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Survey results–Your #4 Question
Survey results–Your #4 Question


About this episode

In this episode, Kip focuses on answering the fourth most popular question that was received from our user survey: “How can I demonstrate my passion for cybersecurity to employers in my resume?”

You are getting closer to your dream cybersecurity job. The hiring managers want to see that you have a passion for cybersecurity. They will ask you if you can provide certifications related to the job that you’re applying for because some cybersecurity certifications are more generic than others. For example, if you can have a Security clearance and certification, you can use those to apply for different job positions.

Some other ways to show passion on a resume is to list you volunteer work with a local charity and how you have helped them with their cybersecurity. In that way, you will be able to catch their attention and give them a chance to continue the hiring process. Maybe you are an active contributor to an open-source cyber security project, like OpenVAS, Wireshark, Metasploit, or something like that. All of these show passion for the cybersecurity career field.

Another great way to show passion is to write documentation or serve as a project manager for a cybersecurity project. You should be sure to also mention in your resume that you have a test lab at your house where you teach yourself how to use the various cybersecurity tools. These days, provided with these virtual machines and powered computers, you can do a lot of things virtually and demonstrate your passion for the field to a hiring manager.

What you’ll learn

  • What is the single most important and relevant item cybersecurity hiring managers look for on the resume?
  • How do I prove I have what it takes to the hiring manager?
  • What you need to do is find out, can they see that on your resume?
  • What is another way you could demonstrate your passion on a resume?
  • And how can you demonstrate your passion for cybersecurity?

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Episode Transcript

Kip Boyle:        

Hi everyone. This is Your Cyber Path, the podcast that helps you get your first cybersecurity job and I’m Kip Boyle. 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, please visit the show page. You can get it at anchor.fm/yourcyberpath. That’s all one word, yourcyberpath. When you get there, just click on the message button and start talking to me. If you’re new to the podcast, you may not know that we’re planning to run an online masterclass to help you get your first cybersecurity job and to make sure the class will really help, we’ve been running a survey to find out what you’re struggling with. And in this episode, I’m going to answer the fourth most popular question that we’ve received from the survey. And it’s weird to talk about the fourth most popular question. I struggled as to whether I should put it in here or not, but a lot of people asked it. So here’s the question.

What is the single most important and relevant item cybersecurity hiring managers look for on the resume? And the reason why this question was so popular is because there was another very closely related question and it said, how do I prove I have what it takes to the hiring manager? Well, that’s really the same question I felt as a hiring manager, I thought they were asking the same thing. And so we’re going to answer that as part of the masterclass, and back on the February 28th episode of this podcast, I told you some details about how that masterclass is going to work and I’m not going to repeat that here. So go back and listen to the February 28th episode if you want some of those details.

But the masterclass is definitely going to answer these questions. Just looking at the list of lessons here, we’ve got one called no surprise, The Most Relevant Item Hiring Managers Look For On Your Resume. There’s another lesson here called Know The Hiring Manager’s Perspective, which is also going to help you. And then we even have a third lesson called Acing The Interviews. So we’ve got a lot of material to help deal with this question. Now I’m going to give you some of that information, some of those answers now.

So hiring managers want to see that you have a passion for cybersecurity. And so what you need to do is find out, can they see that on your resume? All right, so some of the things that I look for as a hiring manager to find out if somebody has passion for this career would include things like do you have a certification that’s related to the job that you’re applying for? There are some cybersecurity certifications that are general in nature. So if you get a Security+ certification, that that can apply to a lot of different job positions, but if you’re a certified ethical hacker and you’re applying to me for a job that has really nothing to do with those skills, then that’s going to raise a question in my mind about your passion, because it seemed like you were very, very focused and intent at one point. And now you’re looking for something completely different. There may be a wonderful, perfectly reasonable explanation for that, but I don’t know that yet because I’m just looking at your resume, but that pops for me.

So another thing that you can do on your resume to convey your passion is to mention that you have volunteered to speak about cybersecurity or help out at a local cybersecurity conference. And there’s lots of cybersecurity conferences in bigger metropolitan areas. Now you may be somebody who doesn’t live near a major city. So this one could be a little difficult for you, but if there’s a virtual conference or something like that, that’s a possibility. Maybe you’d be willing to make a trip to a major metro area in order to demonstrate your passion. And by the way, it’s a great thing to do anyway, you’re going to get a lot smarter. You’re going to meet people. And one of the things you’re going to find out in the masterclass is that meeting people who already have cybersecurity jobs, particularly the ones that you want and meeting hiring managers or people who work for hiring managers is super important.

So what’s another way you could demonstrate your passion on a resume? Well, maybe you’ve volunteered with a local charity and helped them with their cybersecurity. That’s something that I do. I’m actually on the board of directors for an anti domestic violence agency and among other things, I help them with their cybersecurity because the people who come to the agency for help are often in great risk of, of being physically assaulted. And so we’ve got to be very cautious and very careful with their information. We don’t want everybody to know that they’ve come to see us. So that’s another possibility, that you’ve volunteered.

Maybe you’re an active contributor to an open source cyber security project, maybe like OpenVAS or Wireshark or Metasploit or something like that. Now, maybe you’re not very technically skilled, but you can still contribute to projects like this. You can write documentation, you can help organize, serve as a project manager. There’s actually lots of non-technical things that you can do if you have a passion. And if nothing else, you should be mentioning on your resume, that you have a test lab at your house where you teach yourself how to use common cybersecurity, for example, in the Kali Linux distribution. And used to be in order to have a home lab, you had to spend a lot of money and you needed a dedicated space in your house, in your garage or in a closet or basement or something like that. But these days with virtual machines and very powerful computers, you can do a lot virtually and demonstrate your passion for the field.

So those are some ideas that you should be thinking about. And how can you demonstrate your passion for cybersecurity? Because as a hiring manager, those are the people that I want on my team. Well, for those of you in the audience who want in on the masterclass, it’s called How To Get Your First Cybersecurity Job As Told By Hiring Managers. And here’s what you do. You just tell me your number one question about getting your first cybersecurity job. You do that using my online survey, and then you’ll get free access to my four week online class. It’s going to start on April 6th, 2020. And yeah, we’re still going to do it even though the world does not look the way that it did just a little bit of time ago. And now we’ve got pandemics and things are crazy. And maybe you are listening to this and maybe you’ve just lost your job. Well, this is the perfect time for you to be thinking about the future, because guess what? The pandemic will end and life will return to something that looks like normal, and you want to be ready for that.

So if you take my online survey, you’re also going to get a free copy of my Amazon bestselling book, Fire Doesn’t Innovate. And I wrote this for executives, but if you are just coming into the cybersecurity field, it’s a great book for you to pick up and read, and you’re going to get a free copy of it when you fill out the survey. But listen, we’re going to close the survey soon. So don’t wait. The last day to join the master class for free is March 27th. That’s a Friday, and that date’s coming up fast. So here’s what you do. Go to this link. It’s called, well you type in your browser b.link/cyberpath. So that’s the letter B.L-I-N-K/cyberpath. That’s all one word. And hey, spread that around, share it with anybody that you know. If you belong to a Facebook group, or if you’re on Reddit or wherever you’re hanging out with your friends, if you know anybody who is interested in getting their first cybersecurity job, please share this with them. The more we have the better, the best class is going to be. But don’t forget Friday, March 27th, that’s the last day.

And speaking of that’s the last, that’s the last of this episode, that’s enough for now. But listen, in the next podcast episode, I’m going to tell you about a recent conversation that I had with a hiring manager named Eric. I just handed him the masterclass outline. And I said, “Take a look at this. Tell me what you think. You’re a hiring manager. Do you think we’re hitting on all the important points here?” And he just flooded me with this amazing feedback and it’s so good. I actually just can’t … I don’t want to wait to share it with you in the masterclass. So I’m actually going to take some of that amazing feedback that Eric gave me, and I’m going to put it in the next podcast episode. So stick around for that. And remember, you’re just one path away.              

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.


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