4 Top Tips For Job Hunting In Journalism

You’ve finished your degree in journalism and are looking for your first job. It’s an exciting time, full of change. You may be scared about the prospect of job hunting or you may just be looking forward to landing your first role.

On average, it takes just over six weeks for graduates to find their first job. For the hacks out there, here’s a guide to try and quicken that process.


Put yourself out there

It takes 27 applications to secure an interview and journalism is a competitive industry.

Don’t just send off a few applications each week. Apply to many different places. Sign up to lots of different job sites. Set up email alerts for jobs you’re interested in. Upload your CV to the relevant channels and make it visible to prospective employers.

Try applying for different types of jobs. Half of UK graduates don’t work in the same field they studied. Think about content writing or copywriting, PR, publishing or digital marketing. It may also be worth applying for jobs in other, similar industries.

Create a professional online presence, including Twitter and LinkedIn, which you can also use to connect with employers and apply for jobs. Ensure your content, bios and photos are professional – as in something you wouldn’t mind employers looking through 0 and add your skills and work experience history to your LinkedIn profile.


Show off your skills

This is what employers want and what you may not yet have. Still display what experience you do have and what skills you possess. For example, you may have used a CMS system like WordPress; detail clearly on your CV the capacity in which you did so. Is teamwork listed on your CV? Be ready to provide examples, like a story you collaborated with others to write.

Create a good CV with your contact details and your personal website at the top. List your skills, employment history and education. It should all fit on one page, if possible.

As a journalist, show examples of your skills, by having a portfolio of articles you’ve published and pages you’ve presented on InDesign or multimedia projects you’ve created. A handy tip is to bring a portfolio of your CV and published work to all your interviews, ready to show employers.

Similar to having an online presence, it’s a good idea to create your own portfolio site. Use Pressfolios or an equivalent to showcase your published articles. Link to it in all applications. For maximum professionalism, buy your own domain name and create your own website.


Gain experience

Apply for internships or apprenticeships. Email or- preferably – call up different publications asking for a week or two of work experience.

As a journalist, you should always be on the lookout for a story. Freelancing is a great source of experience and can earn you money at the same time. If you think of an idea for a story, consider the target audience, find a publication that reaches them, do your research and send in your pitch.

There are many websites – e.g. BlastingNews, SoccerClickon, and TheReportFocusNews – that provide freelancers with a platform to operate from.



Simply put, research the roles and tailor them to your skillset. With job applications, read through the job advert, taking note of any skills they require of the candidate. Can you perform that role and do you have those skills? If so, in the covering letter, show that you do.

For example, in a job advert for the role of sub-editor, one of the skills listed may be a strong attention to detail. Did some sub-editing on a student newspaper?  Say so in the covering letter, providing proof. Include a brief description of why you want the job.

Finally, don’t give up. There’s a reason newspapers never run out of journalists to choose from; everyone wants this job. Brush up your skills, take on board any feedback and you could get along quite nicely!


Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for marketing internship roles and giving out graduate careers advice. To browse graduate jobs and graduate jobs Manchester, visit their website.