With over 285,000 current openings in the United States and global demand for qualified pros expected to exceed 1.8 million jobs by 2022, landing a cyber security position could be your best chance at balancing a high salary with unusual job security in an era of increasing employment instability and weakening workers rights. Candidates should keep in mind though that plenty of openings won’t be a guarantee of success unless they’re adequately prepared. That includes building a strong resume and having relevant experience that’s mirrored in the job titles they contain. Here’s why we feel that the job titles on your resume will have an impact on whether you land your next job in cyber security.


Resume Search Optimization

The reality is that if your job title is too uncommon or inappropriate for the position an employer is looking for, it may not even be seen by a human. That’s because talent hunters use internal search engines on job boards or on their own recruiting pages to filter for keywords, scanning databases for relevant resumes. Eccentric job titles like like “Cloud Wizard” or “Cyber Guru” may sound neat and original, but could put off career-oriented candidates because of the confusion they may cause. A resume that’s written taking into account the search engine optimization (SEO) of most frequent keywords in job titles has a much better shot at being noticed and reviewed by a human resources professional, and from the employer perspective, will also be more attractive to candidates.


Inflated Job Titles

If you run a small business or startup for some time and grant yourself the title of CEO or Director on your resume, you’ll find it a lot tougher to land a Manager or Analyst position at a bigger company. Recruiters and hiring managers will be worried that you may see the new role as a step down, which could very well mean a dissatisfied employee in the future. In this case, granting yourself a more humble job title, in keeping with the new job you want, will help your chances tremendously. This point is emphasized by Matt Donato, HuntSource Co-Founder and Managing Partner:  “we often see resumes with elevated job titles that don’t accurately portray career progression and growth, but at the end of the day it’s all about what you’ve done and the impact that you’ve had throughout your tenure. C-level and Executive level titles can almost scare your audience away if perceived as having too much experience or being deemed overqualified.”


The Impact of Job Titles in Cyber Security

Some cyber security roles reflect similar or identical responsibilities, but may be more or less appealing to candidates based on the importance that the title projects. A “Cyber Security Manager” title may sit better with candidates than a “Cyber Security Team Lead” for example.  According to job board Indeed.com, Information Security Analysts make an average of $83,264 per year, compared to IT Security Specialists who bring in $113,024 . While many employers may treat this difference in title as a nuance of company policy, the job title can have a serious impact on candidate salary expectations and willingness to apply for the role. By the same token, if the complexity of a role isn’t conveyed by a job title that accurately portrays the responsibilities of the position, an employee may become discouraged and eventually less productive.  A professional with an analyst role that begins to take on managerial or supervisory tasks will eventually demand a raise, promotion or begin to resent the lack of recognition for their efforts. In the case of talented cyber security professionals with highly marketable skills, a lack of recognition, through job titles that match skill sets and contributions to the company’s success, will make them more difficult to find, hire and retain.