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Abstract: Journalism is the industry of sharing the news, be it at the front desk of a local network, or for a major paper. Your journalist resume must highlight not only your writing prowess, but also your relationship building skills and efficient time management.
Journalist jobs are constantly adapting to the state of media, but whatever its form, you’re still chasing a story. The skills required are the same, the responsibilities too.
So how do we make sure that your journalist resume doesn’t end up between the classifieds and the opera insert, but rather goes for the Pulitzer prize? That’s easy.
In this guide:
- A journalist resume sample that gets the interview.
- Tips on listing your journalist resume skills for convincing effect.
- Expert hints to increase the chances of your journalist resume.
Let’s break this story.
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Journalism Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use
Thomas K. Summy
174 Baker Avenue
Dallas, TX 75207
Passionate journalist with 6+ years of criminal news desk coverage under his belt. Covering state and national homicide cases. Published author, correspondent and editor, having written and supervised the creation of 500+ articles on cold cases.
Crime Desk, Dallas
- Authored 100+ articles on 20 various criminal cases in Texas in the last year.
- Created and developed social media profiles for true crime lovers on Instagram and Facebook, with 150K+ followers and 400K on Twitter.
- Achieved the award of Texas Investigative Journalist of 2018 for series of 12 articles titled “Silent Night—Disappearance of Maggie Max”.
- Established cooperation with regional police, obtaining information about unresolved criminal cases from 30,000 archive files.
- Chief journalist of the column on missing people,
- Leader of the team of 10 investigative journalists.
- Introduced a new online version of the newspaper and gained 8K subscriptions over the first six months.
Criminal File, Dallas
January 2014–April 2015
- Responsible for internet research and preparing initial information about unsolved criminal cases.
- Edited and checked for correctness 500+ articles.
- Prepared 30+ scripts for Criminal File YouTube channel, which gained 500K+ views each.
Master of Sociology, 2011-2013
University of Texas, Austin
Bachelor of Media Studies, 2009-2011
University of Texas, Austin
- Ability to work under pressure
- Social media and website management
- Spanish (fluent)
- French (beginner)
- Italian (beginner)
That’s a journalist resume ready for the front page story! They’ve been hired. Now here’s how to write your own:
1. Use a Professional Resume Format
You wouldn’t come to your interview unpresentable and unprepared (unless you’re at Gonzo Daily! I guess...). You would make a bad first impression. But actually, your resume is the first impression. So, why do so many people send disorganized, unclear journalist resumes?
We don’t know why, but we know they do. And that is good news for you—because after you apply the following resume tips, you will stand out like the first color photo.
Here’s the business resume format:
Journalist Resume Format
- Order your experience in the reverse-chronological resume format. It’s a resume style preferred by most recruiters.
- Use presentable and legible resume fonts, like Arial, Calibri or Tahoma.
- Set 1-inch resume margins.
- How long should your resume be? Fit everything on a 1-page resume.
- Outline your resume like this: Resume Header, Objective, Education, Experience and “Additional.”
- Word or PDF? Save your resume as a PDFto protect formatting, unless instructed otherwise.
- Use a basic resume template, it’s more readable.
Expert Hint: One of the worst resume mistakes you can make is to underestimate the importance of studying the job description and getting to know the employer before you send your resume.
2. Hit the Front Page With Your Journalist Resume Profile
If you had to complete your interview in the middle of a warzone, what would you prioritize? That’s the best way to think about your resume profile. What would really convince someone to hire you when mortars are raining down within sight?
Craft an attention grabbing professional resume summary by answering each questions concisely:
- Who are you, what’s your experience (expressed as years+)?
- What’s your most unique achievement?
- What’s your most impressive/relevant achievement?
- What can you do for this employer?
4-6 lines is plenty. Draw their attention and make them read the rest of your journalist resume.
Journalist Resume Summary—Example
Don’t hide behind empty statements and generalizations. Refer to real achievements, and hit them with your strongest suit. Use the same approach when writing an entry-level resume. Focus on your internships, school achievements, and transferable skills and craft a resume objective.
Journalist Resume Objective—Example
Which candidate would you hire? The thing is, it’s the same person! Remember: even if you’re a junior, you always have some achievements under your belt.
By the way, if you prefer a bullet-point form instead of a paragraph, try writing a qualifications summary.
Expert Hint: How to make starting a resume easier? It is by far easiest to do this once you have completed the other sections of your resume for journalist jobs, especially your job description.
3. Impress With Your Job Description and Skills
Sure, you’re in journalism, you developed relationships with sources and did lots of research. How to put such things on a resume?
Think: how many cases would you go through a day? How well did you do? Did you get commended for anything? How did you stand out?
When you tell the recruiter what you did at the previous job, they can imagine what you can do for them. So start each line with powerful resume words and use the STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) formula to help you out.
Journalist Resume Job Description
For the things that deserve a mention, but don’t deserve a full line, there’s a way. You can list those in a resume skills section, right under your work experience, or if you prefer, in a sidebar (in those fancy modern resumes!). See the list below for inspiration.
Journalist Skills for Resume
- Adobe InCopy
- Adobe InDesign
- Column writing
- Social media and website management
- Ability to work under pressure
- Communication skills
- Computer skills
- Decision-making skills
- Editing skills
- Ethics & Integrity
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
- News writing
- Organizational skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Public speaking
- Time management skills
- Writing and research
- Writing skills
If you feel tempted to copy this list and paste it into your resume, don’t! Nobody likes generic resumes.
Instead, take a look at the skills mentioned in the job ad. In your resume list only those the recruiter is interested in (only if you possess them of course, better not lie on a resume). This is called targeting a resume and it makes your resume ATS-compliant.
The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.
Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.
4. Include Your Education Section
This is the easiest part of writing a resume. For your highest education level, just list the certification type, school name, and graduation date.
Here’s an example of how to add your education on a resume:
Journalism Resume Sample—Education
Expert Hint: Did you take four months off to help rebuild tornado-hit neighborhoods in Tennessee? When it comes to explaining employment gaps on a resume, it’s simply best to do it. Otherwise, there’s no way of telling what your prospective employer imagines you were doing.
5. Report Added Sections to Your Journalist Resume
Unlike most journalism resume examples would have you believe, the end of your resume is not an ‘About Me’ section. Only relay information which is relevant to the position, or one that shows your multitasking and willingness to take on responsibility.
These extra sections can be relevant:
- Foreign Languages
- Hobbies, Activities, and Personal Interests
- Professional References
- Skills—if you haven’t included them as part of your other sections
Compare these two journalist resume examples:
Journalism Resume—Extra Sections
Ring! Ring! You getting a journalist job is unavoidable now. Let someone else read your application to fish out any mistakes, and you’re set! If you don’t hear back within a week, give them a call.
Expert Hint: Every journalism resume will require a striking journalism cover letter.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
Remember the following pointers:
- Stick to the resume format guidelines—margins, fonts, 1 page, reverse chronological.
- Sprinkle your journalist job description with achievements and numbers.
- Split up certifications, skills and other bonus sections properly.
- Write a journalist cover letter.
Did you find our journalist resume examples helpful? Did we help you get your resume for journalist jobs right? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.