A question we often field from our Evolve Academy students is “what will give me a leg up when I’m looking to land a job in cybersecurity?” And in reality there is no exact answer, as there are a plethora of different skills and technologies that are relevant in the field. So how do you set yourself apart to help you land a stellar cybersecurity role, using the skills you know you’ve acquired? We asked Evolve Security’s very own Director of People Operations, Sarah Thomas as well as Career Coach, Martin McGovern for some solid advice to help you get the interview and land your first or next best cybersecurity job.
Be confident in your experience
To start, know what you bring to the table. Many people think they only qualify for an entry-level job because they’ve just recently acquired their new skills. However, with the right messaging, you can show how your day-to-day skills qualify you for a higher-level job. What have you done in practice? Do you participate in capture the flag? Hack the box? Have you ranked well in a hackathon? Skills like these are easily transferable into the world of cybersecurity employment! Emphasize them, explain how they translate into the role you’re applying for to help convince your potential employer on how they will benefit their organization and team.
Understand what a company is looking for
If you’re to the point in your career where you have technical skills you can put on your resume, be sure to tailor them to the job description you’re applying for, every time. Evolve’s Director of People Operations, Sarah Thomas says “find what the job description is trying to get at and map your experience to it.” The tools and certifications required for a job are going to be listed right in the job description. If you don’t have the exact hard skill listed, find a way to link the skills and experience you do have. Whether it be expertise with similar tools, apprenticeship experience or projects completed, companies want to know what you’re bringing to the table in a way that is applicable to them, as well as how you’ve been keeping up with the changes in cybersecurity over the years.
Know your story cold
When it comes to nailing the interview, Sarah’s best tip is this: “Get your ‘about me’ down pat and be able to present it in 2 minutes or less. Be sure to tailor it to the position you’re applying for, hit the highlights and sell yourself. Every company is going to ask that question, having a good pitch and solid story about yourself sets the tone for the interview.” Career Coach, Martin McGovern, also offered sound advice: “Be confident. Talk up the skills you’ve used in class; really help the company understand what you’ve done and what you can do for them in the future.”
Help them, help you
If you’re just starting your job search, the best advice Martin can offer is to get comfortable with networking. “You need to be connecting with people who want to be networking. It allows you to not only meet other professionals in a field that is relevant to your interests but also potentially identify a hidden job market through those relationships.” Evolve Academy offers networking opportunities such as our monthly MeetUps to help lower the barrier to networking; utilize them! A little research can go a long way in making the right connections, in the right forums.
With these four tips to help you land your next cybersecurity role; it’s time to get out there and see what’s the right match for you! Evolve Security has open positions and would love to hear from you. If you’re not ready to apply for a job but are still interested in acquiring cybersecurity skills, check out Evolve Academy’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp. Our next cohort starts in July; you could be joining the 94% of our alumni who land a new job within six months of completing the course.