Less is more. This was a guiding statement in updating my résumé. The old version was crammed with as much work experience as I could fit in the disproportionate margins. I was trying to impress employers.
The new version keeps it simple. I started with a blank document, not a template, so that I could build it exactly how I wanted. I narrowed my work history and skills down to those that are most relevant for journalism positions. It may sound backward, but this gave me the freedom to show more depth in my work. A guide on résumé building from the University of Maryland stated that it is best to “be specific and honest,” which I show in the experience section. While I may not have an extensive background in a newsroom, I sought to show what I do well, instead of trying to show everything that I have done.
Keywords were crucial for this. Before I began crafting the summaries for previous positions, I created a list of keywords that I thought described the work I want to do. Such keywords are ones recruiters look for. Then, I compared my list of keywords to my previous work experience to see how I am already using many of the skills needed for journalism. In my final draft, I was sure to include words such as research, edit, monitor and analyze, as well as write, because they target what I want to do as a human rights journalist.
Before posting my résumé online, I had several friends scan it with a critical eye. This was a suggestion from the American Journalism Review and it helped me better define unclear parts. I am happy with how I was able to better present who I am as a journalist by getting more in-depth with my work experience.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my résumé. You can reach me through email or connect with me on LinkedIn.
A chance to see the world from the perspective of a 6-foot-2, aspiring human rights journalist. Will include lessons learned and reflections.