At the inaugural 44CON Cybersecurity I conducted a workshop on career planning. Career planning is something people tend to do at school, college or university but rarely as adults. Many people experience career planning through a disinterested and irrelevant prism, so it’s not surprising they find it dull. When I was at school trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life, the careers advice function at school took me through a coma-inducing process, often producing unrelated gems like the suggestion that I should be a formula 1 driver or a truck driver, just because I like the idea of driving.
A lot of people ask me about how they can get into the wider information security industry from outside, be that as a student or as someone looking to change careers. The first thing I ask them is, “What infosec experience do you have?” Inevitably, the answer is almost always the same. “Absolutely none, otherwise I’d be in the industry!” Now here’s the thing. When I say that question, people interpret as, “What infosec positions have you held?
A Curriculum Vitae (otherwise known as a CV) is probably the least popular document this side of a legal bill. Nobody wants to read your CV because they’ll have anywhere between 5 to 15 other CVs to read through after yours. Ask yourself when was the last time you read your CV from start to finish without skimming? Chances are even you didn’t want to read your CV. Lets take a look at why nobody wants to read your CV.
While writing my free 30 day online career hacking course I spent a lot of time learning about the interview process from different angles. I learnt about what a HR manager looks for in an Interview, what the hiring manager wants and looks for, I studied the role of the supporting interviewers and of course the interviewee. While researching all of this, I realised that there were certain things that so many people I’ve interviewed (and I myself) forgot when doing a face to face interview, so here’s my top 12 interview tips.
The Recruiter The recruiter is the first person that sees your CV or job application. This could be an internal HR manager or it could be an actual professional recruiter. The recruiter is normally (but not always) non-technical, and their goal is to weed out the obvious no hires usually by looking for keywords supplied with the job description and red flags that could be anything from your recent 6 month training holiday in Syria to a long-forgotten college MySpace profile extolling the virtues of various illegal substances.
A Resumé The best way to think of a resumé is to treat it as an overview of who you are. Resumés are common in places such as the United States and typically take less time to read, which may explain their popularity. A resumé should be no more than two pages and should contain: Full name and contact details Keywords An overview of your skills A summary of your experience A summary of your education If you resumé is more than two pages long, it’s not a resumé, it’s a poorly written CV.