Cyber Security CV Building Tips
Most HR managers and recruiters spend no more than 7 seconds on the first glance at a Resume. The candidate has just those precious few seconds to catch the recruiter’s eyes. Obviously, the CV is more heavily scrutinized at the subsequent rounds of the selection process, so the challenge becomes to make the CV stand out at all phases of the selection process. This guide will hopefully help you out find a balance and improve your chances of a shortlist.
Make those Core Skills Pop Out
Cyber Security is a role, see job description, where you need demonstrable skills in your niche. An education in IT or related fields is going to help a long way. Certifications like CISM, CISA, and CRISM will help your CV stand out. It is critical to make sure that these certifications or academic courses stand out whether by highlighting them in bold font or using some sort of bulleted list. These are great ways to highlight the relevant experience. We cover just what certifications, academic courses, and other hard skills are helpful in Cyber Security roles in our detailed article on Cyber Security Qualification and Skills. Soft skills like communication or general skills (like with non-specialised tools) are good to have but it is likely that these will be considered a bare minimum rather than as distinguishing qualifications. So don’t go overboard convincing the recruiter why you should be hired based on these soft skills.
For Cyber Security roles, you want to make sure your experience closely matches the roles on offer. It is absolutely advisable to heavily edit your CV for each particular role based on the Job Description. Most candidates skimp on this and just shoot across the same CV without for different roles without making the necessary edits which are highly sub-optimal. What this means is that rather than being a jack of all trades, it is better to be the master of the relevant ones for Cyber Security roles. Your work experience should highlight your measurable achievements. It will always be preferable to have objective statements that prove (numerically if possible) what exactly you achieved or saved rather than vague subjective statements. Check out this post for a 5 step guide to become a Cyber Security Analyst/ Manager.
Length and Structure
Your CV should ideally be a one-pager unless you have over a decade of solid experience. Always put your work experience at the top because it counts a lot more than most academic achievements. You can see the attached templates for formatting and fonts, but the general idea is that the CV should be easily scannable while making sure the key bits pop out. Extracurricular actives aren’t really that important. Some candidates put too much focus on this and it’s not really that critical to be on the CV. If you want to showcase that you have a great personality (and you should want to focus on that), do so at the interview stage where it can actually be demonstrated rather than just stated on a piece of paper.
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