1. What skills sets are they looking for?
2. What differentiates a good video game writer from a writer in another entertainment medium?
3. Specifically, I'm wondering how to play up a professional journalism career.4.Any project directors or hiring managers around who can offer some tips?
1. Awesome storytelling/script-writing chops, proven through credits and reviews and samples.
2. Obviously, knowledge of games - especially game stories -- all the way from Professor Layton on up through Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2.
3. Journalism is the wrong background. A background as a screenwriter, TV writer, comic book writer, or even novelist would be MUCH better.
Edit: I just noticed that I didn't answer the subject line question. Best way to distinguish yourself while looking for a job is to get yourself credited as a writer in some games -- indie games would do.