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6 Ways to Rewrite the Impossible Job Description

It's hard enough to fill a cybersecurity position given the talent shortage. But you may be making it harder with a poor job description that turns off would-be candidates.

Pam Baker

October 28, 2021

7 Slides

There’s much lamenting and hand-wringing over the cybersecurity talent shortage. But posting job openings and descriptions with impossible-to-meet criteria certainly isn't helping anyone fill positions, either.

“There is no excuse for asking for 10 years of experience for a technology that has existed only two years. It tells the kind of people that you want to hire that you are clueless and likely won't be any fun to work for,” says Tracy Reed, CISSP and a senior cybersecurity consultant who teaches cybersecurity classes at UCSD Extension. "Security people and technology people, in general, are sensitive to this sort of thing. So get input from those who know to validate your requirements."

Smaller errors, such as use of improper terminology in job descriptions, are red flags, too.

“This is why most of these [cybersecurity] pros will gravitate toward those jobs with clear and concise expectations and properly formulated descriptions,” says Isla Sibanda, an ethical hacker and cybersecurity specialist at PrivacyAustralia.

Whether small or glaring, mistakes in a job description may also signal a dismal future for potential hires. After all, if the organization doesn’t know what it's talking about, it isn’t likely to recognize or reward good future performance either.

Following are some ways hiring managers can adjust their advertised job descriptions to score more cybersecurity hires.

About the Author(s)

Pam Baker

Contributing Writer

A prolific writer and analyst, Pam Baker's published work appears in many leading publications. She's also the author of several books, the most recent of which is "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies." Baker is also a popular speaker at technology conferences and a member of the National Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Internet Press Guild.

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