How to List the CISSP on Your Resume

I remember the first time I passed a certification, it was the CCENT, way back in 2009.  The fist thing I did was update my resume and LinkedIn profile.

Fast forward to today, and I now have more certifications under my belt than I probably need, including the CISSP.

My resume has been through more than a dozen iterations and has been reviewed by several professional resume writers.  While my resume might not be perfect, I have been complemented on it by more than a few recruiters.

My intention with my resume is my experience, strongpoints and education in a clear and concise manner, without boring the reader.  It’s currently three pages in length, but it has been five in the past and as little as two.  I’m comfortable with three as it nice balance between length and providing all the necessary information.

Which brings me onto the question, how to list the CISSP on your resume? It’s best to have a section on certifications, with a bullet point for each certification.  The CISSP would be listed on the resume like this:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

I list it with and without the acronym in order to ensure it is picked up by software that’s used to scan a resume for keywords.  If you have more than three certifications to list, I would suggest splitting it into two columns to save space.

For example:

·       Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) ·       Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
·       Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) ·       Security +


Do I Need Include My CISSP Certification Number on my Resume?

I personally do not find it necessary to include my certification number on my resume for any certifications.  If an employer asks, they can certainly have it, but I like to keep the certifications section on my resume as clean and concise as possible in order to leave no room for misunderstanding.

In all the time I’ve interviewed for jobs or received job offers, I have never been asked for proof of my education.  However, employers have verified my work experience, and some have contacted my references.

To me this indicates that employers are more interested in experience over anything else.  If you’ve had a competent interview and come across as knowledgeable, then that’s far more beneficial than having a certification.

That’s not to say that certifications are useless, quite the opposite.  I’ve learned valuable skills from certifications that have stuck with me for decades.  Additionally, without the certifications, I would be far less likely to have secured the interviews in the first place.

How to List Associate of CISSP on your Resume?

If you’ve passed the CISSP but don’t yet have enough experience to become a full-blown CISSP, you cannot include it on your resume.

You can say that you’re an ‘Associate of ISC2’, but you cannot say which exam you passed.  If you mention the CISSP on your resume when you’re an associate, you can be banned for life from ISC2.  Do not take this lightly.

To get around this, you can hint at what exam you took, without mentioning it.  I doubt this would be terribly helpful in the real world as recruiters are not likely to understand what you’re referring to.

Final Thoughts

Creating a resume is an art form in itself.  I’ve been at both ends of this, receiving and submitting resumes.

When looking over a resume, I can tell you that the bad resumes really stand out, and often more painful to read than they ought to be. I generally do not give this much consideration.

Good and average resumes will pass the first pass over and be given more consideration.

Listing your certifications, including the CISSP on your resume in an easy to understood manner is the key to passing the automated methods of resume scraping and manual review of recruiters.

After getting your foot in door your resume needs to effectively communicate your strengths, skills, and experience.  If you get an interview, the rest is up to you.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

Recent Posts