Friday, September 16, 2011

Security Resume Writing, an HR Director Conversation

When I created the Security Resume Writing service a few years ago, I had no idea how much response would roll in from security professionals from around the globe.  Over the weekend a security resume writing client came to me from Singapore.  In the past, I’ve worked on security resume projects from the US, Africa, Canada and Switzerland. 

The service was created not too long after a global oil and gas client retained my services and insisted that I post their job to the ASIS job board.  Against my better judgment, I did what my client asked because they had paid a retainer fee.  Over the next three or so weeks, 350 of the worst resumes I’ve ever seen in 20+ years of recruiting crossed my eyeballs.  Occasionally there was a good resume in this bunch but the vast majority fell into the terrible category. 

Not too long after seeing these 350 weak security resumes, I shared a very interesting discussion with a Human Resources Director whom I’ll meet for the first time when I visit Los Angeles to speak at the CISO Forum and the Los Angeles ISSA meeting next week.  The result of this conversation was the creation of my security resume writing program.

Even though the program has many successes attached to it now, I’m always tweaking my security resume writing worksheet to make it better and better.  A Human Resource Director friend who spent 10 years with IBM helped me to create the worksheet a few years ago.  The other day, I sent Mike the worksheet to get his opinion on a few new changes I’d made.

To understand his comment, you’d first have to know that in line with what clients constantly ask me to deliver, the worksheet is built around helping security professionals to bring their accomplishments and the value they’ve created for their past employers to the surface.  This in my opinion and in Mike’s opinion is what is usually missing in a security professional’s resume.  For that matter, Mike thinks accomplishments, business value and quantifiable evidence is missing in most professional resumes.

After reading through the new version of the worksheet, here were Mike’s comments coming from the mind of a Human Resources Director in a media and entertainment company in Hollywood, CA.
I think there is a mental block with people not being able to make the leap from their ability to do a task and the need to make a contribution. Maybe people are focused on being useful instead of being valuable. The idea that we are paid for what we do may prevent us from seeing that those who are earning more are receiving it because they are perceived as contributing more. Contribute!”
Mike’s comments by no means are restricted to security resumes but they do apply.  Apply his comments to anybody’s professional resume and you’ll be moving in the right direction.'s Security Recruiter Blog