May 6

Career Advice for Security Geeks, Part 2

7  comments

by Bill Penningtoncalssifieds

Maybe you didn’t see my last post in time to save your job, and you are now out on the street looking for one. I have been hiring people for close to 10 years now, and hiring today is a lot different than it was 10 years ago. These tips are based on what I see coming in these days in terms of resumes, and what I do when I see a resume that is at least passable.

1. Customize your email. Every resume I see these days comes in via email, either directly to me or from one of our current employees. Make sure that email is customized to the company and position you are looking for.  Nothing gets your resume ignored faster than an intro like, “I am really looking forward to expanding my role as a Snort IDS engineer,” when you are applying for a job as a web application tester. If you don’t care enough to change an email before you send it to me, then why the heck would I hire you?

2. Google your name and ALL your email address. That is what I am going to do.  What does that show? Can I find your Facebook profile, your LinkedIn profile, and your personal blog about raising 400 cats in your one-bedroom apartment? Step back and think about what all the data says about you. Are you raging about your current employer? Detailing how you just hacked your neighbors’ network? Talking about how much you really don’t want to work in security? All of those things are going to impact my decisions to even bring you in for an interview. Understand that and think about what you are displaying online. It is fine to be you and share, that is great, but understand that a stodgy insurance company might not hire a 30-something skateboarder (me) to be their CISO.

3. Use that network. There’s no faster way for you to get in the door than through a referral from someone I know or someone that currently works here.

4. Contact me via something other than email, such as Twitter, Facebook, or even the phone. I get about 400 emails per job posting, and nothing is going to make you stand out more than showing the effort to reach out to me in another way. In this market you have to show initiative and drive; simply reaching out to me on Twitter will put you in that top 1% real quick.

5. Read our freaking website!! This is question #2 after, “Did you have any trouble finding the office?”And don’t lie because question #3 is, “Tell me what we do.” If you can’t be bothered to find out a little about the company you want to work for before the interview, what does that say about your work ethic? Nothing good, I can assure you. I am not expecting you to be able to give me a perfect elevator pitch, but I do expect you to have made the effort.

If you are currently out of work please follow the tips above and let me know if they speed up the process at all. Every job opening is getting flooded with resumes; you have to make an effort to rise above the fray to get seen, even if you are a rockstar.


Tags

security, security career


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  1. Pingback: cmdline » Blog Archive » Couch to Career - Follow up - Room362.com
  2. Hi

    I am a unix admin with 10 years of experience in Infrastructure management domain. I have been working on some security stuff as well but now I wish to explore security as career. I am not sure how good it would be for me but I like networking and security. I would like to become a specialiszed consultant.

    I would like to know what is the best way to pursue career in this fields and what can be major challenges in this field for me.

    Thanks
    Bharat
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/bbhushan

  3. Pingback: cmdline » Blog Archive » Couch to Career – Follow up
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