There is no doubt that IT qualifications are a crucial part of your CV. They are a testimony of your hard work studying and the proof that you have the technical knowledge. Most companies looking for a cybersecurity expert will require some form of certification, but it is also worth bearing in mind other traits that recruiters look for in the hiring process.
Unlike tech capabilities, which can be taught, the following skills are high on the list of priorities for those looking to expand their cybersecurity team.
- The ability to solve problems in a creative way
Technology is synonymous with innovation and the key skills employers want. In cybersecurity innovative solutions to security is a must as there is a strong need to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Candidates need to be able to show they can find solutions to finding and securing vulnerabilities, fighting attacks, and preparing for the future. Not having this skill doesn’t mean you don’t have a future; it just means it’s a skill you should work on. For example, keeping up to date with the latest cybersecurity solutions and networking will expand your industry knowledge.
- Communicating with others, particularly the not so tech-minded
Collaboration is crucial in cybersecurity. You will need to be able to explain your ideas and systems to other team members. Some of these will have tech experience, others, for example, managers and directors may not. Communication includes writing, speaking, and listening!
- Certifications alone won’t be enough, but they will help
Certifications show that you are willing to continue the development of your career. They show commitment to self-improvement and self-motivation. If it came down to this and there is a choice between you and another candidate with no certifications, you can guess who will get the job.
- Are you an ethical person?
The role of the cybersecurity specialist involves handling a lot of the company’s sensitive information. Recruiters will need to know that you are a dependable, trustworthy person who can handle this responsibility.
- Have you got what it takes to think like a hacker?
“To beat your enemy, you must become your enemy”. This only true to an extent. If you have the ability to think like a hacker, you will find yourself in a better position to be able to predict their next move and catch them. There is a very good reason why government agencies and tech giants try to recruit hackers. The hacker mindset will help to provide an unbeatable security system.
- Ideal cybersecurity candidates will be committed to learning
Technology develops at an incredibly fast rate. What is new today can just as quickly become old news tomorrow with the invention or new software or even hardware. It’s necessary for a candidate to be eager to learn and relearn as the industry continues to mature. Employers want a team of experts who can ask the right questions and learn how to solve them independently.
- Gaining as much relevant experience as possible
The more experience you have with both cybersecurity and problem solving the better your chances are and again, the more you will stand out from your competition. It may seem like the chicken and egg scenario if you have recently graduated but there are more ways to gain experience than from employment alone. You can take advantage of cybersecurity internships while you are at college or university.
By no means do we undervalue a university degree. The fact is that in today’s market, employers are looking for more than education. Soft skills have become equally important as hard skills and taking some time to work on these areas will not only improve your chances of being hired, but it will improve your chances of getting the cybersecurity job of your dreams.