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Why is Cybersecurity One of the Fastest Growing Career Fields

Why is Cybersecurity One of the Fastest Growing Career Fields?

The United States has a shortage of cybersecurity experts. Reports of huge breaches, like the one that happened at Equifax in 2017, have reminded Americans of the important role that cybersecurity specialists play in organizations. Between April 2017 and March 2018, there were 301,873 total online cybersecurity job openings in the United States reports CyberSeek — a project that falls under the U.S. Department of Commerce. PeerSource talked to Scott Bowman, Career Services Manager at SecureSet Academy, to get deeper insight into the industry and find out how his organization is training professionals to fill the gap.

PeerSource:

According to CyberSeek, "From April 2017 through March 2018, there were 109,000 openings for information security analysts, but only 105,000 workers currently employed in those positions." CyberSeek is a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).

Why is there a shortage of cybersecurity professionals? How has this shortage been a problem or how will it become a problem in the future?

Scott Bowman:

CyberSeek is a fantastic source of data to make sense of this industry. There are many reasons for the talent shortage, but probably one of the most persistent is fear.

The majority of businesses these days utilize the internet in some way, whether for e-commerce, communication, cloud and data storage or payments. I do not foresee that going away.

Huge breaches, like Equifax in 2017 and the alleged Russian election hacking in 2016, have prompted private enterprises and the federal government to spend more on securing their operations and investments. One vulnerability can topple the house of cards. Instead of accepting the risk, these businesses are building upon their own IT and information security teams and/or utilizing third-party managed security services — which are also becoming more prevalent. Business is good.

I would say the shortage comes from a need for an educated, affordable and functional security team. Expert cybersecurity professionals can be expensive and difficult to train for lower level tasks like vulnerability scanning and monitoring. SecureSet helps backfill secure organizations with affordable and incredibly capable talent.

PeerSource:

How severe is the cybersecurity workforce shortage in Colorado in comparison to other states? What types of cybersecurity jobs are in the highest demand?

Scott Bowman:

CyberSeek has a really useful heat map for determining relative need based on location. In Colorado, we have an above-average need for cybersecurity professionals and there are few other programs that offer training.

States with the most open positions include New York, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, California and Georgia.

We see the most growth in this industry from the federal government and associated contractors. Aerospace and defense contractors especially, invest in veterans and professionals with Secret and Top Secret clearances. However, opportunities on the civilian side are accelerating with time. California, for example, has Silicon Valley as a major influencer with many large enterprises residing there — Facebook, Google, Cisco, Symantec and others. Security analyst is the most generic and prevalent title here in Colorado.

PeerSource:

How much can an individual earn in a cybersecurity position versus another IT position?

Scott Bowman:

Based on my most recent data, I have found that graduates in the Denver area earn a median annual salary of $73,000. This only includes roles in which students reported a salary and only for those relevant to supporting the success of security operations.

According to O*NET, IT roles — like help desk and computer support — earn a median salary around $50,000 a year. I would also like to add that many of our SecureSet graduates successfully leverage their past careers to earn mid and senior-level roles in cybersecurity and IT.

PeerSource:

What education levels do employers require for cybersecurity workers in Colorado and what kinds of certifications should people be getting?

Scott Bowman:

Education requirements vary widely by employer. Federal contractors have stricter requirements, and applicants will typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some companies do not require any formal degree and instead may prefer to train the right person for the role.

Certifications that stand out in this field are the Security+, CySA+, CISSP, CEH, CISM, OSCP and training in AWS. We have found that a diploma from SecureSet is often valued at several years of education and industry exposure.

SecureSet Career Services will consult with each student on the path forward based on his or her interests and experience.

PeerSource:

The FBI Cyber Division talks about the threat of malware. “Hospitals, school districts, state and local governments, law enforcement agencies, small businesses, large businesses — these are just some of the entities impacted by ransomware, an insidious type of malware that encrypts, or locks, valuable digital files and demands a ransom to release them.”

What have been some notable recent examples of cyber crime? What are some of the trends in cyber crime over the last few years?

Scott Bowman:

I am certainly no expert in cybersecurity, but in my time here at SecureSet I have had the pleasure of meeting with several dozen chief executives and senior management in this space. Most of these companies are reluctant to share the specifics of any cyber attack with third-parties due to privacy concerns.

From what I have learned, there are millions of cyber attacks each day. Kaspersky keeps a nifty map of real-time data. This could be as simple as a phishing email or someone walking through your door disguised as a delivery driver in an effort to access your server room. It could be as massive as a DDoS attack that brings down an entire website and server.

When you have a persistent threat, all it takes is a matter of time before you or your company is vulnerable. I bet you right now, some of the biggest companies and nations in the world have already been breached and either don’t know it or haven’t publicly acknowledged it yet. That is scary.

PeerSource:

Tell me a little bit more about your programs at SecureSet Academy and how they differentiate the individuals who participate in them from other professionals.

Scott Bowman:

We have three main programs and a prep workshop.

CORE is our cybersecurity engineering program. This 800 hour, 20-week immersive program is designed to help you develop the skills you need for a career as a tier 1+ security engineer, technical analyst, penetration tester or consultant. Detail-oriented problem solvers with a programming background are a good fit for this program.

HUNT is our cybersecurity analytics program. This 480-hour, 12-week immersive program is designed to help you develop the skills you need for a career as a tier 1+ SOC analyst, threat intel analyst, security consultant and compliance analyst. Passionate people with strong critical thinking, research, and analytical skills, are a good fit for this program.

To help you get prepared we offer SecureSet PREP, which is a six-week workshop to develop the technical and analytical skills you’ll need to succeed in one of our immersive education programs.

Last but not least, we have the PATH evening program. Part-time and 36 weeks, PATH allows you to choose either an analytical or engineering path of curriculum, following two shared courses in systems and networks. Develop the skills you need for a career as a tier 1+ SOC analyst, threat intel analyst, security consultant, compliance analyst, security engineer, technical analyst or penetration tester.

Our instructors are experts in their respective disciplines; perhaps most notably, the Deputy CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) for the State of Colorado teaches our Governance, Risk, and Compliance classes.

To get involved it is easiest to check our website.

PeerSource:

Can you share a success story from your program?

Scott Bowman:

One of the aspects I enjoy most about my role as career services manager with SecureSet is the incredibly diverse group of students and alumni I get to assist.

SecureSet attracts students from all walks of life and from nearly every state. We’ve had military veterans, cooks, social workers, truck drivers, healthcare admins, cashiers and more find roles in cybersecurity.

One of my favorite success stories is from a zookeeper who attended our CORE program — without any security experience — and found a security analyst internship with one of our industry partners just weeks prior to graduating. Within 5 months this individual was able to find his next role as security engineer with another amazing company in our network.

PeerSource:

What are some of the companies that graduates have went to work at in the past?

Scott Bowman:

Our graduates are well-represented at some of the largest and best-regarded companies across the United States:

  • American Express
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Carbon Black
  • CenturyLink
  • Charles Schwab
  • Check Point Software
  • Coalfire
  • Coinbase
  • DISH Network
  • GuidePoint Security
  • Honeywell
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Microsoft, Motorola
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Pricewaterhouse Cooper
  • Raytheon
  • State of Colorado
  • Tesla
  • ViaSat
  • Xcel Energy

PeerSource:

How did you get involved in SecureSet?

Scott Bowman:

Like I tell my students, it is not just what you know but who you get to know when it comes to finding the perfect job. My story is no different.

I first came across SecureSet Academy while working as career services coordinator for a small web development school in Boulder a few years back. Having over seven years of experience supporting professionals in career transition at that time definitely helped in a school like SecureSet, where students need individualized career planning and support.

When my employer closed its doors, I knew I could rely on my peer network here in Denver. One thing led to another, and I was given the opportunity to expand the career program at SecureSet.

I love that SecureSet is doing something completely unique, especially knowing that the graduates we produce are making a real valuable impact in the workforce.

Want to learn more about SecureSet Academy? Click here. Want to find out how PeerSource is placing technology experts nationwide? Click here.

About Samantha

Samantha Snellings is the Social Media Manager at PeerSource and a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last summer, she interned for senior White House correspondent, John Gizzi, in Washington. She attended the daily White House press briefings, wrote articles, and only occasionally got in trouble with the Secret Service for stepping on the president’s lawn. She is passionate about her faith, journalism, entrepreneurship, traveling, and politics.

Follow Samantha on Instagram and Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow PeerSource on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to share this article and give Samantha feedback at sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

By Samantha Snellings 7-25-2018

CATEGORIES: Article, Colorado, Cybersecurity, Denver, News, PeerSource, Recruiting, Samantha Snellings, Scott Bowman, SecureSet Academy, Technology

5 Technology Meetups to Join in Colorado

5 Technology Meetups to Join in Colorado

The technology industry is booming in Colorado, touting the “third-highest tech-worker concentration” and ranking “sixth for average high-tech wage,” according to a report completed by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. With so many opportunities arising in the Centennial State, there has been a subsequent rise in technology meetups. PeerSource put together a list of five technology meetups geared towards developers that you do not want to miss.

1. Learn to Code Colorado

WHO are they?

“Learn to Code Colorado is an inclusive meetup for anyone, of any skill level, to come and learn more about software development,” the meetup’s co-organizer, Josh Couper, said.

“Every Wednesday is different. By adapting the needs of each session, we take an active learning approach and enable attendees to work through problems in groups and with instructors. From a full-time software developer to someone who can't even spell 'HTML', we have a place for you at Learn to Code,” he stressed.

WHAT do they enjoy doing together?

“One Saturday a month we host an all-day coding session. Most attendees leave this session with a website they built completely from scratch,” Couper shared.

He continued, “This is an incredibly fun and inclusive group to be a part of. We have individuals of all walks of life attend. And because of that, not only is this a great way for individuals to grow their network, but also an awesome opportunity to work through the basics of web development with a diverse group of people.”

WHEN do they meet?

Learn to Code Colorado meets every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Galvanize Platte Street as well as one Saturday a month.

HOW can people learn more?

Find Learn to Code Colorado on meetup.com or contact Josh Couper, co-organizer of the meetup, at josh.couper@galvanize.com.

2. DenverScript

WHO are they?

DenverScript is a community of developers focused on JavaScript in downtown Denver. They discuss best practices, features coming to ECMAScript, application development, what's going on in the JS community and more.

WHAT do they enjoy doing together?

Garrett Dawson — co-organizer of the DenverScript meetup — said, “We have killer talks all the time, sometimes from notable ‘JS Celebz.’”

“We try to avoid discussing framework specific esoterica, and instead focus on widely applicable JavaScript topics — things anybody who touches JavaScript might benefit from learning. Also, we have beer and stand around talking afterwards,” he shared.

WHEN do they meet?

DenverScript meets once a month.

HOW can people learn more?

Find DenverScript on meetup.com and keep up with them on Twitter.

3. Full Stack

WHO are they?

Mike Pack, founder and organizer of Full Stack, said: “We are a group of technologists spanning the full development stack. Our interests are broad and our topics vary from meetup to meetup. With whatever we choose to discuss for a given meetup, we aim to find the key leaders in those respective domains.”

He continued: “Our topics vary, so the value we provide is beyond the depth of any one technology. Our members get exposure to tools, techniques and ideologies they wouldn’t have otherwise been interested in. Since our members often differ in professional experience and toolchains, our atmosphere is uniquely diverse and conducive to learning new approaches.”

WHAT do they enjoy doing together?

“We’ve had world-renown speakers including José Valim, creator of the Elixir programming language, as well as Aaron Patterson, Ruby and Rails core team member. We also have had Yehuda Katz, creator of Ember.js and TC39 board member.”

WHEN do they meet?

Full Stack meets quarterly. To keep the events interesting, they host them at different venues around town.

HOW can people learn more?

Find Full Stack on meetup.com and keep up with them on Twitter.

4. Denver UX

WHO are they?

"Denver UX is a group that helps technologists and designers understand their users better so they can make smart business and technology decisions,” the meetup’s organizer, Tyler Merry, said.

He added, “We are the largest and most generic software design group in Denver with designers, developers, and UX professionals.”

WHAT do they enjoy doing together?

“For enhancing knowledge, we do regular events with speakers and group discussions with the goal of sharing new techniques and best practices. We have regular happy hours that allow individuals to grow their network, find mentors and make friends. We have a Slack group with 1000+ members that promote community interaction between events,” Merry noted.

He went on to say, “I personally find a great deal of value in helping people start, change, and grow their career. We have put on several portfolio and resume review events that have led to new and better jobs.”

WHEN do they meet?

Denver UX meets once a month.

HOW can people learn more?

Find Denver UX on meetup.com or join the Denver UX Slack.

5. Colorado Technology Sales Roundtable

WHO are they?

Bob McNeil, organizer of Colorado Technology Sales Roundtable, spoke about his meetup. “The focus of our group is on professional development within the technology sales area — spanning IT services, Cloud, Software and Hardware. We focus on the technology sales niche,” he said.

The group is comprised of sales professionals, principally in the technology sector.

“We present speakers, panelists and content,” he commented, adding — “We consult with each other on career advice and to solve tactical sales issues.”

What will an attendee gain from this group? They “will be able to connect to dozens of other highly motivated sales professionals that can provide insights into the technology industry. The stronger your network in Colorado, the better your chances are.”

WHAT do they enjoy doing together?

“Our July 2018 event was a defining meetup for us. We combined forces with the Denver Hispanic Chamber to produce a panel discussion on Women and Minorities in Tech,” McNeil said.

“We had business leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors whose experience and insights provided were inter-generational. The content was powerful and the panelists were inspiring.”

WHEN do they meet?

Colorado Technology Sales Roundtable meets on the second Monday of each month in RiNo and is starting to branch out to Colorado Springs.

“We meet towards the start of the month, before sales people start feeling end-of-month or end-of-quarter or end-of-year deadline quota pressure,” the organizer commented.

HOW can people learn more?

Find Colorado Technology Sales Roundtable on meetup.com or contact Bob McNeil, organizer of the meetup, at bob.mcneil@coloradotechnologysales.com.

About Samantha

Samantha Snellings is the Social Media Manager at PeerSource and a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last summer, she interned for senior White House correspondent, John Gizzi, in Washington. She attended the daily White House press briefings, wrote articles, and only occasionally got in trouble with the Secret Service for stepping on the president’s lawn. She is passionate about her faith, journalism, entrepreneurship, traveling, and politics.

Follow Samantha on Instagram and Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow PeerSource on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to share this article and give Samantha feedback at sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

By Samantha Snellings 7-23-2018

CATEGORIES: Article, Colorado Technology Sales Roundtable, Denver Colorado, DenverScript, Denver UX, Full Stack, Learn to Code Colorado, News, PeerSource, Samantha Snellings, Technology, Technology Meetups

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Phone Interview

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Phone Interview

Some job-seekers breathe a sigh of relief when a hiring manager opts for a phone interview over an in-person conversation. Before you celebrate, be aware that phone interviews do not always work out in the candidate’s favor. Without your physical presence, hiring managers may pay more attention to the little things that you are unaware of. Here are the “who, what, when, where and how” to remember when preparing for a phone interview.

1. Know WHO you are talking to.

Although there are many challenges that come with phone interviews, one benefit is that you can lean upon a “cheat sheet” — where you may not be able to in person.

Just like you would take time to prepare for an in-person interview, prepare for the scheduled phone call by researching who you will be talking to. How long has he or she been working for the company? Did you attend the same university? Do you share any of the same interests? What is an icebreaker that you can use to ease into the conversation?

Create bullet points with important facts that you want to remember about the hiring manager. Have a list of questions prepared for the individual about the specific position, the company culture and other topics that you are interested in discussing.

2. WHAT you wear influences HOW you feel and HOW you feel influences WHAT you say.

When preparing for a phone interview, you may be tempted to trade in your professional interview attire for your favorite t-shirt and sweatpants. But, keep in mind that the clothing that you are wearing — although unseen by the interviewer — may subconsciously affect the way that you conduct yourself and answer questions.

A 2015 study titled “The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing” found that “Wearing formal clothing is . . . related to psychological formality and social distance, whereas casual clothing is related to intimacy and familiarity.”

Your choice of casual clothing may have unintended consequences — like a more casual approach to the conversation. “Be careful as a candidate that your level of formality comes through in your voice and demeanor. Send a positive message to your hiring manager by having a professional tone and approach to the conversation,” Trevor Richards, Account Manager and Technology Recruiter at PeerSource, reminds candidates.

Take a moment to reconsider wearing that comfortable piece of clothing and opt for a professional outfit.

3. WHEN you interview is important.

As a candidate, you are often at the mercy of the hiring manager when it comes to setting up a call. But, if you have the opportunity to narrow down the time of day that your phone interview takes place, remember this.

You do not want to be the first person that the hiring manager talks to in the morning. “Your interviewer might be groggy — or, worse, late,” notes Lily Zhang — author of the article, “The Best (and Worst) Times to Schedule an Interview.”

At the same time, keep in mind that you do not want to schedule the interview too late.

Zhang points out the implications of “decision fatigue — the notion that the quality of your decision making deteriorates after a series of choices or as the day progresses.” She notes “a study done by the National Academy of Science, [where] judges were less likely to grant parole to applications later in the day. Decision fatigue starts impeding critical thinking abilities as the day goes on, and judges generally start getting more cautious or defaulting to rejections as they stop being able to examine applications thoroughly.”

Consider how being scheduled during the first and during the last part of a hiring manager’s day can affect his or her judgement. Weigh the options and come to a decision by evaluating your specific situation.

4. WHERE you make the call is vital.

Have you ever been on an important call and lost connection? Make sure that does not happen during your interview by securing a good location in advance of taking the phone call.

Test the connection ahead of time by calling a friend or family member. Does your voice come across without an echo? Can he or she hear any background noise? Are you going to be using a headset, the speakerphone or your home phone during the interview? Test the location using that same device.

If you are doing the phone call at home, take every precaution to ensure that there are no interruptions — that means the dog is in the backyard and the kids are busy playing in a room across the house.

5. What you say and HOW you say it is key.

“In telephone interviews, all nonverbal cues are removed, and therefore applicants cannot adjust their responses based on the interviewers’ facial cues,” points out an article published in the journal, Personal Assessment and Decisions, called “Technology in the Employment Interview: A MetaAnalysis and Future Research Agenda.”

WHAT you say is important, as is HOW you say it. In order to avoid giving long-winded answers and dominating the conversation, try to imagine yourself in the office with the hiring manager.

If you were meeting in person, where would there be natural points to pause and wait for him or her to chime in? This gives the hiring manager the opportunity to ask clarifying questions or move on to another topic.

If you have the option of doing an in-person interview, jump at it. But, if you are scheduled for a phone-interview, take a deep breath, relax, and keep these tips in mind as the phone rings and you answer the call.

Do you have any other phone interview suggestions? Let us know. Send an email to sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

About Samantha

Samantha Snellings is the Social Media Manager at PeerSource and a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last summer, she interned for senior White House correspondent, John Gizzi, in Washington. She attended the daily White House press briefings, wrote articles, and only occasionally got in trouble with the Secret Service for stepping on the president’s lawn. She is passionate about her faith, journalism, entrepreneurship, traveling, and politics.

Follow Samantha on Instagram and Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow PeerSource on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to share this article and give Samantha feedback at sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

By Samantha Snellings 7-16-2018

CATEGORIES: Business, Career Advice, Career Tips, Job Search, Networking, PeerSource, Phone Interview Tips, Recruiting, Samantha Snellings, Sami Snellings, Technology

Simple Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand

Simple Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand

How do you enhance your personal brand and set yourself apart from the masses? I interviewed Tami Palmer, a seasoned career advisor and job search coach who has counseled thousands of individuals on professional growth. With fifteen years of experience in the staffing and human resources management industries coupled with five years of experience as a career coach, she has become well-versed in the feat of marketing yourself.

Samantha Snellings: How can I use social media to enhance my personal brand? Should my "voice" vary on different social media platforms?

Tami Palmer: Each of the social media platforms has a “vibe.” LinkedIn should be your professional platform, free of politics or agenda — unless that is integral to your brand. Facebook is where you can be yourself, but be sure to modify who views posts on your profile. For instance, I keep any political posts to a curated small group of contacts. Be thorough in the settings to be sure future employers are not seeing a side of you that you would like to keep private.

Samantha Snellings: How can I make my personal brand shine through on paper?

Tami Palmer: It is critical that we allow our “secret sauce” to come through on a resume. What will set you apart from other similar resumes — all using the same jargon — in a stack of resumes? The “secret sauce” is a combination of your experiences, education and how you are wired. One of my clients had a Masters in Computer Engineering, and she was a marketing director. That degree was buried on page two. I had her incorporate the fact that she had a degree — as well as her inclination towards analytical work — to show her differentiator in the marketing arena. It is hard to read the label when you are inside the bottle. That is why so many people seek out resume assistance.

Samantha Snellings: What can harm an individual's personal brand?

Tami Palmer: I believe that people have a level of fear around owning what makes them unique. Is standing out akin with being narcissistic? Some people believe that what they have to offer isn’t special enough. They lack confidence to truly shine. Some people just make really poor choices that have lasting negative repercussions — as we saw with Roseanne Barr having her television show taken from her. Nothing goes away on the Internet, so be careful what you put out there.

Palmer is referencing the May 2018 scandal surrounding Roseanne Barr that resulted in ABC cancelling her television show, Roseanne.

Samantha Snellings: What are a few tangible things that I can do to enhance my personal brand?

Tami Palmer: Understand what makes you unique and find ways to share this with others. One of the things that makes me unique about being a job search coach is that I am also a writer. My ability to help others craft their stories and communicate with clarity and precision fuels my work. We each have unique elements that fuel our individual story. We often just need some coaching in how to showcase them authentically and with humility. I offer a 360 survey to clients where they can see first-hand how others view them. This is often an affirming, confidence building activity.

Samantha Snellings: Why are you passionate about career advising? Was there a specific moment in which you realized that this was your calling or something that you would be good at?

Tami Palmer: I was drawn to counseling after going through family therapy as a pre-teen. In college though, I was turned off by the math, analytics and science associated with a psychology degree. Coaching is what I was really after. I just didn’t know it existed until I was older — and you really need life experience to be a coach. I am passionate about using my intuition, boundless creative thinking and business savvy to help others navigate through crisis and change.

Tami Palmer is available for private coaching regarding personal branding and has a workshop for corporations to bring to their employees. Are you interested in hearing more about her company, greyzone? Check out the website. Want to get to know Tami Palmer better? Read her bio here.

About Samantha

Samantha Snellings is the Social Media Manager at PeerSource and a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last summer, she interned for senior White House correspondent, John Gizzi, in Washington. She attended the daily White House press briefings, wrote articles, and only occasionally got in trouble with the Secret Service for stepping on the president’s lawn. She is passionate about her faith, journalism, entrepreneurship, traveling, and politics.


Follow Samantha on Instagram and Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow PeerSource on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to share this article and give Samantha feedback at sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

By Samantha Snellings 7-12-2018

CATEGORIES: Article, Career Advice, Career Tips, Denver Colorado, Greyzone Mentoring, How to Enhance Your Personal Brand, Job Advice, Job Search Coach, News, PeerSource, Personal Brand, Recruiting, Samantha Elle, Samantha Snellings, Sami Snellings, Tami Palmer, Technology

5 Common Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Getting Your Resume Thrown Out in the First Six Seconds

5 Common Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Getting Your Resume Thrown Out in the First Six Seconds

Many people tell me that “recruiters spend an average of six seconds reading a resume.” What are the quick things that they look for to determine if a candidate is the right fit? I asked a recruiter who has had thousands of resumes come across his desk — Trevor Richards, Account Manager and Technology Recruiter at PeerSource. He described five of the most common resume mistakes and provided insight into how to avoid these common hang-ups.

Mistake #1: Not including key technical skills

“If I am looking for a specific technical skill set and you are missing some or all of the keywords, I may take a few seconds to see if those keywords are somewhere in your work history. If not, I’ll move on to the next candidate,” Richards explained.

HOW TO OVERCOME:

All hands-on IT professionals need to have a “Skills and Technologies” section on the first page of his or her resume. Do not assume that the recruiter will read on and search for this section.

Do not include technologies that you don’t have experience with on your resume. Unless you are applying for a Mainframe role, be mindful not to include COBOL or any other outdated technologies.

Mistake #2: Including irrelevant job titles and responsibilities

“As a recruiter, I pay attention to a candidate’s professional experiences. If their past titles have nothing to do with the job that they are applying for — or prove that they are either underqualified or overqualified — it does not make sense to take the time to read the responsibilities,” the Account Manager said.

HOW TO OVERCOME:

Don’t lie about your title, but if you had other responsibilities where a different title would make sense, add a further description to your original title.

For example, a Network Administrator that also took part in some network design could include the title: “Network Administrator with network design experience.” A Software Developer who helped architect the solution could call himself or herself a “Software Developer with Architect experience.”

Mistake #3: Appearing to be a job-hopper

Richards described the importance of longevity — “When looking over a resume, I pay attention to the candidate’s job duration. If every job that you have held has only been 1-2 years in length, some hiring managers may have initial concerns about a candidate potentially being a job-hopper.”

HOW TO OVERCOME:

One of the greatest mistakes that candidates make is not clarifying that his or her contract roles were actual contracts and not short-term stints. If you had a string of short-term contracts, it is wise to group them under one “company” such as “Independent Consultant.” Make the duration from the date you started your first contract to the date you ended your last contract.

At PeerSource, we are able to communicate directly with hiring managers and clarify the situations that led to a candidate frequently changing positions.

Mistake #4: Not expressing the depth of your experience

Trevor Richards looks at resumes day in and day out. Additionally, he is in daily or at minimum weekly contact with hiring managers, so he knows exactly what clients are looking for. “As a recruiter, I have a good idea of how much experience a potential candidate needs to have to succeed in the position. A quick glance at an individual’s resume gives me almost instant feedback as to if they should be considered for the role,” he said.

HOW TO OVERCOME:

If you are applying for a senior-level role and only have four years of experience, consider this — do you have any internships or previous freelancing work that you did in the past, perhaps through college? Some hiring managers and recruiters will count that towards your professional experience.

If you feel like you are overqualified for a particular position due to your extensive years on the job, take off some of your old, outdated roles from the ‘90s. This will allow the recruiter to focus on what you have been doing recently.

Mistake #5: Spelling errors

In the candidate-centric IT job market that we are currently in, recruiters can’t be picky about minor spelling and grammar errors when unemployment is so low. Richards gave insight into the mindset of a recruiter — “We are not going to toss out a resume because the candidate misspelled something. But, multiple errors will add up and may make us question your detail-oriented skills even if you otherwise have the right qualifications for the position.”

HOW TO OVERCOME:

In order to put your best foot forward, read your resume over and over again. Of course, use every tool at your disposal to check for spelling and grammar errors, but also consider having a second pair of eyes look over it to catch any mistakes.

Do you have any other resume suggestions? Let us know. Send an email to sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

ABOUT SAMANTHA

Samantha Snellings is the Social Media Manager at PeerSource and a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last summer, she interned for senior White House correspondent, John Gizzi, in Washington. She attended the daily White House press briefings, wrote articles, and only occasionally got in trouble with the Secret Service for stepping on the president’s lawn. She is passionate about her faith, journalism, entrepreneurship, traveling, and politics.


Follow Samantha on Instagram and Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow PeerSource on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to share this article and give Samantha feedback at sami.snellings@mypeersource.com.

By Samantha Snellings 7-11-2018

CATEGORIES: Article, Business, Career Advice, Career Tips, Job Advice, Job Search, Networking, News, PeerSource, Recruiting, Resume Tips, Samantha Snellings, Sami Snellings, Technology

Exploring our Beautiful Colorado Backyard

Exploring our Beautiful Colorado Backyard

The PeerSource team works hard in the office, but we also make it a priority to relax and enjoy our time off. Here are some photos from our "out of the office" adventures at Chatfield Reservoir.

7-2-2018

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