How to Write a Journalist Resume (Plus Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Journalists write informational articles about various topics for publication on websites, newspapers and magazines. They may work in companies or work as freelance journalists. Learning how to write a resume that showcases your qualifications and accomplishments may improve your chances of securing a role. In this article, we define a journalist resume, outline steps on how to write one, give a template to help you create yours and provide an example to guide your writing.

How to write a journalist resume

Here are a few steps you can follow when writing a journalist resume:

1. Research the company

Researching the company allows you to understand its goals and vision and learn its preferred writing style. If the company has a page on its website highlighting articles that the editor picks, read them to get insight into the tone the company's journalists use. Note any standard writing features and include them on your resume to show that you can adapt to the writing style. If you're approaching a publishing company that writes articles about specific topics, find out if the role requires academic achievements relevant to those topics, such as certifications or advanced degrees.

2. Read the job posting

Companies post job vacancies on job boards or websites. These posts usually include the job title, duties for the role and the requirements for consideration. List these requirements and identify your matching skills and qualifications. This helps you prepare the items to include on your resume. Companies may use applicant tracking systems (ATS) and set certain keywords to identify resumes that meet their criteria. Including information, such as keywords from the job posting, enables the ATS to select your resume for consideration.

Related: How to Write a Copywriter Resume: Steps, Tips and Example

3. Create a draft resume

Creating a draft resume allows you to develop a resume structure that flows and includes all relevant information. Include standard details such as your name and contact information. Add sections for your education, work experience and skills. Format the draft appropriately and save this formatting so that additions follow the same format whenever you edit your resume.

Consider Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri as font options and set your font size to 11pt or 12pt. Embolden each header and use double spacing around them to increase readability. You can use this draft as a foundation if you want to write a specific resume for a job.

Related: Understanding Resume Design (Definition, Steps and Tips)

4. Fill in your contact details

Write your full name at the top of the document in bold and increase its font size. Underneath your name, add your professional email address and current phone number. You can also add your professional social media profile in this section, especially if you have a large audience for your writing.

5. Write a professional summary

A professional summary is a brief statement that allows you to give hiring managers an idea of your work ethic, years of experience and goals. Describe yourself using adjectives such as dependable, reliable, detail-oriented and highly motivated. Hiring managers may use this section to determine if you qualify for their position before reviewing the rest of your resume, so it's essential to mention your main qualifications, skills and professional accomplishments to match the job posting.

For instance, if the job posting mentions that the company wants a journalist with a minimum of three years of experience writing informative articles, write a professional summary that contains these details in two to three sentences.

Related: How to Write a Summary in 7 Steps (Including Examples)

6. Add an educational background

Include any educational history relevant to journalism in this section. This includes your bachelor's or master's degrees in journalism, communication or English literature. If you're applying for a journalism role that involves writing about specific topics, you can also include any relevant academic qualifications in this section. For example, if you want a job writing business articles, consider including your business-related degree or certification to show hiring managers that you can write from the point of knowledge.

7. Describe your previous work experience

Your previous work experience is something that may interest hiring managers. It shows them the type of work you've done and any writing accomplishments you earned. When writing about your work experience, use the reverse chronological format, listing your previous job titles, beginning with your most recent position and ending with your earliest role. This allows you to emphasise your current experience. Include five job duties from your most recent role and three from previous positions. When describing these job duties, mention any achievements you earned while performing them. Use figures to quantify these achievements, if possible.

Related: How to Create a List of Accomplishments for Your Resume (With Tips)

8. Highlight your skills

Skills are the talents and attributes that enable you to perform your tasks effectively. You may have natural talents or acquire skills through training and experience. When documenting your skills, consider categorising them into hard and soft skills to make the resume more organised. Hard skills directly impact your work as a journalist and include technical writing, editing and proofreading, using word processing apps, being conversant with specific style guides and conducting research for articles. Soft skills apply to multiple industries and affect how you interact with others. They may include communication, interpersonal skills, attention to detail and time management.

Related: Writing Skills: Definition, Types and How to Improve Them

9. Proofread and save the document

Once you complete your resume, reread it and look for any errors in grammar and spelling. Consider installing a grammar checking and writing tool app on your computer to highlight spelling errors and offer editing suggestions. These may assist with the clarity of your statements and help you find mistakes you may have missed during your reread.

It's imperative to submit a resume without errors because it demonstrates your editing and proofreading skills. Save your resume as a PDF file using an appropriate name, especially if you plan on submitting it via email. Consider naming it using your name and adding the word resume at the end.

Related: Content Writer Skills and How to Develop Them (With Tips)

Tips for writing a journalism resume

Here are some tips to help you write your resume:

  • Use action verbs. Action verbs allow you to describe your accomplishments and job duties. They include coached, investigated, produced and led.

  • Give examples. Use examples to describe your relevant work experience to give hiring managers context of what you've achieved.

  • Include keywords. Identify keywords from the job posting and include them in the appropriate section of your resume. For example, if the job posting mentions that the company's looking for a candidate who can use specific word processing apps, mention this in your professional summary and experience sections.

  • Add a section for certifications. If you have several journalism certifications, consider creating a separate section for them after your education segment.

Related: What Are Resume Keywords? (Definition and How to Use Them)

Journalist resume template

Here's a journalism resume template to help you create yours:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Professional email address] | [City]

Professional Summary
[Brief summary that mentions your core competencies, work experience and career goals.]

Experience
[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantifiable results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantifiable results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills
[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Education
[Degree and major], [Name of school or university]

Certifications
[Certification name], [Host organisation] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Journalist resume example

Here's a journalist resume example to guide you in your writing:

Emma Wang

+65 8656 2657 | emmawang@email.com | Singapore

Professional Summary
A dependable, creative journalist with over two years of experience writing various articles. Three-time award-winning writer capable of investigating many topics and creating attention-capturing informative articles. Interested in increasing the number of articles that appear on search engines for this organisation.

Experience
Junior Journalist | May 2020–Current
Longbeach Publishing Company | Singapore

  • writing and editing five to 10 articles a week for the company website and social media platforms

  • proofreading articles

  • organising meetings with experts regarding certain topics and conducting interviews

  • performing advanced online searches for various content and sourcing information for senior journalists

  • won three awards writing health care articles that targeted mature audiences

Skills
Technical writing | AP style | Word processing programs | Editing and proofreading | Interviewing | Interpersonal skills | Attention to detail | Organisation | Analytical thinking

Education
Bachelor's degree in journalism, Kedong University

Certifications
Certification of journalism and digital media, Rochor School of Journalism– April 2020

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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