Before joining Cisco, I spent a lot of time wading through the resumes of potential cybersecurity candidates to hire for my teams. I was looking for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences but finding candidates with zero to three years of experience was the most difficult to find.
Many find it challenging to get a job, but I will let you in on a little secret – it’s even more challenging for a hiring manager to find quality cybersecurity talent.
The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report confirms my experience. In the report, they found that 60 percent of IT managers say hiring has been difficult, leaving many IT positions opens. The top reasons: the inability to find qualified job candidates or pay what they demand.
For the fifth straight year, cybersecurity is the most difficult IT hiring area. According to a recent (ISC)2 study, the cybersecurity workforce gap is 3.12 million globally. There simply aren’t enough security professionals to keep organizations safe. Without proper security professionals, sensitive data and information is ripe for the taking.
Below are five tips to help you convince the hiring manager that you are “The Candidate” to hire:
- Research the organization and its competitors and talk about how you might run a comparison between them – being sure to sum up the key points in 3-5 bullets.
- Have a back pocket security assessment methodology for any system. Be it withdrawing funds from ATM or launch of a new fictional website like UnicornABC Inc.
- Take courses that teach you in-demand industry skills such network security, security operations, vulnerability assessment, incident response and some programming (for accessing APIs processing and producing basic output). I encourage you to check out what Cisco Networking Academy has to offer. The courses are aligned to in-demand industry skills and certifications.
- Demonstrate you have the soft skills like collaboration and problem-solving needed to do the job, using projects you did while in school, at work, or in an internship as an example.
- Showcase all of your relevant cybersecurity experience, digital badges, certifications, and education on your LinkedIn page to help you stand out before the interview.
All the best!
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