Employer-Ready Criteria for Cybersecurity Career Advancers

Resume Criteria

Content

Heading

Include name, phone number, professional email address , city and state or region, and a written out  hyperlink to LinkedIn.

Summary

  • Title of role pursuing (do not identify as a student).
  • Background experience that connects to the role you are pursuing.
  • Avoid pronouns.
  • 2-3 transferable skills (ex. adaptable; time management; communication; innovative; collaborative; conflict resolution).
  • Years of related experience (keep below 10 years).
  • Accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards. 
  • Training or certifications

Skills

  • Include skills / concepts / methodologies (etc.) acquired in the program.
  • Ensure programming languages and technologies conform to standard spelling and style for the industry.

Experience

  • Experience listed in reverse chronological order, with job title, job description, company name, city & state or province, and dates of employment. 
  • Start every bullet with an action verb; don’t use the same verb more than once.
  • Cite accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards (do not list job duties).
  • Bullets are concise, direct, and listed in order of importance.
  • Quantify work as much as possible, eg. “200 tickets closed per month”.
  • Demonstrate how you have applied relevant transferable skills from previous roles that will speak to your target role (e.g. attention to detail, thrives under pressure, etc.).

Education

  • List education below Experience.
  • Listed in reverse chronological order 
  • Include city and state
  • Include title (ex. certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) 
  • Include the current program as the most recent item in education and ensure it is listed as a certificate.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

  • Include standard heading titles (Education, Projects, Technical Skills, Summary, Experience).
  • Spell out acronyms and abbreviations (abbreviated months are acceptable).
  • Use bullets instead of asterisks. 
  • Avoid images, icons, or photographs.
  • Avoid colored text.
  • Avoid columns, tables, text boxes, and graphs.
  • Do not write in the header or footer of the document. 
  • Use keywords that match the job description and align with required skills needed for each specific role.

Design and Format

Simplicity

  • No template language or blank areas.
  • Design does not get in the way of necessary text/content.
  • Text fills the page without overcrowding.
  • Balanced margins, between 0.5” – 1.”
  • No more than one page if new to the field, two pages if have relevant experience.
  • Name and headlines stand out.
  • Few (or no) hanging lines (where just a few words take up an entire line).

Consistency

  • Font size of 11 or 12.
  • Consistent and professional font style. It’s okay to use different fonts for the headings and body. Professional font styles include: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman.
  • Consistent use of bold, italic, and underline; same bullet point style for all lists.

Accuracy

  • Consistent punctuation throughout.
  • No grammar errors; no spelling errors.
  • No personal pronouns (I, we, he, or she).
  • Abbreviations or acronyms are not used unless necessary.

LinkedIn Profile Criteria

Compelling Introduction

  • Professional profile photo. 
  • Customized background image. 
  • Up-to-date contact information (email). 
  • Catchy headline that incorporates target role. 
  • Clear summary statement that speaks to experience, background, and professional qualifications.

Experience

  • Experience listed in reverse chronological order, with job title, job description, company name, city & state or province, and dates of employment. 
  • Start every bullet with an action verb; don’t use the same verb more than once.
  • Cite accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards (do not list job duties).
  • Bullets are concise, direct, and listed in order of importance.
  • Quantify work as much as possible, eg. “200 tickets closed per month”.
  • Demonstrate how you have applied relevant transferable skills from previous roles that will speak to your target role (e.g. attention to detail, thrives under pressure, etc.).

Education

  • List education below Experience.
  • Listed in reverse chronological order 
  • Include city and state with 
  • Include title (ex. certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) 
  • Include the current program as the most recent item in education and ensure it is listed as a certificate.

Skills, Recommendations, Accomplishments, and Interests

  • These sections give a fuller picture of who you are.
  • At least 20 skills, both technical and transferable. 
  • At least 2-4 recommendations that attest to your skill set and work ethic. 
  • At least 20 interests displayed, with a mix of personal and professional interests.

Accuracy

  • All spelling is accurate with consistent punctuation. 
  • Tone consistent throughout. 
  • All links work.

Professional Brand Statement Criteria

Concise

Consists of 75-150 words.  Keep it focused and make every line count.

Targets Role

First line presents you in your desired role. Avoid identifying as a student (as you will use this after graduation). Ex: Data Protection Analyst, Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Engineer.

Includes Education

Includes only relevant degrees, certifications, and/or trainings. Make sure you include the boot camp to demonstrate your technical training. Ex: Certificate in cybersecurity from XYZ University.

Includes Skills and Strengths

Includes 3-5 relevant technical skills and professional strengths that align with a desired role.

  • If available, use the job description to determine the best skills to include.
  • Show how you have applied these skills and strengths in previous roles or projects.

Demonstrates Value

Showcases professional or academic achievements, accomplishments, successful projects, and recognitions. Hint: Aim for professional, but if you lack professional experience, pull from academics.

Includes Motivation/Aim

Determine what motivates you professionally. What end results do you hope to achieve in your role?

Positions Yourself

Sell, don’t summarize! Connect how your past experience, skills, and/or training have prepared you for your desired role. This is where you can provide examples to support your claims. Hint: To demonstrate that you are a team player, give an example of working successfully in a team environment. Show outcomes of your work.

Presentation

No spelling or grammatical errors. No slang. No redundant word choices. Varied sentence structure.


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