Brand Yourself and Stand Out to Get an Information Security Job

By Peter H. Gregory

Part of Getting an Information Security Job For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Creating the brand of you is essential to getting into the information security profession and to establishing and growing your career. To make yourself stand out from the crowd, follow these tips:

  • Get out there and meet people: Information security professionals thrive on person-to-person networking at industry and association events. Find local chapters of security associations and attend vendor-sponsored events and demos of their dazzling new products. Strike up conversations with other professionals and show genuine interest in them, so that you can learn little by little how other professionals established their own careers.

  • Build a complete profile on LinkedIn. Your professional profile on LinkedIn is your living resume, and it should be as good as — if not better than —your real resume. Make sure your profile includes a professional-quality photo, a complete employment history, your education and skills, and a headline that reads like your elevator pitch. Connect with others you know. Make sure your profile contains the key words necessary for other professionals, recruiters, and headhunters to be able to find you.

  • Check your other social media for potentially embarrassing content. Many organizations search for employment candidates’ social media and other online presence to learn more about their background and to decide whether they want to invest time interviewing and possibly hiring them. Review and thoroughly understand your privacy settings, so that you are in full control over the content about you that can be found online.

  • Conduct an internet search on yourself. Potential employers and others will want to know about you, the information security professional. They will conduct searches on your name and other facts they know about you. The best thing to do is to start doing this yourself, and do it regularly. You need to be aware of what others can find about you.

  • Start and maintain a blog. Information security professionals think for themselves, have opinions, and are not afraid to share those opinions and thoughts with others. If you want to stand out in the crowd of potential employment candidates and associates in information security, start a blog and write blog postings at least monthly. Read others’ blogs and take part in discussions that will help you expand your knowledge and expertise.