Journalist Resume Tips for Any Experience Level

journalism resume sample
Created by Cake

Journalists research, write and share informational content about current events, niche topics, articles and stories, avoiding bias and making concepts easy to understand. Journalists' main medium is via written pieces, and differ from TV reporters who exclusively present media through live television, and do not research themselves. 

Journalists looking for work should have a thorough and well-presented journalism resume, where they can show their skills and knowledge in their chosen niche. Having a professional journalism resume will allow you to convey your writing persona, and stand out among competition when being reviewed for interviews.

How to Write a Journalist Resume

Journalist resumes have unique formatting, information and style, which are meant to represent your journalist persona. 

1. Understand the differences between a CV and a resume

When applying for journalism roles, first make sure you provide what is asked of you. A CV is a more lengthy document, which provides detail of an applicant's professional career, whereas a resume is a shorter, more specific document which allows applicants to emphasize how their experience qualifies them for the role. As a journalist’s job is centered around their reporting niche, and accompanying skills, using the correct format in your journalism resume will help you choose the correct information.

2. Choose the right resume format

There are a couple of decisions to be made when making your journalism resume. To refine the focus of your resume on your journalism career, think of what chronological order, skills focus and style you’d like for your journalism resume, to smooth over career gaps and exclude irrelevant experience. 

3. Look up resume templates & examples for reference

Research online for a typical journalism resume to use as a reference. Find other journalists’ portfolios or resumes, and look up local journalists or journalists portfolios in your niche to find guidance on style, format and content. If you are making a journalist resume for an internship or entry-level role, look at what skills and experiences other journalists focus on in their resumes for ideas. 

4. Tailor your resume for the job

This is good advice for any job application; however, journalism resumes and portfolios should reflect your research niche, interests and how you can apply these to the job. If you are applying for a role in sports journalism, leave out irrelevant experiences and focus on how your writing, skills in analysis and passion for sports make you a great journalist, for example. 

5. Proofread

Definitely proofread your journalism resume for spelling and grammar errors, unnatural tone, tense and syntax. Journalism is a writing profession, so showing you are capable of writing high-quality content will start with a natural-sounding journalism resume. If you are including a journalism portfolio in your application, re-read samples for errors, and only choose your best pieces of work. Although journalism companies and news outlets will have a whole team of editors to help produce and publish content, having errors in your journalism resume will not be seen positively! 

What to Put on a Resume for Journalism

All of the space on your journalism resume pages should be used to showcase your relevant skills and capabilities as a journalist. To make sure you don’t waste any space on your journalism resume, here’s a step-by-step guide on what to include in each part of your resume:

✅ Resume Header

Start off your journalism resume with a snapshot of who you are as a journalist. Include your name, location and journalism niche. Include your email and phone number, and link to your journalist portfolio as a sub-heading as well. 

✅ Resume Headline

Your resume headline should be more specific to your experiences and niche. Write a short sentence or two which can show off your achievements or success as a journalist. This is especially useful for a freelance journalist resume, as your headline will likely show up in search results. This way, recruiters know exactly what your journalist experience and niche involves, and can make you stand out from the competition.

✅ Resume Summary

Briefly sum up your journalism career and sprinkle in metrics such as audience reach, guest articles written, years of experience or high-profile reporting. If you are writing an entry-level journalist resume, write about your education, internships or extensive knowledge in your chosen niche. 

✅ Resume Objective

Use this section of your journalism resume to explain what journalism roles you are looking for and how you can expand your journalism career in the desired role. Check the job application for required journalism skills and include them in your resume objective.

✅ Skills

Avoid using generic resume skills and focus on specialty journalism skills for your journalist resume. Journalism skills and knowledge in analysis, statistics, international and local law and finance would be good for a resume for a journalist focusing on politics. Include word processing platforms, SEO tools, and writing styles as typical hard-skills for your journalism resume. 

✅ Work Experience

Don’t simply recount your work experiences in journalism companies on this section of your resume. Include typical information, such as job title, start and end date and company name, but use the responsibilities section to show off key pieces of work or achievements relating to journalism. You can name drop software and analysis tools used, and include a hyperlink to your journalist portfolio if you are submitting your resume online. 

✅ Education

If you studied journalism at university, include this information in your journalist resume. If you are writing an entry-level journalism resume, include relevant classes or internships which show you are learning and practicing key concepts of journalism. If you didn’t study journalism, emphasize that you have advanced knowledge of your major and can apply it to writing journalist pieces. 

✅ Additional Information

If you have any important information which doesn't fit in the above subheadings, here are ideas of extra segments to include in your journalism resume:

  • Certification: diploma, certificate or qualification in a skill or academic area
  • Projects: Collaborative journalist work, personal website, regular columnist for media outlets
  • Award: Journalism award, previous internal company awards, outreach awards
  • Hobbies: Interests, and hobbies which you can write about 
  • References: Any previous professional connections or client testimonials to bolster your skills

Tips for Writing the Best Journalist Resume

Even though some companies and outlets have prestige or reach, the only work you have to show is published work and skills in research. Include metrics such as company scope, number of views, website traffic or quantity of work produced throughout your journalism resume. These metrics show recruiters that your work produces results, and can easily picture the impact of your work. 

🔍 Create an ATS-friendly resume

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used widely in recruiting processes, and will definitely be used by large scale media companies due to the volume of applicants they are likely to receive. Make your journalism resume ATS friendly by choosing correct document formatting and including keywords from the job application in order to score and rank highly.

🔍 Use action words

Using action words, aka verbs when describing your achievements and experiences throughout your journalism resume gives recruiters an easy way to imagine and quantify what they read. Action words like create, research, conceptualize, convey, inform and reach are the core components of journalism and should be included instead of simple recounting.

🔍 Include a link to your journalism portfolio

You can easily make a journalism portfolio online using a free website builder. Here, you can highlight your best pieces, and categorize work by niche, skillset or time period. Include a link within your journalist resume so that recruiters can easily access your work. 

🔍 Showcase integrity

Integrity in reporting is a highly valued trait in journalism. In areas like politics, finance, world news and law, avoiding bias in research, analysis and writing is highly regarded, as many journalism outlets’ purpose is to provide facts. 

Although you might encounter bias in reporting within journalism, depending on the outlet or company you work at, showing that you actively uphold ethical research in information sourcing and writing unbiased pieces in your journalism resume will be valued by recruiters.

How to Build a Journalist Portfolio 

Journalist portfolios are a way to highlight how you can put your skills into practice, and show off your knowledge of your chosen niche. Although you should provide a link in your journalist resume, a journalist portfolio will help you have an online persona, which can seem more legitimate if you are an entry-level or freelance journalist. When building your journalism portfolio, think of including these:

1. Contact details 

Without contact information, there would be no way for recruiters to reach out. Likewise, having contact details on your journalist portfolio which match your resume will help others verify 

It's you. Having a professional sounding email or a contact form on your journalist portfolio site will bolster your status as a legitimate journalist. 

2. A brief introduction

Provide a personal introduction on your journalist portfolio to show off your personality, writing style and achievements as a journalist. Use this section to complement the personal summary and career objective section on your journalist resume.

3. Relevant works

Your journalist portfolio can include as many written works as you’d like. Include high-quality, well performing, very niche or other works you’re proud of. Think of the best way to categorize published works in your journalist portfolio by topic, writing style, outlet or performance in, as recruiters and other prospective clients will not want to sift through a page of article links. 

4. Details about the works 

Although article titles usually speak for themselves, you can describe the niche topic, news outlet which published the article or any interesting facts about the piece in your journalism portfolio. Providing more context on the niche or background of the article will help recruiters to see how the knowledge can transfer to their area of journalism. 

Journalist Resume Sample

Gary Overall

Finance journalist in east Whittlingham 

[email protected]

Resume summary

Finance and economics journalist with over 7 years experience writing for traditional print and online media. I specialize in covering major global and domestic economic events, providing unbiased news as it occurs. 


  • Data analysis and market trends
  • Research and Investigation
  • Time management 
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Wordpress and Photoshop
  • Understanding of Copyright and Fair Use Laws
  • Link building and networking
  • Communication 
  • Negotiation

Work Experience

Regular Columnist
The High Street Journal

  • Weekly contributor to the UK’s most popular online finance website, independently researching and analyzing current economic trends which impact UK consumers.
  • Distilling information into easily digestible 500-750 word columns. 
  • Average monthly reach of over 250 000 unique readers.

Lead Digital Journalist
10/2017 - 11/2019

  • Oversaw operations in the educational components of MoneyWise, a financial literacy site.
  • Responsible for reviewing, assigning and editing articles pitched by the junior staff, providing guidance on communicating technical financial concepts in layman’s terms.
  • Scaled up production from 1 article per week to producing 3-4 1000-word financial articles on a weekly basis, growing site traffic by 36% in 3 months. 


Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Journalism and Media
Whitting University

2012 - 2016

  • Interned at FinancePoll and during 3rd and 4th year
  • 2nd year coursework article selected to feature in the Whitting University Student Paper

🔑 Key Takeaways

Overall, your journalist resume should highlight your skills, achievements and knowledge, and can be supplemented with a journalism portfolio. Journalist resumes differ from regular resumes as your output is your main responsibility, and successes should always be quantified when possible.

Use action words and make your resume ATS friendly to improve your ranking in the recruiting process.

Look at our journalist resume sample for ideas on how to write about your skills section, experiences and career objectives for journalists.

Cake provides the best resume making tools & templates to help you create the perfect journalist resume for your job hunt. Take your career journey to new heights - create a resume online (free download) now!

--- Originally written by Bronte McNamara ---

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