Not managed to land your dream job in cyber security yet? Well, it might be because you’re lacking a few important soft skills needed for a career in IT cyber security. Although technical knowledge and experience may be the essential requirements for a cyber security role, IT graduates can often find themselves losing out to more well-rounded candidates.
So, what are the soft skills needed for a career in IT cyber security? To help you identify the gaps in your skill set, we’ve outlined five core competencies that you might need to work on before your next interview.
A fundamental part of working in cyber security is being able to work as part of a wider team. Not only do many roles within cyber security require you to work with others to complete tasks, but having the ability to adapt your personal style in order to gel with your team is also key.
To assess your teamwork skills, employers may put you in a group interview situation. Here are a few key abilities they’ll be looking for:
- How you convey information to others.
- Supporting others and taking alternative views into consideration.
- Being able to keep discussions focussed and on track.
- Maintaining positive relationships with others.
With the IT sector being predominantly project-focused, strong planning and organisational skills are essential. To demonstrate your strengths in this area, draw upon scenarios when you’ve had to effectively manage your time, work to deadlines or plan a task or project.
Struggling for inspiration? Working to tight deadlines during your degree can be used to show your time management skills, as can extra-curricular activities such as Duke of Edinburgh and World Challenge.
While working in cyber security, not only do you have to be able to relay information back to your team, but also relay it back to the rest of the business. In a large company, not everyone will have the same level of technical knowledge, and you’ll also be required to communicate your findings to colleagues of all levels.
During your interview, employers will be looking for you to provide examples of instances where you’ve had to demonstrate adept communication skills. Try and think of examples where you’ve had to:
- Communicate your findings to audiences with a range of different abilities.
- Convey information in a clear and concise manner, both written and verbally.
- Be considerate of other people’s views and adapt your opinion based on their findings.
Problem-solving is a fundamental skill that is directly related with many IT roles. While working within cyber security, you’ll be required to identify problems, quickly find the root cause, then use the information to find a solution.
However, problem-solving extends beyond simply resolving a current technical issue. You may also want to suggest improvements, find more sophisticated tools or alter current procedures in order to deliver a better service.
5. Determination and enthusiasm
Being driven and enthusiastic are qualities highly regarded amongst employers, however getting across your enthusiasm for cyber security can prove tricky. Try and showcase your interest in cyber security by:
- Referring to any industry-specific magazines or websites you read regularly.
- Referencing any IT related events you’ve attended.
- Showing you’re up-to-date with the latest cyber security issues, technology tools and current IT breakthroughs.
You can also highlight your determination by drawing upon instances where you’ve had to quickly bounce back from setbacks, or had to push to achieve a positive outcome from a difficult situation.
Think you’re interview ready? Search our latest IT job listings to take the next step in your career.