A powerful cyber security resume will have you safe in the knowledge that you are presenting yourself and your career in the best possible light.
People come to you to ensure their data and systems are secure because you’re the expert. As you begin your job search, you have turned to the experts, too. The resources Resume.io provides – resume guides and resume examples for 300+ professions – backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder will lead you to that coveted interview.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a cyber security expert do?
- How to write a cyber security expert resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a cyber security expert resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a cyber security expert do?
Broadly speaking, cyber security experts design and review technology infrastructure to protect data and ensure there are no weaknesses within the systems that can be exploited by hackers. The roles within the cyber security sector are as varied as the computer systems they protect.
Cyber security specialists also monitor systems to try to discover vulnerabilities and fix them before they become a problem. If a breach occurs, they must work to patch it as quickly as possible.
Cyber security job titles
As this field evolves, more specialization occurs. When you begin your job search, make sure you hunt for the many different titles your role may have.
- Security analyst
- Security engineer
- Security architect
- Security administrator
- Security software developer
- Chief information security officer
- Security consultant/specialist
- Specialized roles
- Intrusion detection specialist
- Computer security incident responder
- Source code auditor
- Virus technician
- Penetration tester (ethical hacker or assurance validator)
- Vulnerability assessor
Source: George Washington University
Cyber security job market and salaries
You picked a growth area within the computer science field. The demand for cyber security specialists of all kinds far outstrips the supply. Burning Glass Technologies has identified five areas that will fuel post-pandemic economic growth, cybersecurity among them. A snapshot of openings in the field, shows almost 600,000 unfilled positions.
If you live in California or Texas, or are willing to move, you are in great shape! The two states are vying for technology supremacy and have plenty of cyber security jobs. The Dice Tech Salary Report predicts 28.5 percent growth in demand for cyber security analysts along with 16.8 percent salary growth.
How much do cyber security specialists earn?
Cyber security engineers earned an average of $134,340 in 2021, Dice says, while cyber security analysts brought in $103,106.
How to write a cyber security resume
To get started on your cyber security resume, you need to understand what elements it must contain. All our resume samples include the following and your resume should, too:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Your skills may sell themselves, but with a resume that adopts the right tone, style and message can help you not just get any job, but get the job of your dreams. You can afford to be picky! Make sure you do your due diligence by investigating the company you are targeting. Find out what systems they use, if they have experienced security problems and how your talents will enhance their IT department. Then, address this information in your resume.
Your first target: The ATS
You’ve done the research into your favored company, now you need to dig into the actual job listing. Why? Optimizing for the Applicant Tracking System algorithms can mean the difference between ending up in the cyber circular file or reaching the hands of an HR person.
Scrutinize the listing for skills, attributes and certifications. Then, artfully insert them into your cyber security resume.
Choosing the best resume format for a cyber security specialist
Typically, we recommend the standard reverse chronological order resume format. Nine times out of ten, this is the right course. Why? Because it gives recruiters like it. It gives them a quick way to see what your job entails right now and they understand this format. The ATS also favors reverse chronological order when it scans your resume and pulls your information into the HR system.
However, you may have some niche or highly technical expertise that you want to highlight. If that is the case, you may find the functional resume format beneficial. This style focuses on your skills over your work experience.
Now let’s dive into each section of your cyber security resume and show you some resume samples to guide you.
Resume summary example: career assets
The goal of your cyber security resume is to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Your summary, also known as a profile, gives you that chance. The summary occupies the marque spot at the top of your document, and although it may not be the first place a recruiter looks, if you pass the initial scan, you can bet they will stop here next.
You have about 3-4 lines to explain your cyber security philosophy, summarize your career and sell yourself as a great fit for the job. Adopt a professional tone, but don’t underplay your talents and skills. Use strong action words and positive descriptors to enhance your writing. You can find a cyber security resume example summary below.
Highly-skilled cyber security specialist adept in protecting and securing data and computer systems. Committed to providing security implementation and support including in-depth analysis, planning and preparation.
Employment history sample: your work domain
Elevating your employment history takes just a bit of extra thought. This is no mere listing of your job responsibilities. Instead, it should illuminate your capabilities by describing your career successes.
Have you discovered bugs before they could be exploited? Ensured the safety of critical infrastructure? Performed recovery tasks quickly and efficiently? Built a system that has never been hacked? Be specific as you detail your achievements in bullet points.
Feel free to show off your industry knowledge with a little jargon, but make sure the definitions are generally understood so your message remains clear. You can find a cyber security employment history resume sample below.
Cyber Security Specialist, Rexon Technologies, New York
January 2017 - Present
- Effectively managed IT security-related projects for infrastructure rollouts, and implemented upgrades and replacements for server systems.
- Led multiple projects with responsibility for hardware planning and risk management.
- Managed activities including planning, budgeting, oversight and documentation of all aspects of assigned projects.
- Anticipated and defined customer needs and continually achieved high quality results for both internal and external customers.
- Maintained close and positive relationships with business team members.
- Trained roughly 200 end users on security processes.
- Helped to build the internal help desk and trained technical staff to provide support to over 10,000 users.
IT Security Specialist, Deerfield Company, New York
July 2014 - December 2016
- Oversaw security initiatives of the cloud structure and worked to investigate and resolve any related issues.
- Directed all phases of complex projects while managing and motivating team members.
- Worked with technical teams and external vendors to provide optimal operational support for various services.
- Provided timely and accurate responses for all incidents and requests.
- Performed and coordinated special assignments from the infrastructure manager.
- Simulated attacks on systems to find exploitable weaknesses and implement effective solutions.
- Helped to provide short-term and long-term solutions for over 8,000 end users.
CV skills example
Your technological skills are of the utmost importance, so you need to choose carefully which ones to highlight in your cyber security CV. Again, if you have very specialized knowledge, consider the function resume format. Otherwise, go back to the job listing to focus your section on the skills your prospective employer wants.
If the job listing is long and difficult to parse, try inputting it into a word art application such as Wordle to help you discover the most important words and phrases.
Don’t neglect soft skills, or those attributes necessary to function in a workplace such as timeliness, organization and communication. Check out a resume sample for the skills section below. Then head over to our systems analyst resume example for more skills section inspiration.
- Cyber Security
- Infrastructure Solutions
- Linux OS
- Knowledge of the Cyber Threat Landscape
- Complex Problem Solving
- Technical Project Coordination
Cyber security resume education section
Most cyber security experts have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, analytics, engineering, business administration or a related field. Many also have master’s degrees.
The education section of your CV is a simple listing of your degrees. Below you can see an education section from a cyber security resume example. If you have completed several certifications in addition to your university degree, consider creating a certification section to your cyber security resume.
Here are the top 10 cyber certifications, according to hackr.io:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISPP)
- GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
- EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
- GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- Certified in Risk and Information System Control (CRISC)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Master of Science in Cyber Security, Fairfield University, Fairfield
September 2012 - May 2014
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Boston College, Boston
September 2008 - May 2012
Resume layout and design: gateway to success
Perhaps your design isn’t THE secret key, but it certainly opens doors. As a cyber security professional, you have to have a keen eye for detail. The layout of your resume should secure that impression.
Your main goal is an interview, so you want to maintain professional yet enticing design. Of course, if the content of your resume is lacking, the design won’t help, but on the flipside, if your design is lacking, you may be passed over. Here are some pointers to guide you:
- Keep it streamlined
- Use easy-to-read fonts
- Design an eye-catching header that puts your contact information in the forefront without distracting from the text
- Avoid mistakes and quickly create an eye-catching layout by using a resume template.
Key takeaways for a cyber security resume
- You’re in a field that’s exploding with opportunity, so think of your cyber security resume as the ticket to your dream job.
- As cyber security grows, the number of job titles and specializations grows with it.
- Targeted resumes help you bypass the ATS and signal to employers that you understand their needs.
- Check out our cyber security resume sample for more ideas on creating a great page layout.