Career Advice Tuesday – “Three Experiences – One Resume”
January 10, 2012
I am embarking on a job search and I am looking for some help. My first ten years of my information security career has placed me in some interesting environments – serving as a technical information security engineer, working as an information security professional services practice in the area of risk and compliance, and working as a pre-sales engineer for a large information security product vendor.
The truth is, I have enjoyed all of these three roles, and I am interested in a wide variety of opportunities. I feel that my experience and versatility is a good thing, and it allows me to investigate many different career paths.
The question that I have, relates to my resume. Do you have any advice for me on how to craft my resume – to both illustrate my versatility and breadth of experience, and to accurately align my skills and qualifications simultaneously with different opportunities?
Dear Mr. Furley:
Good for you for having three unique and successful career experiences at this point in your career. I can only imagine that you have developed and maintained a set of skills that include technical expertise, customer skills, and persuasive communication and presentation skills.
If my assumption is accurate, you are correct that these skills are in high demand and will appeal to many diverse environments. Since you will be applying to roles in these different types of environments – I will make two suggestions regarding your resume –
The first being that you can write three separate resumes – one tailored to internal information security engineering roles, one tailored to professional services/consulting opportunities, and one tailored to pre-sales opportunities. If you decide to go this route, what I would do, would be to keep the qualifications of the position you are applying for in mind, as you create each resume and highlight the skills that you have acquired in your three different roles. Ideally, each resume will have a “theme” to it, which will align with the specific role that you are attempting to pursue.
For example, if you apply for an internal technical information security position, I would make sure that you make your bullets from your sales engineering role are technical in nature. I would try to find a way to point out the depth of your technical skills in the context of that role.
The second option that you can have would be to utilize the same resume, but to write three unique objective statements that can align with the types of roles that you are applying for. What I would do in each of these statements, would be to allude to the facts that your diverse experiences has provided you with unique perspectives on how information security problems are solved – from an internal perspective, from an external perspective, and with the aid of information security products. By demonstrating these three different perspectives in the body of your resume, and associating your skills with each of your three roles, should create a consistent overall theme.
In closing, having three diverse experiences and perspectives as an information security professional is a very good thing, and provides you with a great foundation
The combination of a well-written resume, and an astute employer who can connect the dots, should provide you with access to many roles that could serve as a springboard to the next stage of your information security career.
Good luck in your job search,