Cyber security is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, especially if you are in a workplace that relies heavily on technology and/or protecting personal and sensitive data.
We hear time and time again that we should change our passwords frequently, refrain from sharing work tech with family members, and whatever you do, don’t click on that link from an unknown sender.
But how many of us actually follow all these rules all of the time?
Now imagine you work for a major corporation, and you make a mistake such as using “Cookies42” for using your password for two years straight (I have never used Cookies42, so it’s up for grabs!)
Eventually, someone hacks it because it hasn’t changed, and now there is a worm in your company system stealing customers’ credit card information.
Those who work in cybersecurity are to stop that and many other threats from happening or causing too much damage.
Resume objective for cyber security
There are different types of cyber threats that a cybersecurity specialist will need to be familiar with; they include phishing, malware, viruses, ransomware, and social engineering.
As TechTarget points out, it can be difficult staying on top of the ever-changing types of threats and ways to handle them. They point out that more and more employers are trying to be more proactive against threats.
So what does all this mean for someone who works in the field? Simply put, it means you need to have a diverse knowledge base, a technical aptitude, and a willingness to learn and grow.
After reading through a dozen-plus resumes, the trend we saw was individuals mentioning specific experience: knowledge of frameworks, knowledge of protocols, threat modeling & assessment, and AWS & Azure.
While soft skills are also mentioned throughout the articles we read, they don’t seem to feature in the objective.
Keep your objective focused on the hard-skills and accomplishments you have made in cyber security.
Experienced Cyber Security professional skilled in communication security, offensive and defensive security capabilities, cyber security frameworks such as CFS, ISO, and NST CF, and capable of learning new technologies quickly. 6+ years of experience managing cyber incident response, preservation, containment, and eradication.
Resume skills for cyber security
There are technical skills and soft-skills needed to become a cyber security specialist.
Cipher’s blog does an excellent job of breaking the skills down into both categories and detailing what each one entails.
Some of the hard-skills they mention are analytics and intelligence, firewall, intrusion detection, and digital forensics.
Chaplain College adds to the above list by detailing some of the soft-skills required: attention to detail, communication skills, and a desire to learn more.
The last one is extremely important because of how fast-paced changes in cyber security can occur.
Understanding of Hacking | Data Management Protection | Firewall/IDS/IPS | Security Incident Handling | Digital Forensics | Analytical | Ability to think Hyper Critically
Cyber security work experience
Cyber security positions are widely available across the employment spectrum.
According to Security Magazine, the two skills with the largest expected job growth are Application Development Security and Cloud Security.
The five-year projected job growth for both skills is 164% and 115%, respectively.
Other skill sets out there include Incident Response, Health & Information security, and Data and Privacy & Security.
Cyber security jobs are in high demand as more and more people turn to remote work, applications, and services due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The majority of positions you will find available in the cyber security world fall under the umbrella of Information Security Analyst, Vulnerability Assessor, and IT Security Consultant.
Sample Work Experience
Cyber Security Analyst, 2015-2020
Monitored and supported security operations for malicious threats. Responsible for determining responses to threats and analyzing and reporting of threats.
- Performed cyber incident triage
- Data restoration
- Used COTS technologies
- Made presentations to supervisors and higher-ups when needed
Cyber Security Analyst, 2010-2015
Executed in real-time incident handling, triage of events, network analysis, and threat detection. Provided the Intelligence Community with priority intelligence requirements and indications and warning requirements for potential attacks.
- De-conflicting Vulnerability Analysis and Assessments
- Developed and coordinated a curriculum for onboarding of new staff
- Ensured that all Computer Network Defense Service providers had continuous information exchange
- Recommended changes in actions based on the threat source
Cyber Security Analyst, 2006-2010
Ensured company systems’ overall health through 24/7 monitoring, directing, controlling, coordination, de-conflicting, synchronizing, and regularly reporting the current status.
- Performed trend analysis
- Incident handling
- Experienced in ArcSight, Splunk, and Wireshark
- Briefed Senior Leaders
Cyber security education
In most cases, a four-year degree is required to obtain a position in cyber security; however, you may be able to find some entry level jobs with an associate’s degree.
A master’s degree is not needed for most starting positions, but it may be something to consider after being in the field for some years and wish to advance your career.
Some of the most common degrees other than cyber security include computer science, forensic computing, software engineering, information systems, and engineering.
Cybersecurity Guide lists some of the best colleges in 2020 to obtain a degree in cyber security.
Their list includes Utica College, Purdue University, ECPI University, Grand Canyon College, and Southern New Hampshire University.
Southern New Hampshire University
Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security, 2001-2005
- Concentration in Data Analysis
In addition to your education, some companies may require or desire you to have specific certifications.
You can often obtain these certifications through a college or university.
Learn How to Become lists three certifications that may prove useful: Technology & National Security, Introduction to Penetration Testing, Cyber Risk Management for Decision Makers.
There are certifications simply in cyber security that you can obtain if you already have a bachelor’s degree and you are looking to switch careers.
Based on our research for this article, over 250 different certifications surfaced related to cyber security, so if you are looking to specialize or brush up your skills, you should have no issues!
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner
Complete cyber security resume sample
The first several sections of the article covered what should be included on a cyber security resume. Below is a listing for an actual cyber security position.
Following the job listing is an entire sample resume, which you can use as a template.
Based on the dozens of job postings read in preparation for this article, this job seems to fall right in the middle of what a typical cyber security job entails.
The job description covers how the candidate will assess and manage security threats and emphasizes the ability to work and collaborate on a team.
Skilled cyber security professional with 15+ years of experience. Experience in both the private and government sectors detecting and handling cyber security threats. Extensive knowledge of security vulnerabilities and possess the ability to be an effective member of a team.
Firewall | Digital Forensics | Social Media for Intelligence Gathering | SIEM Management | Intrusion Detection | Security Development | National Management Incident Systems | Presenting Information at the Executive Level
GS Consulting, Dept. of Defense
Cyber Security Analyst, 2014-current
Work as part of a threat analysis team that focuses primarily on cyber threats to the DOD. Evaluate threat technologies and utilize and apply knowledge to determine risk and eliminate the threat.
- Conduct analysis with DNR/DNI
- Write reports based on analysis of cyber threats
- Synthesized data to report at the executive level
- Collected and analyzed data from a variety of sources
Cyber Education & Engagement Focal, 2008 – 2014
Worked to improve cyber security IQ throughout the corporation and created cyber security education, training, and execution awareness campaigns.
- Drafted internal communications related to cyber security policies
- Liaised with IMB Corporate Communications and HR
- Organized and reported key factors regarding IBM’s cyber security
- Analyzed real-time data to create accurate and realistic training materials and cyber security scenarios and solutions
Clear Ridge Defense, Fort Meade
Junior Cyber Analysis Support Specialist, 2005-2008
Collaborated with analytical counterparts throughout the U.S. Intelligence Community. Utilized SIGNIT as the primary source of analysis and reporting.
- DNR/DNI Analysis
- Used INTELINK and Agility
- Gathered and compiled multi-source analysis
- Implemented new threat detection technologies
- GIAC Mobile Device Security Analyst
- CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor
- Forensics and Incident Handling Certification
Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk Management, 2009-2012
Augusta State University
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, 2001-2005
- Concentration Information Technology
Cyber security is a quickly growing field, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. As the world puts more and more information on the web, more and more people are needed to protect it.
In addition to being a steady career plan, it is also a well-paying job. The majority of entry-level jobs begin at around $50k and can reach well above $100k annually.
It is also a job that has a lot of room for job growth or parallel movement.
- Bachelor’s degree is required for most jobs
- Jobs are available in both the government and public sector
- Cyber security is a highly technical field of work
Tips from Experts
“Passwords are like underwear; don’t let people see it, change it often, and you shouldn’t share it with strangers.” Chris Pirillo, Former Host on TechTV Television, CEO & Founder of LockerGnome Inc.
As cybersecurity leaders, we have to create our message of influence because security is a culture, and you need the business to take place and be part of that security culture.” — Britney Hommertzheim, Director, Information Security, AMC Theatres, at SecureWorld Kansas City
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.” ― Stephane Nappo, Global Head Information Security for Société Générale International Banking
For those who have a love of computers and a little bit of spy love, this could be the perfect career for you.
You will have the opportunity to work on the forefront of our nation’s defense and become part of the ever-growing team in this new battle of national security.