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3 Simple Forms Of Cybersecurity Resumes 1

3 Simple Forms Of Cybersecurity Resumes

Cybersecurity is a unique career field and requires a unique style of resume. The 5 types of cybersecurity roles require more specific requirements as well. There are several types of cybersecurity resumes that you might need:

  • Public Sector Contracting
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector

Each of these 3 types of cybersecurity resumes is unique as well and follow a certain broad standard. In this article, I will talk about what the three forms of cybersecurity resumes are, how to write them and why.

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Public Sector Contracting Cybersecurity Resumes

Public sector contracting is where I’ve spent my career. It was easier for me to get into because I am a veteran. Here is a breakdown of the benefits of public sector contracting:

  • High Pay – due to clearance requirements, pay tends to be a little higher
  • Rapid Advancement – move up easily from entry-level to advanced and then senior roles quickly, which means even more money.
  • Technology – depends on the contract, but some jobs will expose you to the latest and greatest tech

Public sector contracting can be a pain though sometimes because of the following:

  • Less job security – A contract is not a permanent job. Yes, some companies hold contracts for years, but I’ve also worked for a company that lost the contract and gave me 2 weeks notice.
  • Fewer benefits – since benefits cost money, contract companies tend to be cheaper with what they offer to stay competitive on their bids
  • Less privacy – In order to maintain your clearance, you are monitored by the government

Public Sector Contracting Job Search

Searching for a job in this area is a unique challenge. Most job search sites don’t differentiate between public sector contracting and private sector jobs. The best place to find jobs in just this area would be ClearanceJobs. If you currently have a clearance, make sure to mention it in your online profiles because recruiters will find you for work.

Public Sector Contracting Job Requirements

Contracting jobs are available all the time. Depending on where you live, your options might be limited. If you live near a military base, or heavily government area like Washington DC then you will always have options. True entry-level positions tend to have little requirements as long as you can obtain a clearance. A candidate must also meet 8750 requirements as well.

Writing Public Sector Contracting Cybersecurity Resumes

Writing public sector contracting cybersecurity resumes is very similar to writing private-sector cybersecurity resumes. The one main difference is that you should include a section pointing out your clearance level. A second minor difference is pointing out how your certifications map to the 8750 requirements mentioned above.

Sections Of Public Sector Contracting Cybersecurity Resumes

  • Introduction – Name, current job title (if you want to remain within the field, otherwise omit). I also advertise my CISSP and clearance level here. Then put your contact information (but never your street address).
  • Profile summary – highlight your best traits and state your goals (do not be broad i.e. ‘entry-level cybersecurity job’. see cybersecurity roles to figure out what you want)
  • Skills – This is where you highlight the specific skills that will enable you to do the job. Read about cybersecurity skills you probably already have.
  • Certifications – list 8750 certifications first, and all field-related certifications second.
  • Professional experience – The biggest part of the resume. Keep this section to job title, when you held the position, and bullet points the job. Don’t list responsibilities, list what you accomplished at that job. This section can obviously get big, so it is recommended that you only list bullet points for your most recent experience, so that you keep the resume to a maximum of two pages
  • Education – If you are fresh out of college, this part can be higher up. If you are more experienced but have a degree, it can be listed last.

Public Sector Contracting Cybersecurity Cover Letters

Most jobs that I have gotten did not require or ask for a cover letter. Many jobs that I’ve applied for have allowed me to make one. Like with public sector cover letters, you can take the profile summary out of your resume and put it into a cover letter, highlighting why your experience is a perfect match for the job.

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Private Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

The private sector is so varied it is difficult to sum it up. Some benefits of working private sector are:

  • Variety – You can work at a different place every year and never have the same atmosphere
  • Availability – Every company needs security folks and there is a cybersecurity skills gap. There will always be security jobs available.

Detriments of working in the private sector:

  • Variety – Due to the fact that company to company are so different you don’t know what you expect
  • Less Regulation – Public sector jobs are regulated so compensation to some degree will be closer across the board, but not in private sector
  • Uninterested – A company’s primary focus is to make money, and therefore it can be difficult to obtain funding for security.

Private Sector Cybersecurity Job Search

Some of the best places to find private-sector jobs are Indeed, Glassdoor, or Dice. Many recruiters also contact me because they’ve seen my profile on these sites. Build your profile to look like your resume. Monster is another popular site, but I have not had personal success there.

Private Sector Job Requirements

Since the private sector is so broad it is difficult to nail down specific general requirements. The top complaints from people looking for jobs are that entry-level jobs require experience. You probably have cybersecurity skills that you can highlight on your cybersecurity resumes though.

Writing Private Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

Private-sector cybersecurity resumes might look similar to the public sector contracting. Each job will require unique changes to tune your resume to that particular job. In public sector roles have similar titles. same with contracting. With the private sector, each organization might fashion its titles completely different. Be mindful of how your resume matches the job posting.

Sections Of Private Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

The most important thing to remember here is to emphasize whatever the job posting does. If they have education requirements at the top, then move your education section to the top. If they list certifications first, then that should go on top.

  • Introduction – Name, current job title (if you want to remain within the field, otherwise omit). I also advertise my CISSP and clearance level here. Then put your contact information (but never your street address).
  • Profile summary – highlight your best traits and state your goals (do not be broad i.e. ‘entry-level cybersecurity job’. see cybersecurity roles to figure out what you want)
  • Skills – This is where you highlight the specific skills that will enable you to do the job. Read about cybersecurity skills you probably already have. Highlight the required skills from the job posting.
  • Certifications – list all required certifications first, and any others you have second.
  • Professional experience – The biggest part of the resume. Keep this section to job title, when you held the position, and bullet points the job. Don’t list responsibilities, list what you accomplished at that job. This section can obviously get big, so it is recommended that you only list bullet points for your most recent experience, so that you keep the resume to a maximum of two pages
  • Education – If you are fresh out of college, this part can be higher up. If you are more experienced but have a degree, it can be listed last.

Private Sector Cybersecurity Cover Letters

In the private sector, cover letters mean much more than public sector contracting. Some companies absolutely require them.

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Public Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

There is a thriving market in the public sector for cybersecurity professionals. There are benefits and detriments to working in the public sector. Some benefits are:

  • Benefits are better – low-cost healthcare, tuition assistance/repayment, lots of PTO
  • Most stable – After the initial probation period, it is difficult to get fired for mistakes, unless you commit a crime
  • Easy to figure out pay – Aside from a handful of special circumstances, there is a standard payscale you can publicly view, and you get annual pay increases + bonus potential

Some of the detriments are the following:

  • Low pay – Since the pay is standardized across the board, it is not competitive with the private sector or public sector contracts. In some cases, it is tens of thousands of dollars lower.
  • Technology – As many complain, the government does not always embrace the latest and greatest technology.
  • Politics – Budgets aren’t set by actual need, but perceived need to congress.
  • Requires clearance – A government clearance requires an almost perfect record and giving up some privacy as you are monitored for suspicious activity

Public Sector Job Search

When applying for public sector jobs, the best place to go first is USAjobs. Every government agency posts its jobs here, with few exceptions. All the information about job requirements, duties, and responsibilities, paygrade, travel, etc. can be found there.

Public Sector Job Requirements

Government jobs are opened regularly. The website allows you to see every job, but you might not be eligible for certain hiring paths. There are several groups that could qualify you for a job:

  • Public
  • Current federal civilian employees
  • Veterans
  • Military Spouse
  • Nat. Guard/Reserves
  • Students or recent grads
  • Senior executives
  • disabled
  • Family of overseas employees of government
  • Native Americans
  • Peace Corps members

In addition to the hiring authority for a job, there are several other basic requirements:

  • If male, you must have registered for the draft
  • Many jobs require citizenship
  • Many require some form of clearance, ranging from ‘Public trust’ to ‘Top Secret’

Finally, many government jobs require specific government experience. They want you to at least know the systems currently in use, and for higher-level positions expect you to have a lot of experience.

Writing Public Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

Public sector cybersecurity resumes must contain a lot of things that aren’t normally required. You need to clearly state your experience, with the hours per week you have worked. The job’s that you have held must be mapped to GS levels. This is so that evaluators can understand your experience level better. Each job you list for experience must have details about what role you played, and how you helped your team.

Sections In Public Sector Cybersecurity Resumes

You should remove your introduction, or goals sections because those should be on your cover letter. There should be an experience section, a certifications section, and a school section. Public sector cybersecurity resumes are typically multiple pages in length.

Public Sector Cover Letters

Cover letters should always be addressed to the hiring manager. With public sector jobs, it may be difficult getting that exact information. The cover letter should be where you summarize your experience, state your goals, and brag about why you would be a good fit for the job.

Get A Head Start

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