How to Write a Cybersecurity Resume (Step-by-Step with Examples)

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn how to write and structure your cybersecurity resume with this guide.

[Featured image] Two cybersecurity professionals review a cybersecurity resume.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 35 percent growth in the cybersecurity field between 2021 and 2031. This figure translates into about 56,000 new jobs [1]. If you want to get an interview for one of these positions, your first task is to craft a strong resume. You can use the guide below to learn what you should include and how to format a successful cybersecurity resume.

Step 1: Create a cybersecurity resume template.

One of the most important characteristics for any resume to have is readability. Hiring managers want to find the information they need quickly and easily. You can find plenty of free and paid cybersecurity specialist and cybersecurity analyst resume templates online. One easy option is to browse free resume templates in the online document editor, Google Docs.

How to choose a resume template in Google docs

You must sign up for a Google Docs account to access the templates, but signing up is also free. Once you've signed into Google Docs, click on "Template gallery" near the top right of your screen. Then, scroll down to see your options. Here's a few tips for narrowing them down:

  • Make sure it's easy to look at. Avoid clashing colors, crowded layouts, and disorganization. Your resume should look clean and to the point.

  • Consider which type of resume is best for you. Resumes are typically in one of these three formats:

Chronological resume: Emphasizes your career path by displaying work history from most recent to least. This is the most common format. It works best for someone who wants to showcase the skills they acquired in their last position.

Functional resume: A functional cybersecurity resume emphasizes your skills over your work experience. This format is best for someone with little to no experience. It's also a good choice for someone who is switching careers and needs to emphasize transferable skills.

Combination resume: A combination resume emphasizes both your skills and work history. This format can be a great option for anyone who wants to showcase elements of their skill set and work history together. Combination resumes are a bit more flexible than the other two options, so be wary of lengthiness or repetition. Keep it one to two pages long.

Read more: Types of Resumes: Choosing the Right Format For Your Needs

Step 2: Fill in your basic cybersecurity resume essentials.

All great resumes begin with your basic contact information. Your name, address, phone number, and email address should be clear and easy to find. Providing links to profiles showcasing your cybersecurity experience is also appropriate. Examples of online profiles for your cybersecurity resume include your LinkedIn and GitHub pages.

Sharing your GitHub link can give hiring managers more context about the projects you have participated in and how you contributed. 

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Step 3: Add your resume summary.

A cybersecurity resume summary should be a few lines that introduce you as a candidate. It can be challenging to summarize yourself so briefly. Remember, they will have the opportunity to learn more about you in the rest of your resume. Keep it simple and focus on where you're going in your career rather than where you've been. Try to convey why you'd be a great addition to your potential employer. Here's a cybersecurity resume summary example:

"Detail-oriented cybersecurity analyst with over three years of experience in security engineering and incident management. I am a proficient secure software developer eager to expand my cryptography skill set."

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Step 4: Showcase your cybersecurity skills.

Whether your skills or experience comes first (or are presented simultaneously) depends on your chosen resume format. In the following section, we'll examine cybersecurity resume skills for all experience levels. Remember to include a combination of workplace skills (also known as soft skills or interpersonal skills) and technical skills.

Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What's the Difference?

Intern or student cybersecurity resume skills example:

Skills:

  • Knowledge of programming languages (C, C++, Java)

  • Desire to learn offensive and defensive cyber skills

  • Familiar with computer networks and architecture

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to analyze and present data in a collaborative environment

  • Patient problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills

Entry-level cybersecurity skills example:

Skills:

  • Understanding of secure software development principles

  • Knowledge of programming languages (C, C++, Java)

  • Experience with operating systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows)

  • Familiar with RMF (Risk Management Framework)

  • Basic understanding of computer networks and architecture

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Mid-level cybersecurity skills example:

Skills:

  • Experience with penetration testing, architecture assessments, and vulnerability assessments

  • Strong understanding of offensive and defensive cybersecurity concepts

  • Highly proficient in programming languages (C, C++, Java)

  • Working knowledge of operating systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows) and cloud infrastructure

  • Well-versed in RMF (Risk Management Framework) concepts

  • Experience with cyber risk assessment techniques and technologies

  • Familiar with security and regulatory industry requirements

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Senior-level cybersecurity skills example:

Skills:

  • Extensive experience working with operating systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows)

  • Proficient in secure programming principles and languages (C, C++, Java)

  • Experience with log management platforms (SIEM)

  • Strong understanding of common network services (web, FTP), network security vulnerabilities, and network attack patterns

  • Well-versed in the prevention and management of cyber risks like network probing, malicious code activity, and DDOS

  • Advanced knowledge of emerging technology security solutions and trends

  • Working knowledge of security and regulatory industry requirements

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Step 5: Include your professional experience.

If you're using a chronological resume format, you'll list your cybersecurity experience before the skills mentioned above. Remember, your employment history should always start with your most recent position and work backward. Include your start and end date and the name and location of the company. If you worked remotely, you can list the location of your company's headquarters. For each position, list any relevant projects, responsibilities, and achievements you're proud of. Here's an example of a work history section in a cybersecurity resume:

Security First, New York, NY.

Cybersecurity Analyst

January 2020-Present

  • Performed audits on IT and OT systems to ensure compliance with cyber security policies (internal and regulatory).

  • Led preparedness exercises for incident response.

  • Maintained and operated security systems for monitoring, analysis, and computer forensics.

  • Collaborated with management and stakeholders to identify and document system security requirements.

  • Closely monitored cybersecurity trends in hardware, software, and protocol vulnerabilities and researched offensive and defensive tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP).

Cyber Solutions Incorporated, Atlanta, GA.

Junior Cybersecurity Analyst

March 2016-December 2019

  • Monitored and secured 20+ websites with 0 successful attacks.

  • Protected access to sensitive data by monitoring file usage.

  • Analyzed and presented vulnerability findings to help strategize the implementation of vendor patches (on both Windows and Linux operating systems).

  • Engaged in Cyber Table Top (CTT) exercises and similar wargaming processes.

  • Executed malware analysis and intrusion detection methods.

  • Collaborated with IT teams to plan, develop, and test system recovery.

Step 6: Feature your certifications and security clearances.

If you have certifications or security clearances, create a section in your resume to describe them. For security clearances, mention the level and how long you’ve held it. For certifications, include the full name of the certification, the issuing organization or state, and the date you earned it. If you don't have a strong academic background, certificates and clearances can be an excellent way to demonstrate your qualifications to prospective employers. Here's an example of a certifications and clearances section on a cybersecurity resume:

Certifications & Clearances

Read more: 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications

Step 7: Include your education.

Sixty-one percent of cybersecurity analysts have a bachelor's degree, 19 percent have an associate degree, and 15 percent have a master's degree [2]. Your academic entries should also be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of your degree or course of study, graduation year, and the school’s name and location. Mention any relevant coursework or extracurricular activities.

Key takeaways

  • Use a resume template to ensure your resume is clear, organized, and easy to read.

  • Use an easily readable 10-12 point font.

  • Use a chronological format if you want to showcase your work history.

  • Use a functional format if you want to emphasize your skills over your work history.

  • Compare your skills to the ones in job postings for positions you want to obtain.

  • Limit your resume to one to two pages.

  • Include skills, work history, education, certifications, clearances, and contact information.

Resources for general resume-building tips

Earn a certificate for your cybersecurity resume with Coursera

Your resume is a live document that will be updated each time you reach a career goal or gain additional education, skills, and experience. If you want to improve your resume as a cybersecurity professional, consider enrolling in an online course to earn a shareable certificate upon completion. There are a few examples listed above in step 6. Or, enroll in the Certified in Cybersecurity Specialization by (ISC)² Education & Training or IBM's Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate.

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specialization

Certified in Cybersecurity

Advance Your IT Career with Cybersecurity Skills. Gain Flexibility with Self-Paced Learning

4.9

(54 ratings)

2,240 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 8 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cybersecurity, Network Security, security principles, Risk, Information Assurance, security, governance, Computer Security Incident Management, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Logical Controls, administrative controls, Physical Controls, Cyberattacks, Threat, Asset, Cryptography, Data Security

Placeholder

professional certificate

IBM Cybersecurity Analyst

Get ready to launch your career in cybersecurity. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand role in the field, no degree or prior experience required.

4.6

(8,744 ratings)

112,245 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 3 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

information security analyst, IT security analyst, security analyst, Junior cybersecurity analyst, Information Security (INFOSEC), IBM New Collar, Malware, Cybersecurity, Cyber Attacks, database vulnerabilities, Network Security, Sql Injection, networking basics, scripting, forensics, Penetration Test, Computer Security Incident Management, Application Security, threat intelligence, network defensive tactics, cyber attack, Breach (Security Exploit), professional certificate, cybersecurity analyst

Article sources

1

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Information Security Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm.” Accessed January 19, 2023.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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