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No one likes job searching. It can be very difficult to find opportunities worth applying to, and even in the face of a viable position, there’s the monumental task of trying to stand out in a truly competitive market. A lot of information is already out there - on everything from networking tips, to resume and cover letter suggestions. There is so much information, in fact, that it can be hard to know where to begin. Especially when so little of the information surrounding job search tactics are specifically geared toward those looking in the event planning industry.
As with event planning, so too with job hunting: the trick is in understanding that your success is determined by the details. So without further ado, here are 13 simple, but truly powerful ways to kick your event planning job search into high gear.
Start With a List of Dream Companies
Your job search will be much easier if you know what you’re looking for. Take the time to jot down any companies you know would be great to work for, or with. If you can’t think of many, pick one company you’re interested in, and search for it in LinkedIn. If you take a look at what companies people also viewed, you can easily expand your list. You can also look through relevant job boards for Public Relations, Communications and Creative Marketing positions like the ones on MediaBistro, FindSpark and TheMuse to find companies that offer jobs and opportunities you would enjoy. It is important to have a starting place when job hunting.
Figure Out The End Goal
Dream companies are a great place to start, but you really ought to know exactly where you want your career to be in 2, 5, and 10 years from now. Think critically about what events experience you have, and what kind of work that makes you qualified to do. Take honest stock of your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and your levels of expertise, experience and education. There are several niche markets in our industry, and figuring out what you want is a great way to help position yourself competitively.
Use Twitter As a Job Search Tool By Utilizing Lists
Twitter gets touted as a useful tool for many aspects of event planning from customer relationship management to content marketing. But did you know it is an amazing job search resource as well? If you create an Event Influencers list on twitter that contains the company profiles of places you’d like to work, as well as recruitment managers, company hiring profiles, job search websites, and even the handles of relevant event tech companies or event vendors, you can centralize the people on twitter who are most likely to post relevant opportunities.
Consider Pinterest As a Resume Boost
Event planning is an exceptionally visual industry. The core of what we do is create visuals and experiences for our clients to help them reach their goals. Why not showcase your ability to do just that by branding yourself on Pinterest?
Pinterest is a great way to show recruiters (who spend more time than you would think, perusing the boards) that you are aware of the trends in the industry. You could even go as far as to create a board that would act as a portfolio, and link to any photos, testimonials, or relevant publications of yours.
No Email? Try LinkedIn Groups
If there is someone who you would like to connect with during the course of your job search, a lack of email address shouldn’t stop you. Find out what groups the person you would like to talk to is affiliated with on LinkedIn. You can join any of those groups that are of interest to you, and then you will be allowed to contact the person via LinkedIn messaging.
Test Your Resume With Web Based Software
Your resume will always sound good to you - but if you use a web based software like RezScore or Resunate, you will be able to check and see how your resume would sound to the faceless automated recruitment system. These software also provide suggestions for improvement, and breakdowns for the rationale behind scoring. This can be a very helpful way to gain insight on what skills are needed for your particular events niche.
Go Work The Registration Counter
A huge part of job searching is networking, and for the events industry, there is no better place to network than at events themselves. Figure out what kind of events you want to be paid to help plan, and go volunteer to work registration at a similar event. In addition to some hands on experience, the registration table is a great place to meet influential people for you to mingle with later. Be sure to bring business cards!
Join A Professional Club
Industry clubs like MPI grant you access to all the industry specific resources you will need to land your dream job. Professional clubs come with built in networking opportunities, job readiness workshops, and access to educational seminars and private job messaging boards.
Plan Some Events
There are 2 things event hiring managers like more than anything else, and that is events experience, and a self starters attitude. If you figure out a way to bootstrap your own events, you will have checked off both. Get a Facebook or MeetUp group together and show potential hiring managers that you can do this!
Become the Interviewer
Want to prove to the events professionals that you’re serious about event planning while simultaneously learning their secrets about how they broke into the industry? Try flipping the script and you take the chance to interview someone from an events company!
You’ve got to put the word out there that you’re looking for a job! I don’t mean sending out bunch of generic emails that explain you’re looking for some help finding a new gig, and that you’ll “pretty much take anything.” No, no, no.
Start up some relevant dialogue by sending tentative inquiries about informational interviews at some of the companies on your list. Join in on a few twitter chats surrounding your industry (#EventPlannerTalk is a goodie). Make sure that it’s no secret you’re looking for a new job in the event planner industry.
Streamline The Follow-Up Process
Job searching can feel like a whole lot of following up - with new contacts and old. It can be easy for some of those communications to fall through the cracks. Thankfully, there’s an app for that.
Contactually helps you to keep up with your contacts by consistently reminding you to reach back out to them. Take the guess work out of follow-up, and get automated!
Modernize Your Job Search
It is 2015, and the events industry knows it. Technologies have made it so that the best events are the ones that are constantly delivering exceptional and innovative tech solutions. So during your job search, you have to make sure that you are communicating your digital savvy. Be sure to have a personal website, and relevant, up-to-date social media accounts. Utilize the tools and resources that exist online - sign up for a free class through free email based platforms (these can be found on certain niche blogs) and inexpensive options on platforms like Lynda and Skillshare.
Kicking your job search into high gear is all about thinking like an event planner so that recruiters know you can handle the job. Maintain your network, showcase your skills, and keep yourself empowered and educated, and your job search can be virtually hassle free!