With many openings and a shortage of talented professionals to fill them, the cyber security job market presents qualified information security professionals with tremendous opportunities for high financial rewards and swift career advancement. These benefits have generated enormous interest among young tech professionals and experienced IT veterans alike, but the reality is that breaking into this field is far from easy, often demanding years of on the job training and an array of highly technical and difficult to attain certifications. Even if an applicant is perfectly qualified for their desired position, they still have the challenge and responsibility of making this clear to recruiters and potential employers. Companies looking to fill their cyber security positions face the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent in the face of growing competition, and in a job market with a negative unemployment rate. Here are some points that candidates and employers should respectively keep in mind when searching or recruiting for cyber security positions.
Candidates should have a clear focus when beginning their job hunt. As the first item in your resume, clearly state your professional objectives in a way that matches the position you plan to apply for. If applying for more than one position at the same company, submit a resume that highlights skill sets that are relevant to all the openings that interest you. Candidates should not be afraid to use industry-specific jargon and buzzwords either in their resumes or during the interview process, as employers often associate them with experience and practical knowledge. Play up your achievements and succinctly list or discuss your career highlights, while maintaining a clear focus on the skills demanded by your desired position.
Be well aware of what the position will require and play up your skills, emphasizing how you would leverage them to perform well in your new role. When asked a question you do not know the answer to, avoid giving an incorrect response or trying to skirt around the issue. Make it clear that you do not have a full grounding on the subject and express your eagerness to learn. This portrays awareness and humility to interviewers, giving the impression that you would be a quick and efficient on the job learner if selected for training.
As an employer, giving the impression that your company would be a fulfilling and enjoyable place to work will score major points with prospective candidates. Make the first contact as light-hearted as possible, letting the candidate know about some of the perks and benefits they can expect if selected for the job, while providing some insights on the corporate culture and work environment. This gives aspiring applicants the impression that they are under serious consideration, thus putting them at ease prior to the more technical part of the interview or call.
Make the job requirements as clear as possible and ask the candidate how they would use their skills or abilities to fulfill them. A short case study that typifies a common obstacle or difficulty that the candidate would face, presented in problem-solution format, can help hiring managers determine whether the candidate is a good fit, while also giving the candidate an immediate sense of achievement if they provide a strong answer. Should the latter occur, positive feedback should be forthcoming. If an applicant matches the requirements in terms of job specifications and company culture, they should receive the good news as soon as possible. This gives successful candidates a sense of importance, making them feel valued and appreciated. It’s never too early for employers to establish a strong bond with incoming professionals in the organization, and an effective onboarding program can greatly increase the connection between a new hire and their company.