Career / Career Progression

Enhance Your IT Security Resume in 7 Steps

by Team Nuggets
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Published on July 11, 2017

For many years, IT security was a side project of systems administration. Now, it has finally graduated into its specialization. The outlook for security professionals has never been better; however, the competition for positions has intensified.

The interviews will go to those who impress potential employers with up-to-date skills and credentials. A diligent security pro can emphasize their security skills in several ways, ensuring their resume ends up in the "To Interview" stack.

1. Brush up on Compliance Requirements

In recent years, compliance has become a necessity for IT security. PCI, HIPAA, and SOX have their requirements, and staying safely out of the compliance spotlight has become a significant goal for all companies.

To get up to speed on the challenges and requirements of compliance, you could train for certification as a Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP). While not necessarily a technical certification, the training for this cert can prepare you to implement the necessary technical procedures to ensure the highest level of information privacy. Potential employers will be highly impressed by your show of dedication to this issue.

2. Practice Securing the Cloud

Most organizations will seek a security pro who can implement a defensible security perimeter in the cloud. Yesterday's security skills are inadequate for securing a computing environment that is, by its very nature, global and shared.

As a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), you can demonstrate your mastery of security best practices in Azure and AWS environments. Please note that this is an advanced cert, so here's some advice for working toward the CCSP.

3. Develop a Risk Assessment Strategy

No company wants to learn about its vulnerabilities from an actual attack. IT security pros must be able to define and execute a comprehensive risk-threat testing process.

If you lack experience with risk-threat assessment and mitigation, training to become a white hat hacker will quickly bring you up to speed on executing and evaluating a full security scan of a company's systems. Building experience with threat audit and vulnerability scanning software is also good.

4. Define Mobile and BYOD Policies

As employees increasingly use their devices to work, IT security must meet the challenge of protecting data exchange, whether at the office or on the go. Employers want to know that you can:

1. Implement and enforce policies regarding the types of devices used. 2. Determine specific software packages, protocols, and encryption levels allowed to connect through your Intranet. 3. Train employees to install and maintain any required security software on their devices.

Completing a BYOD training course will help demonstrate your focus on this critical security issue. Several policy templates are available online for study, as well.

5. Fill Your Security Toolbox

Employers want to know that you can identify appropriate utilities to help manage and automate many IT security tasks. Round out your list of technical skills by developing a working knowledge of the most popular security apps, such as:

  1. Nessus and Whisker: Provide comprehensive audits and risk assessments with minimal setup.

  2. Wireshark: Analyzes live or captured network traffic with support for hundreds of protocols.

  3. Snort: Automatically monitors the network for intrusions and alerts when a breach occurs. provides a listing of both free and commercial security utilities. Be sure to stack the technical skills section of your resume with a handful of the best options.

6. Earn Your Security+ and CISSP Certifications

These certifications serve as a broad introduction to IT security principles. All HR managers will look for the CompTIA Security+ and/or (ISC)2 CISSP certifications on any security resume. The training required for both certifications is similar, although most pros agree that the CISSP requires more hands-on experience to develop a deeper understanding of security principles.

Consider watching CompTIA Security+ training. CBT Nuggets trainer Keith Barker's course covers everything you need to easily pass your exam and add this important credential to your resume. If you have five or more years of experience in IT security, you can add the CISSP cert to your resume with the (ISC)2 CISSP 2015 training course.

7. Hone Your Soft Skills

The best IT security pros know that project management and end-user training skills help ensure that security best practices are being implemented and adhered to by all parties. Be sure your resume can point to some PM expertise. You can also complete the Project Management for the Real World training and add this vital bullet point to your resume.

Employers are interested in IT security pros who stay current and can take on various related projects, such as compliance and user training. Armed with these seven resume-enhancing skills, you can have confidence that you will stand out as someone who can be counted on to remain at the forefront of IT security innovation.

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