How to get a Cybersecurity Job
Boosting your Profile to stand out in Cyber Security
So, you want a job in Cyber Security? Great! We definitely need more enthusiastic, driven and capable people in the industry. According to reports, the industry is below capacity to the tune of over 3.1 Million empty chairs. There are some really good benefits from working in Cyber; Job security, excellent wages, helping people, work from home potential, etc.
Are you Red, or Blue?
How do you go from where you are now, to landing your first Cyber Role? Well first things first, you need to know what job within Cyber that you would like to do. The field is massive and it’s not just the ‘Hacker’ or ‘Penetration Tester’ jobs which are in demand. Businesses need security advice and help on every front. From understanding the Compliance requirements of EU GDPR to reaching Governance Certification in standards such as ISO 27001. The field of Governance, Risk and Compliance is needed within every business. A company is building a new office block, well those offices need computers and networking; they need a Security Architect and Network Security Engineers. When that office block is completed and the business has moved 500 employees into it, they need Security Operations and Analysts to work there and make sure the network is monitored and safe from intrusion. As you can start to see, there are lots of jobs within Cyber and you need to decide which route that interests you initially. There is no reason why a switch between Cyber career paths can’t happen later, but you need to focus on one to start with. Choose your direction on our Cyber Career Paths Page
Training & Education
Which one did you choose? Fantastic! How do you go about getting the skills required for that job? Do you want to go to college or university? A boot-camp? Or self study while working another job? You need to research the options, see what fits your goals and budget. There are loads of free and cost effective options, reach out to others within the industry and ask for advice. I chose the self study route. I had the amazing opportunity of completing a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Cyber Security. When Covid started here in the UK, I was put on furlough and took that opportunity to complete the HNC online over the next 4 months. This gave me a basic knowledge of the skills required for various jobs within the field of Cyber Security. From there I needed to boost my chances of getting a job. I completed the CompTIA Security+ online using Udemy. Now I have an industry recognised cert that would get me past the Human Resources filters. Time to start looking for a job!
Your CV is fit for nothing more than the bin. That is exactly where it will go when it lands on the desk of a hiring manager. You need to work on it! Update it to fit the direction you want to go. Fill it with information on how you bossed your previous jobs. They don’t want to know your responsibilities, they want to know that you implemented a solution that saved the company £15,000 through your innovation. They want to know how you managed to bring the team together to get the company project completed before the deadline enabling the company to win a new contract. They want to know how you introduced a new procedure which saved the company 10 hours of labour costs by doing the same job in a different way. HOW DID YOU ADD VALUE TO THE COMPANY? Answer that and you’ll get interviews in no time.
Building ‘Brand You’ is key to standing out from the crowd. There is a massive Cyber Security Industry on LinkedIn and you should be using your profile in the best way to tell people who visit who you are, what you do and why you are amazing at it.
Banner – Update your banner to include a professional photo or background
Add text over the banner to advertise you!
Add a Job Title for the job you want not the job you have
Add info of where else you are online like Twitter or YouTube
Add a Website if you have one
Profile Photo – Get a Head Shot done. This is easy to do.
Stick on a smart shirt or blouse
Add a tie if you wish
Take it with a solid background
Add good lighting, natural light is better than artificial
Use an editing software to make the photo better
Add a filter to give it a unique feel it you wish
About – Add an awesome summary of who you are, what career steps you have taken and what courses you have been doing.
Add achievements like top 10% on Try Hack Me
Add Certifications like the Sec+
Add Goals – What Cert are you taking next
Tell them What you are good at and How you can add value to their business!
Employment History – Use this as a form of CV.
Relate it to what you want to do and how you added value!
Education – List Skills that you have gained
Firewall Configuration / HashCat / WireShark / Vulnerability Scanning / Report Writing
Saleable Skills that they can use to charge customers from your labour
Customer Services / Communication etc
Don’t forget the Soft Skills! Companies need employees who can communicate
References – Get people you have worked with to write a reference for you.
Applying for loads of jobs and hoping your CV sticks to a company is a method of getting a job but it’s not a good one. A recent poll on LinkedIn showed that over 50% of people employed in Tech jobs got the job through Networking. What is Networking? I thought it was how computers speak with each other…… Well it is, but in relation to getting a job, Networking is the ability to use the people you know to find a company that is searching for an employee that matches your skills. After watching Neal Bridges speak about ‘Hacking LinkedIn’ on his Twitch stream, Cyber Insecurity. I followed his advice and began to build my network on LinkedIn. He challenged ‘Get 1000 connections on LinkedIn.’ This was to be completed within 6 months. I started to build out those connections, adding people who had Cyber Security roles or worked at Cyber Security companies. It is achievable and I’m currently sitting with over 1800 connections.
These connections should be quality connections where possible. What do I mean by that? People that you have interacted with. The only way to get people to know you is to have interactions with them. Comment on their posts, ask them for comments on yours, talk to them directly. Help them with something and they will remember that. Ask them to speak with Hiring Managers at the company they work for if you know there is a suitable position. This takes work, people will not likely risk their reputation on someone they know nothing about. Put in that work and you’ll reap the rewards of the hard work later.
Show your work
Whatever stage of learning you are at, there is someone behind you in the process. Use your work from the training you are doing to help others go through the same process. Teaching the subject reaffirms that knowledge in your head and you can use that going forward to express that knowledge in job interviews or actually use it in the job.
Write a blog on a certification
Show the layout of your home lab and how you built it
Did you learn a new security framework? Great, What are the main points people need to know?
Do a deep dive into Wireshark
Explain a function of MetaSploit
Tell people about it on a post!
The number of ways you can help others is limitless and only restricted by your imagination.
You may come up against a brick wall with the required experience when going through the application process. You can blow an employer away with your personality and your ability but if you don’t have the experience then they will most likely choose the other candidate who does. So what do we do? There are loads of things you can do! Again the sky is limitless when it comes to this. I will list a few ideas:
Offer to help a very small local business with their Cyber Security
Offer to help a Charity
Build a Profile on Fiver & UpWork and bid for work!
Contract jobs from self employed Cyber Pro's
Volunteer at Cyber Security Events
Help run a Capture The Flag Competition
Speak at Events
Network with Local Business Owners
Write Blogs or start a YouTube channel
Build a Website – Offer your services on there
Create a Service Package you can sell to businesses
Do everything you can to get some experience
Once you have started doing these things, write about it, blog, vlog, create content and advertise yourself further. It will begin to highlight your skills and determination to your network. Utilise every possible route you can to Boost your Profile.