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 (EQ), a few key skills that employers are looking for in candidates are noted below:
- Communicate with business lexicon & technical lexicon
- Demonstrating positive team collaboration for work projects
- Being able to present complex technical topics to non-technical colleagues
- Being accountable for tasks and understanding when to re-set expectations for tasks BEFORE the task due date
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. Soft Skills (EQ)
List soft-skill courses, workshops and or activities that you actively use in your career. Presentations given, podcasts participated in, talks given all help demonstrate your passion for cybersecurity and why you are a good candidate for the job for the organization to invest in you by hiring you.
3. 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
List certifications & combine a project and or real-world experience with the certification. Demonstrate how the certification has helped you become a more experienced employee and allowed you to create more business value for the organizations you have worked for.
List any professional achievements, Information Technology, cybersecurity, business & personal that you believe demonstrates to your employer your ability to provide value to a company.
5. College Degree
Having a college degree to land your first cyber security job in NOT a requirement. College provides an opportunity for you to refine your career tool kit in areas that align with soft-skills (EQ) like communication, writing, business & project management, risks analysis, etc. and hard-skills (IT) like computer programing languages, mathematics, system design, system theory, etc. which will help you career advance over time.