New Event Exec's guide to job hunting
Are you searching for your first Event Executive role? Job hunting in events is tough in today's market. Boost your chance of securing your perfect Event Executive job with the new Event Executive's guide to job hunting, from Dotted Lines Events:
Do your research
First impressions count. So, don't go in all guns blazing and mass email a generic CV to a bunch of careers@ email addresses.
Start by deciding who you want to work for and why. Create your target list by investigating the agency's values. And find out what types of projects they manage. What's the team vibe – would you be a good fit?
Do more research
The decision-maker for the role you want to be considered for probably isn't the HR manager. You could go straight in by calling the company to ask who the hiring manager is. Or you could use your social media smarts:
Visit the LinkedIn company page of the events agency on your target list. Click the link 'See employees on LinkedIn' link. This move will show you the likely decision-makers. You can then see if you are connected to any of them via your network. If so, contact one of these existing connections and ask them nicely to make an introduction for you. It's a savvy way to connect because it instantly instils confidence in the hiring manager – they know someone who knows you!
When the time comes to send a CV, whether via email, or online submission, make sure it's free of errors. Even pros need to be attentive to details, and if we can't get our own CVs right, it won't help our job-hunting cause. Ask someone to proof it for you and run it through the free version of Try Grammarly.com to check for missed typos.
Be visually creative with your CV, too. We're in a creative industry, after all. There are some fabulous templates on creative tools, such as Canva.com.
If you don't have a personal contact by this stage, you need to submit your CV via an agency. In this case, use a Word document to ensure the text in your file is accurately scanned by many agencies' software to 'filter' CVs before sending them to the hirer. But always make sure you see a copy of the CV that the recruiter will send onwards; the document may have had line alignment and other details altered when certain parts – usually your direct contact details - are removed.
Some fantastic CV writing experts, such as topcv.co.uk, can give you some top tips, even review or write your CV for you.
Your social media
Your LinkedIn profile should be up to date and compliment your CV:
Add a profile picture so potential employers will easily spot you at networking events etc.
Add a creative hero image that sits at the top of the page to help bring your page to life.
Keep your skills and endorsements up-to-date - if someone endorses you on LinkedIn, you'll have a notification to say, 'Joanne Bloggs has endorsed you for 'Project Management'.
Include any volunteering to bring out more of your personality.
Include a brief introduction section - summarise your key highlights and achievements that are relevant to your industry and role.
Join industry groups and post regularly – in groups and on your profile – with your industry thoughts, questions, and news.
For any other channels, you keep public such as an Instagram or Twitter account, always be mindful that future employers may check you out before hiring you. If they see posts with derogatory comments about your ex-employers, it could make them nervous about hiring you.
Personalise your message
An excellent way to start is by asking for a quick call to discuss the role. This approach allows you to ask some sensible questions before applying while building the early start of a relationship.
If a call isn't possible, then personalise your LinkedIn message or email to the hirer with something which makes you stand out – tell them why you want to work for them and what you think you could bring to the role.
Once you've made contact, don't just press send and hope for the best. Interact with the company social channels, like and comment on their content.
Follow-up your application with your contacts and determine when they will decide the next stage of the recruitment. And I would always advise a follow-up email a few days later with some well-thought-out content on why you want to work for the business. Don't be afraid to email or DM the business owner directly on LinkedIn if you genuinely want to stand out.
There are heaps of interview questions online with examples of standard/common questions for you to consider in preparation. These are useful guides, but ensure you know all about the company, the decision-makers, and the interviewers.
Read their blogs, their public social media features, and posts, and refer to events or company messaging. This research will show them how much attention you've been paying and that you want to be a part of it.
Refresh yourself with your own experiences, achievements, and skills, too - create a little cheat sheet with some of your best examples to illustrate them.