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Journalist Resume: Examples and Tips

Journalists collect information, investigate and present their findings as news stories through newspapers, television and the Internet, and are depended on to present authentic and well-rounded content.

On this page we’ll provide you with examples of resumes and tips to create a perfect resume that can set you on the path to becoming a successful journalist.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Journalist Resume

  1. Summary The summary should be able to convey your value as an employee, and what you can bring to the organization. In a few sentences, present your significant skills, qualities and experience, e.g., “Dedicated journalist with strong newspaper background and exceptional knowledge of SEO strategies.”
  2. Skills Using keywords is crucial in helping your resume get noticed by employers. Many recruiters use automated tracking systems (ATS) to screen ideal candidates, so it’s important to incorporate keywords from the job description (e.g., “excellent oral and written communication”) in your resume where appropriate. Some attributes that hiring managers look for in a journalist are ethics, integrity, courage, good investigative skills and proficiency with technology and content management systems.
  3. Work history Your resume needs to pop to get the attention of any hiring manager, so instead of just discussing your general responsibilities, highlight specific achievements wherever possible. For example: “Generated an interactive social media platform for citizens to provide their views on work, resulting in more than 60,000 subscribers.”
  4. Education In addition to a journalism degree, look to feature coursework or training in related fields such as news writing, broadcast journalism, mass communications, social media in journalism and investigative reporting.

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

No need to hunt high and low for a good resume layout — use our employer-ready templates to create and customize your resume.

Strong

The two-column layout and straightforward headers clearly delineate each section in this  template, creating a memorable impact with readers.

Cool

This layout has a simple design with clean lines, giving it a professional appearance while making it tidy and easy to read.

Esteemed

Clean graphic elements allow plenty of space to feature your work experience and credentials in this design, making it a good fit with job seekers across all sectors and skill levels.

In addition to the above-mentioned templates, choose from more designs in our resume template section.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • Draw attention to unusual skills Everyone applying to be a journalist will try to show off superior writing and research skills; set yourself apart from the crowd by pointing out proficiency in specific areas, such as knowledge of a particular industry you’re reporting on, or skills that other journalists might not have, e.g., foreign language knowledge, or the ability to network across industries.
  • Give links to samples of your work The work you’ve done as a most important aspect of a journalist serves as your calling card — create a separate section in your resume for your publishing credits, featuring links to your most popular or effective work. You can also provide links to any personal portfolios or blogs that feature your work.
  • List journalism organizations you are part of If you’re not a member of any journalism organization, look into joining one and expanding your connections. Through these organizations, you will also obtain more knowledge and information about industries of interest. Mentioning this in your resume will show the recruiter that you are invested in your work and willing to learn new things.
  • Don’t make spelling or grammatical mistakes Don’t neglect editing your own work. Double-check your resume for mistakes, including misspellings of organizations you’ve worked for, and have someone proofread it for you.
  • Don’t forget to customize your resume for the job Adapt your resume according to the role you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a political correspondent position, you need to highlight any projects you’ve participated in that have a political component.
  • Don’t overemphasize your education Unless you’re a recent graduate, your education credits will count for less than your skills and work experiences. Always put your professional skills and accomplishments at the top, for recruiters to understand your abilities.

Journalist Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

Journalists have to be ready to cover any subject at a moment’s notice, and can quickly gain expertise on new subjects. Some essential skills that managing editors look for in a journalist include:

  • Versatility
  • Persistence
  • Social media savvy
  • Time management
  • Knack for storytelling
  • Being true to the facts
  • Good networking skills
  • Eye for detail
  • Strong communication and writing
  • Excellent research abilities
  • Open-minded approach
  • Focus on the audience

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

Most organizations prefer candidates with a minimum of a degree in Multimedia, Mass Communication, Journalism or English Literature. Other courses or programs that would benefit your resume include:

  • Certificate in Multimedia Development, Strategic Communication Management, Organizational Leadership and Communication, Video Production, Social Media or Digital Content Management
  • Diploma in Creative Technologies, Multimedia Production or Journalism

3. How should you format your resume?

Choose your resume format based on your specific skills and experience. If you have a long, stable work history in journalism without gaps, it is best to use the chronological format, which will best display your career highlights. However, if you lack extensive experience, or have employment gaps, use the functional format, which allows you to focus on your skills and education, or the combination format, which stresses relevant skills and experiences from previous jobs

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

In compiling accomplishments that can be used to further your career, look to add the following to your resume:

  • Initiatives that went beyond your daily duties, e.g., helping junior writers and providing feedback, or taking the initiative on reporting in the field
  • Complete an advanced course that can widen your skillset, e.g., if you are working as a press media journalist, get a certificate in multimedia or design
  • Make an effort to consistently meet deadlines while keeping your articles at a high level of accuracy as well as up to reporting and ethical standards
  • Participate in a wider range of activities, such as press conferences, emergency news coverage hauls, photoshoots, and production sessions, to expand your expertise

5. Why is it important to incorporate keywords in your resume?

Many recruiters use application tracking systems (ATS) to determine relevant candidates. ATS scan resumes based on relevant keywords which are usually taken right from the job description. To pass the ATS, review the job descriptions for phrases that describe what the job requires, such as “detail-oriented,” “proofreader,” “interviewing skills” and “investigation skills.” Then match these keywords with your own abilities, and update your resume to address them, peppering the keywords into your skills and work experience sections.

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