CV tips when looking for a job in the media

CV tips when looking for a job in the media

Applying for a position for any role can be daunting; but as a new graduate or young person it can feel especially strenuous and unfamiliar. The media industry is highly competitive, so it is of paramount importance that your cover letter and CV showcase your brilliant skills, writing abilities, and why you are suitable for the position. 

1. Cover letter

This is a great way to showcase your skill set and to list the reasons why you are not only suitable for the position, but a perfect candidate. A cover letter provides an opportunity to express yourself and to address the employer personally – without the limitations and formalities of achievements and information that is present on your CV.  

To find out how to ace your covering letter read our piece – How to write a great covering letter

2. Be concise

 It is essential that your CV is clear and concise, like a great story, it needs to be short and snappy. This will enable it to be accessible, but also engaging for the employer to read.
 

Language:

Try and keep your word choice simple yet effective, avoid using unnecessarily long words. Be yourself but be the best version of yourself. Show off your ability to write concisely, and your capacity to express only the essential information – such as detailing job descriptions in a couple of sentences. 

Tip: Bullet points are your friends.

Design:

The layout of your CV should be consistent and professional; this can be achieved by assuring your paragraphs are aligned and organised accordingly. Try to avoid overcrowding your page with extensive paragraphs or too many sections. Or by leaving it too bare, which might indicate little experience and minimal effort put into the application. 

Tip: Muted colours, bullet points and use of a column on the side of your page. Two-page max.

Typography:

It is important that the typography is respectable and clear, fonts such as a serif font or a sans serif font are easy to read, but also modern. This will showcase your experience, education, and skill set effectively. These include fonts such as Arial, Georgia and Garamond, which are easy to read. 

Tip: Don’t go overboard with fonts.

3. Proofreading your CV

This may seem like an obvious tip, but even the most talented aspiring journalists and writers can make mistakes! Whether it is a misplaced comma or semicolon, it can be difficult to notice when you have read your CV multiple times. It can be proofread by a family member, a friend or if possible, an industry or CV professional. Such a mistake can jeopardise your chances of being chosen for a position. It is crucial within this line of work that the grammar on your CV is impeccable. 

TipGet someone (not you) to check spelling and grammar

4. Think about transferable skills

Transferable skills are extremely important within the media industry – and not only highlight your potential to be an asset to a company but can be carried throughout your professional career. Hard skills such as qualifications, industry specific certifications, or knowledge will always be admired greatly by employers but are not easy to obtain in the early stages of your career. Therefore, soft skills that have been obtained through work experience, part-time positions, or volunteering, can be used and adapted to the job description. Examples of these can include but are not limited to – verbal and written communication, critical thinking, time management and team skills. Whether you have worked for your student newspaper, or have worked in your local coffee shop or library  – these skills still can be used on your CV and show great work ethic and versatility. 

Tip: Good at finding the most relevant and exciting interviewees for stories? That could become an event production skill.

Hopefully these tips are useful and will enable you to write a strong and concise covering letter and CV that will ultimately impress employers.  

Good luck!

You might be interested in:

How to improve your skills as a writer

Prestige v opportunity – which matters more when job hunting?

Tips on how to job hunt effectively as a journalist

How to manage your own career development

Some other useful articles and blogs for writing a CV:

CV clichés and buzzwords: What they are and how to avoid them

Daniell Morrisey: How to prepare a killer CV

Here’s Everything I’ve Learnt From All The CV’s I’ve Looked At