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Business Building: Sharp resumes and eye catching cover letters

By August 24, 2015August 26th, 2015No Comments

I’ve found that event planning is a competitive business. In our Event Essentials and Systems and Strategies workshops, I discuss why the event planning industry is growing substantially the next few years, but still, there are a lot of people competing for every job that arises. You have got to put your best foot forward out there.  Because clients depend upon us for a professional presentation, articulate personality, and detailed approach, event planners need to hire associates that reflect this as well.

We receive resumes almost every week, and we can’t possibly interview every single inquiry. I try to respond to every single one (though it may take some time) because I know what it’s like to put yourself out there – and there is so much talent that I always keep resumes on file, just in case.

That said, I am sometimes taken aback by the low quality of cover letters and resumes. Multiple typos, lackluster resumes, and an insincere approach.
Things to watch out for:

  1. Typos! Read it yourself, then send to two people (hopefully you have a teacher or two in your life who is a stickler for grammar).
  2. Gushing compliments. When I read cover letters about how astoundingly impressed and in love someone is with my work, I think, are they REALLY? They must say that to EVERYONE, right? I’d rather someone observe my position as a professional in the industry and mention something specific but not necessarily hyperbolic – for example, mention the variety of venues we work (hotels, backyards, estates) as an appealing element that the job seeker may enjoy experiencing by working with us.
  3. Be sure to touch on specific aspects of your work history in your cover letter, as well.  Personality is nice too, but remain pleasantly professional versus eccentrically enthusiastic.
    Associate Heather at work setting up at Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach

    Associate Heather at work setting up at Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach

  4. I admit, in my day resumes were pretty simple. And they can stay that way. We love seeing cool, graphic resumes, but a polished, neat, clean resume is great too. Do not send a poorly spell checked, unevenly spaced resume in Times New Roman or Arial fonts. It displays a lack of care for how you present yourself. For a great example of a resume, click on this Sample Resume.
  5. Build an online portfolio.  Use or another DIY website builder and create a simple one page collection of photos from events you’ve worked, albums of photos of your design work, and so forth.  Add a link to a downloadable PDF of your resume. That way, potential employers can bookmark your info online, instead of hunting down your resume on their computer.  This is a huge way to stand out from your competitors: Seeing is believing.

Our first Business Builder newsletter is rolling out in a few days, with excellent advice for aspiring and established planners, and everyone in between; and we’ll have the latest dates of our workshops, as well.  To sign up, email us at or contact us here!