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Cyber Security Resume: Sample & Writing Guide [20+ Examples & Tips]

Cyber Security Resume: Sample & Writing Guide [20+ Examples & Tips]

Christian Eilers
Christian Eilers
Resume Expert at Zety

You’re about to write a cyber security resume.

 

From finding vulnerabilities to stopping hackers dead in their tracks, you keep information and people safe.

 

First, though—

 

You need an internet security resume that sneaks in innocently like a trojan but shocks them with the contents.

 

No worries.

 

This cyber security resume guide will show you:

 

  • Information security resume examples better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a cyber security resume that gets more interviews.
  • Tips on how to put skills and achievements on an IT security resume.
  • How to describe your experience to get any cyber security jobs you want.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

cyber security resume templates

Sample Cyber Security Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Also, here are some other IT-related resume guides you can follow up with:

 

 

1

What’s the Best Format for a Cyber Security Resume?

 

Like a standard antivirus checkup, hiring managers first scan each resume and mark those they’ll want to revisit.

 

In this case, however—

 

It’s only a quick, 6-second glance the first time ‘round.

 

And, if you don’t make it past this first skimming, your chances at this company come to an immediate end.

 

Choose the chronological format.

 

This format keeps your cyber security resume in order like a great security policy framework. Hiring managers and security agency staff love this format for being familiar and easy to follow.

 

Here’s how to organize a cyber security analyst resume:

 

  • Start at the top with a compelling IT security resume objective or summary statement.
  • List any past experience, including relevant cyber security duties and achievements.
  • Write an education section with relevant IT and cyber security coursework.
  • Add your cyber cryptography and criminology skills to win them over to your side.
  • Include any cyber certifications, security clearances, and other sections to stand out.

 

Keep your resume legible by choosing the best fonts. Make efficient use of white space and headings to guide their eyes through the various resume sections.

 

Haven’t worked in cyber security before?

 

Since your education section is more relevant, place that above your work history section.

 

Pro Tip: Save your resume for cyber security in the PDF format. The PDF format renders it correctly, no matter which device the hiring manager calls 127.0.0.1.

 

Not convinced using the reverse-chronological format is right for your information security resumes? There are other options. See our guide: Best Resume Format: What Resume Model to Choose? [+ Resume Format Examples]

2

Cyber Security Resume Objective or Summary?

 

If you don’t intrigue HR from the very beginning, they’ll shut you down like a basic firewall and quarantine your resume.

 

How to captivate them?

 

Write a super-compelling resume summary or resume objective.

 

Worked in cyber crimes or defense before?

 

Use a resume summary.

 

This short paragraph gives your best skills and most relevant experience. A key win with numbers is thrown in as a bonus.

 

Here’re two cyber security resume examples of summaries:

 

Cyber Security Resume Samples: Resume Summary

 

right
Persistent, detail-oriented cyber security analyst with 3+ years experience with government security software contractor. DoD security clearance. Identified the 2018 Kluxnet virus, saving over 30,000 computers from destruction.
wrong
Working as an information security analyst for the last three years, I’ve become quite good at filtering out bad actors. I implemented firewalls, managed access control, quarantined infected machines, and reported security breaches.

 

In the wrong example, you give some duties, but they have no idea how well you fulfilled them. The right example, however, gives a winning accomplishment with numbers to back it up—

 

One’s weak like a 4-digit PIN, while the other is as strong as quantum encryption.

 

Now—

 

The only virus you’ve come into contact with professionally was when seeing a doctor for the flu?

 

No problem!

 

Use a resume objective when you don’t have paid cyber security experience.

 

The objective statement on a entry-level cyber security resume tells the agency your career goals. Like the summary, use relevant experience, skills, and achievements to beef it up.

 

Here are two cyber security analyst resume sample objectives:

 

Entry-Level Cyber Security Resume Samples: Resume Objective

 

right
University IT graduate with cyber security background and hundreds of classroom hours in cloud safety, automation, and digital forensics. Seeking to leverage newly-minted top secret security clearance and 4.0 GPA to become the next network security engineer at Astoria Tech.
wrong
Having just graduated from university, I don’t have much experience with cyber security. However, I am a fast learner, so I think I’d make a great addition nonetheless.

 

The wrong example is like the Nigerian Prince scam—

 

No one but your great grandfather will find it compelling.

 

The right one tells them that, though you’re only fresh out of uni, you’ve got what it takes to combat the most significant threats on their behalf. And, using their name is an excellent way to grab their attention.

 

You’ll obtain interview authorization in no time!

 

Pro Tip: On any cybersecurity resume, the resume objective or summary goes at the top. However, it doesn’t mean you have to write it first! Save it for the end so you have the rest of your resume to help inform the writing of your heading statement.

 

Want more advice on writing a career summary or career objective on a resume for cyber security jobs? Check out our guides: Professional Resume Summary Examples [20+ Resume Summary Statement Examples] and General Resume Objective Examples [20+Examples of Great Career Objectives]

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

  

3

How to Describe Your Cyber Security Experience

 

Information security analysts and cyber security jobs in the US will grow by an eye-popping 28% between 2016–2026.

 

That’s more than 28,000 new people for you to compete against—

 

A lot of competition.

 

How to beat the other candidates?

 

Write a work experience section that isolates your resume as important (like a governmental computer system air gap).

 

Here are two information security resume samples:

 

Cyber Security Job Description for Resume—Examples

 

right

Cyber Security Analyst
January 2015–December 2018
Hackers With Ethics, New York, NY

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Monitored organization’s networks for security breaches and investigated violations.
  • Prepared reports which documented security breaches and extent of damage caused by breaches.
  • Conducted penetration testing and located vulnerabilities in systems before they could be exploited.

Key Achievement

  • Identified over 350 new viruses and malware in under 4 years.
wrong

Information Security Analyst
January 2015–December 2018
Hackers With Ethics, New York, NY

Key Responsibilities

  • Removed viruses.
  • Cleaned malware.
  • Monitored systems.

 

Like a computer without antivirus software, the wrong one is missing something crucial—

 

Perfectly-chosen cyber security duties and quantifiable accomplishments which the right one included.

 

But, what if you haven’t been on a paid Cyber Defense League?

 

Not to worry.

 

Here’s how you list other experience in a way that’s relevant to cyber security jobs:

 

Entry-Level Cyber Security Resume No Experience

 

right

Website Consultant
January 2016–December 2018
Wordpress Workplace, New York, NY

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Considered client concerns to determine best method of defending Wordpress sites from attack.
  • Scanned sites for malware and security risks on a regular basis.
  • Quarantined and removed any security issues found.

Key Achievement

  • Successfully secured and monitored over 50 websites with 0 major attacks.

 

Here, for example, you consulted on multiple aspects of a client’s website, from design to content placement. However, you only listed relevant responsibilities and achievements for an infosec job.

 

That’s how it’s done!

 

Pro Tip: Got an internship, such as the Cybersecurity Internship Program from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security? Add them to your work history section, as well.

 

Got no experience whatsoever? Don’t worry! See this guide: First Resume with No Work Experience Examples

 

4

Is Your Education Section Underperforming? It Might Be

 

Hiring managers are like identity management systems—if you don’t have the right permissions, passage not given.

 

How to be granted access to the cyber security interview?

 

Whether it’s an IT security manager resume or a junior-level cyber cryptography resume, your education section has to deliver.

 

Here’s how to list education on your infosec resume:

 

Cyber Security Analyst Resume Samples—Education Section

 

BS in Cyber Forensics and Information Security

Cornell University. Ithaca, NY

Relevant Coursework: Network Forensics, Cyber Crime, Database Security, Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Analysis, National Security, Malware Analysis, Network Intrusion Detection.

 

What if you’re still working on your degree?

 

Add an unfinished degree like this:

 

Majoring in Cybersecurity (Cyber Operations Concentration)

Excelsior College, Albany, NY

Expected Graduation: 2021

Relevant Coursework: Cyberattacks and Defenses, Computer Forensics, Cryptography, Risk Management, Web Architecture, Access Control and Intrusion Detection Technology, Security Defense Countermeasures.

 

Only have high school?

 

Most cyber security jobs require at least an associate degree and/or a valid cyber security certificate. Check the job ad for the educational requirements.

 

If applying for a lower level job, such as for a cyber security intern or junior cyber security analyst, add high school like this:

 

Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, NY

Graduated: 2014

 

Don’t add high school if you have a completed college degree. Otherwise, add it as a second entry.

 

Finally, if your education is more relevant than your work history, put the education section on top.

 

Pro Tip: To get a great job in cyber security, employers love to see breadth over depth. Show them you have other IT knowledge, such as scripting languages (Python, Bash, etc.), for example. Also, data analysis is always a great bet.

 

Took a less-common educational path to get where you are? Check this guide out: Education Resume Section: How to List High School & College Education

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Cyber Security Resume

 

You know you’ve got mad hacking skills.

 

However—

 

All your competitor cyber security candidates do, too.

 

Show the recruiter they’re all MD5 while you’re SHA-3.

 

But which cyber security skills?

 

First, make a basic list of cyber security skills. Add both hard and soft skills.

 

Hard skills are those you study and learn (e.g., detecting intrusions and vulnerabilities), and soft skills are ones you work on throughout your life (e.g., being a great communicator).

 

Cyber Security Skills for a Resume

 

Cyber Security Skills for a Resume

CS Hard Skills

CS Soft Skills

CSA Domains

Malware Analysis

Communication Skills

App & Interface Security

Risk Analysis

Attention to Detail

Audit Assurance & Compliance

Python Scripting

Problem Solving

Business Continuity Mgmt & Operational Resilience

Intrusion Detection

Collaboration & Teamwork

Change Control & Configuration

Data Analytics

Time Management

Data Security & Information Lifecycle Mgmt

Programming

Creative Thinking

Datacenter Security

Cloud Security

Accountability

Encryption & Key Mgmt

Encryption

Interpersonal Skills

Governance & Risk Mgmt

Automation/Devops

Works Well Under Pressure

Identity & Access Mgmt

Security Analysis

Critical Thinking

Infrastructure & Virtualization

Risk Mitigation

Decision Making

Interoperability & Portability

Reverse Engineering

Technical Skills

Mobile Security

Secure Software Development

Analytical and Diagnostic Skills

Security Incident Mgmt, E-Discovery & Cloud Forensics

Incident Response

Management Skills

Supply Chain Mgmt, Transparency & Accountability

SIEM Tools

Computer Skills

Threat & Vulnerability Mgmt

 

But, just adding all those skills to your resume willy-nilly is like sending credit card information over an unencrypted channel—

 

Not a brilliant idea.

 

Instead, use the job ad to help you decide which skills are most important to them.

 

Here’s an example cyber security job description:

 

  • Perform and manage technical evaluation and penetration testing of internally- and commercially-developed applications (web, desktop, and mobile), systems, and medical devices. [1]
  • Assist in evaluating and developing the security controls for IT solutions of all types (mobile, web, client-server, etc). [2]
  • Maintain current knowledge of security vulnerabilities, threats, and industry standard methodologies (both within and external to the healthcare industry).
  • Participate in appropriate and relevant conferences and courses to maintain technical proficiency.
  • Assist in developing and implementing an annual personal education plan to develop and maintain currency of security-related skills, technologies, methodologies, and standard methodologies. [3]

 

Based on the job description, there’s a right way and a wrong way to list your IT skills:

 

Information Security Analyst—Skills Section

 

right
  • Effective at technical evaluation and penetration testing [1]
  • Skilled at development of security controls [2]
  • Enthusiastic about personal growth and improving security skills [3]
wrong
  • Data encryption.
  • Malware detection.
  • Virus deletion.

 

The wrong skills here is like using your birthday as a password—

 

Weak sauce.

 

The right example copies their needs like a keylogger—in a good way. It’s tailored to be exactly what they’re looking for.

 

Last but not least, don’t forget about the ATS.

 

Larger companies receive dozens (or more) applications every day. An applicant tracking system is software which helps them manage these.

 

An HR manager scans resumes into the ATS, and then they give the program specific resume keywords to look for.

 

The best-matching ones get whitelisted for the job.

 

Pro Tip: Keep your list of skills modern and up-to-date. Employers will cringe if you list outdated encryption methods on your resume. However, they’ll fall in love with you if you talk up your knowledge of future security methods.

 

Want more tips for writing the skills section for security resumes? See our guide: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (All Types of Professional Skills with Examples Included!).

 

6

How to Add Other Sections for an Effective Information Security Resume

 

You could hack the hiring manager to show them you’ve got what it takes for this cyber security job.

 

But that might not go over so well.

 

Instead, set yourself apart from the rest of the candidate crowd by adding extra resume sections.

 

Here are the best suggestions for an IT security resume:

 

Cyber Security Resume Sample: Extra Sections

 

1. Security Clearances

The most demanding cyber security positions, such as government contractor positions, require a security clearance. If you already have one from your time in the military, for instance, you’re one long step ahead of the others!

 

Here’s a security clearance on resume sample:

 

  • Top Secret w/ Sensitive Compartmented Information Clearance 2018 DoD
  • Full Scope Polygraph - 2019
  • Counterintelligence (CI) Scope Polygraph (CSP) - 2017

 

2.  Certifications

For most cyber security pros, certifications are often weighed more heavily than 4-year degrees.

 

Here are some great internet security certificates to add to your resume:

 

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
  • CompTIA Penetration Tester (PenTest+)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • SANS GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

 

3. Volunteer Work

Volunteered helping the local adult care facility get past their ransomware attack? Not only are you awesome, but it adds great experience to your cybersecurity resume.

 

Just skip anything irrelevant to cryptovirology and internet security.

 

Did you work for yourself doing some online gigs? Add those in a separate section, as well!

 

4. Languages

IT companies are global companies. To set yourself apart, add knowledge of a second language to your resume.

 

We’ve got great guides on the best things to add to a resume and which resume sections and categories to include. Check them out!

 

Pro Tip: In the US, according to the NSA, you’re permitted to post your security clearance on a resume. However, it gets quite strict after that. Projects must be anonymized, place names withheld—read the full guidelines before you submit your resume.

 

7

How About a Cyber Security Cover Letter?

 

A resume without a cover letter is like an asymmetric public key without the corresponding private key—

 

Useless.

 

You must attach a cover letter, as more than half of employers say a resume alone is not enough. It’s a powerful one-two punch by using multiple attack vectors.

 

Here’s how to write cyber security cover letters they’ll eat up:

 

  • Start your IT security officer cover letter with a compelling opening statement.
  • Tell them why you’re the perfect candidate to solve their future cyber concerns.
  • Explain why this particular company and position are ideal for you.
  • Close it with a call-to-action as simple-but-powerful as a brute-force attack.

 

Pro Tip: Use Grammarly and proofread your cyber security resume before you send it off. How will they have any confidence in your tech skills if you can’t even use spell check?

 

Want more cover letter tricks that always work? See these articles: 35+ Best Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines and How to Write a Job-Winning Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (12+ Examples)

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

So, now you have a cyber security resume that’s malware-free and runs like a dream.

 

Let’s sum it all up.

 

Here’s how to write a cyber security resume:

 

  • Use the reverse-chronological resume format to make it easy to read and follow.
  • Start with a heading summary or resume objective which makes them continue.
  • List your work experience with appropriate duties and winning accomplishments.
  • Add an education section which plays up any cyber security coursework you had.
  • Include IT and security skills using resume keywords from the job ad.
  • Improve your chances with extra sections, like clearances and certifications.
  • Attach a cyber security cover letter before you send your resume off.

 

Now THAT’S a resume that launches a denial of service attack on your competitors!

 

Got any questions on how to write a cyber security analyst resume? Not sure how to talk about network security skills or IT achievements? Get at us in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Christian Eilers
Christian is a career expert who has been writing for Zety since 2017. From job hunting to acing interviews to settling in on the first days at a new career, his guides cover the entire career spectrum.
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