Journalist CV Guide + Tips + Example

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: September 19, 2023

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Propel your career with a well-written journalist CV. This guide will help you create a professional journalist CV to highlight your skills and experience, presenting yourself as a desirable candidate. 

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Journalist CV example (text version)

Amy Lewis

Decatur, GA 30031
(555) 555-5555
example@example.com

Summary Statement

Talented and creative journalist committed to high-quality research and writing. Proven industry achievement history with more than 10 years of professional experience. Dedication to sound investigative research methods and a strong desire to know the truth. Excellent reporting and interviewing skills and award-winning writing techniques. Experience writing and reporting across a variety of platforms, including print, television and online social media.

Core Qualifications

  • Data visualization
  • Storytelling
  • Investigative and research skills
  • Excellent grammar and spelling
  • MS Office
  • Computational journalism
  • Time management
  • Active listening and communication

Education

  • Georgia State University Atlanta, GA
    Master of Arts Communication
  • Digital Media Strategies
  • Georgia State University Atlanta, GA
    Bachelor of Arts Communication
  • Journalism

Work Experience

November 2018 – Current
Warner Media – Atlanta, GA
Journalist

  • Investigate questions and timely story ideas in the community as developments happen and create news stories detailing breaking events.
  • Compose an average of 12 stories monthly for print news and an additional online edition by using research notes, assignment details and other resources, getting an average of 10,000 views per month.
  • Supervise up to six newsroom interns every college semester and guide them through the basics of working for a major organization.

September 2013 – October 2018
IHeart Media – Atlanta, GA
Staff Reporter

  • Published an online daily blog devoted to reporting news about the local area’s music, culture and food scene, maintaining a 3.5% of engagement rate.
  • Interviewed community members for weekly potential story ideas and feature writing assignments related to the arts and entertainment community.
  • Managed all aspects of content production for digital properties.

June 2010 – August 2013
Cox Enterprises – Smyrna, GA
Reporter

  • Reported on an average of 10 assigned story ideas per month from an editor about crime and policing in the metro area and sought additional topics by using the police scanner.
  • Researched and produced daily news reports.
  • Revised and edited news stories as they were written to continue meeting the publication’s high standards for reporting.

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized by the regional journalist association as a top online blogger for the year with an audience that had more than doubled within six months. (2021)
  • Atlanta Press Club, Digital Media Finalist – (2018)
  • Achieved three awards between 2015-2018 for top reporting skills and writing in the local area and nationally.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • Society of Professional Journalists – (2021)
  • The Atlanta Press Club – (2019)
  • National Press Club – (2019)

Certifications and Licenses

  • Visualization for Data Journalism, Coursera – (2022)
  • Poynter ACES Certification in Editing – (2021)
  • Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Certificate – (2019)

Profession Relevant Skills

  • Demonstrated skills in written communication with multiple award-winning pieces and a strong willingness to revise and edit my work.
  • Top research and investigative skills with excellent attention to detail, observational ability, and a talent for finding obscure information.
  • Always complete all assigned tasks on time and meet necessary deadlines, even when given an assignment at the last minute.
  • Motivated self-starter and a highly skilled creative thinker, which gives me the tools to stay focused on an assignment and see it from a new perspective.
    AP style expertise and strong computer proficiency in most major software programs and social media platforms that are used by writers and journalists, like Word, InDesign, Publisher and Facebook.

Languages

  • English
    Native or Bilingual
  • Spanish
    Professional Working
  • French
    Limited Working

Hobbies and Interests

I enjoy additional writing time in a different genre: historical fiction. I have written three self-published novels about the early colonial time period of America. I write stories of families based on the unique experience that early settlers faced in this country.

5 essentials of a top journalist CV

  1. Contact details

    This section will have all the information needed to contact you for an interview. The standard goes: full name, city, state and ZIP code, followed by phone number and email address. Include your LinkedIn profile or any other professional networking profile. Finally, if you have an online portfolio of your work and projects, include it in this section.

  2. Personal statement

    The personal statement, also called a professional summary, is your introduction to the hiring manager. It should showcase your strongest qualifications and always be tailored to the job description. In no more than five sentences, you will introduce yourself to the recruiter with: your years of experience, one or two professional accomplishments, and your best job-relevant skill.

  3. Skills

    Grab the hiring manager’s attention by creating a balanced skills section to showcase your strength as a candidate. Your skills section should include hard skills, like your research skills, interviewing prowess and digital media knowledge, and soft skills, like attention to detail, excellent grammar and creativity. When building your skills section, remember to match your skills to those from the job description. 

    If this is your first job as a journalist, you can include transferable skills from other employment.

  4. Work history

    Use concise storytelling to create your work history section. Build it in reverse-chronological order and include the employer’s name, location and dates of employment. For every position, include a bulleted list of three measurable achievements, like average stories covered in a day, collaboration with other media and special projects you’ve collaborated on. 

    If this is your first job as a journalist, you can include other relevant work experience, like volunteer experiences, community service, and more.

  5. Education

    To create your education section, include the educational institution’s name, the degree conferred and graduation year. You can skip the graduation date if it has been over 10 years. If you did not attend college, list your high school and any other post-high school course you’ve completed.

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Do’s and don’ts for building a journalist CV

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your journalist skills and experience.
  • Use action words to make an impact on your journalist
  • Tailor your resume to your target journalist job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your journalist CV.
  • Format your journalist so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your journalist experience and skills.
  • Boast about your “incomparable” journalist abilities.
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience that do not pertain to a journalist CV.
  • Forget to proofread. A journalist CV with errors is unprofessional.

Top 4 tips for acing a journalist interview

  1. Research the employer before your interview.

    Use your investigative skills to learn more about a potential employer. Make time to learn about their history, goals and values before your interview. Your knowledge will be put to the test during your interview. Plus, it’ll show your potential employer your commitment and dedication to the craft of journalism — favorable traits that hiring managers look for in every job candidate they talk to. It’ll also help you feel more confident to have knowledge before arriving at your interview.

  2. Practice at home.

    Preparation can help ease your nerves and give a great interview, regardless of anything that happens. Get ready for the big day by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as: 

    Ask a friend or relative to perform a mock interview. Use these or look up other possible interview questions, write down your answers, and then practice with your interview partner. Once done, ask for feedback and work with them to improve your answers and body language. Preparation will add confidence to your interview style. 

    Pro tip: Practice in front of a mirror. Pay attention to your facial expressions and body language, which hiring managers will notice.

  3. Be proactive and ask questions.

    Questions are not only an essential part of your job, they’ll be crucial during your interview. Hiring managers will expect questions either during or at the end of the interview. Prepare at least three questions. Create the questions with the help of your research, and expect to think of new ones during the interview.  Remember that it is acceptable to use a notebook to jot down your thoughts or questions. 

    Here are a few examples of questions to get you started:

    • Beyond the job description, what is your ideal candidate?
    • How long has this position been open? 
    • What are the expectations for this role? 
    • What tools do you provide for the success of your newsroom?
    • What is the role of social media in the newsroom? 
    • Why did you choose to work here?
  4. Round up your references.

    Before your interview, gather your references. Ask previous managers, editors and mentors to be your reference. These individuals will have to vouch for your skills and ethics. Let them know when you are in the process and when they could expect a phone call or email. Remember to also request two letters of recommendation. 

    If this is your first job, you can request a reference from a mentor, former professor, community leader, volunteer coordinator or classmate that can vouch for your skills.

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