Resume preparation for industrial cybersecurity students

So, students in our professional development and certification class have been preparing their resumes. For students without much professional experience, this is significant challenge.


Fortunately, our Industrial Cybersecurity students have a lot of learning experiences to draw from. I provide them with a prototype resume that includes statements of things they have done during the program. They can select and tailor statements to their projects and interests, and to closely match the job description and requirements.

I try to put them in the mind-set of the HR lead and the hiring manager.

I explain that HR lead is the “pre-screener” — eliminating those who are obviously not qualified. The hiring manager will then sort the resumes into yes and no piles. In some cases this is a diligent process. In some cases, its a “feel” thing. In some cases this is a committee decision.

“Yes” pile resumes will qualify for a cover letter read, if cover letters are part of the process. Some organizations will administer a test of sorts. Based on the results, three to five candidates will be chosen for an interview. Two candidates will be called back for a second interview.

I think the most effective way to put students in the mindset of the HR lead and hiring manager is to expose them to a bunch of resumes. So, I have students bring several copies of their resume, which they share with classmates (I ask them to remove their names so that they don’t get distracted by that point).

Then we do a drill where students take five seconds to consume each resume and make a mental “yes” or “no” decision. While five seconds may be sightly on the short side, it gets the point across.

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