How job search algorithms are failing cybersecurity

Communication is easier and more effective when both parties speak the same language. The same is true for finding a job. Job search algorithms fail at matching professionals with roles based on language, so we created a cybersecurity common language, our Job Taxonomy - more on this below.

Resume screening software is a huge contributor to today’s cybersecurity career and hiring crisis. This software is used to filter job applicants based on keyword matches and other proprietary and secret formulas that simply don’t work. Too often wonderful hires are missed and most of those that make it through are not a good match for the role and therefore a waste of time to review. Ask anyone who has ever tried to find someone to fill a job, especially for a cybersecurity role, and they will agree.

New research by Harvard Business School found that 90% of companies believe highly skilled prospects are being weeded out because they don’t meet all the criteria listed in their job description. This is a real challenge for an industry that many believe is suffering from an extreme skills shortage.


The importance of a common cybersecurity language 

 We know that it’s easier to communicate when both parties use the same terminology. In a complex and fast-changing field like cybersecurity, agreeing on a shared taxonomy and framework, and getting buy-in from organizations across the industry, is the best way to assure accurate job matching. 

At CyberSN, we used industry research and subject matter expertise to analyze and categorize over 50,000 cyber job titles into ten overall cybersecurity job categories – Compliance, Defense, Develop, Educate, Manage, Offense, Plan, Research, Response, and Sales. Within these categories, we established 45 functional roles, ranging from Cloud Security Engineer to Cyber Sales Professional and everything in between. We call this the CyberSN Job Taxonomy.

The research for our taxonomy leveraged known titles from public sources, open job postings, CyberSN data, industry knowledge, and thousands of conversations that we have each year with cyber professionals. 

By using this standardized taxonomy of roles and job functions on our Marketplace, we can make sure that job descriptions, resumes, CyberSN profiles, and all of our cybersecurity content is uniformly understood. With a shared understanding of role names and their relation to one another, CyberSN professionals can easily browse and search for the jobs or cyber professionals they need. 


How our taxonomy is used in the CyberSN Marketplace

The CyberSN platform organizes jobs based on task and project information, classifying them into our ten job categories and 45 functional cybersecurity roles. Using the CyberSN Job Taxonomy to classify both jobs and profiles, we provide easily searchable access to every cybersecurity job currently posted in the United States (at the date of publication, this was over 60,000 postings) and can easily match professionals to them based on the information shared in their profile.

By matching with cyber jobs using our taxonomy, CyberSN professionals are no longer reliant on mysterious algorithms. Professionals can easily deduce what is expected of them from job descriptions and hiring teams can effectively communicate the industry experience needed for new hires. This way, best fit matches can be made quickly and accurately, resulting in better workplace satisfaction as well as increased retention rates. 

Using the taxonomy to build job descriptions ensures that cyber professionals see organizations as security savvy, organized, and truly interested in hiring. And by building a profile using the taxonomy, in conjunction with CyberSN’s unified career resources on our exclusive Marketplace, professionals can streamline communication and find a role they love. 

Pwn Your Career™ or Build your team fast and to last using CyberSN’s Job Taxonomy. More detail on each of the 45 functional roles can be found in our Career and Hiring Center.