Your Quick How-to Guide for Writing an Entry Level Cybersecurity Resume
Are you considering a job in cybersecurity? Then, your first step is to create a CV or resume that shows what you can offer to a potential employer.
After all, the first step in any hiring process is the resume. Based on your resume, the hiring company will decide if they want to meet with you for an interview and possibly a test.
But how can you create a winning CV if you're still at the beginning of your career?
Writing an entry-level cybersecurity resume may seem like a scary task. Even more so if you're applying without a cybersecurity or engineering degree or background.
In addition to reading your cybersecurity resume, the hiring manager will likely ask you some basic questions about cybersecurity to see if you're familiar with the subject. Questions can include the types of hacker profiles, the types of threats, along with cybersecurity terms.
They'll want to see if you're proactive in your personal learning and development and if you can perform well in their team and company.
In this article, we'll show you how to create an entry-level cyber security resume, how to organize it, and how to highlight your skills.
How to Write an Entry Level Cybersecurity Resume?
Writing an entry-level cyber security resume isn't hard. But as someone who is just starting their career in cybersecurity, you want to stand out with both your technical skills and soft skills.
Like many types of jobs, cybersecurity entry-level jobs require interpersonal and soft skills that hiring managers look for. These non-technical skills help to hire managers to understand the type of person you are and if you're a good match for their organization and type of work.
Let's look at what a cybersecurity resume for an entry-level analyst should include:
• Resume Basics
First, you need to include the basics. These are points or elements that should be present in any resume regardless of specialization.
Whether you're applying for an entry-level cybersecurity job or a senior role, these elements need to be present in your resume.
These basics are:
- Your name
- Your contact information (mobile number and email)
- Your education
- Your work experience including any internships you've completed
- Courses you've completed (whether technical or interpersonal)
Your education and previous experience show hiring managers if you have a technical background or skills that are required for cybersecurity jobs.
How to Organize a Cybersecurity Analyst or Entry Level Resume?
Now that you know what you need to start with, let's organize all this information to create the first, basic draft of your cyber security resume.
1. Name and Contact Details
Start by writing your full name and your contact information. Make sure your email isn't something quirky like [email protected] or hacker123 or anything of the sort. If you don't have a professional email, create one.
For best practice, try to include your name in the email along with a number that's easy for you to remember.
2. Add a Summary
While you may not need to include this section when applying for senior roles, your entry-level cybersecurity resume can use this section.
In your summary, offer a couple of lines about what you're looking for and what type of professional you are without going over the top.
That said, it's best to avoid directly talking about yourself and using 'I' often.
3. Add your Work Experience
Entry-level cybersecurity resumes usually include some kind of experience. This could have been from a volunteer position, an internship, or a year or two of experience in another company.
You should include your most recent experiences first then add your earlier experiences after them.
Use bullet points and include the title or name of the role you filled and the months or years when you worked.
For example Junior cybersecurity specialist at XYZ (January 2020 to June 2020)
4. Add Certifications
Although you've covered education, you'll need to add certifications. These are certificates that you may have taken to add to your technical skills.
It's important to add certifications that show that you're a good fit for the job you're applying for.
Since you're applying for an entry-level cybersecurity job, you'll give yourself the best chance by adding cybersecurity certifications you may have taken. You can certainly add online certifications you've taken.
5. Mention your Skills
All jobs require skillsets. Cybersecurity jobs are no different. In this section, you'll need to list both your technical skills and your interpersonal ones.
Interpersonal or soft skills include: being able to work in a team, being a good or strong communicator, being organized, and being good at research, among others.
The skills section in your resume may differ based on the job you're applying for. So if you're later in your career and applying for a senior role, being a good communicator and having leadership skills are needed skills for this type of role.
We'll talk more about cybersecurity skills below.
How do I write a Cybersecurity Resume with No Experience?
We’ve covered what a cybersecurity entry-level resume looks like. But what if you have no experience in the field? How can you apply for cybersecurity jobs and stand a chance of getting hired?
Use the above-mentioned list to start and skip parts that you can't fill.
It's important you don't lie on your resume. You'll either be caught and black-listed during the interview or you'll be found out within the first month of hiring.
When creating a cybersecurity resume with no experience, you should focus on courses and certifications you've taken and what you were able to achieve within those courses.
Moreover, if any of these courses included assignments, mention what you were able to achieve in those assignments.
Mention any skills you've learned or acquired in non-related jobs, including internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities.
For example, a cybersecurity entry-level candidate who plays basketball is a team player and likely has strong communication skills, and can function well in a team.
What Skills are Needed for Cybersecurity Jobs?
We've talked briefly about skills, especially interpersonal skills. But what types of skills would you need specifically if you're applying for a cybersecurity job.
Ibrahim Mosaad, the product security engineer at Facebook, told CyberTalents that companies like Facebook consider candidates who have a security mindset and coding skills.
These are among the most important technical skills a cybersecurity analyst or entry-level employee should have, he said.
Other skills include familiarity with vulnerability scanning and assessments, information security management, ethical hacking, cyber cryptography, criminology, incident response, and security information and event management (SIEM).
What are Companies Looking for?
When you're writing your cybersecurity resume, it's important to keep the company and position you're applying for in mind.
This will help you craft your resume in a way that shows them why you're the best candidate for the available cybersecurity position they have.
A while back, CyberTalents team conducted a webinar with Ibrahim Mosaad, the product security engineer at Facebook. Here's what he had to say about working in cybersecurity in companies like Facebook:
“Those types of companies need to hire the best of the best in every position. Nearly every employee or engineer in Facebook serves 1 million users. That's why you need to have a wide skills set in many cyber security topics and in-depth skills in one of the topics.”
For his role, Mosaad revealed that he assesses security issues for the different Facebook – now Meta – products. He also provides guidance and recommendations and works on fixing the products themselves.
He also revealed that Facebook and similar social media platforms and tech companies consider cybersecurity analysts and candidates who are familiar with "product security, threat detection, malware analysis," among others.
In terms of certifications, here are a few highly-recommended cybersecurity certifications you should consider getting for entry-level cybersecurity jobs:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- CompTIA Security+
- eLearn Security Junior Penetration Testing (eJPT)
You can also explore a number of challenges provided by CyberTalents.
Other Required Skills for Cybersecurity Jobs
In addition to the above elements to include in your resume, here are a few more sections you may want to add to your cybersecurity entry-level resume.
Some of these show the type of person you are while others may have an impact on your acceptance at the company you're applying at.
You may choose to remove a few of those as you advance in your career.
- Mention your volunteering experiences. Don't need to get into too much detail about what you did in each unless it's relevant to the job. This section can also include any extracurricular activities you did in college or university.
- Include any foreign languages you speak or you're currently learning.
- Mention your hobbies but don't get into detail. You may choose to remove this section when you have more work experiences or certifications to include in your resume. It's best to mention those that are relevant to the cybersecurity position you're applying for.
Entry Level Cyber Security Resume Sample and Template
By now you should have an idea of what to include in your cybersecurity resume.
Let's create an entry-level cybersecurity resume example and see what it will look like once you've filled in all the needed information.
[Include Your Name]
• Contact Details: Mobile number: 012XXXXXXXX and email
• Profile Summary: A detail-oriented cybersecurity engineer with a year of experience in detecting malware and providing malware analysis. Succeeded in supporting [company name] by installing firewalls and patching vulnerabilities.
• Work Experience
- [title/position ex: Junior cybersecurity analyst] at [Company name], (December 2019 – December 2020)
- [Junior cybersecurity analyst] at [Company name], (January 2019 – November 2019)
- Cybersecurity intern at [Company name], (October 2018 – December 2018)
• Volunteer work/Extracurricular activities:
- Security project for [Local business]
Collaborated with [Business Name]'s IT department to conduct vulnerability scanning and testing Successfully identified new vulnerabilities and threats and proceeded to provide recommendations to patch vulnerabilities and reduce risk.
- Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computer Science, [University name], [graduation year + GPA score or relevant score].
- Completed the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certificate [add start date and end date and website or location where you got the certificate]
• Technical Skills:
- Vulnerability testing
- Vulnerability scanning
- Malware analysis
• Other Skills:
- Team player
- Strong research skills
- Arabic: [add level, ex: Mother tongue, Fluent/Upper-intermediate/ intermediate/ beginner]
- English: [add level: ex: Mother tongue/ Fluent/ Upper-intermediate/ intermediate/ beginner]
- [Add other languages if available]
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an increase in cybersecurity jobs over the past two years. With more people working from home or in public areas like cafes or co-working spaces, internet security has become a pressing need and a growing problem.
And with more jobs, there's a growing need for candidates to fill positions from entry-level positions to senior roles.
Applying for entry-level cybersecurity jobs can seem daunting, but once you get your resume ready using the above tips, you've completed one large step in the right direction of getting hired.
Here are a few final tips to help you craft a compelling cybersecurity resume:
- Though your summary or objective comes at the beginning, we recommend writing this section at the end. It helps to see what you have so far so you can write that summary based on the information you've already filled in.
- Use a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman at a size 12.
- Customize your cybersecurity resume for every job you apply to. Even if you're applying for the same position in different companies, be sure that your summary reflects the position's needs and how you fulfill those needs.
- Don't be tempted to add many unnecessary details to make your cybersecurity resume long. In the case of resumes, shorter is better. Just be sure to add relevant information.
Need more help getting into cybersecurity and finding work? Explore CyberTalent's For Talent page where you can get new courses and certifications, practice cybersecurity questions and tests, and find jobs.