7 steps to resume writing for news jobs

April 15, 2019 01:29

1.  Make your resume a brochure about how you will help the company you’re applying with.

2.  There is no “rule” about length. Have clear headers, but don’t be afraid to list lots of skills, accomplishments and experiences. The first page is still the most important, but don’t leave off something that a hiring manager may want to read. In the headings for each job, share what you accomplished, ideally in an empirical manner: “Produced a seven-part series on the wildfire season that included companion website content that was the third most-read on the site that week. Minute-by-minute ratings show the stories held audience through the first 5 minutes of the segment.”
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3.  Use resume keywords that align with those in the job description. This works organically of course but more importantly, most companies use AI to review resume submissions and match them to job listings. The more keyword matches, the more likely the computer surfaces your resume. This is especially important for on-air jobs where dozens of applicants will send in online resumes.

4. Proofread, proofread; proofread. I once had a typo on a resume I sent to 35 newsrooms. Have two other people (who know grammar) proofread it for both style and typos. Did you catch the typo in this bullet point? Proofread!

5. Talk to your references before listing them. And do list them. Don’t say “references upon request.” That just seems elitist or wrongheaded.

6.  Do include some items about your personality and interests. Companies don’t just hire someone to do the job. They hire a teammate and a future friend for co-workers. Share enough to show your personality and your other interests. This can be especially useful if you’re a journalist who also teaches videography at a college, for example. That would show you have multiple skills and are respected for them. It can also be useful if you share things like “Hobbies include photography, astronomy, and backpacking.” It shows you probably know the outdoors, can cover space, and know how to use a camera. Be selective, but do share some items that make you seem more like a real person. Share your beats and favorite coverages areas too, so hiring managers have a sense of how you can complete their team’s skillsets.

7. Don’t go overboard on colors or layouts. Computers often parse your resume into a text-based list anyway.

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