CVs & cover letters

Adapt your CV to the organisation or institution you are writing to and make it relevant to the job or course you are applying for.
Sell yourself - think about the skills the recruiter is asking for and make sure you provide evidence of them through your course, work experience or leisure pursuits.
Consider using bullet points, but be aware that some Applicant Tracking Systems can't cope with them (see below)
Use short sentences and active words (a list is available below)
Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation. Poor spelling can be the quickest way to get your CV into the rejection pile.
Keep your CV to two sides and make it look well-presented and inviting to read.
Hold your CV at arms length. Is it clear and well laid out and does it have a structure that is easy for the recruiter to follow?
Keep a copy for future reference.


Leave dates unaccounted for- if you do, it leaves the employer guessing.
Invent information, you could be asked to discuss it in the interview.
Waffle - long paragraphs and sentences will take too long to read.
Make it too short by giving the bare essentials of dates and job titles. Don’t just make a list of skills that you have gained. You need to provide evidence of them using examples from your experience.
Use fancy typesetting or exotic paper, it will distract from what you are trying to say.

There are 2 general sample CVs for you to follow for ideas, they are easily adapted for radio, television, newspapers or online/pr etc and a sample magazine CV.
You should take care to stamp your own individuality on your CV (do NOT copy it word for word) please use as a guide only.

- Your CV should stretch over no more than two pages, with the best stuff on page one at the top
- You should start with your relevant experience
- If you have no newsroom experience yet, use coursework experience, particularly patch work
- Stress your multimedia abilities
- Consider presentation - make it look bright and lively
- If you are targeting broadcast, print experience is valuable and relevant and vice versa
- Use concrete examples and write short paragraphs or bullet points
- In the 'Skills' section, put the technical skills appropriate to journalism at the top
- If you have passed NCTJ exams or have shorthand, say so
- Say your course is accredited by the relevant body
- BA Journalism Studies is accredited by the NCTJ and PPA
- PgDip/MA Print Journalism is accredited by the NCTJ
- PgDip/MA Broadcast Journalism is accredited by the BJTC
- PgDip/MA Magazine Journalism is accredited by the PPA