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From reporting on current events and breaking news to writing news stories, journalism is a busy and important industry in the modern world. To get a good position in this competitive field, you need the right CV. Whether you are just out of high school, a recent graduate from college, or a seasoned professional, the right journalist CV will ensure that recruiters at least read your application. Here’s how to write it.
Journalism is an umbrella term that covers a range of job titles in traditional and modern environments. These are some of the jobs that a journalism CV will be useful for:
One of the key points to remember when writing your journalism CV is the importance of great communication skills. Your job as a journalist of any kind will be to communicate effectively in written or verbal form. If your CV is poorly written, full of typos, or muddled, hiring managers will simply discard your application. Here are the other components you need to consider:
Directly underneath the CV header, there should be a professional summary or career objective. If you have a lot of experience, go for a professional summary, which lists of the top achievements and skills that make you suitable for the role. A career objective, in contrast, is a statement of your career goals, along with your best qualifications. This is the right choice if you lack experience or are applying for skill-intensive positions.
If you have a lot of experience you should place this section above your skills section. Limit yourself to the last 10 years of work experience and present your job titles in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job title. Be specific about your achievements in each role. If you have undertaken journalism internships you can also include these on your CV, but it may be best to put them in a separate section.
Writing a robust skills section will have a big impact on your job search, especially if you have the certifications to back it up and not much work experience. Here are some of the skills most commonly listed on a journalism CV:
Your education section will be less important as you gain work experience, but that doesn’t mean you should discount it when CV writing. If you have a Bachelor of Arts in a relevant subject or you have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, you should definitely list this in your professional CV.
This short section should include the details of your most notable achievements as well as any relevant awards that you have received in the field of journalism. These should also be listed in reverse chronological order.
If you have taken the time to gain relevant professional certifications, for example a Photoshop certification or a Microsoft certification of competency, you should list them on your CV. Likewise, if you are a member of a professional guild, association, or group you should list this. For example, you might list that you are an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists in your journalist CV.
If you have had work published in journals, newspapers, or other professional outlets you can cite them in your CV, Including a short bibliography of your most notable works can distinguish you from other applicants.
CVHelp has many professional CV samples that can provide inspiration. Here are some journalism CV samples to consider:
When you start editing your CV for a job application, there are some simple things you can do to really take it to the next level. First, make sure you have the right CV format (which determines how your CV is organised). Most job seekers who are just starting out in the field will use a functional format, while more experienced writers use a chronological or combination format. After you’ve settled a format, use these simple writing tips to make the difference:
Each job description has important information about critical skills and qualifications for the role (e.g., “Experience fact checking, copy editing, and restructuring stories”). These are considered keywords that you should address in your CV. Keywords ill help your CV rank higher in applicant tracking systems (ATS) which employers often use to screen CVs, and ensure that your CV is actually seen by a recruiter.
Once your CV is in front of a hiring manager they will be trying to gauge your personality as well as your skills. Show that you take ownership of your work and success by using active language like “Developed”, “Created”, “Chose” rather than “Was tasked with.”
If you have a LinkedIn profile you should include it in your CV header along with your phone number and other contact information. This can allow hiring managers a peek at your work, especially if you have shared your articles on your profile. If you have a professional website or webpage that contains more information about your work, you should also include it in your header.
It is important that you always include a well-written cover letter to match your CV in each job application. A great cover letter will increase the chance of a hiring manager actually reading your CV. You can make use of the CVHelp free cover letter builder to make this easier.
It is highly unlikely that you will find a full-time job, even an entry-level one, in journalism with no experience. The good news is that non-professional experience counts on your journalism CV. So, if you worked on your high school newspaper or at your college radio station covering news, include it in your work experience. As always, however, professional experience should be given priority in your CV.
Yes, tailoring your journalism CV based on the keywords you find in each job description will make your CV far more friendly to ATS software and increase your chances of success.
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