10 CISO Resume Secrets from a Top IT Recruiter

Due to rapid growth within the IT recruitment industry, an IT recruiter will receive thousands of job applications for a single position when hiring.

This means that standing out from the crowd has never been more important.

Many people will consider themselves ‘lucky’ if they land a position within an IT recruitment firm, whereas in reality, luck rarely has anything to do with it.

Often, a formula is used within the interview process that lets an IT recruiter quickly sort out the qualified candidates from the rest.

Given the nature of the recruitment process, from the recruiting firm’s perspective, the fewer interviewees that know about the specifics of these processes, the better.

Luckily for you, we are here to offer some rarely-found insight sourced directly from one of the top IT recruiting firms in the US.

Below we will delve deep into the secretive world of the IT recruiter job interview process and provide some actionable tips that you can use to get your resume straight to the top of the pile.

Thinking of going down the IT career path?

Unsurprisingly, IT is one of the fastest-growing career paths in the world right now, and it may surprise you to know that entry requirements for switching to a career in IT are lower than you might think.

Many people believe you need immense technical knowledge from the get-go to pursue a career in IT.
In reality, a strong capacity for learning and a commitment to advancing your skills -alongside
some basic pre-existing soft skills you’ll probably already have – are all that it really takes to
make a move into an IT career path.

One of the best things about a job in IT is the variety of different options and positions that
candidates can choose to pursue. As IT permeates almost all industries, it is one of the most
versatile job options out there.


Once a candidate decides on a position within the IT spectrum that they are most interested in,
achieving the required skills and experience usually falls into place through marketing
themselves to the right IT recruiter or employers.


Demonstrating you are the right candidate to an IT recruiter requires that your resume stands out
from the pile, and by following the following tips, you can hopefully put yourself in good stead
for doing exactly that.

Resume tips from a tech recruiter

The candidate should be able to initiate conversations regarding the evolution of security practices while keeping the executive team updated on current and future risks. They should be able to create an action plan for the future which is realistic, presentable, and executable. They also need to be able to effectively communicate the risk-taking ability of the organization with other leaders of the organization. Most importantly, having the mindset of adopting any new technologies that are available.  Not presenting your ability to strategize, your executive-level skills, and your experience is a huge mistake on your CISO Resume. Show potential employers that you can lead a Cybersecurity Team as well as collaborate with the Board of Directors or Corporate Executives. You need to think about the skills required for the job, not just what skills you have. The best CISO resumes clearly demonstrate the candidate’s ability to lead and their executive experience.

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Getting too much into the technicalities

While it is important that a CISO candidate’s technical information of security are up to date, but that does not mean to fill up their CISO resume and cover letter with extra information so that it becomes impossible to understand. The people who are reviewing a candidate’s career documents may not be experts in Cybersecurity Security. Candidates forget that they are not giving their resume to an IT security expert but to the CEO or the Board of Directors, who are looking for leadership skills and expertise.

Not using the right Keywords

In the current era of LinkedIn and advanced social media tools, recruiters use ATS (applicant tracking tool) systems to shortlist the candidates they are considering hiring, so it is crucial to make sure your cybersecurity resume has the right keywords. See also The Best Cybersecurity Resumes. It is also important to “tweak” your CISO resume for each position you apply to, as each recruiter will use different keywords. Each hiring manager or recruiter will decide which keywords are the most relevant for their business. You may have the right skills but if they are not presented properly it could be a huge mistake. Not having the right keywords could mean your resume ends up on the rejected pile without ever being seen by a human, let alone be interviewed for the position.

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Appropriate formatting and avoiding mistakes  

And the final and fatal resume mistakes that CISOs can make on their resumes and cover letters is to have errors. An organization is not going to trust their security to someone who is not attentive and meticulous. Obvious spelling mistakes and poor grammar do not present the candidate in the best light. It is also vital to ensure the resumes are well represented and formatted. Bulleted achievement statements with bolded results draw a recruiter’s eye and allow them to determine they want more information about the candidate quickly. The best CISO Resumes are either one or two pages. They should be well organized, with executive qualities and recent positions at the top of the resume. It is also imperative that the information on a candidate’s CISO Resumes matches their CISO LinkedIn and other online profiles. Your job dates and job titles must match. Inconsistencies between your CISO Resume, Cover Letter, and your LinkedIn Profile are red flags for recruiters and other HR professionals.

To summarize

If you are on the search for a new CISO position, please avoid these five resume mistakes! The worse mistakes CISOs make on their resumes are not presenting their achievement or leadership qualities. The other three resume mistakes are using too much technical jargon or having the wrong keywords, typos, or formatting errors.  If you are making these resume mistakes, maybe it is time to look at your resume. Remember, having a great resume is the first step to presenting yourself as the right fit for your next job. Do you need professional assistance to update your resume? We can help. We are a multi-award-winning professional resume service that offers the Chief Information Security Officer Resume Writing Service. We won the Best IT Resume for 2020. If you are a CISO Candidate, we can assist you with your job search by using our recruiting experience to create a winning resume for you! Book a free CISO resume review using this calendar link.

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Arno Markus Resume Writer

About the author

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW

Arno Markus Resume Writer

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW
iCareerSolutions CEO and Founder
arno@icareersolutions.com
1-914-297-8807‬

Arno Markus is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of iCareerSolutions. Arno has helped $50K to $2M salary employees through their entire job search, including creating a resume that got them noticed and landing interviews for the position they wanted. 

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