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How to Craft a Winning Cybersecurity Resume

March 11, 2021
Paper resume on the desk next to coffee cup

You’ve worked your connections and scoured all the websites, and finally you identify your dream cybersecurity job. As you start preparing your application, one of the first things you need to contend with is something that all professionals must perfect: your resume.

Cybersecurity resumes can be a bit unique given the nature of the field and the kinds of people you will likely interact with during the hiring process. Read these tips to crafting the perfect document that not only encapsulates all of your accomplishments succinctly, but makes them impossible to ignore.

Write for your entire audience.

Cybersecurity is a technical field, but that doesn’t mean everyone who will be reading your resume is a technical professional. If you are applying at a cybersecurity firm, you can probably safely bet that your hiring manager will be well-versed in all of the technical jargon you may use to describe your skill set or professional accomplishments. But this may not always be the case if you apply for a cybersecurity specialist job at a business organization in a different industry.

This is not to say you should avoid mentioning the technical details on your cybersecurity resume. Absolutely call out every system, tool and technology you’re comfortable working with in the skills section of your document, and you can refer to them underneath specific roles in which you utilized or learned them. But be sure to write clearly and directly about how your work supported your organization’s business goals as well, so that anyone who may review your resume at your potential employer can see the value you bring.

Update it regularly.

Even if you are not currently on the job market, be sure to check in regularly on your resume to ensure it captures the most up-to-date and complete version of who you are as a professional. Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field, and one of the key steps you need to take if you want to specialize in it is to keep up with current events like new vulnerabilities and innovations.

Your commitment to staying at the forefront of the field should be reflected on your resume. Whenever you take on a new responsibility, complete a major project or have any other big win in your current role, be sure to revisit your resume and note it appropriately. You want your future employer to see that you are just as committed to constant self-improvement as you are to your organization’s success.

Count your credentials.

Cybersecurity is a field that places a great amount of weight on the certifications and other credentials you accumulate over the course of your career. Anything you might have earned by working hard through a program of training courses and performing well on a certification exam can help identify you as a standout professional and help qualify you for the most desirable roles in the industry.

Include the acronyms for relevant certifications after your name at the very top of your cybersecurity resume (e.g. “Jane Doe, CISSP”). Additionally, consider devoting an entire section to your certifications and credentials. Keeping in mind that some less technical readers may review the document, spell out the names of each certification fully here (don’t just use their acronyms), and think about adding a brief description of what went into earning them and what they signify about your skill set.

Keep it in order.

Your potential employers are interested first and foremost in the professional you are right now, so don’t bury the good stuff toward the bottom of your resume. If your employment history demonstrates sustained success in cybersecurity or related roles, lead with that. If you think your professional certifications stand out the most, highlight them toward the top. And if you know specific tools in your skill set are in demand for the job you want, make sure they catch your reader’s eye early.

It’s definitely OK if your formal education is in a field unrelated or merely tangential to cybersecurity. If this is the case, you can leave your academic degrees toward the bottom of the page. However, if you have gone the extra mile and earned a degree in the field, especially a master's degree in cybersecurity, make sure you give that accomplishment the attention it deserves.

Add a master’s in cybersecurity to your resume with Katz.

If you are looking for a great way to add high-impact technical skills, business leadership skills and career-defining credentials to your resume, you should definitely consider the online MS in Cybersecurity from Yeshiva University’s Katz School of Science and Health. Review the admissions requirements for the degree, and check out the practitioner faculty of experts and executives at major organizations who teach each of our online courses.