Journalist Resume Sample & Writing Guide

The journalism industry is cutthroat, competitive, and fast-paced. Landing a job as a Journalist starts with creating a kick-ass resume. In our Journalist Resume sample and write up below, we are unpacking all the tricks and tips of resume writing for you to present a top-notch resume for each application you submit.

In a nutshell, Journalists gather, assess, create, and present news and information to the public. It sounds simple enough, but your resume should definitely not be a generic document. The competition is extremely tough, and to make an impression on hiring managers, your resume needs to reflect your hunt for scoops, interesting assignments you have completed, and prestigious awards and accolades contained.

Why not put your excellent writing skills to the test and use our examples and templates to create an original, and inspiring resume document that stands out from the competition and immediately sparks the attention of recruiters and editorial managers.


Journalist Resume Sample

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(Free sample downloads are at the bottom of this page)


Journalist Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information:
Name, Address, Phone Number, Email. Be sure to include alternative contact channels, as well as your LinkedIn profile or Twitter URL details.

2. Career Summary:
The quality of a career summary may significantly increase the probability of landing interviews. Keep in mind that this is not an objective statement: the focus should be on the value you can add in the job and not what the company can do for you. Captivate the reader and write a paragraph of no more than 3-6 lines presenting your industry tenure, qualifications, technical competencies, and most prestigious qualifications. It is a smart idea to mention an award or being published in a highly acclaimed newspaper/magazine if applicable.

3. Qualifications Summary:
Breaking into this industry requires a Bachelor’s degree, nine out of ten times. Mainstream publications and news agencies even prefer other academic credentials such as a Masters or Ph.D. Apart from a Journalism Degree, employers would also consider other degree disciplines such as Political Sciences, International Business, or Communication. Qualification details should be accurate, up to date, and listed by completion date, degree title, institution name, and location.

4. Relevant Journalism Experience:
Think of your work history as a news story or article outlining your career path progression in the field. Use a reverse-chronological format to list previous employment experience by starting with your current role and working backward for the last ten years. You may need to customize or tweak your employment history for each individual position you apply to and use the same terminology written in the job advertisement to boost your credibility and align your experience section with the role at hand. Bulleted job duties keep the resume format neat and legible.

5. Other Employment Experience:
This is an essential section if you are still at a junior level or a complete rooking to the industry. Include informal writing experience and projects that you have under the belt, for example, being the editor of the school newspaper or running an investigative piece every week for the University’s alumni blog.

6. Skills Summary/Key Skills:
Read through the advertisement description a couple of times and pick the most essential skills and keywords (those are usually repeated more than once). Use these keywords as is in your resume skills section to enforce the message that your technical and interpersonal skills make you an excellent fit for the job. This approach will also assist in beating the screening bots and applicant tracking systems, eventually landing your resume in front of a pair of human eyes.

7. Certifications/Relevant Coursework/Training:
Journalists are expected to improve their technical capabilities by participating in continuous professional development activities, writing courses, and attending seminars and conferences. Start with your formal degrees and accreditations. List them as part of your education section for an extra edge to highlight academic and theoretical knowledge.


What to Highlight in a Journalist Resume

Journalists conduct research, gather information and present content in either written or spoken form which may include blog articles, documentaries, feature write-ups and corporate case studies for companies.

To determine whether you are a suitable contender for the job, there are a few things that recruiters and hiring managers would expect to see on your resume.

First up, you need to let them know which type of Journalist category you fall into. Keep in mind that your career may be relevant to more than one group.

  • Reporters: These are Journalists that work in news organizations and write articles for print publications such as newspapers or magazines. They also create content to present in spoken format for news broadcasters and other television programs. Reporters are subcategorized into general or specialized, and generic reporters would write stories on a wide variety of subjects where specialist reporters concentrate on one are, for instance, sports or finance.


  • Sub Editors: These are experienced Journalists who curate stories from the reporters and purpose the content to suit the specific need of the magazine, bulletin, newspaper, or web page. The main difference between them and reporters is that sub-editors do not gather information or do the research themselves. They do, however, embark on a fact-checking exercise to ensure the validity of the content.


  • Photo Journalists: A picture paints a thousand words. The job of a Photo Journalist is concentrated on telling a story through visual images and photographs with limited captions and headlines used to present the content to their audiences.


  • Editors: The top job at an agency or station is filled by an Editor who is a tenured Journalist responsible for deciding which content makes it to print. They need to have exemplary writing skills to evaluate the articles from their staff and also be fantastic leaders to manage large teams of reporters, assistants and deputy editors.


  • News Editors: These are the individuals in charge of all news content either at a radio station, tv broadcasting company, or large-scale newspaper house.  News Editors are also responsible for assigning work and stories to cover among their staff.


  • Feature Writers: As a Feature Writer, you are responsible for writing more widespread reports and stories for radio or television stations such as current affairs programs or special coverage inserts in the case of a major sporting event or an election.


  • Specialist Writers: Personal blogs, commentary columns, events coverage, and review articles are the primary tasks for a Specialist Writer. They are chosen for the expert knowledge regarding specific topics and must have exemplary writing abilities.


The second aspect to highlight is your work setting. Local and national newspaper groups, broadcast news organizations, news agencies, and magazines employ Journalists. If you work in television or radio, recruiters would like to know more about the interviews you have conducted during your career (with whom, where, when) and if you have exposure to live or pre-recorded interviewing techniques. You could also delve into detail about your editing capabilities and how you would customize the stories for different media platforms, for example, Youtube or cable TV. Journalists can also progress into Anchor jobs so add extra information about your hosting experience if you have worked in this area.

With digital media and multimedia developments, radio and television stations are represented on a variety of social media platforms, as well. Journalists are expected to create storylines of the same topic or event and present the same content, but in different formats suited for the agency’s web page, Twitter profile, Facebook and YouTube channels in addition to the original length article being published in the newspaper or reporter on by the news station.

Next on the agenda is your area of specialty. Are you a sports junkie with a unique talent to present the forefront and behind the scenes happenings of the state’s baseball league season? Or, perhaps your talents are for investigative journalism or political analysis. This is the section where you need to emphasize your theoretical knowledge and industry expertise to show that you are the best in your field.


The next issue of interest would be what a typical day in your life looks like in terms of mobility. Are you sitting in front of a desk mining information on Google and social media to create content, or do you travel to small towns or war zones for that matter to gain an in-person account regarding unfolding stories and events? You could also be living in another country as an international correspondent for your organization. If this is the case, be sure to mention the countries you have spent time in before and also what your familiarity is with the local culture and language.

Journalists often work long and unpredictable hours, and you need to mention whether you are comfortable to chase a story at 3 am in the morning for that matter/ Often, Journalists find themselves in uncomfortable situations having to circumvent aggressive individuals or downright risky situations, think of a war correspondent. Therefore, you need to be specific about the level of danger you are comfortable in absorbing as part of your role.

Another critical point is the nature of your contract with your current employer. Are you employed by assignment, have a full-time role, or perhaps you work for several clients as a freelancer? This is important for recruiters to know as there are often certain legalities and non-compete clauses to adhere to should you leave your current employer.


A final area to touch on would be a snapshot presentation on your crucial job responsibilities:

  • Reporting: Explain the methodologies and strategies you use to gather information and do research for the articles assigned to you. You may go into detail regarding the interview undertaking, the type of questions you ask, and who your interviewees are, such as police officers or witnesses. Journalists also make use of public records and databases to find information, therefor mention whether you use the public library or applications like BuzzSumo, for example. Fact-checking is imperative in the age of fake news, and you need to highlight your modus operandi in verifying the information and working with content from primary sources.


  • Networking and Liaising: It is probably your name credited to the article byline, but numerous stakeholders are participating in your storytelling process. Mention the relationship that you have with your current editor and how brainstorming takes place in terms of the theme and angle of the potential stories about to be written. Furthermore, communication and sound people skills are imperative to a Journalist’s job as you need to coax and persuade people to talk to you and feel comfortable enough in your presence to impart with information.


  • Legal & Ethical Responsibilities: Your job is to serve the public interest, and recruiters would expect a Journalist to conduct themselves following legal aspects such as confidentiality and privacy regulations. No one wants to employ a Journalist who disregards the legalities of reporting. From an ethical perspective effect on their reputation and also the credibility of the company they are working for. Notwithstanding the exuberant costs of lawsuits and depositions. affirm the fact that you are an objective writer, not prone to a bias of any kind.  Enforce the message that you can present news and stories in a well-balanced, accurate manner concentrating on facts not fictional opinions.


* Resume Hack: Showcase your work by adding hyperlinks to your published articles, videos, photographs or interview recordings. You can also create a portfolio on Dribble or Behance and then just include that URL for recruiters to review.  


Journalist Career Summary Examples

A well-designed career summary will catch the attention of hiring managers quickly and prompt them to read your entire resume to see what else you have to offer. Crafting a stellar career summary is easier said than done, primarily because you have merely a single paragraph to work with. Leave the career summary for after you have written your entire resume because by then, you would have subconsciously identified your most prominent skills and technical competencies. Add to this your years of experience, highest qualification, and a wow factor such as an award or accolade, and your summary is sorted. Now read through the paragraph a few times to ensure the sentences flow naturally and that you have used appropriate verbiage.


* Career Summary Hack: Use the words and sentences from the job description and weave them into your summary paragraph.


Three Examples of Journalist Career Summaries:

Career Summary 1

A self-motivated and deadline orientated Journalist with a passion for telling unique stories for the public interest and a canny ability to extract the story behind the story during interviews with witnesses and stakeholders. Always strive to write unique but factual recollections of incidents and events. Over a decade of experience in delivering top-notch content to radio stations and supplementary social media platforms. Currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Journalism.

Career Summary 2

 A talented journalism Intern with six months of shadowing experience gained at a mainstream newspaper directly reporting to the Editor in Chief. Won the University Editor of the Year award in the state of California and regularly contributes to financial blogs end economically orientated commentaries for one of the independent online news agencies in the city. Recently completed a Bachelors Degree on Political Sciences Summa Cum Laude and is fluent in 4 European languages

Career Summary 3

Well, tenured Media Journalist with eight years of experience as a war correspondent in the Middle East. Exemplary critical thinking abilities coupled with a strategic approach to write informative articles and report on humanitarian issues. Published 40 pieces in the last 60 months, in addition to daily commentary blogs regarding the conflict situations experienced by medical personnel stationed in conflict areas. Member of Society of Professional Journalists since 2015.


Journalist Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and Duty Examples

A Journalist’s job duties may vary depending on the industry and also the type of media organization they find themselves in. Below we have unpacked a few typical Journalist job descriptions for you to use as a guideline:


A Multimedia Journalist may:

  • Prepare investigative stories and content for online publication on various social media platforms
  • Conduct research on public information platforms and secure face to face interviews with information sources
  • Write content for web publication and update information as the stories unfold
  • Collaborate with graphic designers regarding layout and images to be used in feature stories
  • Use creative production techniques for live reporting on YouTube
  • Liaise with fact-checkers and co-writers to ensure the validity of content before publication


A Photo Journalist may:

  • Design feature photo stories for print and social media publications
  • Create tags, headlines, blurbs, and bylines to supplement the images
  • Edit and enhance photo images using Photoshop Libel and Adobe Illustrator software
  • Responsible for photo reportage on a variety of topics including humanitarian, special events and sports matches
  • Create media kits for promotional and awareness campaigns


A General Journalist may:

  • Conduct interviews with persons of interest for a variety of topics including political, local arts, special events, medical innovation, and governmental issues
  • Outline interview themes and questions to be approved by the editor
  • Attend court proceedings and do live reporting from the courthouse
  • Conduct internet research and visit public information centers to gather information for prospective articles
  • Write content for newspaper stories as well as supplementary online publications as well as radio and television reports


A Corporate Journalist may:

  • Write feature articles and case studies regarding the company's product offering
  • Create inhouse briefs and internal corporate communication pieces
  • Responsible for all public relations official responses and interviews with the media
  • Shoot and edit professional photo’s for company perspectives and profiles sent to clients
  • Responsible for the monthly Q&A blog
  • Travel to the various company production plants once per month to conduct interviews with research and development engineers regarding the newest products
  • Actively manage the YouTube channel responding to questions from clients and also present a live stream every week reviewing the company’s products

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Highlight Your Accomplishments

Including an accomplishment section in your Journalist Resume is imperative if you want to highlight the value you can bring to a prospective employer. Action-packed statements presenting your career achievements provide proof to the hiring manager that you have the qualities skills and experience to add value to the team.

Make a draft list of all the stories, articles or projects completed that made you feel proud about the work you have done. Also, include commendations from editors and awards you have won during your career. Now choose five at most to include in your accomplishment section.

Then add numerical values to these statements (where, what, when, how often, how long, how many), thereby quantifying each statement accordingly. Quantification is your indicator of whether the accomplishment you have chosen is, in fact, an achievement (if you cannot add a number to it, remove it!)


Let's have a look at a few accomplishment statement examples relevant to journalism:

  • Produced 125 radio reports for morning and evening program slots totaling 200 hours of interviewing time
  • Hosted over 500 hours of live stream shows on Youtube during the last six months increasing viewer attendance from 150 to an average of a 1000 viewers per slot
  • Recorded and produced a three-part mini-series about trail running which was bought by Nike and used in their advertising campaign for Women's Trail Running Apparel
  • Youngest weather Anchor at age 25 for a local independent news station
  • Traveled to Africa and the Middle East (10 countries in total) during the last three months as a photoJournalist for an independent Food Show
  • When working as a freelance Journalist, a hundred percent of article projects have appeared in mainstream news publications without requests for edits or amendments


Journalist Education Section Example

A Journalist’s academic tenure is vital information to the recruiter or hiring manager. Ensure to include your degrees and diplomas as well as industry qualifications, courses completed and other relevant continuous professional development activities.


Education may be listed as follows:

Start with commencement date and completion date for diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees. For courses, you can just list the date of completion. Next comes the full name of the qualification, then the full name of the institution, and then the city or abbreviated state name. List your high school diploma details similarly, but only include this when you have less than five years of working experience.

2016 – 2018 Master of Arts in Journalism, Columbia Journalism School, NY
Accolades: Completed Summa Cum Laude

2016 – Course in Tools Training for Journalists, Google News Lab, Online

2015 – Advanced Level Training Program, Society of Professional Journalists,

2014 – Member of Society of Professional Journalists, Brooklyn, New York

2011 – 2013 Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, New York Film Arts Academy, Manhattan, NY
GPA of 3.8
Major Subjects: Investigative Journalism, Broadcast Journalism
Minor Subjects: Social Media, Reporting, Communication Law


What to Write in a Journalist Resume Skills Section

Excellent writing skills and chasing stories are not the only skills required to be a great Journalist. Prospective employers expect a combination of personality traits, soft skills, and core competencies to decide whether your candidacy is worthwhile for an interview discussion.

Use a Skills Matrix approach to present all your most prominent interpersonal skills, personality features, and hard skills.

Technical Skills

Investigative JournalismSource ProtectionsEditing
Broadcast JournalismSuppression RequestsContent Marketing
Social Media ReportingGag OrdersSearch Engine Optimization
Communication LawCMSSelf-Editing
Field ReportingWeb Traffic GenerationFact-checking
Broadcast ReportingResearchFollowing Leads
CStoryMapGIF BreweryTabula
DataWranglerPeriscopeGoogle Dataset
CrowdWhite SmokeFilMiC Pro
Relationship BuildingAdobe PhotoshopTinEye
PhotographyVideography SkillsExcellent Written English
Presenting News Investigative ReportingTriaging News Events

Interpersonal Skills

Time ManagementIntegrityEmpathy
Enquiring MindFlexibilityOpen-Minded

Qualifications/Certifications associated with Journalists

Associates Degree (Various Journalism, Communication, Political Science)Certificate in Digital Content ManagementCertificate in Video Production
Certificate in Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for CommunicationDigital Business Leadership Program (DBLP)
Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Digital CurationDiploma in JournalismMaster’s Degree (For example Public affairs and Journalism,
Investigative Journalism,
Broadcast Journalism)

Professional Information for Journalists

Sectors:  Media, Broadcasting, Public Relations, Government
Career TypeNews, Research, Administration, Information Coordination, Data Analysis, Report Writing, Video Presentations, Data Collection, Content Writing
Person type:  Writer, Reporter, Investigator, Observer, Communicator, Editor, Composer, Creator, Field  Worker, Interviewer
Education levelsAssociate’s Degree, Bachelors’ Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctorate Degree
Salary indication

Journalist Ibetween $29,831 and $46,8780-2 years exp
Journalist IIbetween $34,159 and $56,1812-4 years exp
Journalist IIIbetween $43,717 and $68,8604-7 years exp
Journalist IVbetween $43,801 and $68,9017 plus years exp

Labor market: Estimated 12% decline between 2018 – 2028
Organizations: Local News Papers. National News Broadcasters, News Agencies, Corporate Companies, Online Media Enterprises, Television Stations, Radio Stations, Magazines


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