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How To Write A Security Engineer Resume That Converts (with examples)

Security Engineers are some of the highest-paid IT professionals today and what that has meant is that there’s a lot of competition for these roles. So much so, that on our job board, we routinely see hundreds of applications for a security engineer role.

How to write a security engineer resume -- image

When the competition is that strong, even gaining a small edge can help your cause quite a bit. And resume optimization does just that.

A good resume isn’t just a list of all your skills, certifications, and work experience. A good resume positions you as the best candidate for the job. It’s about conveying to the company that you’re the person that they should go with.

So, in this blog, we’ll try and understand how to write a security engineer resume that actually converts. We’ll see what you should include, what you shouldn’t, and how you should phrase and frame all your qualifications.

Let’s get right into it.

Understand how resumes are processed

Resumes aren’t read by recruiters anymore. At least, they don’t read all the resumes that are submitted. It’s done by the ATS.

ATS or Applicant Tracking Software basically reads resumes and decides who moves on to the next round (where the recruiter reads your resume) and who gets rejected right away.

ATS is ubiquitous. Pretty much every medium and large business uses it. So, you have to make sure that your resume passes the ATS.

The way ATS works is quite simple. It looks for keywords. These are words or phrases that it recognizes as important and relevant. If these keywords are included and seem naturally used, it considers those candidates a good fit. Or else, they’re rejected.

Here are a few standard Security Engineer resume keywords:

Security Engineer ATS keywords

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list. It’s a very general list but it gives you an insight into how keywords work.

In fact, beating the ATS is a whole process in and of itself. If you want to know more, refer to our in-depth guide on how to beat the ATS.

How to write a security engineer resume?

Start with the job description:

One of the things that a lot of candidates simply skip is reading the job description. And there’s a good reason for that — it’s filled with a lot of corporate talk.

However, it’s not all marketing speak that’s in a job description. Spend some time on it and you’ll see that the companies usually outline exactly who they’re looking for. They’ll list skills, experience, company culture, the sort of person they’re looking for, and even what you’ll do on a day-to-day basis.

All this data is hugely advantageous.

If you know exactly what they’re looking for, it becomes easier to understand how to position yourself.

Write a strong summary or objective

A resume summary is written by professionals who have experience in the industry. So, if you’ve had a security engineer job before, you’ll be writing a resume summary.

If you’re a student who’s looking to get into the industry or if you’re a professional who’s making a career transition, you’ll be writing a resume objective.

So, what’s the difference?

A resume summary is a summary of your professional life, written in about 3 or 4 sentences. You’re trying to give the employer a quick brief about yourself. It’s a great place to get the recruiter’s attention.

And it’s important to get the recruiter’s attention here because they often spend just a few minutes per resume. So, if you write a very dull summary, they might just on to the next candidate.

Another thing to keep in mind is that ATS reads summaries, too. So, it’s a good place to include a few important keywords.

So, how do you write a great summary or objective?

  • Be Concise: Keep your summary between 3 to 5 sentences. The goal is to provide a snapshot of your professional background, not an entire biography.

  • Focus on the Value You Bring: Highlight your most notable accomplishments, quantifiable results, or unique skills that align with the job description.

  • Use Relevant Keywords: Include relevant security engineer keywords that match the job posting. This not only catches the recruiter's eye but also makes your resume more likely to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems.

  • Write in the First Person: But skip the pronouns. Instead of "I managed a team...", just write "Managed a team..."

Here are a couple of examples:

Security Engineer Resume Summary Examples

Suggested: Security Engineer Interview Questions That Matter (with answers)

Mention skills that are relevant:

Not every Security Engineer job is the same, obviously. Each job comes with its own set of requirements. This is where reading the job description helps a lot. The job description, usually, explicitly mentions the skills that the company is looking for.

See if you can use those skills in your resume. This doesn’t mean that you just lie, of course. If the job description asks for skills in SIEM technologies, intrusion detection systems, and C++, make sure that you mention them prominently. You may be amazing at VAPT, but if you know intrusion detection systems and C++, they should take precedence.

There are two reasons for this. One, the ATS will pick these up, of course. But the second is that you can always talk to the recruiter eventually.

The purpose of the resume is to get to talk to recruiters. It’s to overcome that first hurdle of rejection so that you can then speak of actual humans, who do understand and value your skills.

The next thing to keep in mind is that context always helps.

When listing your skills, don’t just…list them. See if you can add some context. Use bullet points wherever necessary. Quantify your skills. Give recruiters as many reasons as you can to go ahead with your resume.

Here are 50 technical skills that you can use in a security engineer resume. Don’t use them all. Use the ones that are relevant to the job description and don’t just copy-paste these skills. Quantify the skills and add context where possible.

Security Engineer Technical Skills 1
Security Engineer Technical Skills 2

If want to know more about the relevant skills for security engineers in 2023, read our guide here.

At the end of this blog, you’ll find a downloadable Word document. It’ll have all these skills and quite a few summaries and objectives for a security engineer role. Feel free to check it out and use the content in that file.

Present your work experience effectively

This is the heart of your resume. This is where most resumes are either rejected or accepted.

In general, recruiters want to see that you’ve previously done what they want you to do at their company. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s a good starting place. Again, the key is to tailor it to the job description.

The job description will always have a section called Responsibilities or something along those lines. This is where the company tells you what you’ll be doing. Use this section to tailor your job experience.

The idea is to write your work section so that you can include as many keywords in it that are also present in the responsibilities section.

Obviously, this does not mean that you lie on your resume. It also does not mean that you bombard your resume with keywords. ATS can spot “keyword stuffing”. Your resume will get rejected if the ATS thinks you’ve just included keywords everywhere you can.

Instead, simply write relevant work experience. The keywords should be integrated organically. If you think you’ve missed a couple of keywords, it’s absolutely fine. Don’t worry about it.

Apart from this, there are a few general guidelines that you should follow:

  • Chronological Order: Start with your most recent job and work backward. This gives employers a clear view of your career progression.

  • Relevance: If you have a wide range of experience, focus on roles and responsibilities that align with the job requirements of the position you're applying for.

  • Job Title and Company: Clearly list your job title, company name, and the dates of employment.

  • Responsibilities and Achievements: Under each role, detail your responsibilities and achievements. Use bullet points for clarity and easy reading.

  • Action Verbs: Begin each bullet point with strong action verbs such as "managed", "implemented", "developed", etc.

  • Quantify Achievements: Wherever possible, quantify your achievements. This helps demonstrate the impact you've made in your previous roles and adds credibility to your claims.

For example, instead of saying "Improved network security," say "Improved network security, resulting in a 40% reduction in breach attempts."

There are three examples listed below. Each has a job description with it. Take note of how the work experience is tailored to match the job description:

Security Engineer Work Experience  - Fresher
Security Engineer Work Experience - 3 years of experience
Security Engineer Work Experience - 5 years of experience
Security Engineer Work Experience - why is this good

Get the basics right

Summary, objective, work experience, and skills — these are the most important sections of a resume when you’re applying for a security engineer role. However, don’t neglect the other parts.

Contact information should be prominently displayed on your resume.

If you’ve done certifications, include them. Certifications are more important in cyber security than they are in most other industries. Certificates are globally recognized and hold immense value in this sector. So, don’t forget to include them.

If you have quite a few projects that you’ve done over the years, write another section called “Additional Details”. If you’re writing this section, make sure that it’s strictly relevant to the job that you’re applying to. Being in the top one percent of “CS: GO” players isn’t one of them. It must be about the job.

If you think that you have more to add, use the cover letter to mention those things. Don’t clutter your resume. Read our in-depth guide on how to write a cover letter to know the format, structure, and everything else.

Tailor your resume

It should be quite obvious by now but it bears repetition — you need to tailor your resume to match the job description.

Yes, that means that you need to write a unique resume for every single company that you apply to.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to change the entire resume each time. No one’s got the time for that. Your education, contact details, certifications, personal information — these things stay constant.

It’s just your work experience, skills, and summary that’ll have to change. And not massively. In fact, the changes will be a few sentences, never more than that. You just have to see what the job description says and edit a few sections accordingly. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.

If you’re interested in customizing resumes, read our in-depth guide on how to tailor a resume to match the job description.

A few additional tips for writing a great security engineer resume:

Use professional language:

Everyone has their own individual style and your resume should reflect that. But it should be professional. Write your resume with clear, straightforward language that effectively communicates your qualifications and experience.

Steer clear of jargon, colloquialisms, or excessively complex phrases that could confuse readers or detract from your message. Yes, as a Security Engineer, you'll need to include specific technical terms relevant to the role, but avoid overloading your resume with technical lingo.

Remember, your resume might first be reviewed by HR professionals before it reaches the hiring manager, so it needs to be comprehensible to a non-technical audience as well.

Focus on Accomplishments Over Duties

One common mistake on resumes is merely listing job duties under the work experience section. To make your resume stand out, highlight what you've achieved in those roles, rather than just what you were supposed to do.

For example, instead of saying "Responsible for managing network security," you might say, "Managed network security, reducing system breaches by 40%."

The latter statement not only describes your responsibility but also quantifies your achievement, demonstrating the tangible value you brought to your previous employers.

Keep It Concise

Hiring managers typically have a ton of resumes to review. Sometimes, they’ll just have a few minutes per resume (not an exaggeration). So, they’ll appreciate brevity.

Aim to make your resume as concise as possible, ideally fitting everything onto one page. If you have more than 10 or 15 years of experience, it can be two pages. Never more than

Use clear headings, bullet points, and succinct language to convey your information quickly and easily.

Proofreading is not optional

Silly grammar errors or typos are a huge red flag. It indicates recklessness or carelessness. That may not be true. It might be a genuine mistake but how’s the recruiter to know that?

These are high-paying roles for which there’s a lot of competition. It’s easier to move on to the next candidate and that’s exactly what recruiters will do.

So, once you’ve done drafting your resume, read it. Then read it again. And again. Only when you’re convinced that there’s not even a single mistake should you send in a resume.

Here are 10 other resume mistakes that every recruiter notices.

Use a simple template

Resume template companies offer amazing-looking resume templates these days. Multiple columns, great fonts, fancy graphics, boxes for each section, images, designs — they look so good!

There’s just one issue with it. ATS can’t read any of that. In fact, they can’t read most designs that you see online. Even if they recognize the text, they can’t read it fully. They skip over some sentences.

That’s a massive blow.

Also, label sections correctly.

“Work Experience” is right. “What I’ve Done” is wrong.

“Certifications” is right. “Certs” is wrong.

“Education” is right. “All my schools” is wrong.

You get the idea. ATS can’t understand what you’re saying if you don’t use the words that it knows.

So, go find a boring, simple, bare-bones, unattractive resume template. The sort of ones where each section is simply separated by a horizontal line. That’s the template you want.


Writing a great resume is all about simply showing the company and the recruiters that you’re the person for the job. It’s about giving yourself the best chance to go ahead to the next round.

And on that front, you might also want to check out Simple Job Listings. We only post verified, fully remote jobs. Most of these jobs pay amazingly well. What’s more, a significant number of jobs that we post aren’t listed anywhere else.

Visit Simple Job Listings and find amazing remote security engineer jobs. Good luck!

Simple Job Listings — Security Engineer Resume Help Guide
Download DOCX • 10KB

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