EPISODE 23
On Your Resume–Job History
EPISODE 23
On Your Resume–Job History

ON YOUR RESUME–JOB HISTORY

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?
 

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Episode Transcript

Kip Boyle:

Hi, everyone, welcome. This is Your Cyber Path. It’s the podcast that helps you get your dream cyber security job. I’m Kip Boyle, I’m here with [Wes Shriner] and we are experienced hiring managers of cyber security professionals. And we want to hear from you, give us some feedback on the show. Maybe you just want to say you like something or you didn’t like it, maybe you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer on a future episode, whatever it is, visit the show page at anchor.fm/yourcyberpath. And when you get there, there’s a message button, just click on it and start talking to us. So on today’s show, what we want to do is help you construct a great job history section for your resume. So we’re going to share some things with you like, what goes in there, how much details should you include and how do hiring managers actually evaluate that section?

Wes Shriner:

You know, Kip, I’m looking forward to this week. It’s going to be a good topic. I think we’re going to get a lot done,

Kip Boyle:

Definitely. But now I’m nervous about talking to you about my job performance.

Wes Shriner: 

Aren’t we all? Aren’t we all? That’s a hard conversation, right? It’s really hard to walk in and say, I am really good at these things and these things and beat my chest and tell you greatness. We’re not trained to do that, and that’s not what we’re going to be asking you to do today either.

Kip Boyle: 

Good.

Wes Shriner:

I do need to tell you that this has been a fun week on the farm. The perch for the peacocks broke. They’ve been flying, they’re heavy and they broke the wood for the perch for the peacock. So the boy has decided he needs to replace that perch.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay, which boy? What are we talking? Who’s the boy?

Wes Shriner: 

This is the teenager, right? The teenage boy.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

So he gets off the chainsaw and he is off to go cut down a tree, maybe a three inch maple, three inch old or something like that and clean it and then throw it in there as a perch for the peacocks, maybe 20 feet long or so.

Kip Boyle: 

All right.

Wes Shriner: 

The chainsaw’s away getting sharpened right now.

Kip Boyle: 

Missing a key tool here.

Wes Shriner:

Yeah, it is, right? Because how are you going to cut this down? He grabs the lawnmower, put the trailer on the back, grabbed two different axes, two headed axe and a little bit smaller one and the machete and said, he’s going to solve this problem the old fashioned way, right?

Kip Boyle: 

By going to his elders and whining.

Wes Shriner: 

No.

Kip Boyle: 

Is that the old fashioned way?

Wes Shriner: 

No. He drove the little tractor over with the trailer. He used an ax to cut down the tree, clean the wood with the machete, throw it on the back of the trailer and he’s hung it in the peacock arena, aviary as a perch. And I didn’t have to be involved.

Kip Boyle:

Wow.

Wes Shriner: 

And I’m telling you that because that’s a really cool thing from a management perspective, when your people can solve problems, even when the chainsaw is not available. That’s a cool thing.

Kip Boyle: 

Because it’s not about the chainsaw, is it? It’s about a perch for the peacocks.

Wes Shriner: 

It’s bird time, we got to take care of the birds.

Kip Boyle: 

Well, and I think you’re right, it is a management issue. These are the kinds of people we want on our teams. And it’s our job to find those people. And resumes, as we’ve been talking about now for the last several episodes, resumes are an important tool that we can use. It’s our chainsaw, so to speak, to find the people that will behave this way when we invite them to join our team.

Wes Shriner: 

So each section of the resume tells me something about how you communicate with a different audience, right? The summary section tells me how you’re going to talk with my boss. What I want you to show me is you can be brief, be brilliant and be gone.

Kip Boyle: 

I love that, I just love that. I am now looking for times to use that even with my children. I don’t think they’re going to understand, but…

Wes Shriner: 

The skills section and that’s the next section in your resume tells me how you’re going to talk with your peers. And I want you to show me in there, how you can organize your skills and how you can present them in a way that lays it out, both saying what you can do, operational skills, without being aspirational, pretending to do something you don’t know how to do, because you will be asked about it.

Kip Boyle: 

Right. Now listeners, if you missed the previous episodes where we talked about the summary section of the skills section, go back and listen to it because these are important things you’re communicating to your future boss.

Wes Shriner:

So, and that’s a big deal because future boss means that someday I’m going to be a past boss, right? So this section that we’re going to talk about today is your job history. It tells me, how are you going to talk about me someday, right? What did you do while you were with me and what was the environment and the experience? So it’s very important to me that you speak well of your previous experiences, because I understand I’m going to be one of them someday.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. And that actually goes back to two, I think it was two episodes ago. We talked about personal reputation. We talked about as a candidate, what are people going to say about you and what you put in the job history, you’re actually going to be telling us, revealing to us your personal reputation before we ever do the first reference check.

Wes Shriner: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And so if I were to start off, we’ll start off with the fundamentals, right? The very simple space. I want you to start with a verb.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay. So this is how you’re actually going to write the job history section, this is our recommendation to you listeners, this is how we think you should do it. Now these are the rules as we see them. But here’s the thing about rules. If you understand the rules really, really well, then you can probably break the rules from time to time and do fine. But if you don’t even know what the rules are, then you can’t be the kind of master that sort of mix it up as they go along. So let’s go ahead and step through it. So okay, Wes, [crosstalk]

Wes Shriner: 

Understand this is also a style issue, right? So I’m offering you Wes’s style, right, Kip’s style. And I’m in Seattle, right? It could be that the people in Maryland have different expectations for a resume. You can’t speak to that. I’m a fifth generation Washingtonian. So I can’t speak to things on the other side of the country [crosstalk].

Kip Boyle: 

And the fact that you said it, Washingtonian tells me something about your family’s reputation.

Wes Shriner: 

So with that, let’s caveat with, this is the Seattle culture that I’m offering here, but I’d like to see it start with a verb. I’d like that verb to be past tense, if it’s a previous job and present tense, if it’s a current job.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay, that seems very basic. What else?

Wes Shriner:

I want you in the first five words to tell me what the subject is, and we’ll give you an example of this in just a minute, but-

Kip Boyle: 

All right. The subject of the thing that you did.

Wes Shriner: 

The thing, right? So as simple as a past tense verb, how do we do that? I fed the cat, right? If fed the cat was, that’s three words, and you just gave me a past tense verb and a subject, right?

Kip Boyle:

Fed cat.

Wes Shriner: 

And then the third part of that bullet is really important. It’s something you delivered, something you measured, something I can hold onto that says you did more than fed the cat, right? I fed the cat five ounces of milk. Now that is a very specific past tense action to a thing with a measure.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, and an even better measure would be, I fed the cat five ounces of milk and it doubled in weight in a month or whatever.

Wes Shriner:

Baby kitty, baby kitty grows, yes, and started catching mice and taking them away. And that was awesome.

Kip Boyle: 

And doing all its farm demanded jobs.

Wes Shriner: 

Good job kitty. All right, so let’s see some examples of what [crosstalk] past tense verb, noun and measurement might be, right?

Kip Boyle: 

Great. Yep, let’s do it.

Wes Shriner: 

Deployed network access control to 80% of company endpoints.

Kip Boyle: 

Is that it?

Wes Shriner:

I did a thing to a thing, and this many.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay, yeah. Okay, cool. So deployed network access control. So deployed is the verb, network access control is the subject, 80% of company endpoints, that’s what I was able to actually deliver, wonderful.

Wes Shriner: 

And it’d be a great conversation in the interview for how did you pick those 80%? What happened to the other 20%? Why [crosstalk] or not do them, right?

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. Which network access control product did you guys actually deploy?

Wes Shriner: 

What a great conversation.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. And then you could even say something like, and you know after we selected that product, we got a couple of surprises and here’s how we worked around those.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s right. Leave me some candy there, we can talk about in the interview, all right?

Kip Boyle:

Great. What’s another example?

Wes Shriner: 

Another one [crosstalk], architected CASB implementation for Fortune 500 company, right? I architected an implementation of CASB, but notice, I didn’t say, architected an implementation of CASB. I said, architected CASB implementation. I want to keep it as efficient as possible to go from what I did on what thing and then go to measure it for Fortune 500 company.

Kip Boyle: Yeah. 

Now that’s really interesting because it says something about scale, right?

Wes Shriner: 

It does, it does. And to be clear, you don’t have to have the same measure for everyone and it doesn’t have to be a percentage every time. What you did and what your role there is more important to me than that you conquered the world, right? So here’s another one introduced, and this is a compound sentence, so let’s play with this one.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay.

Wes Shriner: 

Introduced firewall rule objects. So a verb and an object, to simplify firewall rule infrastructure, period. Second sentence removed 600 plus redundant point to point rules while better segmenting the network.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay. So yeah, that is a big one. It kind of really stretches is the limits here, doesn’t it?

Wes Shriner:

It does. And I’m kind of playing with it a little bit, but I think this one’s safe and here’s why. Because I introduced firewall rule objects. Great, I know what the topic is. And then the second sentence, remove 600 plus redundant point to point rules. Wow, how cool is that? That I can have a firewall engineer who’s able to clean up my firewall rules by 600 plus rules and their point to point rules, which is a very simple point to point over port kind of protocols. And so you’ve really got to, anytime you can clean up lost or legacy rules in your firewall, you’re reducing the number of things and times you have holes between your segmentation.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. And you’re also going to get better performance on that firewall too, right? It doesn’t have as many rules to evaluate. So it’s going to be a little more speedy and maybe you don’t have to upgrade it so soon.

Wes Shriner: 

So better performance, more security. Maybe you could end this sentence with, with no outages, right? That would be an excellent way to end this sentence, remove 600 plus redundant rules while better segmenting the network with no production outages, right?

Kip Boyle:

Yeah, great.

Wes Shriner: 

That might be an interesting end to that. Okay, one more and then we’ll move on. But I really like that compound way of doing it because you’re really using two lines for that bullet, but you told me a lot and you were very efficient with the words you chose in doing that.

Kip Boyle: 

And there’s a lot of benefits in there that you’ve talked about, right? How it’s actually helped. I think your ability to demonstrate business value, that you can create business value and deliver business value is super, super helpful to making me believe that you are the person that I should bring on my team.

Wes Shriner: 

Right. Another example, and this will be my last example for now, is, I built an IoT device, cool, that’s kind of sexy, right? I built an IoT device to measure environmental variables and report using a mesh network with Bluetooth connectivity. I don’t know, I’m making this up.

Kip Boyle: 

No, no, it’s good. But I think that, like that particular bullet, I think wins the award for the most jargony terms and, like that’s something I’d expect to see at the RSA conference on the show floor.

Wes Shriner: 

Well played. But it’s going to trigger a conversation, right? If all of your bullets look like this, you’re going to be in trouble. But I think a few where I built an IoT device is an interesting thing. There is no measure in this one, it says to measure environmental variables and report using. And then from there we’re starting to use buzzwords and we do need to tighten that one up a little bit. Good call.

Kip Boyle: 

Well, I think these are excellent examples. So you know what I’m going to do is I’m going to take a couple of these and put them in the show notes for folks so that they can look at them later on. Okay, so those are some examples of what you ought to do. Now I got to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve seen plenty of examples of what you should not do.

Wes Shriner: 

So I came across a resume last week that had three jobs in the last year, which is okay, because they were contract jobs and that’s a normal thing in some of our worlds. This person had a four month job with 12 bullets describing their activity in that job.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay, so that’s a lot.

Wes Shriner: 

How can you be in four month of a job and have 12 bullets already?

Kip Boyle:

And so I’m thinking like that resume must have been like several pages.

Wes Shriner: 

It was a long one, it was a long one.

Kip Boyle: 

And that’s really the issue. It’s not that we don’t want to deny you your achievements. That’s not the issue at all.

Wes Shriner: 

No, it’s your job to filter the most important things, bubble them to the top so that I can see and evaluate you on the most important things. Because if you don’t filter your resume for the things that are most important, I’m going to filter your resume for the things I see fastest.

Kip Boyle: 

And those may not be the best ones.

Wes Shriner: 

May not be what you want. So you do the filter work for me and we’re going to be more successful. This is a reminder that I do suggest we have two different variations of our resume, the human reading resume and the machine learning resume, right? When you submit one through the computer, you can put as many bullets in there as you want, when you submit it through email or in person, I want it to be tight and clean.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. And to the extent that your resume is not nice and tight and clean and following these rules, it just makes me feel like you’re putting the burden on me as the hiring manager to sort and sift and do that lifting that, it’s like, I need people on my team who aren’t going to bring me their problems, right? I’m thinking about peacocks right now. I don’t know why, but anyway, so…

Wes Shriner: 

So did you read your own resume, right? Could you sit down and read your own resume? Would it be fun for you to do that? Because if someone else has prepared it for you, does it read like you wrote it, right? And can you stand behind it? And does it keep your attention? Because if it doesn’t keep your attention, I guarantee you’re not holding mine.

Kip Boyle:

Yeah. And if somebody else wrote it for you and I ask you, oh wow, you did a mesh network, well, that’s unusual because normally I see it deployed differently, why did you do it that way? And if you look surprised when I ask you that, not good, not good.

Wes Shriner: 

Oh goodness.

Kip Boyle: 

Not good at all. Okay, yeah, those [crosstalk].

Wes Shriner: 

That takes us [crosstalk].

Kip Boyle: 

So do you have any other bad examples that are top of mind for you?

Wes Shriner: 

Well, let’s go to big claims, right? If you claim that you invented the internet…

Kip Boyle: 

Senator Gore [crosstalk].

Wes Shriner:

… Probably a stretch. Did you build the first bread slicer, probably stretch, right?

Kip Boyle: 

You invented the question mark.

Wes Shriner:

Exactly. No, no, you didn’t build the first bread slicer. Maybe you automated it or maybe you built the logging for it, but please don’t exaggerate in these bullets, right? That’s important for me to be able to trust that when say you can do something, I can trust you can do it. One of the key things we actually interview for is being able to say, I don’t know. If you aren’t confident enough in what you know, to be able to say, I don’t know, when you found the edge and you start making things up, it’s not going to end well for you in the interview.

Kip Boyle: 

No. And it’s not going to go well for you in the job if you should happen to get it.

Wes Shriner: 

Right, right. So yes. And it does become parts of interview [inaudible] at the company when people make up protocols and start describing that protocol that they secured one time long ago. But I’ll leave that one in the drawer for now.

Kip Boyle: 

Okay, all right.

Wes Shriner:

[crosstalk] on guys, get some spelling and conjugation and basic command of your work. Just control the stuff you are putting forward so that I know that you’re able to describe what you did and how I can plan with you for you to be able to do that for me.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. Yep. Spell check, grammar check, Grammarly, If that what you need, something like that. I mean, there’s lots of tools that will help you avoid some of those terrible-

Wes Shriner: 

Always do that. And the last pitfall I’m going to call out before we got to jump to the next thing is too many fluffy words with no scoring behind it. I think you called me out on that already with the mesh network. But if you have more adverbs than metrics, you’re going the wrong way, right? Then I must say categorically that the exhaustive nature of your content brought very little learning to the table, right?

Kip Boyle:

[crosstalk] post with a capital V man.

Wes Shriner: 

Don’t do that, don’t do that.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh, and that’s not easy. I mean, let’s be realistic here. Writing is hard. Most people in cybersecurity, information security that I’ve met hate writing anyway. So the deck is kind of stacked against a lot of folks here. So we get it, but that doesn’t change the fact that these are the things that we’re looking for.

Wes Shriner: 

That’s true, that’s true.

Kip Boyle: 

Now, okay, so another really bad idea in the job history section is to serve up a dense wall of text written in the narrative. Looking like you use the voice to text function on your computer, but never bother to go back and clean it up.

Wes Shriner: 

Not helping you, yeah.

Kip Boyle: 

No, not at all. I’m not going to read it, I’m not going to read it. I’m just going to go ugh, and I’m going to go to the next one.

Wes Shriner: 

I am sure you’re a fascinating individual.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, and I am going to clear you for take off to fascinate somebody else.

Wes Shriner: 

There you go.

Kip Boyle: 

Another thing I’ve seen people do in the job history section, which is a little misguided, I think, which is, maybe they’ve got some hobby that they really enjoy and they’ve gotten some experiences and they’re kind of peripheral or maybe not, and those end up on the resume. And I just kind of, giant question mark over my head. I just don’t get it.

Wes Shriner: 

Well, if you’re [crosstalk] a new graduate and they have limited work experience, but they had a couple classes with interesting related course material, do you think that’s a situation where maybe I can integrate the two?

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. I think if you do it well and you’re thoughtful about the job that you’re applying for and you’re putting something in there that is applicable, then sure, yeah. But [crosstalk] you’ve got a solid work history, be careful.

Wes Shriner: 

So if you’re a recent graduate with one or two jobs behind you and you want to fill out your resume and you have a hobby of remote control cars, please don’t tell me you like racing remote control cars and they’re really, really fast. But if you’re interested in the RF frequencies and how the wireless radio happens around corners, then that’s a phenomenal topic to have a conversation about.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, okay, did you catch that listeners? There you go, there you go. And again, just want to acknowledge that if you’re a good cyber security professional and you’ve got lots of experience, there’s no doubt you could have dozens of bullets for each of your previous employers and your resume could go on for days. So, Wes, do you have any suggestions for how they can winnow it down to the best ones?

Wes Shriner:

Emphasize the most important things, just emphasize the skills that you listed in your skills section.

Kip Boyle: 

So show your skills in action.

Wes Shriner: 

You do, you do. Your most recent two jobs can have five or six bullets each, right? Especially if you’ve been there a couple years, they can have five or six bullets for your most recent two jobs. After that, I don’t think so. I think you get about three bullets per job. And you get maybe one more bullet for each additional year you work there. But I’d really like to keep this limited because you’ve got to get this resume under two pages and between your summary and your skills, and now you’re starting to put your education and then your job history, five or six bullets for the first two and three bullets for each additional is probably about all you can spend.

Kip Boyle:

I can attest this is a difficult thing to do, but I think these rules [inaudible] are really, really helpful. So appreciate that. So one other thing that we want to also bring up is, as a hiring manager invited you into the interview, they’re looking at your job history section. You may very well be asked, why did you leave your last job?

Wes Shriner: 

Oh, goodness, that can be a rough one. That is one of the hard questions. And there’s a lot of soul searching going into that answer for a lot of folks when that question is asked.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, especially if there’s an awkward reason.

Wes Shriner: 

I think the most important thing is never throw stones, right? Never throw rocks at your previous employers. What would be some good reasons to leave a previous job? What might be good reasons, right? A life move, right? I got married. I had to sick parents, maybe I had to move across .

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. I was living on the east coast. My parents got sick. I wanted to be closer to them, expecting our first child and want to move closer to relatives to get better support, spouse, spouse’s career, right? My spouse got a really great opportunity and I wanted to support my spouse, and so I’m moving with my spouse and I got to change jobs.

Wes Shriner: 

So the company is downsizing. Maybe there’s a group layoff, right? A reduction in force might be a reason that’s pretty natural, right?

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. That happened to me once. And it really felt personal, it felt awkward. And I had to figure out a way to discuss it in job interviews in a productive way. It was difficult, but I think if you can do it, I think that’s a perfectly valid reason.

Wes Shriner: 

Maybe you just finished a career milestone, you just finished a degree program or a certification, and it’s time to stretch your legs and grow. I think that’s a reasonable reason, right?

Kip Boyle:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Wes Shriner: 

And sometimes you can say, I’d run my course at that company, right? I own my future and I can’t grow any further in that spot. It’s time for me to replant and grow in a bigger pot.

Kip Boyle: 

Boy, I really like that one because I’m searching for candidates with a growth mindset. And so I’m looking for indicators, I want tells, right, that you want to grow, you want to get smarter, you want to get more skilled, you’re interested in new problems that maybe you like change. And so those are good things. And so, yeah, so I like that one, but I got to admit that sometimes it’s tempting, you’re leaving an organization, maybe you’ve felt like you’ve been treated badly and you really want to write one of those, take this job and shove it emails, and send it to all staff.

Wes Shriner: 

Don’t do it, don’t take the bait. Don’t do it, leave well.

Kip Boyle: 

Oh, well, you know what, that’s great advice and you should definitely resist the temptation, but I’ve seen it done a couple of times and, oh, it’s just the most cringy thing. It doesn’t make me feel sympathetic or anything to the people who did it. I just think, oh my gosh, what a bad move.

Wes Shriner: 

So Kip, if I’m in a spot where I ethically disagree with some decision the company is making, right? And I decide to leave because of that, right? Maybe let’s pick an absurd example, right? The company has decided we do not want to encrypt web traffic, right? We just fundamentally don’t have the time to encrypt web traffic. And me as a security professional, I believe there’s no way we can operate without encrypting web traffic, our customers expect that and I won’t put my name next to a company that won’t do that. So I leave the company with an ethical disagreement. Is that a good reason here or how do we handle that?

Kip Boyle: 

I got to tell you while I don’t have any problem with that issue in general, right, to feel that data should be encrypted, and maybe even there could have been a regulatory requirement to encrypt it, right? But I just really have to question somebody who chose that hill to die on, right? Was that really worth a career? I mean, because here’s the thing, that happens all the time in our work, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not our risk decision, we don’t own it. Our job is to help make the pros and cons of a risk decision known to the risk decision maker. And so I can absolutely understand not being happy with that decision, but I just don’t know that you should die on that hill.

Wes Shriner:

And it may not be the right way to start a new conversation with a new company either.

Kip Boyle: 

No.

Wes Shriner: 

No.

Kip Boyle: 

Because now I’m wondering about your judgment, right? So if I come to you and I say, look, this is the decision, we’re going to take some risk here, I need your help to make this as successful as possible, are you just going to quit on me right there on the spot? Are you going to refuse to help make the best of a risk decision that we didn’t necessarily want? So that’s what’s floating around in my mind.

Wes Shriner: 

So what are some bad answers to this question, to the question of why did you leave your last job? What would be some answers that maybe just don’t go there?

Kip Boyle: 

Well, there’s a whole bunch, but I would put them in a couple of buckets, right? So any kind of an answer that would suggest to me that you’re running away from a job, I think is going to raise my eyebrows. So for example, my boss singled me out and I was victimized. Well, if that’s true, then did you take advantage of mechanisms to deal with that, right? Because most companies have mechanisms for dealing with that or somebody didn’t like me or I didn’t like working with somebody. So these are all reasons why you are running away from something and you’re not running towards me, I’m just the next shifter, the next bus out of town. That doesn’t make me feel like you really want to be with us on our team. So anything that kind of sounds like running away, I think is problematic. And I think the other bucket that kind of raises the flag for me is self-centered reasons, like, well, they made this and I just couldn’t live with it.

Wes Shriner: 

Wait a minute, wait a minute. They made a change and I couldn’t live with it.

Kip Boyle: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative), I couldn’t adapt.

Wes Shriner:

Nobody’s going to say that in the interview, right? They’re not going to say somebody made a change and I couldn’t adapt. They’re going to say, the company made big plans to go north and I didn’t really agree you with them going north. They’re not going to say it was their fault. They’re going to say it was the company’s fault. It doesn’t matter. I may hear it as, well, you didn’t adapt.

Kip Boyle:

Yeah. I mean, these things can be said in a number of different ways, but I got to be honest with you. I’ve heard people say it very bluntly. I did not like exchange and I got to get out of here as fast as possible, will you give me a job? I mean, it was almost that bald-faced.

Wes Shriner: 

At least you’re direct.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah, yeah. Points for directness. But anyway, so those are the two kind of the big buckets of things that I really want to hear, and otherwise great candidate to go to those places.

Wes Shriner: 

Right. I really don’t want to hear the phrase, not my job, right? They had me doing a bunch of stuff that wasn’t my job. I can’t tell you exactly what your job’s going to be here either, [crosstalk].

Kip Boyle:

Right. We need some flexibility.

Wes Shriner: 

Right. Every job’s going to have 15% of sweeping the floor at the end of the day, right?

Kip Boyle:

Well, and you know what, with the COVID-19 pandemic, I mean, oh my gosh, most people had to start doing something a little bit different because we had to cope, right?

Wes Shriner:

We all did.

Kip Boyle: 

We need flexibility, we need people who are going to adapt, yep.

Wes Shriner:

So some neutral reasons that could go either way, right? I was bored, I wasn’t challenged enough, there was a big change coming and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it or I wasn’t sure if there was a chair for me after the big change, right? If there’s a merger and acquisition, if there’s a potential layoff someday, that can boomerang on you, right? Because the new company may know of a scary change coming for them. And…

Kip Boyle: 

And they already know that’s not something that you’re probably going to do well at weathering. So you might get a pass, a pass to go and look for another job. Yeah, I mean, never even get hired, right? What a tragedy. But they’re neutral, right? So, I mean, maybe they’ll fall well and maybe they won’t.

Wes Shriner: 

Right. Maybe not take the risk, right? Let’s just look at real healthy reasons for why we might lose a job before we leave it. And then let’s talk about that when we get to the next opportunity with transparency that says, I was growing and I needed to grow in this direction and I gave it thought and this is how we moved.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. That’s good because I think that reflects sound decision making. So I think that’s a good light to have on yourself. So, all right. Well, I hope that this was helpful. Do you have any last thing to say, Wes, before we call it a call it an episode?

Wes Shriner:

I think the keyword is leave well, right? No matter where you go, you got to leave well. And when you write about it, write about it well, filter your own results because I can’t read a book right now. And when you filter it for me, then I get to see the most important pieces from your perspective, instead of just picking random bullets in a long, long list.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. And I’m just going to add one thing to that, which is, if you do get laid off, don’t throw your box of business cards down the hall and let everybody watch them fluter to the ground as you storm off with a little black cloud over your head.

Wes Shriner: 

No.

Kip Boyle:

I actually saw somebody do that once.

Wes Shriner: 

Oh, goodness. No, there’s so many better ways, right? Because we still have relationships and we still have people we’ve worked with in the past and we still have connections that we want to maintain in the future.

Kip Boyle: 

Yeah. I mean, the person you work with today might be your boss tomorrow. You just don’t know, you just don’t know. Okay, well, listen, everybody, if you like our podcast, then you should consider signing up for our masterclass. It’s called, how to get your dream cybersecurity job, as told by hiring managers like me, like Wes, like others. And listen, back in April, one of our students got his dream cybersecurity job before he even finished all the lessons. And it’s an inspiring story and I invite you to hear about it. You can read about it and then you can actually listen to Steve get interviewed about it. So just go over to yourcyberpath.com/steve and check out his story. And we are just so thrilled for him. So 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.