How to Land an Entry Level Cyber Security Job - Part 1
Even with a huge shortage of talent in cybersecurity. Many entry-level applicants are still experiencing difficulties finding opportunities. It is estimated there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings globally by 2021. Based on our hiring expertise of 20+ years and through interviewing many senior-level executives and hiring managers in cybersecurity; we've concluded on some of the biggest mistakes made by entry-level applicants.
Even in today’s digital world, your resume is the first touch point that any employer will make with you. Below are a few points that you can address to make sure you're not making the same errors. Potentially hindering your chances of getting hired.
Spelling & Grammar Mistakes
We can’t stress enough. One of the most important things to check for is spelling and grammatical mistakes. Your resume can be rejected for such small details. A resume is a first impression. If you're not making sure to pay attention to even small details, it can be tossed. In the field of cybersecurity; every process, procedure, and policy must be followed to a T.
Simple Format with a Basic Font.
Keep in mind you're not applying for a creative or design role. There is a good chance, before it even touches human hands, it will be processed through some type of applicant filtration system. This technology is designed to make the hiring process more efficient. Unfortunately, today’s parsing systems are lacking in some areas. They haven't matured enough to handle the various different formatting styles. It's safe to stick to very basic and simple formats. Use standard fonts and font sizes as well to make sure that your resume processed properly.
Not only do these technologies acknowledge proper formatting. They are also on the hunt for relevant keywords to the job in question. Job titles, educational details, certifications, domains and so forth. It's vital to have the correct keywords in your resume for it to get picked up as relevant to what you're applying to. For roles in cybersecurity, you will have to take extra care.
The lack of standardization in titles and descriptions, results in there being different hats for the same head. Making it important to list past experience with the right titles. This can vary depending on the role you are applying to. Glasssquid.io is a tool designed to help applicants take the work out of their work search by making those proper recommendations.
Recently, we connected with a candidate who had gained SOC Analyst experience through an internship. Upon completion of his studies, he received an opportunity to work for a particular company, that role ended being in a sales though. After a few months, he realized the job just wasn't a fit, thus the hunt for vacancies in cyber security began. Unfortunately, even with his education and internship in tow, he was still coming up empty handed.
When we evaluated his resume, he was making a messy mistake. You don't have to list everything you've ever done on your resume. Somethings are just better left out. Bringing us back up to our emphasises on relevancy.
Now if you were applying to a pet store as a groomer or even to become a vet tech, well now that is a different story to tell. With the sales experience listed front and center, it was hindering his chances with prospective employers. Once he condensed his resume, and removed all irrelevant content, his response rates flipped.
It is very important to understand what roles open the door to a career path in cybersecurity. For example, you just graduated with some programming experience. You will have a better chance of getting on board as a Jr SOC Analyst, rather than jumping straight to a Network Security Administrator role. Though, if you already have past experience as a Network Security Administrator, then it would be wise to pursue those positions. Not only do you need to emulate relevancy on your resume; the positions you apply need a sense of familiarity as well.
In today’s professional world, entry-level applicants have advantages like never before. You can publish your own papers or articles. Easily engage with your careers corresponding community. Through comments on current news and hot topics. To networking and sharing relevant content to make your presence felt.
Talk about your opinion on topics that you are passionate about. Write articles about our views and opinions on how you can solve certain problems. This gives recruiters and companies looking at your profile and inside look. Allowing them to see where your strengths are even with limited real-world experience.
Jack of All Trades
Many hiring managers complain that entry-level applicants are stuffing too many things into their resumes. In the beginning, it's very obvious that you don’t have a flux of experience. Therefore they care more about your focus being in one area of expertise. They want to see that you can demonstrate and apply your skills successfully. You want to be known for one thing rather being the jack of all trades at this stage of your career.
Your resume is only one part of landing a job successfully. It is also crucial to put care into searching, identifying and submitting your resume to the right positions. Your resume is only the beginning.