Candid CV advice for wannabe hacks

Resumés
Image by Undercover Nerd via Flickr
I've done a multitude of CV analysing over the years on my own CV that is. Suffice to say, your CV is evolutionary and constantly evolves. You should aim to change or tinker around with your CV at least every two to three months. CVs are a lot like websites, you need to play around with them to see which best fits and achieves the best results. That's the beauty of the net. Playing the Game, a blog written by a newspaper editor, (would love to find out who it is and where - he writes anonymously) writes a great post on what an editor wants when rustling through hordes of CVs from potential wannabe hacks. He's a candid fella in his assessments, and doesn't mince his words, (that's why he calls himself 'Blunt,' although, he does like using the obscenities a lot. But nethertheless, if there is only one blog you read from an editor, read this one, as much of the post on this part of getting into journalism really does ring true.
Here's an excerpt where he talks about cover letters, something that is overlooked by most job applicants: "Spend time on the cover letter. For me this is the selling point. I want to hear about why you want THIS particular job. Why you are the perfect person for MY newsroom. Why THIS job ad caught your eye above all others. Do not send me a generic cover letter that you send out to every other job. You know, the one where you change the paper and bosses name at the top. It's too obvious. I want to see passion and enthusiasm. Not stock bullshit about love of writing and ready for the next step. Pop in a few details that are relevant about the paper you are applying for. Mention a campaign or a news story you liked. Tell the boss what you will bring to the table. Hard sell the mother fucker. Don't expect your CV to wow. They are boring and samey. A good cover letter is like your foot in the door at a death knock."
He also adds that on the job experience is key to scooping that job. So get it. NCTJs and journo degrees are secondary, he points out. That's quite controversial. "I don't hold much sway with qualifications because I started this job with none and still have none and don't consider myself either at a disadvantage or a worse reporter for it. I would disagree with that, but hey, horses for courses. He goes on: "But failing to prove that you really want to be a reporter is a real crime. To illustrate my point, a couple of Oxbridgeites who, after securing a first class degree at our hallowed institutions, decided to embark on a career in journalism. Their covering letters revealed they had not bothered to pursue NCTJs and sneered at the idea of real work experience but due to their academic brilliance felt they possessed the skills required to become a reporter. The applications were binned."
More from 'Blunt' HERE.