Army veteran Jordan Glover trained for a new career in cyber security during the pandemic. Now he’s sharing which TechVets services helped him achieve cyber success.
“My journey into cyber began as a teenager,” says Jordan Glover. “I spent a lot of time online and became interested in cyber from a young age.” While the ex-Signals soldier had a lifelong passion for cyber and tech, he ended up trying a diverse range of roles both within and outside the military before landing his ideal IT job. Like many of us at TechVets, Jordan’s path from dog tags to data tags wasn’t a straight line. Now he’s a penetration tester at the London-based cyber security consultancy, Stratia Cyber. We spoke to Jordan about how he achieved his goal, and what particular support, skills, and certifications made it possible for him to work in cyber technology after military service.
An Early Start in the Military
“I joined the Army at the age of 17 and joined the Royal Corps of Signals, as a Communication Systems Operator,” shares Jordan.
His interest in technology made him a natural fit for the Signals (combat support specialists who handle all the IT, cyber, and telecommunications for the British Army). He served with them for four years including a deployment on an operational tour of Afghanistan. In 2011, Jordan transitioned out of the army into a second career. He went for jobs within the oil and gas industry, with options to travel abroad and give civilian life a go. “I worked on oil rigs and drill ships in numerous parts of the world,” he explains. “However, during my final year offshore, I felt that I wanted to move specifically into a cyber role as I knew this was something I should have done many years ago but at the time, I didn’t know it was a career choice.”
Getting Certified for a Career in Cyber Security
“In 2020 just prior to the pandemic, I left offshore with the intention of devoting six months to training and studying to get my first cyber role,” Jordan explains. Of course, not many plans laid in early 2020 worked out as expected: “One month in and the world was tipped upside down.” Jordan’s army training kicked in and he carried on with resilience, initiative, and a focused attitude.
“I used many resources and reviewed several job adverts, and realised quickly what experience and certifications organisations were looking for,” he says. “The path I went down was to complete my Comptia A+, followed by the Network+ and Security+. I then completed my eJPT, which was a junior penetration testing course supplied by a company now known as INE.”
Next came CREST examinations. TechVets and CREST have been working together since 2018 to provide access to cyber security opportunities for veterans and service leavers in tech. The CREST certification process is a useful way for vets like Jordan to ensure they have the right skills and solid technical background that cyber employers require today.
“After five months I passed my first CREST examination, which was the CREST Practitioner Security Analyst (CPSA),” says Jordan. “Not only was I focusing on examinations, I was using multiple platforms to learn and understand how to put into practice the theory and practical subjects I was learning."
Jordan’s top resources for practical experience:
He also watched his fair share of YouTube tutorials and took part in Bug Bounty programs for practical exposure to commercial web applications.
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Perfecting His Post-Army CV with TechVets
Despite getting all the right skills and certs, Jordan “hit a sticking point.” He couldn’t break through to the interview stage of technology and cyber security job applications, even though he was sending his CV to many relevant companies.
“I then discovered TechVets,” he says. “Within TechVets were numerous cyber professions at all levels, who had transitioned into cyber from the military at some point in time. They offered a CV review service that allows technical managers to review your CV and give you advice.” That service proved invaluable for Jordan. He discovered that his CV was too heavily focused on the military- using army terms, acronyms, and references that civilians in cyber companies weren’t likely to understand or value.
“I thought back to the Operations Manager I interviewed with and who had reviewed my CV over eight years ago, when I started offshore, and he too was ex-military,” he admits. “An HR manager wouldn’t understand [it] unless they too were in the military at some point in their career.”
TechVets helped Jordan put his experience in terms applicable to cyber roles, and customised his CV for specific cyber job postings. By November 2020 he accepted his first role in the IT industry as a Junior Penetration Tester.
“Using the CV review service did lead to me getting my first role in cyber I believe, even if it was 9 years after I left the army. Being able to speak with a technical manager who reviews CV's as part of their role really helped,” explains Jordan. “When I originally left the Army in 2011, a CV review service wasn't available to me. I would highly recommend making use of this service within TechVets.”
If you’d like TechVets experts to review your CV or help set you on track for a technology career after military service, check out our CV service for yourself. You can also connect with real cyber professionals like Jordan at the link below, or read more industry insights here.