As major events and event recruitment professionals, we are asked on a daily basis “how do I get into events? How do I pursue a career in events? How do I get my foot in the door? Is there any particular course I should study or volunteer opportunity I should take?
However lets start with the age-old question, “How important is my resume and online profile in the events industry?”
Short answer, critically important! Your resume and online profile is of interest to not only events recruiters such as us, but potential employers in the market. The events industry whilst not as cyclical in nature as some other industries; it is still to some extent bound by an events calendar. Be that seasonal, the event itself e.g. once off or four yearly and the demand for its hosting.
So having the right resume and online presence (notably LinkedIn) is vitally important to keep yourself not only in the game, but also ahead of the game when looking for a new role or opportunity within the events industry.
Your resume is the first impression you make with an Event Recruiter or prospective employer. Therefore having a resume that speaks positively and informatively about your qualifications, experiences, attributes, skills and career focus is vital. The style and format of resumes change quite often and vary depending on the country in which you are applying. Here are some high level considerations when putting your resume together:
- Keep it current. Haven’t worked in a year? Highlight this on your resume and show what you have been doing during this period. Be it job search, travel, education or volunteering. Do not send a resume that shows a gap with no information to support it.
- When writing your resume, think about how you wish to be portrayed. How would someone else read your resume if they saw it? Sharing with your friends or family to receive feedback is always a good idea.
- Never write anything in your resume that leaves a question for the reader. Ensure that you always make sure you explain yourself as best you can.
- Provide your full name, contact details including phone number and email.
- Provide your career objective, education, professional experience and remember the adage, too much is too much but not enough is not enough. Keep your resume to 3-4 pages for Australian based resumes.
Events recruiters and event employers alike use LinkedIn to not only view online profiles, but to source candidates for roles. In fact 96% of recruiters now use LinkedIn to source candidates! There is no more recognisable medium used for the hiring process. LinkedIn for some may seem like just a replication of their resume, but what it provides is another opportunity to be ‘found or sought’ online. How many times have you come across someone on LinkedIn that interested you and you stopped for a moment to review his or her LinkedIn profile? That is what we do as Events Recruiters, as does the wider international recruitment and business industry. LinkedIn also allows the Event Recruiter to correlate your experience with your resume or industry peers. Therefore having a professional LinkedIn profile can only assist in leveraging your career.
Some key considerations when writing your LinkedIn profile; state your experience and all the events you have been involved in. Pictures, videos and audio of your career achievements can assist with this also. Ensure you list your educational experience if applicable and have a professional photo. It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot but a professional photo of your face in business attire will suffice.
If we can give you one simple piece of advice, please never EVER lie on your LinkedIn profile. The same goes for your resume. If there is one thing about the events industry, its small, and everyone knows someone somehow. Patience and honestly is a virtue. And if you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, this is good to prioritise. Being proactive about your online presence is one step closer to having a successful career.
So you have a LinkedIn profile, what now? Connecting yourself with likeminded industry peers or events professionals you want to learn a thing or two from, is an important next step of having an online presence. The more connections you make within your industry, the more visible you are as a search commodity.
Finally, when thinking about your online presence doesn’t forget the other social mediums out there. Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler the list goes on! Whilst these are not the main tools out there, we suggest never post something online that you think that a recruiter or potential employee would find a concern. Remember, your online professional presence is not limited to simply your LinkedIn profile! So start with ensuring your Facebook photo is professional also if it’s easily accessible.
Thinking of a project this Christmas holidays? Put some time aside to review your resume and online presence. This small project will be the kick-start to a potentially new beginning in the New Year! Good luck!
Kate Bidwell, Co-Founder & Managing Director
Catalyst Consulting & Events – proud Business Partner of the Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCO)