What is an event planner?
Endless food tastings, unique venues, decor, exquisite galas, and socializing till no end. Doesn’t this sound fabulous; that’s the course of event planning :)
More like coordinating with unfamiliar staff members, volunteers, guests and supplying constant customer service. Continuous deadlines and the pressure to meet them on time. Trying to track down the precise venue while working with high-level donors, corporate organizations, or large volume events.
Event planning is a great job and most event planners love their work, but it’s essential you identify all the pros and cons that develop with this job. It’s not just planning tea parties all day long, but hard work, dedication and fast-paced environments. Before putting all your time and effort into getting a job as an event planner make certain you do extensive exploration and understand all the responsibilities that come with this title.
You don’t need a background in event planning to get started, but having the qualities of a great planner doesn’t hurt.
Check out our list of the top skills you should possess to ensure pure perfection at your event!
A perfect place to start is exploring the job descriptions for event planner positions and see if you have the necessary background for those areas. Some basic qualifications for event planners are:
- Experience as an event planner or organizer
- Previously managed events
- Time management skills
- Communication skills
- Sales skills
- Ability to manage multiple projects independently
- MS Office experience
- Bachelors in Event Management or a related field (if you don’t have a bachelors work on getting a certificate or associates in event management to put your foot in the door. However, if you don’t have the last one, don’t worry, most interviewers look at experience more).
If you are still unsure if this is the career for you, try watching “Day in the life” videos of event planners on YouTube to get a better sense of the job.
Now that you are positive you want to pursue this career path make sure your resume, cover letter, portfolio and LinkedIn profile are ready to go.
Crafting the ideal resume & cover letter
This is your moment to show your impeccable organization skills, brag about your experiences, and planning skills. Your resume should we well organized and separated into sections (skills, background, education, references, credentials, awards etc.) so it is easier to read. See example below.
Your cover letter is your chance to convince your interviewer to give you an interview. This should be in the format of a formal letter, addressing your interviewer formally and including a full address, online portfolio and any links you may have showcasing your work.
Everyone likes compliments, so make sure you do just that in your cover letter. Explain exactly why you want to be a planner for this business, what makes them exceptional and what makes you a perfect fit. Whether you have the same goals, have worked with their company before, or just connected with them, let them know.
Don’t repeat your resume, but tell a story of who you are and how your skills and experience can benefit the company. Give examples as to why you differ from the rests of the applicants.
Many people overlook LinkedIn, thinking it is outdated and that most jobs don’t even look at your profile. LinkedIn has become a popular platform for hiring managers and recruiters to save their resources and seek active candidates online with the skills they are looking for. Let the professionals come to you!
And if you don’t want to wait, network! Reach out to engaged forums and LinkedIn groups, seek employers and companies yourself, introduce yourself to employees that work at your dream job; find connections in every way you can.
Almost every employer likes candidates with relative experience to the job. With a position like event planning it is crucial you have experience with organizing events, meeting deadlines, and handling similar obligations.
Even if you don’t have paid practice, one of the easiest ways to get the experience is through volunteering.
Depending on your location, there are usually countless opportunities to gain experience in areas like community outreach, human societies and animal shelters, community program internships, etc.
VolunteerMatch is a great resource for finding opportunities in your area. Search different organizations, cause areas and even create your own profile so companies can recruit you to their volunteer programs.
If you are interested in internships Indeed is constantly listing new intern programs for special event planning, fundraising, and coordination of affairs. Another great way to get your foot in the door.
No matter what your current job is, take on event planning in your role. There is always a Christmas party, birthdays, fundraising, company goals that need to be met. Get creative and add planning and organizing into your day job, not only for practice, but experience you can put on your resume.
Before applying to any jobs, make sure you are an expert in event planning and knowledgeable on all the current trends. The trends constantly change that's why it is important to stay current on all the hottest venues, technology, local favorite flavors and catering groups, florists etc. Research all the favorite local business and spots that fit in with these new trends every event should follow.
Let’s say you followed our advice and landed a job interview. After the interview, it’s time to wait right? Before you relax, it’s always crucial to send a follow-up thank-you note to your interviewer. This establishes you as more memorable candidate and shows an interest to the position. This also shows you have taken the time to express your gratitude, are enthusiastic, and excited for the job.
Where do you find event planning jobs?
Thanks to today’s technology, there are plenty of online means you can take advantage of or if looking for a specific region, don’t be afraid to try out your local newspaper's classified section. Here is a list of the top 10 resources you can use to find the best listings brought to you by Cvent.
Other online resources are:
Gaining a certification, associates, bachelors or completing an online course can also help make finding a job in this field easier.
There is a variety of other event planning association certificates available online and certificates options with more flexible training courses and testing processes. Whova gives their top three certifications that are certain to help elevate your event planning career.