What traits do employers look for?


When it comes to finding cyber security professionals, many companies are coming up short; there are just not that many qualified individuals out there who have the “soft skills” to go with their technical know-how. Of course, those that have the relevant skills are already employed and are highly sought after. 

If you do have the technical ability but aren’t yet getting the jobs you really want, here are the traits that employers are looking for that could really help you land that dream role.

Solid work habits

In other words, being organised; employers are looking for those individuals who are detail-orientated and can work methodically. Traits that will stand you in good stead include:

  • Being keen to look at technical questions from all angles
  • Adaptability and enthusiasm
  • Strong diagnostic and analytical skills 
  • A good understanding of the more common web vulnerabilities
  • Being up to date with contemporary standards, procedures, methods and practises

Soft Skills 

In addition to the solid work habits we already mentioned, soft skills are absolutely vital, and good soft skills will help you to stand out when it comes to interview stage. Whether you are looking to start out on the ladder to a career in cyber security or already have a foot on the ladder it is important to master the following skills:

  • Excellent communication skills that allow you to communicate effectively with everyone from customers to management
  • Fantastic presentation skills
  • Being able to articulate complex concepts clearly both in the written and verbal form
  • Being able to understand the different listening skills and use them appropriately to the situation

When it comes to cybersecurity these soft skills are the ones that allow you to explain and identify social engineering, an important consideration in the security community. The importance of communication not only in cyber security, but most roles, cannot be stressed enough; and it is important to understand that communication isn’t just about the way in which you relay information to others but also how you listen to their communication as well. 

Implementation skills

It is important for a good cyber security specialise to be able to take a look at the security setup of a company with a holistic view, this can include looking at threat modelling, implementation, specs, testing and assessing vulnerability. They will also be able to look at the issues linked to networking, operating systems and virtualisation software. 

This knowledge needs to go deeper than that it is not enough to understand these concepts it is important to be able to implement them as well. 

Management skills

Whilst management skills may only be needed to a lesser extent for anyone taking their first steps into cyber security, they are nonetheless incredibly important to consider, and will be a vital skill the further up the career ladder an individual climbs. The skills that an employer is likely to be looking for include being able to coordinate and organise technical vulnerability assessments, penetrations testing, assessments for social engineering, and the implementation of solutions for secure infrastructure to name just a few. 

Communication skills at a management level will be even more important.

Now you’re aware of what employers are really looking for when it comes to filling cyber security roles, why not check how you measure up. You can then look at improving some of your skills in order to get just the role you’re looking for.