For those who may be job searching for meeting and event jobs, solid work experience that is related to the position, communication and technology skills, and a keen business sense are the top qualities that hiring managers seek, according to Dawn Penfold, president of Meetingjobs.com.
When times are good, there are between 50-70 meeting jobs posted on Meetingjobs.com. But when times are tough, that number could drop to 20 jobs, making it a very competitive job search for many meeting and event professionals.
Meetingsjobs.com maintains a database of about 26,000 people. "It is hard to say how many of those are active or how many are just plain curious as to what jobs are out there. A person may not be an active job seeker until they see that perfect job on the board and then they become active," Penfold says.
The resume plays a vital role in that process, and it's purpose is to catch the attention of the hiring manager. "It may, if effective, put you in a position to sell yourself verbally through a telephone interview or physically through a face-to-face interview," Penfold says, offering the following resume tips for meeting and event jobs:
- Refine and revise your resume for each job opportunity.
The resume needs to act like a rifle targeted to a specific job opportunity. A generic resume is worthless.
- Know to whom you will be submitting your resume.
It is important, whenever possible to know to whom you are submitting your resume. “Dear Sirs, or To Whom It May Concern” on your cover letter will not cut you from the herd.
- All resumes need a cover letter!
The resume is either a chronological or a functional history or your accomplishments. A cover letter personalizes you and allows you to provide a descriptive representation of who you are.
- Research the company and position prior to submitting your resume.
Use the Internet, your professional network or the public library to research your perspective employer. It will allow you to tailor your accomplishments to better fit the needs of the open job.
- Check for errors.
A resume that has typos, misspellings or mistakes in grammar or usage is not an effective sales tool. Enough said.
- No one cares what you did in High School.
Your resume should list in descending chronological order your record of accomplishments, and for whom you were an effective employee. What you did more than 10 years ago is unimportant.
- Use specifics and active tense verbs.
You lead a team…, you exceeded your production quota…, you hired and trained…and so on.
- Do not say “References available upon request”.
If the hiring official wants to bring you in for a second interview, or otherwise keep you in the fold this is assumed.
- Do not overdo your professional affiliations.
If you are a member of a professional association such as MPI, ASAE, PCMA, ACOM, or elsewhere, note them if pertinent, but do not stress them to the point a potential employer wonders when you will have time to actually do the job they may hire you to do.
- Be honest.
Know ahead of time that your references will be checked and your academic and professional record will be looked into. Do not exaggerate your degrees or certifications. If caught in a misstatement, (lie), you will be sunk.
"The successful candidate will have energy, a willingness to learn, solid business and communication skills and a personality that can deal with people of all levels," Penfold explains. "The candidate with internships or practical experience will be one step ahead of those who don’t. Don’t burn bridges ever in this industry and have fun. The people are great."