Security Professionals: Enhance Your Career Prospects by Developing a “Personal Brand”
Article by Jeff Snyder
Can a security professional create a personal brand? “Why SURE!”claims Jeff Snyder and we agree. And while this article from NaSPA’s resident Security Recruiting expert deals prinicpally with people seeking employment or career enhancement in the Security profession, the tips are solid and apply to almost anyone in any profession. Read and heed as Jeff explains how to build your own “personal brand” in order to enhance your chances of gainful employment, in whatever profession
you are seeking
Any security professional can build a personal brand and it is important to do so if you want to line yourself up with the best security jobs
that emerge in the future. Wikipedia suggests that Personal Branding can be defined this way: “Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.” With this definition in mind, here are some ideas for building your
1. Your resume is a significant part of your personal branding package
While it isn’t the only piece of your personal branding package, your resume needs to be carefully aligned with your skills,
abilities and accomplishments. Your resume needs to clearly demonstrate how you’ve added value to previous employers. Anybody can
write a resume that describes what they were hired to do. When a resume clearly demonstrates the value you as the owner of the resume has provided for past employers, future employers can then start to environ how hiring you might bring value to their organization. Your future employers are trying to get more done with less. Build your resume so it clearly shows value and is not just a snapshot of the job description you signed up for with past employers.
2. Build a blog focused on your area of expertise
If you’re an expert in Identity Management, there is plenty to write about if this topic defines your expertise. Use your blog
to display your subject matter expertise in the subject. Interact with those who might want to tap into your expertise by way of acknowledging comments left on your blog. Write in your blog with the intention of sharing your knowledge for the benefit and education of your readers.Sooner or later, your blog may be found by someone who not only appreciates your expertise but they may also have a job for you.
3. Write articles and get them published
My first full article was written for a major security industry magazine. Once this article was published, I shared it with other
major industry publications. Not every publisher got excited about my first article but that didn’t matter. Two major publishers appreciated
my work and gave me an opportunity to write for them. Now I not only have a growing portfolio of articles but occasionally unsolicited
invitations to write new articles come my way. Additionally, I built a Security Articles section on SecurityRecruiter.com where security
professionals can get their articles published. Any security or business focused article that will bring value to the visitors to SecurityRecruiter.com will be considered. I’ll even push your article out in my blog to get it more attention. (Note, NaSPA Technical Support Magazine is also always seeking new authors with meaningful things to say! E-mail Leo Wrobel, Executive Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Speak in public
Sure, you might have your sights on a speaking role at a major conference. Start small by speaking at a local ISSA
(Information Systems Security Association) or ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) meeting. Speak to a class of
future security professionals in a university class setting. In the sameway that you demonstrate subject matter expertise through a blog, demonstrate the same expertise by speaking in public. Public speaking is an outstanding way to enhance your own communication skills. Communication skills are critically important skills from the mid-manager to executive levels for security professionals.
5. Volunteer your time with a non-profit organization
Non-Profits, community organizations and churches have data and/or facilities that need to be secured. Maybe they can’t
pay you but you’ll build up expertise and if you’re lucky, a letter of recommendation. Once you have collected several recommendation
letters, you can add these letters to your portfolio.
6 Build on-line network presence carefully and strategically
LinkedIn is the first place I suggest for building a professional business profile on-line. With over 40 million members,LinkedIn is still likely the fastest growing on-line business network in the world. Load your on-line profiles with the same kind of information you would use to build your resume. Make it easy for employers and recruiters to find you. Be conscientious about what you write on-line.Once you write and push your thoughts out to your audience, you can’t take anything back in the future.
Jeff Snyder is the President of SecurityRecruiter.com, a search firm highly specialized in information security recruiting. Jeff’s recruiting career started in 1990 in the general IT recruiting space. His first information security recruiting assignment landed on his desk in the 1995 - 1996 timeframe. SecurityRecruiter.com provides recruiting services, job placement services, professional resume writing services and is a gateway to various kinds of security certifications and training opportunities.