Resume Template: Journalist

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Creative

Your journalist resume is the first document you need to write that will impress the reader.

As a journalist, you have a certain edge when it comes to writing.

You know what it takes to research a topic and put it together in a way that is easily understood by your audience.

While the writing skills required to be a great journalist are similar to the skills involved in drafting a good resume, there are still differences that set these two things apart.

Resume writing has its own unique rules and styles to follow that, if not adequately understood, could leave you sending in applications over and over with no response.

Not to mention, it can be quite challenging to write about yourself persuasively.

Anyone can be an exceptional writer and still struggle to talk about themselves and be introspective and critical enough to list out the things they excel at.

So while you likely have a strong foundation to start with, let us help you take that extra step so that you can land your next dream job.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample journalist resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best journalist resume you possibly can.

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Journalist Resume (Text Version)

CONTACT INFO:

Rick Bob
RBob727@email.com
1 (503) 555-0055
New York, NY 22001
linkedin.com/RickBob727

SUMMARY STATEMENT

Journalist: Accomplished journalist with experience in copywriting, investigative journalism and tabloids. Positive attitude and deadline driven to acquire and write about the most cutting edge and accurate information for both print and digital media.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Copywriting
  • Detail Oriented
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Analytics
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress
  • WIX

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Good Morning Xers
Lead Writer | New York, NY | March 2019-Present

  • Coordinate coverage of local and national events
  • Manage a team of 5 writers and 3 interns
  • Secure exclusive interviews with individuals in high profile or developing stories
  • Assess viewership and click ratio of top online stories to provide more relevant content to readers

CLT Today
Staff Writer/Reporter | Charlotte, NC | December 2018 – March 2019

  • Researched and developed news stories utilizing local contacts, social media, and online resources
  • Conducted on-site interviews with eyewitnesses in high-pressure situations
  • Cultivated relationships with local community organizations to gain access to top story information
  • Produced and hosted numerous 10-minute on-air segments on political and crime stories

Chapel Hill Newspaper
Staff Writer | Chapel Hill, NC | May 2017 – December 2018

    • Reported on local cultural events and community development
    • Photographed events and stories for articles
    • Implemented daily news blog on newspaper website to incrase readership
    • Hosted online video segments for articles

    EDUCATION/CERTIFICATION

    Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
    University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    Class of 2017

Formatting

The format of your resume is the first thing anyone reading it is going to notice.

It’s estimated that hiring managers only spend about 6 seconds reviewing each resume before they move on to the next.

So, while what you are going to say is very important, your resume isn’t going to be given the time of day if it doesn’t appear professional and decipherable at first glance.

In order to create an eye-catching resume, there are a few basics that you should always follow regardless of what format you decide to use.

You should always list your details, like work experience, in reverse chronological order so that your most recent information is seen first.

Always make sure that the way you are laying out your resume visually sets apart the most important details from the rest.

Bullet points are beneficial when it comes to showing off a specific detail so that it can be easily noticed.

Always use a clear and legible font that appears professional, but also keeps things moving along smoothly for your reader.

Having a solid resume format is half the battle when it comes to getting noticed and holding someone’s attention.

Start With Your Resume Summary

To begin your journalist resume, you will want to include a few details about yourself to start off.

Think of your resume summary as a brief introduction – it is an opportunity to decide what an ideal journalism candidate looks like and describe yourself in that way.

You want to keep this section short so that it will pique the hiring manager’s interest in you while making them want to read on for more detail.

Yes!

Accomplished journalist with 4+ years of experience in copywriting, investigative journalism, and tabloids. Positive attitude and deadline-driven to acquire and write about the most cutting edge and accurate information for both print and digital media. Consistently entrusted to oversee publications of peers and train incoming staff.

No!

Journalist with years of experience in a variety of fields. Driven to write about the most cutting edge stories for both print and digital media. Chosen to oversee peers and incoming staff.

The first example uses powerful and specific diction to describe the candidate and the influence they’ve had in their field.

The second example lacks specific detail and the strong wording necessary to make them stand out as a distinct and competent journalist.

PRO TIP: As you are describing yourself and your work history in your resume, always try to quantify and qualify details. For example, if you can lend precise adjectives about your work ethic or specific numbers when it comes to accomplishments and time periods, always do so. These details help set you apart from other candidates.

Areas of Expertise

The next section of your resume is somewhat like the second half of your introduction.

Listing out a few skills and qualifications allows for a hiring manager to know quite quickly if your abilities and qualities match what they are looking for.

Always try to lay out what you think is most impressive, but also what relates best to the job you are applying to.

Example:

  • Copywriting
  • Detail Oriented
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Analytics
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress
  • WIX

As you decide what skills to include in this list, make sure that you are aware of the two different categories of skills – hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are known as technical skills, they can be practiced, taught, and they are usually easy to quantify.

Hard skills are imperative to mention when it comes to journalism because you need to have abilities when it comes to writing, research, and all different forms of media.

Soft skills are known as people skills, and they are a bit more subjective and more similar to personality traits.

Soft skills are essential because, despite all the practice in the world, it takes a certain work ethic to research and write about topics in a precise and ethical way.

A well-balanced resume should list both kinds of skills to show that the candidate is well rounded and easy to work with.

Pro Tip: Coming up with skills to list might sound like a challenge, but one of the best places to look for ideas is the job posting you are responding to. Often, job posts will list the types of skills and qualifications they are looking for in a candidate.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skills to include in your resume.)

Writing Your Work Experience

Now that you have laid out the reasons why you are the ideal candidate for the job you are applying to, it is time to back it all up.

Your work experience should lay out a detailed description of what you have already done in the field of journalism.

However, as you describe each position, your goal is really to show off what a skilled and well-practiced candidate you are.

You should layout your job history in reverse chronological order so that your most recent and relevant work is more likely to be noticed.

Each job description should include about three to five bullet points explaining what your responsibilities were.

Include only the best and most relevant jobs whenever possible.

If you had a job as a writing tutor in college and a job as a barista, it should be pretty obvious which job will make your resume shine brighter.

Examples for reference:

Yes!

Good Morning XersLead Writer New York, NYMarch 2019-Present
• Coordinate coverage of local and national events through self-conducted research and interviews
• Expertly manage a team of 5 writers and 3 interns
• Secure exclusive interviews with individuals in high profile or developing stories
• Assess viewership and click ratio of top online stories to provide more relevant and quality content to readers and viewers

No!

Good Morning Xers Lead WriterNew York  
• Cover local and national events
• Manage a team of writers and interns
• Conduct interviews with individuals and on developing stories
• Assess viewership and click ratio of top online stories

The first example lays out the job tasks in a way that shows off the skills and ability required to conduct them.

The second example lists the job requirements in a way that highlights the job and not the candidate.

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

More About Bots

As a journalist, you are familiar with taking into consideration who your audience is when you write.

Today, there is a new kind of audience member that you should consider.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or bots, are programs commonly used to sort through resumes and decide what ones show the best “candidate potential.”

These bots search resumes for specific keywords to decide whether or not a candidate matches up with the position they are trying to fill.

Some resume experts recommend writing your work history in a paragraph format so that you can pack more keywords into your job descriptions wherever possible.

Standard Bullet Point Format:

CLT TodayStaff Writer/ReporterCharlotte, NC December 2018 – March 2019

  • Researched and developed news stories utilizing local contacts, social media, and online resources
  • Conducted on-site interviews with eyewitnesses in high-pressure situations
  • Cultivated relationships with local community organizations, police departments, and political officials to gain access to top story information
  • Produced and hosted numerous 10-minute on-air segments on political and crime stories

Paragraph Format:

Researched and developed news stories utilizing local contacts, social media, and online resources. Conducted on-site interviews with eyewitnesses in high-pressure situations. Cultivated relationships with local community organizations, police departments, and political officials to gain access to top story information. Produced and hosted numerous 10-minute on-air segments on political and crime stories
 
Aside from these two options, some people like to write their job descriptions in paragraph format and then add in a few bullet points.

Paragraph Hybrid

Researched and developed news stories utilizing local contacts, social media, and online resources. Conducted on-site interviews with eyewitnesses in high-pressure situations. Cultivated relationships with local community organizations, police departments, and political officials to gain access to top story information. Produced and hosted numerous 10-minute on-air segments on political and crime stories.

    • Published 20+ stories
    • Daily Web Reporting

Here at Big Interview, we recommend that you stick with a bullet point format.

When using a bullet point format, it is possible to include the keywords needed to get flagged by a bot, and bullet points are easier to read for a busy hiring manager.

Writing Your Education Section

Once you have completed your work history, it is also important to include an education section.

This section of your journalist resume should lay out a list of your degrees, starting with the most impressive and relevant (bachelor’s, associates, etc.).

Make sure that you include the full title of your degree, what year you received it, and the school you graduated from.

Example: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Class of 2017

Your education section is also where you should include a list of any workshops or certifications you have completed related to journalism.

Example:

      • Certificate in Technical Writing, University of North Carolina
      • Assistant Editor for The Daily Tar Heel

Possible Sections to Include

Once you have laid out your work experience and education on your journalist resume, you might find that you have other notable accomplishments and skills to list out.

If this is the case, you can and should include some additional sections to your resume.

Some sections to consider including are:

      • Awards and honors
      • Publications
      • Noteworthy Projects
      • Social Media Influence
      • Speaking Engagements
      • Hobbies/Interests
      • Volunteer Work

Little or No Experience

If you have been reading this article and wondering what you are going to do because of a lack of paid work experience, this section is for you.

Whether you are a recent graduate or you are switching careers, this plight is a common one.

How do you prove you are the best candidate when your work history is lacking?

To start, listing your education section before your work experience is a good idea.

From there, you can add in some more details to your education, if possible.

Did you earn any exceptional honors or awards while in school?

Did you graduate with a high GPA?

Listing these details can help your education section appear more impressive.

Aside from improving upon your education section, including additional sections like internships and volunteer work related to journalism can make a huge difference.

Just because it wasn’t paid doesn’t mean it’s not journalism experience.

Dig deep, and you might be surprised what you come up with.

Journalist Resume Points to Remember

Start with the basics

Don’t get so wrapped up in writing the best resume possible that you look over the smaller, yet most important details. Always list your name, contact information, and links to relevant sites at the top of your resume.

Lead strong

Always list the most eye-catching and impressive experience and skills first. You aren’t sure how much time someone is going to spend looking over your resume, so make what they are likely to see first count.

Edit your work

This one should be a no brainer for any writer or journalist. Make sure that you are revising your journalist resume before you hand it in. If possible, having another trusted friend take a look is always a plus.

Try to Avoid

Don’t repeat yourself

Always use diverse language when writing your resume and make sure you aren’t reusing significant keywords to describe yourself. Redundancy in speech will not only make you appear one-dimensional, but it is a major missed opportunity to show off that you are an experienced and well-written candidate.

Stay away from “I” and “me”

While your resume is all about you, it is a huge resume writing “no-no” to include the words “I” and “me” when talking about your skills and work history.

Don’t take too long

When writing your resume, it is important to be as “to the point” as possible. Make sure that you say everything you need to say in no more than one page. Handing in a two-page resume is never going to get you an interview.

(We’ve put together a handy table of power words below to use for inspiration.)

Some Helpful Tools

Journalist Resume Power Words

      • Administered
      • Founded
      • Adept
      • Formulated
      • Built
      • Implemented
      • Created
      • Improved
      • Consolidated
      • Initiated
      • Coordinated
      • Launched
      • Developed
      • Pioneered

Journalist Resume Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
WordPress Expert Communication Skills
SEO Self-starter
Google AdWords Leadership
Adobe InDesign Detail Oriented