Current CISSP holder here, with a general career question.
I am fortunate to be currently working within the cyber security field, and interested in your feedback regarding resume preparation services. Not looking to make a job change, however would like to update my resume, LinkedIn, etc - some updating is long overdue.
Realize that many will note the best job is one done yourself, and there is something to be said for this. That said, does anyone have recommendations for resume services which specialize in the Cyber market, which they would share with the group?
Who would you recommend, and who have you used?
My advice is simple: Build your own resume's; don't use a preparation service.
1. For every specific job you apply for, research the company, study the job announcement, and build a custom resume aimed at that job and that company. Focus on your skills and experience that tie directly to the industry involved and the job description they gave you. Use exactly the same key words in describing your qualifications that you find in the job announcement task descriptions.
2. Fancy, pretty, visually unique resume's are not needed. (Elle got the intern job in spite of her pink paper and lavender scent, not because of it.) You want each resume to be easily readable by the HR scanning software that moves all your words into their hiring program database, but you also want it clean, easy to read by a human so that a hiring manager can scan quickly to find the key information that manager is interested in. Simple, well organized layout and clean, decent sized typeface are important. Remember, most folks with hiring authority are over 40 and cannot read that 8 or 9 point type anymore.
3. In spite of #1, you will need a general-use resume for job fairs and when you have an immediate opportunity with no time to research and customize. That can be the starting point for your job-specific resume's.
4. There are tons of books and websites with advice on how to set up a resume Look at a few, pick what makes sense to you, and dive in.
5. Look at the resume templates available in word processing sites and online. Keep it neat and clean.
6. Have at least two friends check your resume. One should be a techie or familiar with the work, checking for accurate technical and experience descriptions. The other should be a good writer or copy editor to check for syntax, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Typographical errors in a resume can be a killer. They also can foul up the keyword search by the HR software.
I used to run a resume writing service that specialized in doing US Federal resumes. I did it because of how frustrated I got putting them in and I figured out the "game". The key was to make sure that you didn't send the same resume in for every job, at least not until you tweaked it enough to make it past the scanner.
What most people fail to do when building a resume is to look at the job announcement, see where their experience fits, and then put the required experience in their resume. "Responsible for doing scanning" doesn't always mean you performed scanning. "Job duties included scanning...." doesn't always mean you did scanning. If you did scanning and the job duties say scanning then say so.
Another pet peeve of hiring managers? The cut-and-paster's. Cut the job description from the website and paste it into your resume. It shows a severe lack of effort. Also realize that a job description may be an ideal description of a person that doesn't exist, but sure would be nice if they did, kind of posting. See how many of the things you can meet and put it down. Consider volunteer experience too. Just because you weren't paid to do it doesn't mean you don't know how.
For executive management positions you need to show leadership and savings gains/productivity increases you were personally responsible for. How you led teams through tough times. How you accomplished much with very little resources. How you can step in, if needed and lead your team in a direction, and then be able to get out of their way.
Another thing. I didn't know services like the ones you mentioned existed until I called a candidate (who had accepted the interview request) for an interview for a CISO position he didn't remember applying for. He didn't want to even do the interview even though a resume had been submitted for it and email correspondence had been sent and replied to describing the position. I guess someone or some company submitted his resume on his behalf for a job that he was not qualified for. Very strange phone call and pretty sure he won't get another chance with my team.
I agree with the detail provided by RWBenoit
I personally have 4 Versions: a short (2 sides of A4) version that is tailored for each role applied for. A medium resume (5-6 sides, expands on experience detail and adds details on training to supplement qualifications and education content) if more information is required, a long version with full information (7-8 sides - I use this to jog my memory at interview not to issue); and finally my Linked-in profile which I keep aligned to my short resume.
In terms of tailoring, I have produced versions for Cyber Security Management, Cyber Security Consultancy, and Cyber Security Architect when applying for specific roles, tailoring my impact statement to say how good I am at each of these in particular depending on the role/title applied for (but not forgetting to add I also have skills in the other areas that add value to the role).
Generically I like the following content:
I also recommend updating with every job/role change, but as a minimum every 3 months regardless (better to keep up as you go than to hurriedly try to remember at the last minute).
Out of interest I tried my short resume on one of those "pay us xxx and we'll get you a 90% success on your application" - I scored 72% without their help. They largely work on matching key words and phrases anyway and are not as helpful as they would make out - based on an automated tool used by recruiters not employers (generally).
Thanks for your response - I appreciate your detail. It would be nice if you or others could recommend a good individual or group to review resume's as well.
Good point, and yes one has to be careful regarding who has their resume - and how it may be submitted to companies in the future.