Whether you are applying for your first journalism internship or searching for a full-time job in the field of journalism, you should understand that your cover letter is an essential part of your application. This letter is used by employers to help weed through the countless applications they receive. A well-written one will help your application stand out from the crowd.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Resume paper
- Writing sample
Summarize your experience in the field of journalism up until this point. You can write about your role on a student publication or other internships you may have participated in.
Compose a brief paragraph explaining your training. If you have participated in specialized course work for political, fashion or other forms of journalism, this is the place to highlight your endeavors.
Be sure to comment on what you have gained from these experiences and how you feel your experience can benefit the publication you are applying to. For example, if you have had experience in the political trenches of a local council race, you may be able to translate these skills to the national level as a member of a political candidate's journalism entourage.
Cite specific award-winning articles or essays of note that you have written. Your cover letter is the appropriate place to draw attention to these career milestones.
Be sure to include information regarding the degrees you hold. This is particularly important if you are applying for a teaching position within the field of journalism. The basic criteria for most academic positions is a Ph.D., so prospective employers will be looking to quickly sort out those who do not meet this requirement.
Include websites or publications where you material can be read in your closing paragraph. Though you may not be able to enclose your whole portfolio of writing samples in your application, you can direct your reader towards a handful of items you have written that are readily and publicly available.
Write a Journalism Job Cover Letter
Tips and warnings
- Address the recipient of the letter correctly. Depending on the organization, you may need to write to the head editor, the human resources department or, in the case of student internships, the director of internship programs at the paper or magazine.
- Don't send more than you are asked to send when applying for a job in journalism. Send only those materials your prospective employer has requested, including a cover letter, resumé and, in many cases, a writing sample. Save your full portfolio for the interview portion of your job search.