Where are all the good event planner jobs? It’s a phrase I hear quite often. Unfortunately there’s no magic wand that can be waived to produce the best jobs with the highest salaries. Like anything good in life, finding a dream job takes time, patience and perseverance. There is a common thought that during the summer months meeting and event planners aren’t that busy. While it’s true that conventions and conferences are typically lighter during the summer months, that doesn’t mean that planners are taking it easy.
What many people don’t see, especially outside of our industry, is that planners and suppliers alike are busy attending networking and industry events. I should know, I’ve been attending a few myself over the summer months.
Good Old-Fashioned Networking Is Key to Finding Event Planner Jobs
I look at the approaching Fall season as if a new year is beginning. There’s the psychological feeling that you’re about to roll up your sleeves and hit the ground running. As such it’s also a time of year when many people are searching for those dream event planner jobs.
Like everything great, finding the dream job takes time and considerable effort. In other words you reap what you sow. So if you’re serious about finding event planner jobs now is the time to start planting the seeds. Start by taking a long hard look at your resume, or LinkedIn profile, and update it. Then, put it aside and come back to it in a day or two for editing. Because it will need editing. Then send it to a trusted colleague and ask them to critique it (constructively, of course).
An up-to-date resume with proper grammar and no spelling mistakes is vital when applying for jobs. Your cover letter should address what the job opportunity outlined and how your skill set matches it. Many companies use software to scan cover letters for keywords in order to narrow the field. If you don’t know how to insert keywords properly then find someone that can help you with this. Remember computer software doesn’t know how great you are. It’s looking for keywords that will tell the organization that they should, at the very least, interview you.
You have to make sure that you get your name out there in the industry. Participate in LinkedIn groups and offer your opinions and advice as needed. And ask genuine questions yourself. I’ve always found that most people in my LinkedIn groups, no matter their experience, are always willing to assist.
Look into mentorship programs. There are many industry experts out there who are more than willing to give back. Many remember what it was like getting started. So do your research and approach people who you would love to learn from. Recently I was shown a website called Ten Thousand Coffees. I was totally blown away by the concept (why the heck didn’t I think of this). Ten Thousand Coffees is a platform where individuals can reach out to industry professionals. Then those industry professionals can review the messages and arrange to have a meeting over coffee. You really have to check this website out. You’ll be amazed with some of the professionals who are listed.
As I mentioned earlier the warmer months are an ideal time to network with industry colleagues. If you haven’t already done so I strongly suggest that you join some of the known industry associations like MPI (Meeting Professionals International), PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) or ISES (International Special Events Society). Most industry associations have local chapters (the ones mentioned in this article do) that would welcome your involvement and participation. Attending and participating with industry associations are ideal ways to network with your peers. Personally, I’ve always found this method to be the best when searching for new opportunities. A word of advice: don’t go with a hire me sign on your shirt. Rather make the rounds, network and even have a good time. And before you know it you’re going to hear of an opportunity that just might be an ideal fit for you.
Here is a link to a previous article that I wrote on salary expectations for event planner jobs. This will give you an idea of what you can expect for a salary for the various positions in our industry.
When looking for meeting or event planner jobs it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded field. Networking and attending industry events are crucial to standing out and getting noticed.