It is a fact that employers, recruiters, and headhunters use LinkedIn to search for people with a cybersecurity certification, such as the CISSP or Security+ certification. We can use this fact to our advantage!
In this article I focus on a tactic that advertises your credentials to all LinkedIn users. Rather than actively work to find a job and seek out opportunities, this method brings opportunities to you!
In the screenshots in this article, we use the CISSP credential as an example, but you can easily replace “CISSP” with “Security+”, “CEH”, “PMP”, or whatever you want. All we are really doing is adding searchable data to our profile that may be of interest to a prospective employer.
For example, listing you CISSP certification on your LinkedIn profile will make you show up in searches for "CISSP", as shown below.
In the screenshot above, I searched for CISSP, then switched the results to "People". There are two methods you can use to show up in these searches - (1) change your LinkedIn Headline and (2) change your LinkedIn name. If you want to be really proud (loud) about your credentials, you can even change both your headline and name.
The first person in the results example above doesn’t even have a CISSP certification. He listed "Studying for CISSP Exam", in his headline. The LinkedIn Headline is what shows up beneath your name.
Listing “Studying for…” might pique the interest of some desperate headhunters. The fact of the matter is “Studying for the CISSP Exam” doesn’t mean anything though, other than you don’t have the CISSP certification. I personally think it is silly when people list “Studying for…..” or “In Pursuit of…”, but that’s me.
The third person listed the CISSP certification as their LinkedIn Headline.
The second person put CISSP after their name, like "John Smith, CISSP". This is effective. Some people even list multiple certifications after their name, such as “John Smith, CISSP, CEH, Hacker, Cat-Lover, Ninja”. It’s up to you. Some creativity may generate more interest.
Any of these approaches work to get the attention of employers, recruiters, and headhunters. Just be prepared to be bombarded with "incredible opportunities" and lots of new connection requests, even ones that don’t make sense, based on your current role, like the sample I received today:
It’s apparent many recruiters take a shotgun approach and don’t bother to look at the prospect’s current role. I don’t have any credentials listed in my profile headline or name either, but I still get a couple of these per week.
I hope you find these strategies useful in your hunt for your ideal career.
If you are interested in getting a cybersecurity certification, let us know by completing the form below. It will certainly help expand your career options.
Christian Espinosa is Alpine Security's CEO/Founder and a Cybersecurity Professor at Maryville University. He holds over 25 certifications, including the CISSP, CCISO, and PMP. Christian is a US Air Force veteran with a BS in Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and MBA from Webster University. Christian holds multiple patents on cybersecurity attack and defense. Major recent projects include penetration testing and assessments of commercial aircraft, medical device penetration testing, and numerous incident response projects. When Christian isn’t protecting us from cybercriminals, he climbs mountains, travels the world, teaches outdoor wilderness survival, and competes in Ironman triathlons.