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Seeking employment: top tips from event industry recruiters

As the novel coronavirus and its related illness, COVID-19 sweeps across continents, the events industry is feeling the strain.

Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece and Iran, along with the UK, are among the dozens of nations banning gatherings of 10 people upwards.

With these regulations in place, combined with justifiable anxiety from clients, event planners – employed and freelance – are finding themselves redundant as clients postpone and cancel events.

While several agencies have been able to transfer would-be physical events into virtual events, the practicalities of doing this just aren’t feasible for all event planners, meaning business has come to an abrupt stop.

Increasingly, more and more event professionals are taking to social media channels to explain their predicaments and to seek advice. M&IT reached out to industry recruiters to share practical advice on how to have the best chance of gaining employment, writing a winning CV and maintaining relationships with industry contacts during this uncertain time.

Advice from: Gary Richards, RCR Careers 

Events Industry

Gary Richards

A winning CV

Now is the time to update this. It’s a task everyone puts off but in this climate could be the difference.  The best CVs I read, this is subjective of course, are clear and concise.  Broken down into sections of responsibility and bulleted so the information is easy to read.  Example below:

Project manager @ Agency – Jan 2017 – Present

  • Financial Management:
  • Event Logistics:
  • Client Management:
  • Delegate Management & Pre Event:

To make your CV less wordy you can pull together an event addendum to outline some key events and projects you have worked on to go as an additional supporting document.  If you are more creative or technical, have you got a portfolio of current work to attach with your CV? These are all things that will help people see your talents.

Using LinkedIn

Work on your LinkedIn profile, make sure it matches your CV in terms of roles, job titles and dates.  You can also upload your CV and portfolio to your profile too.

Connect with people, start discussions and join groups that are relevant to your expertise and interests. Now is the time to talk more than ever and small conversations can lead to bigger things in the near future. You will know more people than you realise, make the most of LinkedIn and start reaching out to people.

Connecting through virtual events:

There are a number of virtual meetings for events professionals taking place. Join in with them and make a note of the people involved as you can and try to connect with them post-meeting.

Using recruitment agencies:

Why not speak to your recruitment agency of choice?

We may not have the right thing on at the moment but the information we hold needs to be up to date.  If it’s not, when this situation passes and the sector is crying out for talent to join their teams, we will be able to help a lot quicker if the information we have is up to date.

Upskilling:

Are there any courses you can be doing whilst you have more time? Could you do with being better in Excel, CAD or anything else that is valuable for your day to day role?

Jackie Bonner, director, JB Event Recruitment 

Events Industry

Jackie Bonner.

When writing a CV make sure your CV is very clear, concise and easy to read. Clients don’t have a lot of time to sift through wordy CV’s. You can write a little profile of yourself and experience – but make it short and concise.

Examples of industry sectors you have worked in, such as the automotive, pharma, technology industries, are a must. When detailing each role, it can be helpful to give a very short outline of the company and a link to their website.

Write a short overview of your role and then bullet point particular skills, events and any achievements within the organisation.

It’s always good to send any references or event examples to an employer on a separate document, which gives an overview of the type of events you have worked on, your level of responsibility, the size and the location of the event.

Always put your full dates of when you started the role (ideally month and year) and when you finished. If you have taken time out of work or even worked outside the events industry, make sure you have the dates on your CV as clients do not like gaps and will always ask questions.

 

When applying for roles:

When applying for a new role, read the job specification very carefully and if there are skills that you have, make sure this is clear in your CV.

Research the company and see what they do and the type of events they organise. You may have worked on similar types of events, so it’s important to add them to your CV.

Always keep connected in the industry. There are several associations and networking groups that you can get involved with. Be sure to keep in touch with industry partners, as you may hear about roles via word of mouth.