Here’s a quick primer on how to not find a cybersecurity job.
Step #1: Post to LinkedIn, DM, email, etc. “Hi, I’m about to graduate school [or finish a training program]. Can you tell me about any cybersecurity jobs you know of? Preferably, roles that don’t require prior experience. Thanks.”
Step #2: Wait for a reply.
Unfortunately, this tactic is more common than you would expect. I see messages posted to LinkedIn to this effect regularly and once even received a similar email from a graduate student.
To some this approach may seem like an easy option. They take the mindset, “There’s no harm in asking, right?” To the contrary, I’d say there is harm in asking like this. There’s harm to your personal brand in a relatively small community of cybersecurity professionals. What the individual effectively says is, “Hi, busy cybersecurity professional, my time is more valuable than yours, so can you please do my job hunting? Here are some of my criteria for you to work with. Thanks.”
As Dr. Lanning's Hologram says in the movie I, Robot, “You must ask the right questions.”
That’s undoubtedly not the impression the individual was going for. For the most part, this request will simply result in the individual being ignored. Hopefully, for the individual the cybersecurity recipients of their ill-advanced message forget about it. Because the alternative is that the cybersecurity professionals remember this individual.
Moreover, the sender wasted an opportunity to thoughtfully engage with cybersecurity professionals, who may have been able to help or advise their job search. These professionals are usually short on time. If you manage to engage one as part of your job search, don’t waste the opportunity.
As Dr. Lanning's Hologram says in the movie I, Robot, “You must ask the right questions.” For example, if you ask whether you would be competitive for a particular job posting based on your background and training, that is a question which a cybersecurity professional can help you with. If you present a few roles and inquire which would be the best entry point into cybersecurity for you, that’s another question a professional can help you answer.
If you manage to get the attention of cybersecurity professionals, use that engagement effectively. They’re not going to do your homework for you. They may help you better understand the opportunities available to you, if you ask the right questions.