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Journalist CV—Examples & 20+ Writing Tips

Breaking! When you go to your next interview, that’s the last time you’ll be the subject of your story, instead of telling it. This journalist CV guide will make sure of it.

Roma Konczak, CPRW
Roma Konczak, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert
Journalist CV—Examples & 20+ Writing Tips

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 CV doesn’t end up between the classifieds and the culture insert, but rather goes for a British Journalism Award? That’s easy.

In this guide:

  • A journalist CV sample that gets the interview. 
  • Tips on listing your journalist CV skills for convincing effect.
  • Expert hints to increase the chances of your journalist CV.

Let’s break this story.

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What users say about Resumelab:

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your CV.”
Patrick

I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!
Dylan 

My previous CV was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!
George

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Are you applying for a range of positions? See our dedicated CV guides:

Journalism CV Sample You Can Copy and Use

Ruth Eisenberg

98 Kenilworth Lane

London

SW10 2NB

07777 777777

reisenberg@bestjournalist.com

Dedicated journalist with 6+ years of crime reporting experience. Have covered high profile violent crime and political corruption. Published author of true-crime stories, television correspondent and editor, having written and supervised the creation of a compendium of pieces about notable cold cases.

Work Experience

Journalist

The Sun, London

May 2014–Present

  • Wrote 90+ pieces on 15 high-profile criminal cases in London in the last year.
  • Curated social media channels for true crime aficionados on Facebook and Instagram, with 50,000+ followers on each and 100,000 on Twitter.
  • Nominated for the British Journalism Awards for 2018 for a series of pieces on the knife crime epidemic amongst impoverished youth in London.
  • Built close contacts with home counties police forces, obtaining information about unsolved cases from 10,000 archive files.
  • Mentor for a team of eight investigative journalists.
  • Wrote copy for a targeted online advert campaign that grew print subscriptions by 5,000 over the course of six months.

Journalist Internship

The Sun, London

September 2013–April 2014

  • Carried out online and physical archival research about unsolved criminal cases.
  • Copy edited and proofread 400+ articles.
  • Prepared 25+ posts for ‘Bent Coppers and OCGs’ YouTube channel, which gained 100,000+ views each.

Education

Master’s in Communication and Media Studies, 2011-2013

Birkbeck, University of London

Bachelor of Communication Media Studies, 2009-2011

Birkbeck, University of London

Skills

  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Research
  • Investigative journalism
  • Social media and website management
  • WordPress
  • Copy editing

Languages

  • Spanish—C1

Certifications

  • British Red Cross CPR Certificate

That’s a journalist CV ready for a front page spread! Ruth just got hired. Now here’s how to write your own:

1. Use a Professional Journalist CV Format

You wouldn’t come to your interview unpresentable and unprepared. You would make a bad first impression. But actually, your CV is the first impression. So, why do so many people send disorganised, unclear journalist CVs?

We don’t know why, but we know they do. And that is good news for you—because after you apply the following tips, you will stand out like the first colour photo. 

Here’s the business CV format:

Journalist CV Format

Expert Hint: One of the worst CV mistakes you can make is to underestimate the importance of studying the job description and getting to know the employer before you send your CV. 

2. Hit the Front Page With Your Journalist CV Profile

If you had to complete your interview in the middle of a war zone, what would you prioritise? That’s the best way to think about your CV profile. What would really convince someone to hire you when mortars are raining down within sight?

Craft an attention grabbing professional CV summary by answering each questions concisely:

  1. Who are you, what’s your experience (expressed as years+)?
  2. What’s your most unique achievement?
  3. What’s your most impressive/relevant achievement?
  4. What can you do for this employer?

4-6 lines is plenty. Draw their attention and make them read the rest of your journalist CV.

Journalist CV Summary—Example

Good Example
Dedicated journalist with 6+ years of crime reporting experience. Have covered high profile violent crime and political corruption. Published author of true-crime stories, television correspondent and editor, having written and supervised the creation of a compendium of pieces about notable cold cases.
Bad Example
Skilled journalist, good at criminal case work and cold case analysis. I save plenty of time and money for our editors being head of social media for the paper. I am incredibly hard-working and can deliver on deadlines, hopefully for you.

Don’t hide behind empty statements and generalisations. Refer to real achievements, and hit them with your strongest suit. Use the same approach when writing an entry-level CV. Focus on your internships, school achievements, and transferable skills and craft a CV objective.

Journalist CV Objective—Example

Good Example
A digital journalism intern pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at XYZ University with a portfolio of 50 guest posts. Looking to apply strong writing and multitasking skills as a junior journalist for South-West News.
Bad Example
A hard-working journalist-to-be looking for his first job.

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 CV easier? It is by far easiest to do this once you have completed the other sections of your CV 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 CV

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 CV words and use the STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) formula to help you out.

Journalist CV Job Description

Good Example

Journalist

The Sun, London

May 2014–Present

  • Wrote 90+ pieces on 15 high-profile criminal cases in London in the last year.
  • Curated social media channels for true crime aficionados on Facebook and Instagram, with 50,000+ followers on each and 100,000 on Twitter.
  • Nominated for the British Journalism Awards for 2018 for a series of pieces on the knife crime epidemic amongst impoverished youth in London.
  • Built close contacts with home counties police forces, obtaining information about unsolved cases from 10,000 archive files.
  • Mentor for a team of eight investigative journalists.
  • Wrote copy for a targeted online advert campaign that grew print subscriptions by 5,000 over the course of six months.
Bad Example

Journalist

The Sun, London

  • 90+ articles published 
  • Social Media Profiles on criminal cases
  • Investigative Journalist of 2018

For the things that deserve a mention, but don’t deserve a full line, there’s a way. You can list those in a CV skills section, right under your work experience, or if you prefer, in a sidebar (in those fancy modern CVs!). See the list below for inspiration.

Journalist Skills for CV

Hard Skills

  • Adobe InCopy
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Photo reportage
  • Column writing
  • Social media and website management

Soft Skills

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Editing skills
  • Ethics & Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Networking
  • News writing
  • News gathering
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Public speaking
  • Shorthand
  • Storytelling
  • Time management skills
  • Writing and research
  • Writing skills

If you feel tempted to copy this list and paste it into your CV, don’t! Nobody likes generic CVs. 

Instead, take a look at the skills mentioned in the job ad. In your CV list only those the recruiter is interested in (only if you possess them of course, better not lie on a CV). This is called targeting a CV, and it makes your CV 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 CV in our CV builder now.

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4. Include Your Education Section

This is the easiest part of writing a journalism CV. For your highest education level, just list the certification type, university or school name, and graduation date.

Here’s an example of how to add your education on a CV:

Journalism CV Sample—Education

Good Example

Education

Master’s in Communication and Media Studies, 2011-2013

Birkbeck, University of London

Bachelor of Communication Media Studies, 2009-2011

Birkbeck, University of London

If you’re writing a student CV or lack relevant experience, you can mention relevant coursework, GPA or honours, too.

Expert Hint: Did you take a gap year? When it comes to explaining employment gaps on a CV, 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 CV

Unlike most journalism CV examples would have you believe, the end of your CV 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:

Compare these two journalist CV examples:

Journalism CV—Extra Sections

Good Example

Languages

  • Spanish—C1

Certifications

  • British Red Cross CPR Certificate
Bad Example

Added Information 

  • Speak Spanish
  • CPR 
  • Good with computers

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 CV will require a striking journalism cover letter.

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

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Key Points

Remember the following pointers:

  • Stick to the CV 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 CV examples helpful? Did we help you get your CV for journalist jobs right? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Approach

At ResumeLab, excellence lies at the heart of our values, underpinning our promise to provide outstanding career resources. Our team of career experts meticulously assesses each article in line with our editorial guidelines, guaranteeing our content's high quality and dependability. We consistently engage in original research, illuminating the nuances of the job market and earning acclaim from various influential news outlets. Our commitment to delivering professional career advice draws millions of readers to our blog annually.

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Roma Konczak, CPRW
Roma Konczak, CPRW
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Roma Konczak is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer with a background in education and humanities. She’s passionate about personal development and helping others advance in their careers. She writes guides that simplify complex HR terminology based on thorough research and factual information.

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