Knowing the Right Code for Your Resume
A roundtable discussion at BSides San Antonio with hiring manager Brett Pagel of Raytheon, HR Manager Irma Symons of IPSecure, and Bill Branstetter, Managing Director ASG. Moderated by Kathleen Smith of ClearedJobs.Net / CyberSecJobs.com.
Irma Symons: Hi, my name is Irma Symons and I work for a company called IPSecure here in San Antonio. We do cybersecurity consulting work predominantly for the Department of Defense. I am actually a human resources manager. My role has always been more of a generalist role in HR, so I’m not a techy person. I do a little bit of everything in my job from hiring to performance management to, unfortunately sometimes having to let people go. So, I guess what I can contribute here is maybe giving you a point of view from someone who is not a highly technical person, maybe a general HR person, looking at your resume and hopefully answer some questions for you that you might find helpful or useful.
Kathleen Smith: Bill?
Bill Branstetter: I work for a government contractor called ASG and I’ve been doing this for about 12 years. I’ve done both the staffing company thing and now I’m a corporate recruiter. I don’t like human resources at all so I’m glad that there are people that do. I spend all day everyday looking for candidates and then giving them interviews and making offers. I occasionally have to fire people. That’s not fun either, but that’s what I bring to the table.
Kathleen Smith: Brett?
Brett Pagel: So, I’m Brett Pagel. I’m an engineering manager with Raytheon COI here at San Antonio, so a big defense contractor. And day to day, I do mostly engineering and management of engineers, but I’m also part of the hiring process, interviewing candidates and look at their resumes and doing that sort of thing. I am a part-time reservist in the Air Force as well.
Kathleen Smith: So, in talking about their resumes, it’s funny, each one of us will look at a resume and something will drive us nuts. The one thing that drives me nuts when I look at a resume is someone who is actually put it in a PDF and this is something that’s happening a lot in the academic world is students are being told to PDF their resume and send it some place. Realize that PDFs can’t be searched and most recruiters are searching a resume for specific key words. So, either the PDF can’t be searched or it is uploaded into what is called an applicant tracking system at the company and the applicant tracking system will strip all of that formatting. So, you have then just positioned your resume as one long string of data without any kind of formatting. So please don’t put your resume in a PDF. I understand why you want to do that to make it look pretty or to keep a specific formatting, but you’re actually putting yourself behind the eight ball. So, what happens? What drives you nuts when you look at a resume?
Irma Symons: Clutter. A cluttered resume actually drives me very nuts. I like a nice clean, simple resume with some white area to the page or pages. I like to see the applicant’s profile, maybe their competencies, their technical ability, any credentialing education that they have on page one and then I like to see employment history after that. It’s kind of how I approach it.
Kathleen Smith: Bill?
Bill Branstetter: Yeah. I would agree with that. A lot of the jobs that I think we probably all are recruiting for, you either to have to have a degree or you have to have a clearance or you have to have a certification, and those are the kind of check the box. And if you don’t have those, it doesn’t matter how much we like you or how qualified you are from an experience standpoint, we can’t hire you. So, I like to see those right up at the time of the first page. I just want to know, “Yeah. Got it, got it, got it, got it, now I can really dive into your experience.” The other thing that drives me crazy is when I can tell a candidate has taken the job description from the job that they were in and just put in the resume saying, “I did the things they asked me to do.” I actually want to see what you did with your responsibilities. That make sense?
Kathleen Smith: Yeah. So not just a shopping list.
Bill Branstetter: Yeah.
Kathleen Smith: What did you accomplish, what value did you bring to the company? You know, not just “I manage 25 people.” Brett, what drives you nuts when you look on a resume?
Brett Pagel: Probably the biggest thing is too long, like too much detail. I mean, unless you have a really, like a whole ton of experience, I would think you can convey most of your things that you need to in a couple of pages. If you’re getting into like five or six or I’ve even seen resumes that are longer than that, it’s probably too much and those are things you can just be more concise.
Kathleen Smith: Just a quick question since some of the people in the room have security clearances, do you expect the security clearance to be posted on a resume? Do you expect to see it?
Irma Symons: I personally would like to. I sometimes wonder if individuals are advised to not put that on their resume. But what we do in our applicant tracking system anyway, because most employers do use an applicant tracking system, or you’re uploading your resume kind of filling out a short form of application, is I set up a prescreened question asking you about your clearance status. That way, if it’s left out on the resume, I’m still asking that initially upfront. It’s only going to take you five minutes of your time to upload that resume and to answer that question.
Kathleen Smith: Bill?
Bill Branstetter: I do the same thing. We have it prescreened, just ask you right upfront if you have it. But coming from the staffing industry, most of the time, I’m not waiting for people to apply for my jobs. I’m actually getting on various job boards, picking up the phone and calling people. And so, I’m actually doing searches on those platforms for people that have security clearance in their resume somewhere. And if they don’t have it, they’re not going to show up in my search results.
Kathleen Smith: Brett?
Brett Pagel: Well, I think by the time it makes it to me, it’s already been answered in some way because of prescreening and things like that. But to be honest, it’s nice to have, but usually for the positions that I’m hiring for I’m more concerned about the technical skills. But it is a huge bonus if you do have clearance.
Kathleen Smith: So there are many studies that say that a recruiter is only going to look at a resume for seven seconds. If a person is writing their resume and they need to grab your attention in that seven seconds, what do they need to do to grab your attention, Irma?
Irma Symons: Use humor. I do. I mean I like to get a good laugh. I mean not at someone’s expense, but someone actually trying to be funny and grab my attention that way. And there are people or applicants who do that. I chuckle at it and keep looking and see what else they have to offer because great personality is great. Again, I’ll have to go back to the first statement, I’d like to just see the hard requirements upfront on a resume, like he mentioned, the checkboxes. That stuff is what kind of hooks me first and keeps me going after that.
Bill Branstetter: I like to tell people that if every part of your resume burned up except for the top corner of the page, I want to see enough there that I’m picking up the phone and calling you. So that’s why you’re going to have years of experience, education, certifications, clearance, those big ticket items – the kind of job that you are interested in going for all in that first section.
Brett Pagel: Yeah, pretty much what Bill said: whether it’s an intro paragraph or like a table with skills or if I can quickly see that yeah, this person has the skill set that we’re looking for then I’m going to be more likely to read it.
Kathleen Smith: A lot of people are either transitioning from one career to another or maybe they are student trying to get into cybersecurity, but they might not have the right experience or they might not have enough experience. How can they differentiate themselves on their resume to get your attention? I’m going to start with you Brett.
Brett Pagel: In that case, if they’re really interested in making a change, I’m going to be looking at, and I hate to even say extra curriculars, but what are they doing outside of their normal job duties to make that change. Do they do CTFs or something in their spare time. I think that would be it, a huge bonus. You know, what other things are they doing that aren’t part of their job.
Irma Symons: Are they volunteering at these events.
Brett Pagel: Yeah.
Irma Symons: Are they pursuing a certification knowing that they’re going to need that certification in order to get their foot in the door? I think being proactive in trying to check off some of those boxes ahead of time before you actually have the working experience says a lot about you taking initiative and you’d be motivated. And you talked about soft skills earlier when you started this meeting and I think that will come across in a resume.
Bill Branstetter: I think the mistake that I see is that when people are making that transition and maybe they’re in school for a cybersecurity degree, that’s about this much of their resume (small amount) and then they’ve got about this much (large amount) about working at Abercrombie or ATB or McDonalds and the various – you know, things that they’re doing just to make money while they’re in school. And I think maybe those things ought to be about this much (small amount) just to show that you had jobs before that to show how long you spent at those jobs. But I would take your education experience and consider that to be your professional experience for that period of time. And then that’s where you’re going to build up; what are some of the papers you wrote, projects you worked on, labs you were a part of, leadership in your class that you volunteered for? That’s going to make you stand out.
Kathleen Smith: I think that it’s showing that you have the initiative to get involved with another community or other kinds of events. “What if I just called up and became a volunteer at Bsides?” not knowing anyone. You’re willing to take that leap of faith. You’re willing to go out there. You’re willing to deal with the unknown. You’re willing to try something different. Brett and I were talking about that earlier. Participating in a CTF. What are your problem-solving skills? You may not know all of the technical component, but you’re working to develop your skills.
And all of these are very big networking opportunities because if you’re switching careers or if you are a student trying to get into this career, you can read what’s online, you can read a newspaper, but talking to the people within the community, what they recommend, networking with them will give you a better idea of, “I really thought I wanted to do, pen testing. I really more want to be on the blue team or the red team.” So, getting that sort of experience will really also help you in your career.
When I was growing up, we did one resume and it was one resume and that’s all you did. Your resume was your billboard and you walked around with it and you handed it in to whoever it is. So, do you do what kind of resume now or what do you do? Irma?
Irma Symons: No, you would want to target or focus your resume to the position for which you are applying. Please do not embellish and, do not put anything on your resume that you can’t speak to when it comes time to interview for the position. But you do want to target your resume for the position that you’re applying for. You mentioned earlier penetration testing. If that’s the case, you’re going to highlight a lot of the work assignments, tasks, labs that you were involved in that dealt with that. If you’re going to want to do more compliance type work, you can talk a little bit more about research or documentation that you have done as part of your academic background. I would recommend that you do focus your resume according to the position that you’re applying for with the exception of what Bill said earlier, don’t copy and paste the job description and put in on the resume.
Kathleen Smith: Bill anything to add?
Bill Branstetter: Yeah. I’d say the mindset shifted from that, which is “Here is who I am, here is everything about me, I speak French and I got CPR certified and they might care about all of those things so I’m just going to put everything in there because I don’t know what they’re going to care about” to the mentality of “how are you going to be the solution to the problem I have”. And that’s really maybe what he is going to say because as an engineer, he’s got work that needs to get done and he doesn’t really care about what languages you speak or some of your extra-curricular activities or that you sailed around the world and did various things. He wants to know how good of an engineer you are.
Brett Pagel: I might care a little.
Bill Branstetter: Maybe a little.
Kathleen Smith: Yeah.
Irma Symons: What you bring to the table.
Bill Branstetter: But that could come out in the interview, right? Maybe not on the resume. I think maybe the possible exception to what Irma was saying is when you are putting your resume out on a job board for other people to find you. Obviously, it’s tough to really tailor to any one position so you might have one resume that’s a little bit broader as far as your IT skills go. But definitely tailor it to the position you’re applying to.
Kathleen Smith: So we have a few veterans who are in the room or people who are transitioning out of military and, Brett, former Air Force, currently in the reserves, what are some of the recommendations for people who are transitioning out of the military? Because we have this problem, the resumes are written very differently inside the military.
Brett Pagel: Absolutely.
Kathleen Smith: How do you sell yourself on your resume? Any thoughts?
Brett Pagel: Yeah. I mean, please, please, please don’t just copy your EPR or PR or whatever your performance report is called, into a resume, right? Military performance report speak is way different than what a corporate resume needs to look like. So, whatever you can do to make it less military jargon and really highlight the skills that you have, the technical skills that you bring there and are looking to pursue.
Kathleen Smith: But there’s a lot of skills that transitioning veterans have that they don’t think they need to talk about, such as leadership.
Brett Pagel: Sure.
Kathleen Smith: How do you talk about those skills on a resume that aren’t part of your EPR?
Brett Pagel: Well, and the other thing I would say is absolutely take advantage of the resources that are available to you as a veteran. And so, when you’re transitioning, there’s TAP, there’s resume assistant, there’s all kinds of stuff where you can get help to create a resume ready for the corporate world rather than, what you probably have on the military resume.
Kathleen Smith: Irma?
Irma Symons: I was going to recommend take advantage of the transition assistance program, because employers do work with them and, it’s their goal also to make it a successful transition and they are familiar with the companies that are in the area and what they’re looking for and they can definitely help you out there.
Kathleen Smith: Bill?
Bill Branstetter: I want to know transition date. I want to know when you’re available. So, if you’re still in and you’re not getting out until 2018, that’s good to know because if my job’s open right now, that’s not going to really help me. I’ll keep your resume for later but I have to keep looking.
Irma Symons: What would you say would be the ideal time for someone who’s transitioning out of the military to throw their hat in the ring? Forty-five days? Thirty days?
Bill Branstetter: Well, you know, now we’re getting into is it a contingent position –
Irma Symons: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Bill Branstetter: I’d say it’s good to start networking right now. I mean, it’s never too soon to start networking with people and getting your resume out there. And even if you put on there that you’re not available for a year, that’s okay because you’re being upfront. But some of the work that is coming out let’s say in San Antonio, it’s being shaped right now, but it’s not going to be awarded until next year. So, it’s good to start making those connections and maybe some of those jobs that are already being advertised.
Kathleen Smith: Should you bring hard copies of your resume to an interview?
Irma Symons: I prefer for them to. Is it necessarily a requirement? No. Do I tell them to bring a resume? No. I’m curious to see if they do it on their own. But, you know, with the applicant tracking systems nowadays, everything is just routed accordingly to the hiring managers. They’ve seen the resume, they reviewed it, they’ve used it to get ready for the meeting. But it’s nice to have it and be prepared just in case.
Bill Branstetter: It’s a just in case thing for me. I mean, I always have it. I could just see a scenario where if I meet with you and I like you and somebody else in the hiring chain happens to be in the office, I might say, “Hey, come with me. I want you to meet with so and so real quick.” And then I can just – you got your resume. I didn’t print it out. I’m just looking it on my screen or something like that. So, it’s good to have.
Brett Pagel: Yeah. I think you absolutely should. I’m already going to have it, but the thing is I won’t know how old the resume that I have is, right? It depends on how you were found. If one of the sources gave that to me, from something they found on LinkedIn that you updated a year and half ago, you know what I mean, there’s a lot of information. So absolutely bring an updated, up-to-date, most current resume. I think that’s a good idea.
Kathleen Smith: So, Brett, do you look up video resumes?
Brett Pagel: I have never seen a video resume. Is that a thing? I don’t know.
Irma Symons: Yep.
Kathleen Smith: It’s a thing.
Brett Pagel: Yeah.
Kathleen Smith: Bill? Irma?
Bill Branstetter: Actually, I saw one the other day and it was bad. So, I’m not sure it’s a good idea.
Irma Symons: Our applicant tracking system does allow the integration of video interviewing and I have not used it because I would be terrified to use it as an applicant to be honest with you. So, I’m not going to make somebody go through it either. You know, I think one really good thing about the panel is also that we have someone like Bill who is actually a corporate recruiter and he’s done staffing before. Versus someone like me who is an HR generalist that recruiting is part of my job, but it’s not 100% a full-time thing for me. It should be. You know, recruiting is a full-time job. It should be. What he is doing is full-time recruiting.
And so, I think there are some really good examples of when there’s somebody going out there and hunting and searching and looking, versus someone like me that might only be able to get one hour at the end of the day to start looking at what’s coming in the applicant tracking system. That is active recruiting, sometimes I’m stuck doing passive recruiting. It’s people who are applying and me taking a look at the resumes that are coming in and seeing if I got any good quality resumes. And there’s a different approach to the way that you would handle that job search I would think. And I’m sorry if I’m going off on a tangent.
Kathleen Smith: Go right ahead.
Ira Symons: You know, with someone in my role, if it’s a smaller company, for example IPSecure, we’re a small company. We probably have about 90 employees. If you go to our website and research us, you’ll know a little bit about that. It would probably behoove you to pick up the phone or send an email, ask for the human resources person and follow-up on your resume and just, touch base. I want to make sure you got it. If you have any questions, I’m really interested in the position, versus someone who is out there actively hunting for it. Because someone in my role does get distracted with other things. And we sometimes need, and I’ll be happy to admit it, I sometimes do need your help to get me back to focusing on getting that position filled.
Kathleen Smith: And that’s what we talked about earlier this morning is that is never going to be posted on a job posting. The person that is the decisionmaker of this job, the person who is the gatekeeper. You’re never really going to know who that person is or what kind of role they have. Is it an Irma? Is it a Bill? Is it a Brett? And you have to understand you’re going to be dealing with so many different kinds of variables whereas so many people have thought in job search, it’s just a recruiter, it’s just a recruiter.
Well, it may be a staffing person, it may be a head hunter, it may be an HR person that has recruiting as part of their overall skills, it may be a hiring manager. You have to expand your patience and your persistence in that job search. If that is a company in a position you really want, you might have to take a further step than just sending in your resume. Do you have any questions for our very diverse, wonderfully talented panel?
Bill Branstetter: I just want to say something. Even as a recruiter, I know that when people are applying to my jobs, when I call them up, they don’t even remember my job because they’re applying to 10 a day, right? So, I know that there are people that are just trying to see, “Who is going to call me back?” But when somebody actually emails me as a follow-up or calls me, even if I’m working on this position over here, it draws me back to that position. And I know they at least think that they’re interested and they want my job. I – those people have much better chance of getting the job just because they called me or emailed.
Kathleen Smith: So, a question that I didn’t ask earlier, and probably you’ve seen this before. What if someone keeps applying for jobs that they’re not qualified for? They just keep sending you resumes?
Bill Branstetter: It’s pretty easy to ignore people. I do it all the time.
Irma Symons: Yes. I do get that. And, you know, when you’re getting so many resumes, an abundance of resumes for a position, it’s just easy to put on there they are disqualified because they don’t meet ABC or XYZ. I don’t necessarily always have the time to reach out to that person and let them know that they’re not qualified for the position. The HR person inside of me, the HR professional in me tries to avoid that sometimes because it can create a situation where then someone feels that they were not treated fairly or equally. It kind of can open the door to some sort of liability if someone does not agree with your decision to pass up on their resume. And so, I hate to say it, but sometimes that resume, you review it, you know that they’re not qualified, you put it in the not qualified file and you just keep moving along.
Kathleen Smith: But there are times when people just – what it’s called is your spamming a company. You’ll see that there are 25, 30 different positions and that you might be qualified for some of them, but you want to get the attention of the company and you’ll send in a lot of resumes. Realize on the other side of the wall, the recruiter can say, “Okay, that person is just applying for everything and anything.” And in some of the larger systems, they can sort of automatically say, “We don’t want to see these resumes.” AKA, they can blacklist you. So, please don’t just keep spamming and sending in the resumes. Be very targeted when, if it’s a large company and you see 8 to 10 positions that you’re interested in, don’t apply to all 8 to 10. Maybe pick two or three and see where you’re going to go from there rather than just sending in all kinds of other resumes. Any pros or cons on that?
Irma Symons: No. I don’t have any other comments.
Kathleen Smith: Questions from the audience?
Audience Question: Yes, actually, my question was related to something they said about following up because I like to follow-up, but I’m not sure how long I need to wait after I submit my resume or my application. Should I just wait a day or two? What would be the best timeframe to start making phone calls and say “Hey, I’m touching base, just making sure that everything looks good, or can you give me any more information?” Just the follow-up. What would be the right timeframe to actually start making phone calls?
Irma Symons: You know, I guess there’s really not a one size fits all answer to that. Ideally for someone in my organization and the way that I know how our company is structured and the workload that I have, I would say, if you submitted it and followed up a week later, that should be ample time enough for me to have already seen the resume. And if I haven’t, then I’m not doing a good job. So, I would say give it a week.
Audience Question: Another question kind of related, it’s hard for somebody as a potential candidate, they don’t have a name of an insider. I personally, if I’m going to be proactive, I want to know the name of the person who’s actually looking at my resume so I can follow-up later on. But from your end, it might be – I don’t want to say the word annoying, that would be not a good idea because you can get identify with like, who is this person again, you know? Do you think it’s something that you guys are trying to avoid or just divulge only so much information as to who you are internally or?
Irma Symons: No. I mean, again every company is different and they’re set up differently in different ways. As an HR person, I kind of see it this is my job, this is why I’m here, this is one of the purposes that I’m here to fulfill, and so I don’t mind getting phone calls from individuals following up. I welcome them, because like I said, sometimes I need you to help me help you. That’s really what it boils down to. I don’t consider it to be annoying in any way. And if anything, it’s the beginning of the establishing a rapport with each other.
Kathleen Smith: Bill?
Bill Branstetter: Yeah. When people apply through our applicant tracking system, It’s set up so they get an automatic email from me just saying, “Hey, thanks for applying. We got it. I’ll look at it when I can.” I typically don’t know when people apply just because most of the time I’m on the phone calling people who haven’t applied trying to get them to apply. So, if somebody followed up right away, I probably wouldn’t even know. It would just draw my attention to their resume. It never bothers me if you email or call.
Kathleen Smith: I usually recommend you do a little sleuthing. And sometimes, it’s going on Facebook, it’s going on Twitter, it’s going on LinkedIn, and going through and seeing if you can find the profile of the recruiter because most recruiters do put themselves out there as far as this is who I am. Now, realize that if it’s a large company like Raytheon, they have hundreds of recruiters. You can connect with them on LinkedIn or connect with them on Facebook and say, “I applied for this position. Do you happen to know who the recruiter is handling that?” Now, maybe they’ll tell you, maybe they won’t. But again, it’s a process that you need to go through to find that person. A lot of times, if you know someone within that company, they can do that investigation for you. Any other questions?
Audience Question: So someone asked a question about…what would you put on a resume, when a student is transitioning after college looking for a job and you mentioned being involved in the activities and all of that. And then if you’re working towards a certification, do you add that on your resume or do you talk about that in the interview?
Irma Symons: I would mention that you’re working towards the certification.
Audience Question: But on the resume or?
Irma Symons: Yes in progress. Let’s say it’s a CompTIA Security plus or a certified ethical hacker. You would want to mention that and then say “in progress”. And then, we would probably pick up the phone, call and ask, “So how in progress are you? Like, have you just thought about it or are you actually self-studying? Are you attending a boot camp? Are you already scheduled for the exam?” You know, those are the questions that we’ll probably be asking if we see that.
Audience Question: Regarding a cover letter, do you guys read those and use those?
Irma Symons: I do read them, but they’re not required. I usually kind of skip more to the resume.
Bill Branstetter: Yeah. Id’s say most cover letters are not tailored towards the job. They’re, “Hey, I’m so and so and I really want a job. So, please hire me.” That’s kind of the format. So, I almost never read them. But, if maybe at a quick glance I could see some of the tailored nature of it, I’m might read it and that might help.
Kathleen Smith: And this might be a place where you add in the joke to get her Irma’s attention?
Irma Symons: I like to have fun.
Kathleen Smith: Yeah. And have fun with it. But I think that there is the ongoing debate about the cover letters. If you’re trying to give a little bit more depth like, “I’m student. This is my project. I also volunteer. I’m in process. I think my skills would be great because this is my passion.” If you’re taking the time to really tailor it to that job, then I would definitely say have the cover letter. But if it’s a, “Hi, I graduated and I really want your job.” Yeah, it’s going to go in the circular file.
Brett Pagel: Well also, I can’t think of a time that a resume has made it to my level and it still had a cover letter. Maybe, just none of them did.
Audience Question: On one hand when you read these articles, there are 37 billion infosec jobs going to be filled. You know? On the other hand it’s like, well, you better be funny in the resume if you want to get attention because there’s a lot of them. I mean, so what’s your ratio of quality to, I don’t want to say crap but, you know, non-quality, are you just sifting through junk normally or how does that work?
Irma Symons: No, I don’t think I sift through a lot of junk. I mean, I think that the people who are applying for jobs for the most part, it’s a hit or miss. They have the work experience, but maybe they don’t have the certification or the clearance, or they have the clearance and the certification, but not the experience.
Audience Question: Good, but not right?
Irma Symons: Yeah. Good, but t’s like Goldilocks. It’s a little too hot, little too cold. This one is just right. But I agree. I mean there are a lot more positions than we are able to fill. I am just as eager to get the positions filled for my employer. So, don’t hesitate to try.
Kathleen Smith: And I think as Irma said, I mean the same thing for both Brett and Bill, when they’re trying to fill a requirement, it’s something that’s been laid out in the contract award which says, 10 years of experience, that’s a definite. Has to have the DoD 8570. That’s a definite. It’s not that we will take anyone who’s a certified ethical hacker, it’s there are five or six levels that are just specific requirements before you even get into the technical interviews and so on. So, yeah, that’s where a lot of problems are.
Irma Symons: And I can only speak for IPSecure, but you know, there are the hard requirements that there’s no wiggle room there. We can’t convince the government to allow someone without a clearance on the contract for example. But if you’re a little light on a technical skill, knowledge in a particular area, and again, I can only speak for IPSecure. Being the smaller company that we are, we have more of a coaching mentorship approach to that and we like to bring people up to speed. Actually, we kind of like to hold them. You know, that really helps. So, sometimes not having all of the experience is just okay because we’re willing to work with that.
Brett Pagel: Yeah. I think that’s definitely true for our entry level positions. And I would say that for the non-entry level positions we’re usually looking for very specific skill set. So, the person might be very qualified in maybe cybersecurity or IT in general or something, but maybe just not the exact skill set.
Kathleen Smith: Yeah. The great one is being told as a recruiter, “Go find someone with five years experience in a technology that’s only been around for three years.” Any other questions? Yes, sir?
Audience Question: Let’s say you have a low requirement opening, how would you handle an undergraduate’s application?
Kathleen Smith: So you’re an undergraduate going in for an entry level position, so what would be the recommendations for that?
Irma Symons: Have you considered internships? I think internship is a good way for you to start off or part-time work, just getting a little bit of the experience there. That way when you’re done, you have a little bit more to add to the resume to help you with that.
Audience Question: I don’t mean this specifically – let’s say that a person has all the necessary skills and fits the job perfectly, but they’re young.
Brett Pagel: For some of our positions, I mean degrees are not necessarily required. I will typically bring those people in as in intern, so internships are always an option.
Bill Branstetter: Yeah. I think that the other thing is if you’re still an undergraduate, how is the job going to conflict with your school schedule. That’s always going to be something that I’m thinking of.
Kathleen Smith: Question in the back? Yeah?
Audience Question: What would be the best way to see how I could obtain an internship?
Irma Symons: Well, my first response to that is that you probably would want to work with the career services department with your university because they are working with local employers that do have formal internship programs and can help make that connection. So, you would definitely want to start up there.
Kathleen Smith: Also, like ISSA and ISACA and such – all of them handle internships as well. A lot of their member companies distribute that information through their newsletters. How about internships at Raytheon?
Brett Pagel: Yeah. We have interns. We have I think actually couple of guys in the booth right now that are interns, and I would say if you’re an undergrad and you have interest in computer security, there’s a whole lot of extra curriculars you can do to beef up your skills and make your resume for an internship to stand out. You know, most schools have some kind of club that does like CTFs and stuff together. There are lots of events where there are a lot of competitions and things like that. So, get involved, learn new skills, do get networking and meet people in the industry and just beef up your resume and you can gain more skills.
Kathleen Smith: So the next person has to come in and get ready. So, I want to thank our panelists for a great talk.