Get your IT Security Resume Noticed, with a Compelling Summary

The resume summary is a very rich section designed to quickly demonstrate you've got what it takes! Let's look at two examples of very compelling resume summaries for information security.

1. Summary for Hiring Company Inc.

  • Seasoned analyst providing leadership, training, and monitoring in security protection and solution development.
  • Unique background includes software engineering, project management, and enterprise-wide security assessments as well as security research.
  • Lead consultant for two large PCI-DSS compliance remediation projects, with a retail client (500 stores) and a restaurant chain (1200 locations).
  • Trained several junior analysts on conducting network forensics and identifying hacking activity.

2. Profile

  • Established security strategist and researcher with CISSP designation and 10 years of practical experience in information security.
  • Notable success directing a broad range of IT projects while participating in planning analysis, implementation of solutions and software testing.
  • Led a high visibility security implementation project with international stakeholders, managing up to 30 people and a $4.5M budget.
  • Created a process to identify new devices and alert the information security group within only 15 minutes of the device being connected to the network.
  • Saved $90,000 by implementing a process to reclaim licenses on the software used to grant root authority on Unix systems.

The goal of the summary is to: 1. show you qualify and 2. build a strong first impression. And you do that very, very quickly, in a few bullets. Also, unless you're too early in your career, you should mention how many years of experience you have. If appropriate, you can talk about your experience with current trends or developments. Sectors or specialties you've worked in can also bring a nice touch.

Make sure your resume summary is tailored!

Always remember the job ad when preparing your summary. Maybe you'll see certain keywords in there that need to be emphasized. There's no such thing as a good one-size-fits-all resume. It has to be customized. As I often repeat, accomplishments are the strongest elements of your resume, because they make you stand out from your peers. On your resume, you want as many accomplishments as possible. But in your summary, you have to choose a few that seem most relevant for the specific job you're applying for. Which means that your summary repeats your key accomplishments. It's a smart thing to be redundant with the most valuable info on your resume! A potential employer won't mind that you insist on saving $90,000!

More tips for people in IT security

If you write a strong summary using these tips, potential employers are much more likely to give your resume a good read. And that's a necessary step to getting more interviews!

If you're looking for more advice specifically for security professionals, check out 5 Accomplishments to Make your IT Security Resume Stand Out. But if you feel like 5 isn't enough, get the IT Security Resume Hacking e-book!