NEWS + ADVICE
Job Search Questions and Answers from Cyber Security Recruiters and Hiring Managers
A discussion at BSides LV with Matt Duren, Recruiting Manager at Tenable, Abby Mauch, Senior Recruiter at ReliaQuest, Jen Haverman, Client Relationship Executive at Deloitte, and Jose Leon, Human Resources Director at Honeywell.
How do you take ownership of your career?
(Jose) It’s not the company that is responsible for managing your career – it is the individual’s responsibility. You need to know what you what to achieve. The company can be the facilitator to help accomplish this.
(Abby) If the company doesn’t know what you want to do they cannot help your growth. Have a conversation with your manager regarding where you want to go, and to build a career plan. Take the initiative.
(Jen) Nobody is going to care about your career the way that you should. If the company cannot send you to training, figure out a way to do it yourself. Training and learning is a benefit that you never lose. You take that experience with you.
What do you look for from me to build my own personal brand that will make me more attractive as a candidate? What do I do to attract a better recruiter?
(Jen) I look for people that are self-motivated. What do you do to keep yourself current? I want to know that you are reading all the professional journals and you are looking at the website for vulnerabilities, or whatever it happens to be for your particular brand and specialty. How are you building your network and building a life in your community? This speaks to a person’s integrity and how they might fit in with my team.
(Abby) When you go to apply for a job, I want to know that you did your homework on this company and the specific position. Your resume, specifically your profile or goal, should be geared toward the position you are applying for. I want to see your interest in this job and not see a general resume that says you are applying for every tech job out there.
(Jose) You need to have presence in social media. Many people show facts in their careers but I am looking for results. I want to know what you have done for your company. I want to know specific outcomes that will help me predict your future performance. I do not want to see tasks.
(Matt) If you want to be a radical, stretch the boundaries a little bit…that’s cool. You just have to know that there are some companies out there that won’t like that, but there are companies that want candidates who think for themselves. Get out with peers that you can learn from and who can introduce you to opportunities.
(Jen) Get rid of the phrase ‘Responsible for’ on your resume. That’s a big pet peeve. Use action words that show what you’ve done. That will push you toward showing the quantitative results recruiters want to see.
(Abby) If you’re looking to be found I won’t find you if you don’t have a presence or profile that lists keywords of your skills and interests.
For non-specialists, the jack-of-all-trade folks….any advice how to pique recruiters’ interest?
(Abby) We do look for non-specialists because it shows you are open to learning new things. It is important to state an objective that expresses what you are looking for.
(Matt) It’s important to know what’s out there. It comes back to knowing what you want to do.
(Jen) Do some intelligence gathering and find the companies that you want to work for. Then take a look at their website job posting to see the type of positions that they are looking for. From that you can gather keywords and skills that are desired. That can be used as a composite to develop the job that you do want.
(Abby) If you do some research on my company and take the time to find my contact info, drop me a note and say what you like about our company, what your interests are. That will open up a conversation and it’s a better approach than just applying for a job that you are not qualified for.
If we have built a network, how do you feel about candidates applying to the hiring manager and not going through the recruiter?
(Jen) As a hiring manager I don’t mind. I have a good relationship with our recruiters. I would forward to them and say, “Hey look this person reached out to me.”
(Abby) I don’t mind if you go to my boss to get in touch about the process. If you speak to a recruiter and don’t get the answer you want and then go around them, I think that’s a different can of worms. Ultimately if you’re passionate about the company, we don’t care how you get in touch with us.
(Jose) As a hiring manager if I get a contact from a candidate telling me why I’m being approached then certainly that’s the kind of people I want in my organization.
(Matt) I like it. Go for it. If you know somebody and they can get you in the door, go for it.
(Jose) That’s what networking is all about.
For more details, check out the panel discussion below from BSides LV.