Guidelines for writing a CV for roles in Cyber Security, Compliance, Risk Management, IT and Networking.  

Essentials to a Professional CV that Gets Attention and Helps You Achieve Your Objectives

Hiring managers are usually very busy people and will tend to initially ‘speed-read’ or scan CVs. So, your document must ideally get their interest within around the first 30 seconds of them looking at it.
 
Think of the acronym used all the time in the advertising industry:  A-I-D-A  (‘ayee-dah’).

Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.  This is the basic thought process that people tend to go through when viewing anything that is trying to ‘sell’ something or someone to them.  In the case of your CV, it should sell effectively to the reader, the reasons why you are suited to a job role.  It is therefore, a very important document and should be carefully thought through and prepared.  

The ‘Action’ part of A-I-D-A should be that the CV reader/hiring manager (and maybe his/her colleagues) decide to progress with you for a specific job e.g. agree to interview you.

You need to assume that a hiring manager will read multiple CVs; your document therefore, needs to stand out from the crowd and present easy to read facts and figures that appeal to him/her. It’s a highly competitive world out there. So, it is essential to throw off any modesty when writing your CV and to blow your own trumpet well!


CV Format

Personal details:
Your name, home location, nationality, availability to work/notice period
  
Profile:
This should be two or three short, impacting paragraphs that give an overview of:


  • What you are e.g. A Professional Services Consultant
  • Your number of years’ experience in specific fields and market sectors, together with one or two major achievements and/or relevant qualifications
  • Your personality, motivators and work ethos
  • You may wish to include a line about what you are ideally looking for in your next position

Key skills

A short list of specific applicable skills relevant to potential employers. This is especially important for technical positions (it does not necessarily need to include everything you have worked on!). This is a good place to include language proficiencies.


Employment History
 
Dates
In reverse chronological order, years/months of employment, with reasons given for any significant gaps. When you have completed your CV, double check that all the years/months are in time synchronisation and as accurate as they can be!
 
Employers
The employer (company name or organisation) and the position(s) you hold/held.
  
Employer description:
A brief description of the company or organisation including relevant products, services, market sectors, geographic coverage etc. This is very important because some ‘critical readers’ of your CV (e.g. an HR Director based abroad) may not have heard of or know about a particular company/organisation and could get frustrated if they cannot see clear information about it.


Main Responsibilities:
A short description; and here’s the crux: It is not un-common to see people write a ‘virtual job specification’ here and also duplicate some of what they wrote in the preceding paragraph; this makes the CV much longer than necessary and difficult to read. What a prospective employer wants to see are the primary aspects of what the job entails.
 
Key Achievements
This should demonstrate several examples in bullet-pointed short sentences, of how you have fulfilled your main responsibilities.  It should, wherever possible, include quantified examples (i.e. real or approximate facts and figures), that grab the reader’s interest by relating you to their own company/organisation (this is what you can effectively ‘bring to their table’).


Technical and Sales examples

Implementation of an enterprise network security upgrade solution (based on XXX products) over 12 sites (incl. 2 data centres) for a major telco. Successfully satisfied operational, deadline (3 months) and budget requirements. Delivered additional consultancy services which identified £70K per annum customer cost savings on security management reporting. Project value c. £700K. Received customer commendation.
 
Identified, developed and won a £700K project for an enterprise security solution with a major international telco across multiple locations.  This lead to 20% over target achievement; total sales achieved 2014 = £1.7M. Received President’s Club award. 


Education & Training


It is important to only include the educational and training achievements that you feel are relevant to your next position. Include the type, grades / accreditation achieved and place of study for qualifications.  It is worth mentioning at this point that some employers ask for copies of certificates as part of their due diligence process. 

Interests
 

You are human being! Most employers do like to see what people do in their spare time. Be careful though; the list should ideally be limited to your key interests and especially those that you feel may resonate with and be acceptable to prospective employers.

 
Additional Information
 

E.g. Full UK driving licence and other information as you feel relevant e.g. Confident in ability to gain SC level security clearance.  

 
References


“Available on request” is fine. However, if you can add some weight to this such as “Confident of gaining good references from employers and customers” it sounds better, especially if you can add specific examples e.g. “The CIO of a major financial services sector customer.”

 
Conclusion
 

It is hoped that these guidelines help you in preparing or modifying your CV in a way which demonstrates your full potential and worth effectively, to prospective employers.  The Apogee Team would be pleased to answer questions on any aspect of your CV preparation, for presentation to our Clients. 


 



About the Author
 
Kev Lamb started Apogee in 2007.  He has over 20 years successful track record of recruiting technical, sales, marketing and operations people, up to and including Board level in the Cyber Security and IT Network industries.  Working at Director level within start-up and established systems integrator and vendor businesses, accounts for over 10 years of this experience.