NEWS + ADVICE
Knowing the Right Code for Your Resume
Great quick tips from a roundtable discussion at BSides San Antonio with hiring manager Brett Pagel of Raytheon, HR Manager Irma Symons of IPSecure, and Managing Director Bill Branstetter of ASG. Moderated by Kathleen Smith of ClearedJobs.Net / CyberSecJobs.com.
- Every recruiter will look at a resume differently but there will always be something that drives them nuts. One thing that causes problems right off the bat is receiving a resume in PDF format. PDFs can’t be searched for key words and this is a process that almost everyone uses to identify candidates. Keep your resume for sharing in a Word document.
- Clutter is another issue. A resume needs to be clean, direct and well organized. Recruiters want to see a resume begin with a profile that includes core competencies, technical ability. Then you can list employment history and education. Recruiters screen by basic requirements. It doesn’t matter how much they like you or how much experience you have – if the skill isn’t there, they can’t hire you and they need to move on.
- For those candidates who are making a career transition or coming right out of school it’s important to include non-coursework activity in your desired profession. Talk about what you‘re doing in your spare time to prepare yourself for a career in cyber security. CTFs, volunteering, certification education, project involvement, all speak to your initiative which will impress a recruiter.
- Your resume should be tailored to the position for which you are applying. Don’t embellish or put anything on your resume that you can’t speak to during an interview. Don’t merely cut and paste the job description from your past positions. Talk about what you accomplished on the job, including improvements or advancements you made for the company. Highlight measurable results when you can.
- For veterans who are transitioning, don’t copy your EPR or PR (performance report). That’s not a resume. Military speak is quite different from what a corporate resume needs to look like. Rather highlight the skills you have including the technical skills that you will bring. Take advantage of resources that are available to you like TAP (Transition Assistance Programs) because employers do work with them. Be sure your resume includes your transition date.
- It’s never too early to start networking. Find professional events and attend. Look for job fairs and attend. Bring your resume and be prepared to give a quick recap of the type of position you want to land. Do research on companies that hire for your goal position.
- If you’ve submitted a resume for a job and haven’t heard back, follow up with an email or a phone call. Recruiters juggle multiple assignments and your communication will bring them back to you and the job you applied for.
- Fine tuning your resume will be an ongoing task. As you network, take classes, volunteer, you will always have more experience to add. And don’t forget the basic guidelines – always proof your resume very carefully, keep the format and content very simple and target the resume to the job for which you are applying.