It’s no secret that demand is outweighing supply when it comes to cyber security roles in the current climate so if this is your area of expertise, you’re in a fortunate position!
I That said, there’s still many things you can do towards securing a career role. One that is aligned with the work you enjoy, where you see opportunity for learning, upskilling and progression and that has a working culture you feel you’d thrive in.
I So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can pursue and secure your ideal opportunity.
I Not all trained cyber security specialists perform the same job functions. Understanding the nuances within the field is the first step toward reaching your career utopia. Some examples include SOC Analysts, Penetration Testers, GRC Consultants & Security Engineers. Get to know the full suite of skills required for each then consider any personal weaknesses you may need to address so you have the competitive edge at interview time.
I Speaking of the full suite of skills, have you considered your hard skills versus soft skills? You might be an expert at hacking or building virtual machines, but how would you rate your ability to learn new skills? Perhaps you’re proficient in programming languages like Java, Python and C++ but what are your communications skills like? Could you confidently help end-users to configure their machines? Roles often require a mixture of technical and personal skills and whilst the path to acquiring formal qualifications can be clear, mastering some of the general skills can actually feel uncomfortable if they’re not in your nature. Get to know yourself, and the combination required for your dream job.
I Consider how you are presented digitally when applying for a role. Make sure your resume is succinct, and up to date, including all relevant qualifications, certifications and previous experiences. Consider adding your LinkedIn URL so the hiring manager can take a closer look at your work to date, and ideally, read some testimonials too. When providing professional reference, give them a heads up that they may be contacted and give them a brief rundown on the position you’re applying for. Finally, ensure your preferred email address and phone number is correct, so there’s no possible breakdown in communication if you’re invited to interview for the role.
I Beyond preparing for the role itself, get to know the organisations for which you’d love to work. What is their mission and what are their values? How do they differ from other companies and what do they expect from their workers? Go one step further and ensure you’re well versed on the current state of the industry as a whole. What are the potential opportunities or threats, long term? Cyber security is a changing landscape and showing you’ve done your homework will go a long way. And if you happen to miss out on your desired position, you’re more likely to get the call up next time as you’ll be remembered as a well informed cyber security enthusiast, not ‘just another applicant’.
I Consider how you spend your time outside of work. Are there ways you could be developing your skills and growing as a person that will also serve you in your cyber security career? Are you networking with others in the industry? Are you connecting to thought leaders and keeping up with their opinions? If an opportunity comes down to just two final candidates, how you spend your spare time could make all the difference in swaying things favourably in your direction.
I You know your qualifications are in high demand but don’t rest on your laurels. Be prepared for detailed interview questions and consider how best to demonstrate and articulate your experience and skills. If you progress to the end, it’s also important to know how to negotiate salary. Do your research and understand the typical salary range for the titles within security and risk management. Also remember there are other incentives to consider like working from home and flexible hours.
I So, whilst cyber security professionals are currently highly sought after, landing your dream role is far from guaranteed. Take the process by the reins, and do everything in your control to increase your chances of securing the perfect position.
I If you’d like more information about cyber security opportunities, get in touch with the Decipher Bureau team and we can connect you with our expansive industry network. With offices across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and an experienced team around the world, we can help you achieve your career aspirations sooner.