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March 5, 2024, by aayjr12

Writing a cover letter for a career in Journalism

By Josephine Ruffles – © via Unsplash by Austin Distel

Navigating the competitive landscape of journalism can be challenging. Whilst pursuing a master’s degree before entering the industry is a choice made by some, it is not an obligatory path. Before submitting your application, however, it is advantageous to understand the expectations and preferences regarding cover letters. This article will outline how best to write your cover letter for an application in journalism.

Where to start?

Your introduction is the first way in which to really sell yourself and why you would be a great candidate for the role. The opening line is like a golden ticket that grabs the employer’s attention, and you need to make sure its shiny and innovative. How do you do this? You need to talk on your personal passion for the role. Make it unique, and highlight why nonfiction writing is best suited to you. You can do this through speaking on your degree and specific modules, or even better, any experience you have had in writing that you’ve partaken in outside of university.

What is the most important thing to include?

It is crucial to highlight your relevant skills, linking it all back to the job description. Provide specific examples of how you’ve tackled complex topics in your writing, and what skills were required. I’m sure every candidate applying for the role will say they have exceptional written communication skills, but how about you focus more on the research and analytical skills you have that will help you excel in journalism. Discuss your ability to gather, analyse and write about information from a variety of sources, and how you’re able to find a nuanced approach to each topic.

How do I stand out?

Journalism involves different types of media today. This means the job might require you to have experience or knowledge of social aspects to the role and editing or production of mixed media. If you have any experience in this, this can be crucial. It doesn’t even need to be professional; it can be that you have amassed a following on a social media site due to your editing skills. This can still be included to show how you understand what the audience are enticed to watch or read!

Dos and Don’ts

  • DO – Align with the organisations values and beliefs: if you’re applying for a role in an investigatory paper or blog, make sure you highlight your beliefs and how they align.
  • DON’T- just write one cover letter for all the journalism roles you’re applying for. They can significantly differ in the types of writing they want.
  • DO – express your enthusiasm for the field and what desires you have for when you’re in the potential role
  • DON’T – repeat your CV. Yes to some extent you need to put in what experience and skills you have but a cover letter also requires you to show your personality and why you would fit the role, its much more personalised, so make sure yours is!

For more further support with writing a cover letters, visit the Careers and Employability Service website. Have you already prepared your covering letter? Get it checked by a member of the Careers team by booking an appointment today. 

Posted in CVs and Cover Letters