A resume is typically your first impression to a company you wish to work for and having a great first impression that showcases your practical skills and abilities can be the difference between being connected for an interview and never hearing back from the company. A surefire way of showing your practical skills is incorporating your National Cyber League (NCL) scouting report into your resume. When including your NCL scouting report in your resume, there are a few key points you should consider.
One of the major draws of NCL is improving your cyber-skills and learning; you should reflect that in your resume. If you have participated in multiple seasons of NCL, then you will have hopefully improved in one way or another. An improvement in overall rank or bracket can show a potential employer your growth in a wide range of skills. For example, if you placed 2048th out of 5000+ players one season and increased to 1024th out of 6000+ players the next season, then you should show how you have improved over the course of two seasons. Alternatively, you can showcase your overall growth in a percentile of your placement. Taking the previous example, you could include in your resume that you placed top 35% and then increased your placement to top 20%.
Another great skill-building aspect of NCL is the Team Game, which allows you to work on your teamwork skills. To many employers, being able to work on a team is crucial, and including your Team Game participation on your resume can let employers know you have team experience. Similarly, to your individual scores, you should highlight improvement in Team Game scores. Highlighting Team Game participation can even lead to question in your interview about how you have worked in a successful team before and you can further showcase your experience.
Showcasing Individual Category Skills
If there is an NCL category that you excel at, especially if that category relates to the job you are applying for, you should single out that category and include your category ranking in your resume. For example, if you are applying for a web application security job, highlighting your statistics in the Web Application Exploitation category would be very applicable.
Attaching Your Full Scouting Report
Some job applications accept additional supporting documents; this is a great place to include your full NCL Scouting Report. Since the report includes descriptions and explanations of NCL and the various categories of challenges, it can be an invaluable resource to employers who are not familiar with NCL or capture-the-flag competitions in general.
Below is a screenshot of my current resume section that includes my NCL rankings.
I include a National Cyber League section under an “Achievements” header on my resume, next to my academic and career highlights. As you can see, I have condensed the major points of my Scouting Reports into a bulleted list. I have included rankings of both my Individual and Team Game participation over multiple seasons. Also, I incorporated my highest placement in a challenge category. This points also show that I have improved from one season to the next. If the employer allows for additional documents, I would include the full NCL Scouting Report from my highest placing season. Including my NCL Scouting Report into my resume helped me standout in the pool of applicants and secure my current job.