Cybersecurity Resume Resources – Forbes Advisor


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A cybersecurity resume is one of the best ways for aspiring professionals to illustrate their abilities and experience to employers. Whether you’re applying to entry-level cybersecurity jobs, or you’re an experienced professional, a strong resume can help you land the right job (and a good cybersecurity salary).

This guide offers information on cybersecurity resumes, including formatting tips, which components to include and how to craft a portfolio.

Components of a Cybersecurity Resume

Your cybersecurity resume should include several components in a well-organized, scannable format. Use a professional, easy-to-read font, and aim to incorporate the following elements in your cybersecurity resume.

Header

Keep it simple with your header—this section typically just covers contact information. Include your preferred professional name, phone number and email address. Many tech jobs are available remotely, so make sure to include your physical address as well.

The header of your cybersecurity resume can also include links to your professional website and any relevant social media pages, like LinkedIn. If these links are too long or unwieldy, consider using a link-shortening site like TinyURL or Bitly for a more personalized and aesthetically pleasing format.

Objective or Summary

A strong written summary or objective statement in your cybersecurity resume should grab the employer’s attention, demonstrating your accomplishments and establishing why you are uniquely qualified for the role. Keep this section to just a few sentences—it’s OK to use fragments to stay succinct.

Individuals with extensive experience, education and achievements typically include a summary of their professional history, along with any unique skills or qualifications for the role.

Example:

Information security analyst with five years of experience with CySA+ and CISSP certification seeks security architect role with Amazon. Spearheaded multiple high-level cybersecurity programs with a strong record of ethical hacking and information security experience.

An objective statement is more common among cybersecurity resumes for entry-level roles. Candidates with less professional experience can state their career aspirations and demonstrate their education qualifications.

Example:

Recent Purdue University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity seeks digital forensic examiner position with Cloudstrike. Completed summer internship shadowing cybersecurity professionals at Comcast.

Professional Experience

Use this section of your cybersecurity resume to demonstrate your history in the profession. List each employer, along with the dates you worked for them. You should also explain your responsibilities at each job using several bullet points. If you performed similar tasks with multiple companies, vary your language in describing the roles.

Spell out any acronyms in this section—your cybersecurity resume is likely to pass through an automated filter before reaching a recruiter or hiring manager. This filter may look for full terms instead of acronyms.

Example:

Information Security Analyst
U.S. Department of Defense
Nov. 2018 – present

  • Established and upheld company-wide best practices for information security
  • Wrote and presented reports on cyberattacks to top stakeholders
  • Assessed damages following data breaches and safeguarded against future attacks

Education

In this section, list any formal education you have completed. Recent college graduates should include their GPAs and specific relevant classwork, but established professionals can omit these details. Current enrollees applying to internships may note their future graduation dates on their resumes.

Example:

Drexel University
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, June 2021

Skills

Detail relevant hard and soft skills that employers seek in cybersecurity candidates. Aim to keep these bulleted lists concise and relevant—a long list of skills can take up precious space that you could otherwise use to catch a hiring manager’s eye.

Example:

Hard Skills

  • Data analytics
  • Cloud security
  • Encryption

Soft Skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Collaboration
  • Time management

Credentials

Cybersecurity roles typically do not require certification to work, but certification can demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of the field and indicate an ongoing commitment to your skills. If you’re unsure where to start, check out our guide on cybersecurity certifications for beginners. And if you’re looking for affordable options, consider taking a free cybersecurity training.

Include any certifications you’ve earned on your cybersecurity resume in a bulleted list. Make sure to include the certifications’ spelled-out titles and their acronyms, just to be safe.

Similarly, cybersecurity employment and contract work with the federal government may require a security clearance. Include any clearances among your credentials.

Example:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA Penetration Tester (PenTest+)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Personnel Security Clearance

Proofreading a Cybersecurity Resume

A second (or third) set of eyes can only help in the resume-writing process. Before submitting any job applications, ask a friend—preferably one who does not have technical experience—to give your cybersecurity resume a once-over. This is because recruiters for cybersecurity positions may not have intimate knowledge of the cybersecurity field.

When a trusted friend or colleague reviews your resume, they can point out any confusing phrasing and otherwise offer an outsider’s perspective on your writing. Though you may feel tempted to submit your application immediately after fine-tuning your resume, taking this step can make a big difference.

Designing a Cybersecurity Portfolio

A portfolio allows job-seekers to showcase a collection of their professional work in a well-organized space. Experienced professionals can easily compile prior work experience for their portfolios. Recent graduates and those just starting their careers in cybersecurity can include any relevant work completed during capstone or internship experiences.

What Should Your Portfolio Include?

Your portfolio should include summaries of projects and exemplary work from your professional career. Along with any written explanations of relevant cybersecurity projects, arrange information with visuals like charts and graphs to provide insight into any positive outcomes that you fostered.

As with your cybersecurity resume, you can also use your portfolio to showcase any certifications you have earned. Here, it is important to establish how your certifications have helped your career so far. Looking to the future, your portfolio can include any professional development experiences as well.

Why Do You Need a Portfolio?

Cybersecurity professionals need portfolios to give prospective employers a sense of their demonstrated skills and accomplishments. A list of projects on a resume can offer a brief look into a candidate’s career, but a portfolio digs into the specifics.

Cybersecurity Resume Resources

Job-seekers and new graduates can use several resources to write or improve their cybersecurity resumes. The following sites offer tips on formatting, aesthetics and how to stand out from the competition.

Kickresume

Kickresume offers helpful services for writing resumes and cover letters. Users can check out templates, guides and resume-building apps on web and mobile platforms. Kickresume also features an AI resume writer—users input their career and education information, and the tool produces a complete resume.

Kickresume also features resume advice for specific careers. Job-seekers can use these guides to tailor their resumes to their prospective professional roles.

Grammarly

Grammarly is an editing tool that can improve your writing beyond just grammar and spelling. The free tier of this software detects grammatical errors and makes suggestions for concision. The paid tiers offer word-choice changes and full-sentence rewrites.

This site is key in the proofreading process when writing your cybersecurity resume. Grammarly ensures that your writing matches the correct formal tone. It also roots out any issues relating to grammar, syntax and punctuation. After all, employers may think twice about contacting you if you claim to pay close attention to detail but make errors in your resume.

Resume.io

The creators of Resume.io studied what made job-winning resumes successful, and they applied their findings to this resume-building application. Cybersecurity professionals can use Resume.io to explore examples of successful resumes and cover letters, along with career resources like interview prep.

Resume.io features a resume-writing guide specifically for cybersecurity jobs. Individuals can get tips on tone, layout and design to stand out from the competition and land the interview.



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