- Highlight Communication Skills
- Focus On Any Prior Journalistic Experience
- Include Portfolio Information
- Mention Awards And Achievements
- Submit A Cover Letter
The right resume tips for journalists can help aspiring reporters land a job in their field. Most of the generic resume advice is relevant as well but certain best practices apply specifically to journalists. Here are some of the best ways to craft a resume that lands a journalism position.
Highlight Communication Skills
A journalist’s entire career rests on his or her communication skills, which include the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Because communication skills are a soft skill, they can be difficult to list and quantify on a resume. The best way to list them is to highlight achievements, experiences or occasions where communication skills were proven. For example, a candidate can say they persuaded executives to implement their idea or wrote copy for a business. A candidate should never use statements about his or her communication ability that prove nothing, such as listing “excellent written and verbal communication skills” or “great communicator.”
Focus On Any Prior Journalistic Experience
A journalist’s resume should focus on any prior journalistic experience, especially if they have not held a position as a professional journalist before. This can include working on a school newspaper or conducting interviews for a podcast. Any previous experience gives a candidate something to discuss in an interview and makes employers more likely to hire them. Completing an internship while in journalism school is another great source of experience for individuals just entering the industry. Candidates who have held journalism positions before should be thorough in listing their work experience at previous jobs.
Include Portfolio Information
Some jobs will require a journalist to send samples along with their resume and cover letter when applying for a position. These samples could be in written, audio or visual form. They can include articles the journalist has written, interviews they have conducted, photographs they have taken or broadcasts they have made. A variety of portfolio samples helps display a journalist’s ability to prospective employers. Even if samples are not requested, a journalist should include a link to their professional portfolio at the top of their resume, per the Houston Chronicle. This way an employer can view the samples if they wish. Portfolios can be hosted online on a candidate’s website or on a professional social networking site like LinkedIn.
Mention Awards And Achievements
Validation from peers and the journalistic community is incredibly important in this occupation. Journalists with any kinds of awards, accolades or achievements should mention them on a resume. These can be listed under a specific job where they were obtained or in a separate section. Being chosen for an award demonstrates to an employer that an independent group found a candidate to have produced quality work as a journalist, which is a solid endorsement of that candidate’s professional ability.
Submit A Cover Letter
Although not strictly part of a resume, it is always best to include a cover letter of some kind, even if one was not requested. This is because a resume can neither tell a candidate’s entire story nor showcase their personality. Even if an employer has only requested a candidate e-mail their resume, the candidate should still include a short cover letter as the body of the e-mail. The only exception is if an employer specifically states they do not want applications to include cover letters. Individual employer requests must trump standard resume tips for journalists every time.
Related Resource: Top 27 Master’s in Journalism
Becoming a journalist is increasingly a challenge in the modern world where some types of journalism are experiencing a decline while others are diversifying. The right resume tips for journalists can help aspiring professionals land the job they’ve always wanted.