There’s no arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on meetings and events. Many industry professionals lost their jobs or saw their hours significantly reduced as a result of the widespread cancellation of events and the closure of venues. Luckily, the industry has proven itself to be resilient, and as events have returned at record speed over the past couple of years, so too has the number of open positions as organizations build their teams back up.
As we look forward to continuing to grow M&IW, our People Engagement & Operations team identified best practices to help your application stand out in a large and talented pool of event professionals.
What Event Professionals Should Include in Their Resume
Whether you’re an events industry veteran or are looking to break into the business, a strong resume is the best way to start. Here are the key components to include:
In addition to listing past jobs and responsibilities, be sure to include any experience you have working on specific types of events, meetings, or conferences. For example, if you have extensive experience in more specialized events like incentive travel or HCP meetings, highlight that and provide specific details such as the number of events planned and average number of attendees per event.
Technology experience is just as relevant as job experience. Include the event technology or software platforms you’re familiar with and your level of experience with each. Providing this information on your resume makes it easier for the hiring manager to know if you’ll require additional technology training. Even if you have limited technology experience, that’s not an immediate disqualifier (unless it’s for an Event Technologist role). At M&IW and in many organizations, specialized training is built into the onboarding process to ensure all new hires are set up for success.
There are several professional certifications available for meeting and event professionals, such as the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC), or Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). If you have any of these certifications, be sure to list them on your resume. This also includes platform certifications such as those offered within Cvent.
It is also best practice to add your certification after your name at the top of your resume so it’s immediately visible. Alternatively, if you haven’t yet received your certification but are studying or otherwise preparing for your exam, note that as well as your expected completion date.
Including a skills category on your resume should come as no surprise. Regardless of the position you’re applying for, it is a must. This is your chance to highlight your best qualities that help you stand out from other applicants.
Some soft skills will likely be on many event professionals’ resumes, such as the ability to multitask, attention to detail, and strong communication skills. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include them as they are vital to the industry. Other skills may be more unique, such as multiple language skills, international meeting experience, or HTML skills. Platforms such as Smartsheet and Adobe Suite or experience with PC or Mac operating systems should also be listed.
Depending on the position, a degree in event planning or a related field may be preferred or required and should always be included on your resume. If your education is in another area of study, this should still be listed but at the end of your resume instead.
One thing to remember is that education isn’t everything—experience is just as important, if not more so. For example, recent college graduates who helped plan events or fundraisers for clubs or organizations should include that information.
Hiring managers will ask about the size of events and industries in which you have planned. Including this information on your resume in an event portfolio section means you can dive into other topics during your first interview, focusing more on the why and the how than the what: why they should hire you and how you would be a good fit instead of what your experience and skills are.
Another way to stand out is to provide a link to a website portfolio outlining your most successful events and sharing the basic details (event type, size, and industry, at a minimum) and on-site photos as well as your specific contributions. You can also share more concrete data such as staying $X under budget or negotiating an X% lower rate. The key is to provide specific details highlighting your skills and abilities; having the data to back up your claims is always more impactful.
Now that your resume is in top shape, it’s time to start applying! At M&IW, we hire the best and brightest in the meetings and events industry along with diverse top talent across multiple specialties. Visit our careers page to view our open positions and learn more about our competitive benefits.
Specialist, People Engagement & Operations
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.