“How To” Cyber Blog Series: Part II

How to Find Cybersecurity Job Openings
Anyone can post a resume on popular job boards like Indeed and SimplyHired, and conduct targeted searches. But there are more effective ways to find cybersecurity job openings, particularly for advanced positions. This post dives into finding cybersecurity job openings through social media and your professional network.

Make LinkedIn Work for You
LinkedIn has become one of the best online resources for finding a job, especially those in cybersecurity. The LinkedIn Jobs database just keeps getting better, and the platform itself makes many useful connections for job-seekers.

Create a profile that attracts attention
Here are some tips for setting up a LinkedIn profile for maximum visibility:

  • Consider your profile – your summary, experience, skills, links, and so on – as your online resume. Fill it with relevant details, and get recommendations from managers, co-workers, and higher ed faculty. Be sure to double-check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Ensure your profile contains keywords appropriate to your background/experience and the type of job you want, such as cloud security, risk management, NIST RMF, and FedRAMP. If you have experience applying the NIST RMF steps, for example, include more specific keywords in your description, such as Security Authorization Package, SSP, POA&M, SAR, control selection, SP 800-37, NIST SP 800-59, and NIST SP 800-137.
  • Customize your profile URL. For example, instead of using the long, random URL that LinkedIn provides you by default when you create an account, change it to include your name, like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname/. Your profile will be easier for others to find, and it’ll look more professional on job applications.

Connect with recruiters
One way is to type “recruiter” in the Search box, and then select Recruiter in Jobs or Recruiter in People. From there, select filters to narrow your search and then connect with a few recruiters. Let them know a bit about you and what you’re looking for, so they understand your situation.

Even if you don’t purposely connect with recruiters or mention in your LinkedIn status that you’re looking for a job, recruiters and hiring managers may contact you anyway. A well-developed LinkedIn profile works for you, drawing in employers and recruiters who are seeking candidates with your skills and background.

Join industry groups
Once your LinkedIn profile is in shipshape, join some industry groups. Most security-related associations, such as ISACA and (ISC)2 have a presence on LinkedIn, as well as organizations like ISCN (Information Security Careers Network) and the VIB (Veterans in Business) Network. Just search for the acronym or name, and then click the Ask To Join button. (Or just type “security” in the Search box to see which groups pop up.) After joining a few, watch group posts for job notifications. If you feel it’s appropriate, let people in the group know you’re looking for a job (see the “Tips for Cyber Job Seekers” section later in this post first).

Search for jobs
Then use LinkedIn Jobs to start the real job search activity rolling. Go to the Jobs tab, search for a job role you’re interested in (such as “security analyst”), and add your preferred location. One of the best features of LinkedIn for job searches is that your connections will appear alongside associated job descriptions. For example, if you connected with Mary, a former cyber classmate, who now works for XYZ organization, she will appear in a job description for XYZ. You can then reach out to her for information about the hiring process at XYZ or ask for a referral. Be sure to also set up a search alert to notify you via email, text, or desktop notification when new jobs are added.

Finally, browse your LinkedIn homepage and the Notifications tab regularly. Recruiters and hiring managers often blast notifications for open positions, especially those at a higher level or that are difficult to fill.

Lean on Your Professional Network
Building your cyber professional network is one of the best ways to find a top cyber job. Several alumni of Mission Critical Institute-sponsored cyber graduate programs have shared that they found a job through co-workers, fellow students, or instructors, and each source provided either an introduction or referral on the candidate’s behalf. Those “insider” opportunities are highly effective in getting the job you want with a desired organization.

Other ways to meet like-minded security folks who may, eventually, be great job resources is by attending association meetings (such as ISACA chapter meetings), through MeetUp, and even through Twitter. As you meet people and perhaps exchange business cards, always follow up by sending a connection invite on LinkedIn to further build your online network, which is what the platform is all about.

Tips for Cyber Job Seekers
Don’t just tell your associates that you’re looking for a job and ask if they can help. That’s too vague, and it puts the burden on them to essentially look for a job for you. Tell your associates specifically and concisely about the type of job you want (“I’m looking for a cloud risk manager position, preferably in the public sector or for a defense contractor”), and provide a link to your public LinkedIn profile. Then ask them to notify you if they learn of a job that fits or if they know someone they could introduce you to.

Sign up for at least one online cybersecurity job fair to get the experience. The contacts you make can lead to personal interactions with potential employers, and possibly some interviews.