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Break Through Resume Clutter

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Cybersecurity doesn’t just touch all things technical. It touches every aspect of our lives.

As the most recent internet outage showed us, as a society we have become very dependent on cloud and internet services to run our daily lives. Additionally as more of our lives are lived via our mobile phones and through apps, there are more opportunities for our information to become comprised or stolen. While this may be inconvenient, this also points out that there are many more career opportunities available in the tech and security communities.

Beyond working for a technology company, students and professionals can look to a wide variety of companies to utilize their cyber security degrees and experience. For instance, companies that focus on financial services like Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity InvestmentsFidelity Investments

At the upcoming Women in Cybersecurity conference, Fidelity Investments is returning as a Strategic Sponsor. Their team will be onsite to interview students over the two day career fair about current opportunities, both full-time and internships. You can view these positions here.

We asked the team from Fidelity Investments for advice for cyber security professionals and students who will be submitting their resumes for these positions.

Tip 1:  Clear and easy to read

  • Use the same font throughout your resume
  • Don’t use multiple text sizes in the body of your resume

Tip 2:  Use consistent verb tenses

  • Current role = current tense. Past roles = past tense

Tip 3:  Use action verbs/power words to describe accomplishments. Examples:

  • Provided user requirements analysis, design and programming support for enhancement of Web application accessed by 5 million users worldwide resulting in _____.
  • Designed a new web application using HTML, CSS, and AngularJS that _____.

The overall guiding principle of your resume should answer these questions:

  • Can a recruiter or Hiring Manager easily view my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
  • Does critical information jump off the page?
  • Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?

Resumes are meant to grab a recruiter’s attention enough so they are interested in contacting you for an interview. The resume is your advertisement rather than your full life story.

Worcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcester Polytechnic Institute

Another Women in Cybersecurity conference sponsor is Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and this is what they have to say about your resume:

  • Try to keep you resume to one page. If that isn’t possible, try to keep it as short as possible.
  • Don’t use acronyms. Make your resume as easy to read and understand as possible.
  • Highlight projects you have worked on instead of classes you have taken. Collaborative projects will grab the reader’s attention more than a list of classes you have taken. Show how you actively provided value to your team. This shows your future employers the value that you will bring to their organization.

University of Washington BothellThe University of Washington Bothell

Another Women in Cybersecurity conference sponsor, the University of Washington Bothell, shares these tips:

Resume Do’s

  • For your bullet point descriptions, emphasize your results and impact over job duties. Organizations hire candidates who give them results.
  • Always try to inject the programming language, technologies, or framework used into your accomplishments versus listing them in a “Technical Skills” section. Employers want to know how you have used the skills versus seeing them listed.
  • Include your personal online footprint. If you want to get noticed, include information about your contributions to open-source repositories and link to your personal website, GitHub contributions and LinkedIn account. This demonstrates expertise and a passion for your field.

Resume Don’ts:

  • Don’t use an “Objective” on your resume, because it’s not 1990 anymore. Writing a cover letter is the opportunity to explain your objective.
  • Use strong action verbs, not weak/passive verbs. If you’ve got these passive verbs on your resume, get rid of them:
    • Responsible for
    • Duties included
    • Experience with
    • Worked on
    • Helped develop
  • Don’t add fluff. Avoid cliché statements because they don’t tell hiring managers anything. Focus your resume content on what you have accomplished and let hiring managers draw their own conclusions.

Thanks to all the sponsors of the Women in Cybersecurity conference for sharing their resume insights with students and professionals seeking cyber security careers.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 04, 2017 3:07 pm

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