NEWS + ADVICE
How to Write Your Most Effective Resume
Our list of 9 things you must do to write a cyber security resume that sells you.
Your resume is an advertisement, not your biography. The goal of your resume is to get a hiring manager or recruiter to contact you for an interview. It should only include details that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, or if it’s a networking or general resume, the direction you want to take your career. Recruiters initially do a quick scan of your resume to see if it merits a deeper dive. Grab their attention quickly by implementing these tactics:
1. The top of your resume is critical and should include:
Your name, city and state (street address isn’t necessary), one contact email, and one phone number.
2. Immediately following should be a quick, concise summary
Your summary is what you offer of value to the specific targeted employer. Include two to three lines of crisp, clean, jargon-free critical experience and relevant attributes such as key skills and certifications. When you reference technical skills, include the number of years’ experience with them. If you only have a passing knowledge, don’t include the technology.
3. Focus on Accomplishment Statements, not lists of responsibilities
For most job seekers, this is the most important improvement you can make to your resume. Make your accomplishments relevant to your target, and talk about what you accomplished with the technology you were responsible for.
4. Use this formula to develop your Accomplishment Statements:
Situation, Task, Action, Result. Demonstrate your growth and tailor what you‘ve accomplished to the position you’re applying for. For example:
- To reduce security breaches, developed and delivered security best practices training for departmental staff, reducing internal breaches by 37%.
5. Keep your resume design simple and clean
Your resume doesn’t need to stand out in a pile of resumes, because it will be scanned, even if you’re handing it to an employer at a job fair. Use a simple font, and avoid heavy paper, colors, shading, graphics, overbolding and tiny type.
6. One to two pages is the ideal length
Delete all information that does not directly support your value. Cut down on older jobs, especially if they’re more than 10 years old. Don’t waste space on education or training that is irrelevant. If you have many years’ experience, keeping your resume to a shorter length helps you focus on including relevant information vs biographical details.
7. Include your activity in the security community
Particularly if you don’t have much relevant work experience, include the CTFs, cons, and other relevant volunteer activities illustrating your participation in the security community.
8. Be sure you’ve left these off your resume:
Social security number, marital status, number of dependents, health details, hobbies, height, weight, or other personal details.
9. Make sure to proofread and review
Your resume often serves as your first impression to potential employers. It’s vital that you proofread your resume and guarantee it’s error free. Read it out loud to slow you down and catch any mistakes that spell check might have missed and always have someone else review it too.
“Keep subjective self-descriptions out of your summary section. I’m looking at you, Results-Oriented Team Players.”– Bill Branstetter, ASG