We have found that the ideal cybersecurity candidate has developed a blend of technical / hard skills (IQ) and business / soft skills (EQ). Technical skills most employers want proof that you are:
- Grounded in IT fundamentals: e.g. networking, systems administration, database management, web applications, cloud applications, identity & access management, etc.
- Versed in day-to-day operations: e.g. physical security, virtual security, networks, server equipment, enterprise storage, users, applications, etc.
For soft skills, a few key skills that employers are looking for in candidates are noted below:
- Know how to communicate with non-IT colleagues and work in a team
- Understand business procedures & processes
- Love to solve complex puzzles and unpick problems
1. Relevant Job Experience
List any previous IT positions plus any other work related to IT security. That includes volunteer work, internships and apprenticeships. For government jobs, hiring committees will be interested in any military or law enforcement experience.
2. Hard IT Skills
We will provide some of the most useful hard IT skills in another section called “Helpful IT Skills & Certifications”
3. Professional IT Certifications
Don’t have a beginner’s security certification like Security+? Employers will still be interested to see if you have relevant IT certifications. Just be prepared to back up these qualifications with proof of real-world experience.
4. IT Achievements
List any IT and cyber security achievements that you think your employers will respect. These could include Capture The Flag (CTF) standings, contest awards, training course certificates and scholarships.
5. College Degree
Although it’s not always necessary to have a college degree to land your first cyber security job; having a degree can increase your chances greatly beyond just hard skill certifications. College teaches you important skills in communication, writing, business and project management – skills that will help you advance your career.