Looking for Cybersecurity Employment? Ask for Help!
Looking for Cybersecurity Employment? Ask for Help
If you type “cybersecurity apprenticeship” into your search engine, you’ll notice a significant number of listings from academia, government agencies and even some employers. There’s a good reason for this: Cybersecurity talent is scarce.
Yet, despite the limited pool of available skilled candidates, if you’re pursuing a career in cybersecurity, surely you’ve already figured out that landing a job isn’t easy. Cybersecurity positions tend to be specialized and employers too often focus on technical skills that are hard to come by.
Apprenticeships offer a path into the field, especially for pursuers short on technical skills. But they aren’t the only option. In a recently published guide, “How to Get a Cybersecurity Job,” (ISC)² emphasizes the importance of identifying the right people to help you find employment in a number of ways:
Mentorships or apprenticeships
Joining digital communities
Attending industry events
Identifying individuals at a prospective employer who might lend you a hand
Networking Within the Prospective Employer
When pursuing a specific job, you may find help from someone who already works at your target company. If you know a cybersecurity team member, or even someone in a different department, it doesn’t hurt to ask for an introduction to a team leader or hiring manager.
If you don’t know anyone in the company, you may be able to identify team members and hiring managers by scouring online communities such as LinkedIn. Chances are some team members are affiliated with professional organizations or cybersecurity chapters where you can make a connection and introduction.
This approach may seem a little intimidating, but consider this: Current hiring managers and cybersecurity team members know how difficult it is to find qualified talent. Even if you lack some of the desired skills, or no position is currently available that suits your qualifications, they’ll likely remember you for a job that opens up later. But that won’t happen unless you initiate contact and make the right impression.
Finding Industry Contacts
Other steps you can take to find people to help you include attending cybersecurity events, whether online or in person. Obviously in-person events are better for networking, but the pandemic has placed limits on them.
Joining online communities also helps. Forums on Reddit and LinkedIn, for instance, give you opportunities to connect with cybersecurity professionals and do some research on what employers are looking for. You should also look for cybersecurity chapters of organizations such as (ISC)², ISACA or CompTIA, where you can find professionals who are willing to share their experiences and advise you on your job pursuit.
You also can gain a lot of perspective about the industry from following cybersecurity influencers and thought leaders. Visit their sites regularly to stay current on what is driving today’s security discussion.
The cybersecurity profession requires a fair amount of resourcefulness. Threats and risks change and evolve all the time, requiring savvy and skill to keep up with everything. Resourcefulness is also a useful quality in your job pursuit. If you can find the right people to help you, that’s a sign of resourcefulness that will serve you well in landing a job and succeeding in the job.