3 Tips for Landing Your Dream Events Job
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Whether you are a business owner looking to hire events professionals, or an individual seeking an events job, it is critical to know what comprises a good candidate. Unsurprisingly, the events industry is full of competition, and prospective hires need be aware of the tools and qualities that can help them stand out — in a good way.
To get the most relevant insights on hiring and resume-building, we went to an expert: Kate Patay, chief strategist of Patay Consulting, a company designed to help events industry professionals find their unique voice in a saturated market. In her 20+ years in the events and hospitality industries, Patay has looked at her fair share of resumes and has hired for both full-time and subcontractor roles. Today, she shares with us some key tips for success in the hiring process.
Tip 1: Be punctual.
It’s an oldie but goodie: One of the most important ways to show your dedication and interest in a job is by showing up on time or, better yet, five minutes early. Like any other industry, events professionals still adhere to the standards of good business practices with deadlines, deliverables and client expectations. She advises that before an interview, job seekers should be absolutely sure they know where to go and how to get there, to the point of even doing a test run to the interview location. Do you have to check in or get security clearance? Factor this into your commute time before an interview so you don’t show up late or looking frantic. Allow yourself a couple minutes to get composed before you speak to a potential manager and coworker.
Tip 2: Build a resume that shines.
As the first piece of information a potential employer will have about you, your resume needs to be succinct and informative. However, it doesn’t need to be your life story. Patay recommends that events professionals stick to one page; despite her extensive pedigree and time in the industry, her resume is still only a page long. It’s important to highlight the elements that best prove why you are qualified for the position, and quickly. Many employers will only look at your resume for 15 seconds before making a decision. Perfect grammar, punctuation and formatting are also crucial. “If your resume says you have ‘attention to detail,’ but there is a spelling error, I am going to question everything you say,” she points out. Other things Patay looks at on a resume include:
- A byline at the top: Indicates what you do and what you’re passionate about (work-related)
- A brief synopsis of what you did at each job listed
- Length of time in each position: With the exception of freelancers — who should note their work status in the byline — having many jobs in a short time period could be a red flag. Whatever your situation may be, be prepared to explain your work history.
- What you do outside of your job: Volunteering and memberships indicate well-roundedness.
- Industry designations: Because certifications like CSEP, CMP, CPCE, etc. can really help you get ahead in the industry, Patay recommends putting these in their own section.
- Your brand color: Pick a hue that speaks to who are you are as a professional and incorporate it into your resume. Being in a creative industry means your resume doesn’t have to be so black and white!
Tip 3: Embrace learning opportunities.
While improving your resume and being on time can certainly help your case, what you do in the interview and in every job you take on is entirely on you. It takes time to grow expertise in the events industry, but there are many qualities that can make you a good job candidate at any phase of your career. Patay says that the most valuable quality events professionals can have is the right combination of confidence and humility. She thinks it’s great when her staff can speak up respectfully and ask questions when more details are needed. Still, as a new hire, you should remember that you are there to learn. Especially early on in your career, no job is beneath you; take the time to learn and try anything that comes your way. “I spend the first half of my career saying yes to everything; I put myself in every person’s shoes and I really have done it all. Because of that, I now understand every element of the events process and can better foresee, understand and troubleshot problems,” she says.
Getting the Job Offer
The hiring process can be extremely stressful on either side of the interview table. However, punctuality, a good resume and a can-do attitude can really help events professionals grow their experience in industry. With these great tips from events business expert Kate Patay, you will be well on your way to landing to job of your dreams.
Kate Patay, CPCE, Chief Strategy Officer of Patay Consulting is an international speaker and consultant, SEPA advisor and lecturer at The International School of Hospitality in Las Vegas. She’s been a recognized industry professional and influencer for nearly 20 years in many facets of special events, and has served on the boards of numerous industry organizations. In 2015 she was honored with the coveted Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council (formerly the CIC) and an Esprit Award from ILEA for her work in the green sector of events. She currently speaks for and coaches some of the top leaders and companies in our industry and beyond.