Thanks to everyone for your kindness and responses. Does the group have an suggestions in responding to questions about my hiatus in employment?
It's not unusual for someone to take a couple of years off to take care of their own health or their family. If you are concerned, exclude dates from the resume and your LinkedIN profile all together. As others have stated, contact 3rd party recruiters. Most of these individuals have security jobs or may know of jobs that may be coming up. Reach out to them via phone or at job fairs if at all possible. I know some of the top individuals get tons of emails and just can't answer all of them.
Network, network, network. At our ISC2 meeting, there were several people that were recruiting individuals for positions. There is a shortage of qualified security professionals in many parts of the country.
When asked in an interview, I would be honest. Say something like, I have taken some time off due to a medical condition that is now resolved.
Would two years be considered too long if out of the field working? Possibly illustrate continued learning and staying abreast of the industry?
Clara - it's good to hear that you've got your health back again.
One thing that I didn't see mentioned, is that job applications are (at least here in the UK) a simple speed game - with one exception worth considering.
If a job agency posts an ad on the usual job boards, they will have 200+ replies inside a day. So what I find happening is that they take the first ten that look reasonable, and ignore the other 190+. This takes place usually in less than two hours. That means unless you've applied in that very narrow window, the percentages are heavily stacked against you.
However - I also find that a potential employer will look at applications received directly in addition to those received from the agencies. If you can identify from a posting on a job site who the actual employer is, it's always worth applying directly as the numbers that come in from that route are considerably fewer.
My sneaky trick is to do both. I got my last job because I applied in the first 30 mins of a posting going on a job board, then later in the day sent a (slightly re-written) application to the employer directly. They saw my application twice and thought that if I'd found them twice, I was going to be a good fit!
My question is how long does it usually take to get one of these positions? I have applied for several DOD Jobs over the past few weeks and haven't heard anything back.
I'm glad you are feeling better. Otherwise, I would recommend what almost everyone else here has. Join a local physical chapter of ISC2. I just joined one here in RTP and I couldnt believe all the people there. Continue to do linked in and ziprecruiter. And keep CISSP after your name.
Now is a good time for you to pick up some more prestigious and security minded certs. Not only will it increase your "net worth", it will sort of refresh your security knowledge and give you a nice chance to let prospective employers know that you were investing in yourself by upgrading yourself by taking some downtime.
Hi, Clara. I'm glad you're doing better. My advice on explaining the hiatus is to level with them and be truthful--health is the VERY best excuse for the employment gap (most other explanations fall short of, "I was desperately ill, and treatment took a long time.") As a hiring manager, I wouldn't even blink at that.
I've been hired by two different companies over the past 4 years since I went into remission, and I let them both know my full-time job during the break was "cancer patient." Like you, I was worried, but it didn't make a bit of difference to folks who were keen to invest in my expertise.
Good luck to you!!
Sorry to hear about what you have gone through and the challenge you are facing. I know some people who were out of work for a few years and how they struggled to get back to a working life.
Its critical to get a job first irrespective of what level it is of, so search for a job in the IT field and if you can then in security field. Any job that changes the status from unemployed to employed is the first step.
Learn Python as it helps a lot in system administration and in security also.