Take Responsibility for Your Job Search

Posted by Kathleen Smith

responsibilityAt EC-Council’s Hacker Halted conference, we talked with Chuck Harold of Security Guy TV, who asked about the shortage of talent in the cyber security community. While there has been much talk about the workforce challenge as a talent shortage, we also have a challenge concerning how job seekers search and how companies recruit.

The theme of the Hacker Halted conference was the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and in that famed piece of science fiction there was a Babel Fish. It helped translate different languages in the galaxy so that everyone could understand one another. That would be helpful! Maybe we just need more Babel Fish in the cyber security community?

Fiction aside, job seekers and recruiters appear to be facing a very real dilemma. Oftentimes the difficulty is in understanding the job search process, the players involved, and how to network in the security community.

Take Responsibility for Your Job Search Process

Many folks don’t fully understand the job search process, such as who the key people are involved in hiring, or how you develop a career strategy. As a job seeker you have to determine what you want to do and how you are going to accomplish it. The best way to gather this data and make informed decisions? Talk to people in the community and participate in events and competitions. Ask others about their experience, and how they got to where they are now. People will help, but you must step up and ask.

You have to market yourself. You can’t just wait on the sidelines and expect a recruiter to know how to contact you, what you are interested in, or the skills you offer an employer. As a job seeker you have to take at least 50% of the responsibility for finding your next job—that is not the recruiter’s responsibility. You cannot expect them to be a mind reader.

Create Your Own Brand

Building your brand is a crucial part of the job search process. Many candidates have gone as far as setting up their own companies and blogs to help them find jobs or join the market of consultants. You personally may not want to build a brand through social media, a blog, or even a website, but realize that you already have a brand out there and it may not be the best representation to employers of your skills and talents.

The care that you take to build out your job board and social media profiles does reflect on you. Take the time to fully build your profiles so that recruiters can better understand the professional that you are, or the professional that you want to be.

Tips on creating your job board profile:

  • Create your profile to completion. Recruiters’ search results are not your resume! Their search results are the demographic info on your profile,  so yes, your profile details really do matter.
  • Set up Job Agents. Once you develop a search that locates the types of jobs you’re seeking, save that search as a Job Agent or Job Alert. Then newly posted jobs that meet your search criteria are delivered to your inbox.
  • Upload your networking resume. Be sure you’ve uploaded a forward-looking resume highlighting your achievements. Every element should be focused on, and relevant to, where you want to go, versus a resume recounting where you‘ve been.

Tips on building out your social media profile:

  • Be sure your profile picture on LinkedIn is an image of you dressed to walk into an interview. That dress may vary based on where you’re interviewing, but keep in mind when someone is evaluating you you’re held to a higher standard and you want to put your best foot forward.
  • Have a personal intro or elevator pitch about the work you do and what kind of work you would like to do. This should be the most used tool in your job search.
  • If you’ve got work product to share – code you’ve written, a presentation you’ve given, an article you’ve authored, include that where appropriate.
  • Keep your professional and personal communications separate.

Be Committed to the Profession

Part of the problem job seekers face is that they don’t truly know what direction they want to take. Understanding the kind of work you want to do and the kind of team you want to be a part of is necessary in setting your career goals, and then finding a way to make them obtainable.

What are your interests? Are you getting into cyber security because it fascinates you or because you’re chasing a potentially hot job? You need to show interest in the profession you’re pursuing and share that sentiment with the employers and recruiters you communicate with. With a shortage of Babel Fish in the cyber security community you also bear responsibility in bridging the gap between you as a job seeker, and the companies you’re pursuing.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:14 pm

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