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How to write a CV to unlock a job in cybersecurity

7 Sep 2022

Hays’ Daniel Smith outlines what cybersecurity professionals need to focus on when crafting their CV and looking for their dream job.

As digital transformation continues to accelerate, organisations are looking for people who can keep their data and systems secure. Cyber has never been more important than in the modern climate, and it’s a requirement that isn’t going away any time soon.

If you’re interested in applying for a role in cyber, here are some top tips for improving your CV.

What to include in your CV for a job in cyber

Many of these tips will be relevant to jobseekers in any field. However, it’s no different when applying for a role in cyber, so they’re worth remembering:


One-page CVs are a myth. Make sure yours includes full details of your previous and current jobs and the responsibilities involved, even if the contents spill onto a second page.

If you are including a professional summary or personal statement, keep it brief. Give a high-level overview of your expertise in cyber.

Job history

Write about your key skills here by making it clear which previous roles required you to use these.

In clear and concise bullet points, discuss any past projects and explain what you personally contributed, not the whole team or department. Use action verbs such as ‘achieved’, ‘built’, ‘delivered’, ‘executed’ or ‘optimised’.

If you have experience in a leadership role, mention the team size and your specific duties as a manager. Again, use words such as ‘led’ or ‘raised’ for impact.

Additional skills/experience

Add a technical skills summary. Only include tools you have hands-on experience of using and would be comfortable answering questions on in an interview. If it’s something you’ve never actually worked on, then don’t mention it.

Always include full details of your education and any active certifications in cyber. You can also add certifications that you are actively working towards, eg ‘OSCP – completion by (date)’.

List blog sites you contribute to and clubs you are a part of, as well as conferences you have attended or spoken at.

What to do if you have less experience

Of course, some of the above points won’t be applicable if you’re in a junior position or are searching for your first job in cyber. Instead, include personal/school-related cyber projects you have worked on.

Mention any conferences you have attended, or cyber memberships you hold.

List tools you have worked with that are similar to the ones the hiring party has mention in the job specification.

It’s also a good idea to write about any past roles where you learned how to use a tool without any prior knowledge, as this shows you have the ability to develop in this position too.

What to avoid when writing your CV for a job in cyber

Although we mentioned above that a one-page CV is a myth, that doesn’t mean you should add things for the sake of it.

Omit phrases such as ‘good communicator’, ‘team player’, etc. Instead, demonstrate your communication skills when listing your previous responsibilities and achievements by using action verbs such as ‘influenced’, ‘advised’ or ‘negotiated’.

Don’t include inactive certifications or partially completed degrees unless you are still working on these and have a projected graduation date.

Ignore any personal hobbies or interests unless they are relevant to cyber or tech more broadly.

By Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is a recruiting manager in the Cyber Security Center in Hays US. A version of this article previously appeared on the Hays blog.

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