Sales darling, it’s all about sales. It’s a harsh but true part of the world where you need to be able to sell. I’m not talking about business to business or hunters, farmers etc. I’m talking about being able to sell to someone that you are the right person to help them and their organisation.
Now this isn’t easy in the middle or tail end of a career let alone when you are starting off. But let’s for a minute role play and look at what I would do if I was new to the cyber world and was looking for a role?
This isn’t meant as a guide, it’s off the back of a convo I’ve just had with someone struggling in the job-hunting space. So, it’s a rough brain dump from me. The key thing I would say is:
- Put effort in
- Make content
- Don’t stop this stuff takes time and it’s hard
- Network like you’re trying to break in (don’t get too mad with OSINT if you think it might be creepy it probably is)
Know the market
Ok go and do some research! Investigate the companies, the verticals the geographic different variances. Also understand the financial and job marketplace. You need to know the market and values etc. if you are entry level and you are expecting £100K salaries (in the UK) you might have your radar configuration a bit wonky.
Ok there should be a description of who you are, what you want to do and don’t forget to make it exciting. Wading thought profiles and CVs isn’t known for being exciting so if it was me, I’d try and jaz things up a bit. The example below is just me tapping for 60 seconds so you know get creative!
“Armed with a [qualification or experience] you can see that I’m not only interested in technology, but I have applied my talents and skills to achieve results. Outside of the academic space I’m a keen and active member of the Cyber Security community, not only do a I love learning, but I also enjoy helping people. I am a passionate and dedicated information security enthusiast and I’m really interested in ensuring we can build a brighter more secure cyber future!
I’m looking for a role either in a helpdesk position or security operations. I’d be a great asset to an organisation; I bring both a scientific approach and a can-do attitude. Above all I take a human centric approach to cyber security”
Now I’m not going to go to town here, but you need to think about what the audience is looking for; this might include some of the following:
- Good Communicator
- Keen Eye for detail
- Honest and trustworthy
- Passionate in the technology and security domains
- Loves automation
- Working knowledge of modern operating systems including Windows and Linux
- Has basic scripting and coding skills
- Team Player
Blogs & social media
You will not generally be disadvantaged by writing some blogs. You can use things like LinkedIn articles to post content, it will get a wider audience and centralises your sales and marketing to a platform.
Don’t be afraid of also creating content on other platforms like:
Now other social platforms also might work such as:
I’m getting on a bit, but if it was me, I’d deploy to all the top platforms for maximum exposure!
Capture the Flag
Don’t leave out any capture the flag experience you have! These are literally some of the best ways to not only develop skills but also show you have practical working capability e.g.
“I play a range of CTFs including:
- Hack the Box
- Try Hack Me
- PwnDefend CTFs (I know shameless self-promotion)
You can use the HTB badge feature to display this etc. I mean go to town. I’m just showing this as an example (also don’t @ me I haven’t had time to play CTFs FOEVER!)
Now these often-cost money so for entry level I wouldn’t be expecting you to be a member of every organisation out there but consider looking at:
There are tons of resources available online from organisations such as:
I’m not going to tell you how to internet, but you know, there’s a lot of content out there and there’s lots of good people in the community!
What a hiring manager is looking for?
Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager, what are they going to be looking for?
- Positive Attitude
- Willingness to learn
- Communication Skills
- References to show you could do the job
- Demonstration of domain knowledge
- Demonstration of domain experience
- Approach to problem solving
- Experience in similar fields
- References from people within the industry
Again, tailor to suit your position and objectives! One thing I will add, you need to be confident in your abilities, but also be realistic. If you don’t have years of experiance in the workplace and you think you know more than all the experianced people it probably won’t come off well. My nephew just told me he is smart and I’m stupid… I then had to explain to him that people that say they are smarter tham others usually aren’t! (he’s a good kid and he got it!)
If Dan was job hunting I would…
So, let’s put this all together into a list of things that I would do if I was looking for a job in the cyber world!
- Write blogs (LinkedIn posts are a good place to start)
- Make a poster about me and my selling points (for social media)
- Make sure my LinkedIn was clear about me and what I want
- Read job specs for the roles I was applying to and use key words in my content online
- Put code on github/gitlab etc.
- Create a website (maybe)
- Have a generic CV then customise it based on applications
- Have a generic covering letter
- Network, both online and at conferences and events
- I would make a portfolio – I have this for my consulting world, I have a consulting bio which talks about the work I have done over the years, it’s not a CV but it showcases what I’ve done to lead teams, run projects and deliver business outcomes (and high level how I did that).
You need to be prepared – just like the scouts! It’s better to have materials and downsize than be lacking!
Job hunting is probably one of the most stressful things you must do in life outside of house moving and not missing flight for holidays! I kid you not, I’m not a fan of job hunting, I don’t really think anyone is. But remember, showcase yourself! Don’t script on self-investment. Remember the people on the other side must be interviewed be you too. This game is a two-way street. You might be looking but also you
Hopefully this very fast post gives you a glimpse at what I would do, if I was job hunting, I’d be spending time between promotion/content creation, training, and networking. Hope these tips help people, let me know your thoughts and suggestions!