondering: how much do I put on my resume (a rule of thumb is to keep it to one page), what are cybersecurity managers looking for or how to create a cybersecurity resume with no experience?
Those are the exact types of questions Chris Sienko asks every week on our Cyber Work Podcast. Here are five of the best cybersecurity resume tips from experts and hiring managers in the field. We hope they help you stand out from your peers and get you in the door for that first interview — and eventually get hired.
1. Your resume should tell your story
Your resume doesn’t need to be just a list of jobs and skills; extracurricular activities can help tell your story.
“Maybe there are a lot of things that can be condensed into a larger picture,” Jonathan Tanner of Barracuda said, in his Cyber Work Podcast episode.
If you have a lot of projects, you can condense that into a single bullet point that paints a better picture of what you were doing.
“It’s a lot about just telling what your accomplishments are and emphasizing the ones that will be the most attractive to an employer,” Tanner said.
2. Highlight competitions and hands-on experience
Mari Galloway, the co-founder of Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, said if you have cyber competitions on your resume, it instantly shows you have initiative and want to work in this industry.
“They’re going home and looking at stuff, playing around and tinkering,” she said on a recent Cyber Work Live episode. “They want to learn this. Automatically those folks would be at the top of the list.”
If you have volunteer or open-source work, that also makes you stand out. You are building your skills and actively looking for ways that you can participate in the cybersecurity industry.
3. Make your cybersecurity interests clear
Kyle McNulty of Secure Ventures and ConsultPlace says you need to go beyond listing your education and earned certifications on a resume.
“Being able to demonstrate you have an interest in cybersecurity outside of the classwork itself [is important to show your long-term desire for learning]” McNulty said, on his Cyber Work Podcast episode.
Classes and education only say you went to class; you need to do more to learn and grow. McNulty said you can show that desire by joining student groups, internships or more.
And one more tip: Be able to talk about the latest news in cybersecurity. Be able to talk about events that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Ask meaningful questions. This all shows that you have a genuine interest in cybersecurity.
4. Use your people skills to connect
Cindy Murphy, President of Gillware Digital Forensics, has a few tips on how to stand out when applying for cybersecurity jobs.
“If you want to stand out in this crowd, take the time to send a thank you card after you get an interview — you’ll probably get hired,” Murphy said when she joined us for a recent Infosec webinar. “That’s my tip for people.”
She said if you want to stand out, people skills matter. Connecting with the people you want to apply with will help you. Send a physical card or email and take the time to call back after an interview. You can even reach out before the interview to connect and introduce yourself.
Bring your unique characteristics and humanity to your resume too, Murphy said. That resume might only get brief moments of review. If there is something that makes you stand out, like volunteering at a local school or helping people clean malware off of their computers, put it on your resume.
5. Connect your resume to your interview
There are several ways to beef up your cybersecurity resume, according to Danny Jenkins, CEO and Co-Founder of ThreatLocker.
First of all, become a great storyteller.
For example, if you can describe a process you’ve completed and then explain it later in an interview, that’s a good story to give a tangible example of what you can do for my company
“Talking about something that makes on there that makes me read it twice … is always going to make you move forward,” Jenkins said on this podcast episode.
Acing your cybersecurity interview
Your cybersecurity resume can help you get in the door and tell your story during your interview, but doing well throughout the job interview process can be a tough skill set to master.
For more advice on interviewing well, download our free ebook, Cybersecurity interview tips: How to stand out, get hired and advance your career.