Hunt for Jobs Like a Pentester
Hunt for Jobs Like a Pentester


About this episode

In this episode, we are focused on the ever-divisive question of the importance of certifications in the cybersecurity industry. The answer to this question has changed over time from certifications being unimportant, to them being extremely important, to well, it depends.


Certifications can be extremely important for several reasons, including their ability to help your resume get through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) filters used by the human resources and recruiting team, but they are not a silver bullet that will instantly land you a job.


As Jason Dion (Lead Instructor of Dion Training) shares with us in this episode, certifications can be your ticket to getting an interview, but they alone won’t get you the position. That said, without having that certification on your resume, you can easily be filtered out of consideration before a hiring manager even gets a chance to look over your resume. This makes having the right certifications and experience imperative if you want to land your dream cybersecurity position.


Just as a certification isn’t a substitute for a college degree, you will also learn that a college degree is not a substitution for having the right certifications. This is often not an “either-or” thing, but a “yes-and” type of thing that you must achieve for many cybersecurity positions.


What you’ll learn

  • Why certifications are important in the cybersecurity industry?
  • Are certifications or experience more important to a hiring manager?
  • Are certifications or college degrees more important to a hiring manager?
  • Which certifications should you be getting to advance in your career?

Relevant websites for this episode


Episode Transcript

Kip Boyle:        

Hi, everyone. This is Your Cyber Path, the podcast that helps you get your dream cybersecurity job. I’m Kip Boyle, and I’m an experienced hiring manager of cybersecurity professionals. If you want to give me feedback on the show, or if you want me to answer your question on a future episode, take a look at the show page. It’s at anchor.fm/yourcyberpath. When you get there, you’ll see a message button, click that and start talking.

Recently, I came across what is no doubt an amazing livestream demonstration. I want to tell you about it because you’re going to want to check this out. Before I tell you about it, here’s my question, would you want to learn how to do a job search with the same intensity, skills and tools that you might use for a network penetration test when you’re looking for vulnerabilities to exploit? Well, if you want to bring that kind of approach to your job search, which I think is a really good idea, then you need to check out Jason Blanchard’s livestream, which I’ve been doing lately. I think it’s absolutely amazing. It’s something that Jason has recently started doing. He’s motivated to give back, to help people during the time of coronavirus, get a good job.

Here’s how it works. He does it twice per week and he does it on the twitch.tv website. I’m going to give you the URL in a few moments. When you join the livestream, you’ll see Jason sitting on his couch and he welcomes everybody. He then invites viewers to pitch questions at him about different aspects of finding a cybersecurity job. It could be anything from resume writing to skills development, but there’s one thing that he does that’s really fascinating. I’ve watched him do it several times now and it’s just great. If you ask him to help you find a cybersecurity job, then he’ll say, well, “What job title and what city? Where do you want to work?” Once you tell him, then he’ll share his computer screen and he’ll answer your question. At the same time, he’ll show you how he does it and how he does it is fascinating.

Recently, I was watching his livestream. I joined in and I said, “Hey, will help me find a great security operation center job in a major US city, whichever one had the best jobs.” What I watched him do was just fascinating. He started by conducting a highly-focused search for open jobs on LinkedIn. Once he found a job posting that fit my needs, then he pivoted his search for the hiring managers who were likely behind the job post. After he gathered some additional information, then he went over to Twitter. He gathered additional in information from Twitter about the people that he found on LinkedIn. The goal there was to increase the richness of the information and also to look for other connected people. His ultimate goal was this, to make himself known to hiring manager with the idea that if it was done skillfully and done well, then that could result in a significant advantage in the job search to get essentially, a champion, to make the hiring manager a champion of and thereby, get a great ally inside the organization that you would like to work for.

It’s just fantastic because the other way to do this is to submit your resume through the normal channels and then have to run the gauntlet of the applicant tracking system, which is really difficult, but Jason shows you how to do that too, by the way. This is something that I teach people who are looking for their dream cybersecurity job is yes, submit your resume through the applicant tracking system, but then go on a search for an internal champion who will help you, who will reach their hand into the applicant tracking system and pluck your resume from the pile and get it in front of the hiring manager. I just think Jason takes this to a whole other level beyond anything I’ve ever done. I recommend that you tune in.

Again, Jason does this twice per week over on the twitch.tv website and his Twitch username is BanjoCrashLand, all one word. I don’t know what exactly he means by that, but when I saw that, it made me think of an old video game I used to play called Banjo Kazooie with my son. Anyway, that was kind of fun. I’m going to put the URL in the show notes, but I’m going to tell you it right now. It’s twitch.tv/banjocrashland, spelled just like you would find those words in the dictionary. He’s online two times a week. I don’t know how much longer he’s going to do this for. I hope he does it for a long time, but you’ll find him at that URL on Tuesdays from 4 to 6:00 PM Pacific Time, which is between 7 to 9:00 PM Eastern. He also does it on Fridays tarting at 10:00 AM and it goes for two hours until noon Pacific Time, or that would be 1 to 3:00 PM Eastern Time here in the US.

Again, you have to check this out. You just absolutely need to check this out. Even if you’re not currently searching for your dream cybersecurity job, these are very valuable techniques. I would not want you to miss out on them. Well, the masterclass is over and as I said last time, we’re going to reopen it. We’re very busy in fact, retooling it and rehosting it and we’re aiming for it to be up and running again no later than June 1st. When we have a launch date fixed, I will share that with you later on. That’s enough for now. Thanks for listening and until next time, remember, you’re just one path away from your dream cybersecurity job.

Headshot of Kip BoyleYOUR HOST:

Kip Boyle
Cyber Risk Opportunities

Kip Boyle serves as virtual chief information security officer for many customers, including a professional sports team and fast-growing FinTech and AdTech companies. Over the years, Kip has built teams by interviewing hundreds of cybersecurity professionals. And now, he’s sharing his insider’s perspective with you!

Headshot of Jason DionYOUR CO-HOST:

Jason Dion
Dion Training Solutions

Jason Dion is the lead instructor at Dion Training Solutions. Jason has been the Director of a Network and Security Operations Center and an Information Systems Officer for large organizations around the globe. He is an experienced hiring manager in the government and defense sectors.