6 resume mistakes CISOs still make

The top security job has evolved from a technology-focused role into an executive position. Does your resume reflect that shift?

Dan Bowden had the right mix of experience and credentials to land his next CISO post, but he wanted to make sure his resume reflected that fact.

So Bowden hired a professional resume advisor at the start of his search. (“It was well worth it,” he says.)

The advisor had him consider what his existing executive colleagues would say about his contributions to their organization—“the events, the activities, the accomplishments”—and then lead with those ideas rather than the technical skills and detailed security work that often dominate a CISO’s resume.

“It helped me get more insight into what is important, what kind of things you should draw attention to and what should go at the top of the resume. And all of the certifications and the education things, they were at the very bottom,” Bowden says. “It wasn’t that [my new resume] was totally different. She used all the information that I had, but she helped me understand what mattered and what should be highlighted. That’s what I missed, that concept of what really mattered. I didn’t understand how to make it pop on a resume.”

Bowden, who is now vice president and CISO at Sentara Healthcare in Virginia—the position he was seeking when he worked with the advisor, says he believes his resume needed to be revamped to reflect how the CISO has evolved into a full executive position.

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