As a freelance journalist, competition to secure new assignments is tough, which is why you need to immediately engage the reader with a persuasive CV.
But we are aware that writing an impressive application is very different from writing an award-worthy piece of journalism about climate change or political turmoil.
Which is exactly why we’re here to help. Check out our step-by-step guide and freelance journalist CV example to help you secure more work.
Freelance Journalist CV example
This CV example showcases the optimal structure and format for your Freelance Journalist CV, providing a pleasant reading experience for busy recruiters.
It also demonstrates the skills, experience and qualifications you should emphasize in your own CV to increase your chances of landing job interviews.
Freelance Journalist CV format and structure
In a highly competitive job market, recruiters and employers are often inundated with applications. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in your CV quickly, they may skip past your application and move on to the next one in their inbox
Tips for formatting your Freelance Journalist CV
- Length: Even if you’ve got tons of experience to brag about, recruiters don’t have time to read through overly lengthy CVs. Keep it short, concise and relevant – a CV length of 2 sides of A4 pages or less is perfect for the attention spans in today’s job market.
- Readability: To help recruiters quickly skim through your CV, it’s important to format your section headings with bold or a different colour font and break up lengthy paragraphs into short sharp bullet points. This enables them to easily identify important information and assess your suitability.
- Design & format: When it comes to CV design, it’s best to keep things simple and sleek. While elaborate designs certainly command attention, it’s not always for the right reasons! Readability is key, so whatever you choose to do, make sure you prioritise readability above everything.
- Photos: Don’t add profile photos to your CV unless you work in an industry or region which prefers to see them. Most employers in the UK will not need to see one.
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our quick-and-easy CV Builder and use one of their eye-catching professional CV templates.
As you write your CV, work to the simple but effective structure below:
- Name and contact details – Pop them at the top of your CV, so it’s easy for recruiters to contact you.
- CV profile – Write a snappy overview of what makes you a good fit for the role; discussing your key experience, skills and accomplishments.
- Core skills section – Add a short but snappy list of your relevant skills and knowledge.
- Work experience – A list of your relevant work experience, starting with your current role.
- Education – A summary of your relevant qualifications and professional/vocational training.
- Hobbies and interests – An optional sections, which you could use to write a short description of any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Tuck your contact details into the corner of your CV, so that they don’t take up too much space.
Stick to the basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It should sound professional, such as your full name.
- Location -Just write your rough location, rather than your full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – If you include these, ensure they’re sleek, professional and up-to-date.
Freelance Journalist CV Profile
This is a brief introductory paragraph that summarises your skills, experience, and knowledge.
It should position you as the ideal candidate for the job and encourage recruiters to read on.
How to write a good CV profile:
- Make it short and sharp: Aim for a short, snappy paragraph of 3-5 lines. This is just enough room to showcase why you’d make the perfect hire, without going into excessive detail and overwhelming busy recruiters.
- Tailor it: Before writing your CV, make sure to do some research. Figure out exactly what your desired employers are looking for and make sure that you are making those requirements prominent in your CV profile, and throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: Want to talk about your career goals and objectives? While the profile may seem like a good space to do so, they’re actually much better suited to your cover letter.
- Avoid generic phrases: If your CV is riddled with clichès like “Dynamic thought-leader”, hit that delete button. Phrases like these are like a broken record to recruiters, who read them countless times per day. Hard facts, skills, knowledge and results are sure to yield far better results.
Example CV profile for Freelance Journalist
What to include in your Freelance Journalist CV profile?
- Experience overview: To give employers an idea of your capabilities, show them your track record by giving an overview of the types of companies you have worked for in the past and the roles you have carried out for previous employers – but keep it high level and save the details for your experience section.
- Targeted skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Freelance Journalist skills to your profile.
- Important qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Freelance Journalist qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our quick-and-easy CV Builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As Freelance Journalist jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Important skills for your Freelance Journalist CV
Writing Proficiency – Writing clear, concise, and engaging news articles, features, or reports for different media platforms.
Research – Conducting thorough research to gather information, verify facts, and identify credible sources for news stories.
Interviewing – Conducting interviews with subjects, experts, or sources to gather insights, quotes, and firsthand information for news articles.
Journalistic Ethics – Adhering to ethical principles, including accuracy, fairness, impartiality, and protecting sources’ confidentiality.
Digital Tools – Using digital tools and software for writing, editing, and content management, including familiarity with Content Management Systems (CMS).
Multimedia Storytelling – Creating multimedia content, such as videos, podcasts, or interactive graphics, to enhance storytelling.
Data Journalism – Analysing data sets, using data visualisation tools, and integrating data-driven insights into news stories.
SEO and Online Optimisation – Optimising online content for search engines (SEO) to increase visibility and reach a broader audience.
Social Media Management – Using social media platforms for news distribution, engagement, and audience interaction.
Deadlines and Time Management – Meeting tight deadlines, managing multiple assignments, and prioritising tasks to ensure timely publication.
Quick tip: Our quick-and-easy CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Now it’s time to get stuck into your work experience, which should make up the bulk of your CV.
Begin with your current (or most recent) job, and work your way backwards.
If you’ve got too much experience to fit onto two pages, prioritise space for your most recent and relevant roles.
Structuring each job
Your work experience section will be long, so it’s important to structure it in a way which helps recruiters to quickly and easily find the information they need.
Use the 3-step structure, shown in the below example, below to achieve this.
Begin with a summary of your role, detailing what the purpose of your job was, who you reported to and what size of team you were part of (or led).
Use bullet points to detail the key responsibilities of your role, highlighting hard skills, software and knowledge wherever you can.
Keep them short and sharp to make them easily digestible by readers.
Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.
This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.
Sample job description for Freelance Journalist CV
Write features, columns, and interviews for esteemed international news organisations on a freelance basis, including The Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and The New York Times.
- Conduct research on evolving political landscapes, dissecting policies, and providing insightful analysis
- Deliver high-impact articles for prominent UK and international publications, exploring diverse political topics
- Secure exclusive interviews with key political figures, policy-makers, and subject matter experts
- Employ multimedia storytelling techniques, collaborating with photographers and videographers
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our quick-and-easy CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Although there should be mentions of your highest and most relevant qualifications earlier on in your CV, save your exhaustive list of qualifications for the bottom.
If you’re an experienced candidate, simply include the qualifications that are highly relevant to Freelance Journalist roles.
However, less experienced candidates can provide a more thorough list of qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs.
You can also dedicate more space to your degree, discussing relevant exams, assignments and modules in more detail, if your target employers consider them to be important.
Hobbies and interests
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
Once you’ve written your Freelance Journalist CV, you should proofread it several times to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.
With a tailored punchy profile that showcases your relevant experience and skills, paired with well-structured role descriptions, you’ll be able to impress employers and land interviews.
Good luck with your next job application!