I interact with lots of event planning students. For the most part I’m very impressed with the overall pool of our industry’s future leaders. Some of them have written guest articles for us. There are always individuals who are simply not cut out for the industry (more on why in a future post). Obviously that’s true with any industry. Then there are those candidates who are more than qualified but are still having a hard time securing event planning jobs.
Having completed a Disney management training program early on in my career, there was one aspect of their Human Resources policies that has stuck with me to this day. At the time (and presumably still in effect today) Disney didn’t hire based on a person’s technical ability to perform the job. Rather the most important aspect to Disney is the personality of the potential candidate. Simply put, you can teach technical but you can’t teach personality. This policy certainly contributes to Disney’s reputation of providing excellent customer service. Think about it, you’ll forgive someone who takes a little bit of extra time, due to technical difficulties, if he or she is interacting with you, apologizing etc., in a positive manner. But, on the other hand, if that person is extremely efficient at processing your transaction, but does not interact with you, then you’ll most likely leave feeling that you weren’t appreciated.
These Reasons Might Be Why You’re Not Getting Those Event Planning Jobs
Cover Letter. Often times employers will get so many resumes for a particular job that they’ll scan the cover letters to narrow down the selection. This is your chance to provide a brief summary of why you think that you’re qualified for the position. A sales pitch, so to speak. Spelling and grammar matter. Write your cover letter today and then wait until tomorrow and read it again. Then edit it. And it will need editing, guaranteed.
You Didn’t Dress Properly for the Interview. If you want your employer to take you seriously, then it’s imperative that you dress appropriately for the job interview. When in doubt, rule on the side of business attire.
Attitude (or lack thereof). You may think that you are the life of the party and you want to reflect that characteristic about yourself in the interview. Appearing too casual or too familiar with the interviewer can be a turnoff. It’s vital that you learn how to interact in a business setting. If this is the company’s first impression of you it’ll most likely raise flags.
Your Social Media Accounts. If you think that prospective employers will not look at your social media accounts then you have seriously underestimated their hiring process. Almost all employers will look at a person’s social media accounts before a decision is made regarding employment. Trust me, they do not want to see how drunk you got with friends on Friday night.
You Weren’t Prepared. An employer wants to know that you have taken the time to find out about the company. Most likely, he or she will ask you about your impressions, or thoughts, of the company. Do not bluff your way through those answers. Rather, take the time to learn about the company that you want to hire you.
You Have Unrealistic Salary Expectations. So you’re fresh out of college and you think you’re capable of walking into a general manager’s position. Don’t laugh. I have had many students think that they were entitled to be hired into middle management positions directly from school. Okay, maybe do laugh…
You Have No References. A lot of individuals don’t take the references portion of their resume seriously. While there is nothing wrong with stating that references are available upon request, you better be sure to bring a list of references to the interview. Any company worth their weight in salt will check your references. And if you fail to provide them then you’re most likely toast.
Check out Politics of an Internship. This is a great article about establishing the right attitude for an internship or when starting your career.
You’ll also want to check out this interview that I did with Geoffrey Lalonde, author of bestseller “4 Minutes to the Job You Want”, where he provides networking and job interview tips.
If you are more than qualified for the event planning jobs that you’re applying for, but aren’t getting hired, you may want to reflect on one or more of the reasons listed here. Don’t despair, if you take a good long look at how others are perceiving you, then you have an opportunity to turn the situation around. And get hired!
Check out these additional articles on finding event planning jobs:
- Information on How to Become an Event Planner
- The Best Places to Find Event Planning Careers
- ROARing Resumes for Event Planners