Friday, April 05, 2013

Do You Want More Attention When You Respond to an Open Security Job?

I sent my resume. Pay attention to me!

In my position, I’m the recipient of unsolicited resumes every day.  No, I’m not complaining about receiving unsolicited resumes, I’m simply stating a fact. I've been in this position for 23 years now so I've seen more resumes than most people will see in their entire lifetime.  There is no reward for that.  Just stating another fact.

I've recently been working to fill several director level searches.  Here are two of the the titles in order for the rest of this blog to make sense:
  • Director of Business Intelligence
  • Director of Cyber Security Awareness and Training, Policies and Procedures

The point in sharing these titles is to point out that I've received numerous resumes for each position.  For the Business Intelligence role for example, I received an abundance of resumes that didn't even carry the words “Business Intelligence”.  Yet, the resume owner stated in a cover letter that he or she was a “perfect fit”.  

More recently, I've reviewed resumes for the Security Awareness position.  This is a role in which the selected candidate will build a global security awareness and training program for a Fortune 350 company.  

In order to qualify for this role, a candidate needs to demonstrate that they've previously built security awareness programs.  Yet, I've received resumes that don’t carry the term “security awareness" anywhere in the document.

Please help me to help you!  I sincerely want to help you.

The Goal of a Security Recruiter

Every day of my life, when I come to my desk in the morning, my goal is to get closer than I was the day before to filling my client’s open positions.  This is how I put food on the table for my family.

In fact, I live for the days when I get to deliver a job offer to an excited candidate.  There is never a day when I come to my desk hoping to see a resume that someone thinks is a “perfect fit” for one of my client’s openings when the resume doesn't even address my client’s needs.

Security Resume Writing

In a recent article I contributed to CSO Magazine called “15tips for landing - and acing - a job interview”, the first point I made dealt with resumes.  I suggested that one needs to write a great resume to open the door. I'm sticking with this point as my first point out of 15.

When sharing your resume with a security recruiter or a corporation that might hire you, may I suggest that you should make it as easy as possible for the recipient of your resume to quickly understand who you are, where you are, how you’re educated, how you’re certified, where you’ve worked and what accomplishments, contributions and value you’ve brought to past employers.

If you’re responding to a Director of Security Awareness job opportunity, be sure that your resume clearly tells success stories around the past security awareness projects you’ve led.

If you want to be the brand new Director of Business Intelligence for a Fortune 50 company, it should take the recipient of your resume a matter of seconds to determine that you have an extensive background in data warehousing and business intelligence.  It should be crystal clear to the reader that you've previously built business intelligence programs on a global basis.

The burden of proof shouldn't be placed on the resume reader’s shoulders to determine that you are or are not a fit.  Make it simple for the recipient of your resume to determine that you fit the job you're responding to.


I read negative comments all the time that suggest employers and recruiters don’t acknowledge receiving a job candidate’s resume.  I have no doubt that this is the case. 

If you want to receive more acknowledgement for your skills and accomplishments, one way to get more attention is to send a resume that clearly and logically entices the resume recipient to not only read but to take action.

Are you sending a tactically written resume to employers and recruiters when you’re responding to a job that will have a strategic impact on the organization?  I receive this kind of resume all the time.  There is a solution.

Either invest the appropriate amount of time and energy to develop a strategic business-focused resume on your own or hire a security resume writer whose proven resume writing methodology gets results.'s Security Recruiter Blog