Picture it! You’ve dreamed of hosting events and gatherings your whole life. You’ve volunteered your services with relatives and friends.
What’s more, you have invested in a few courses or have devoted a few years at a university.
All in the hopes to shine on your event planner resume and land your dream job.
And then the pandemic happened…
Conventions, conferences and trade shows - canceled. Weddings - postponed by a year or two. Companies went remote.
What now? Is the event planning job market over?
Well, no. But you’re not alone in feeling this way. In 2020, both young and experienced professionals saw their industry turn upside-down.
As a result, many had to adapt to a new way of holding mass gatherings. This included online summits and hybrid events.
"I know probably hundreds of people who have lost their job on both the supplier side, like the hotels, and on the planner side.
This evened out the job market playing field. Hiring managers are now searching for professionals with an updated skill set.
How do you highlight that on your resume? Read on to find out.
Our event planner resume guide will teach you
- How to laser-focus your resume for different event planning positions
- How to show you are on top of current trends and industry developments
- The top skills to make you the perfect job candidate
- How to provide evidence of experience without overstuffing your resume with unnecessary fluff
- How to stand out among the rest, if you’re just starting your career as an event planner
- What else you can add to supplement your resume. Other than education and certifications, that is.
Looking for related resumes?
How to write an outstanding event planner resume
As an event planner, your mission is to make your client’s vision a reality. You’re involved with almost every aspect of the job - from venue hunting to post-event wrap-up.
Everything needs to happen seamlessly. And within budget.
This is a result-oriented business. Hiring managers focus on how you’ve met your client’s needs. How did you handle the accounting part of your project?
More importantly, did you meet your client’s bottom line?
Industry expertise is generally assessed by:
- the scope
- the budget
- and responsibilities you’ve had on past projects.
So, the more examples you can add to your resume, the better.
If you haven’t had much experience yet, don’t worry. Instead of focusing on your top-grossing event alone, consider making a summary of all the projects you've done so far.
What does this say about you? Despite not having experience with large-scale events, you’ve mastered many smaller ones.
You’re aware of where money may fall through the cracks, if not managed properly.
After all, recruiters need to be sure you are financially responsible and won’t go overboard.
The most important sections of an event planner resume:
- Header to
- Resume summary to highlight your biggest accomplishments
- Experience section to show your expertise and skills
- Education to prove you follow all the best business practices
- Certifications and Association Memberships to show that you are up-to-date with industry trends
- Client Testimonials to corroborate your experience and leave a lasting impression
But don’t forget to tailor your resume to the specific position. Events come in all shapes and forms - weddings, concerts, hackathons, you name it.
Make sure you stay relevant to the job description.
What resume points grab the recruiters' attention?
- What are your go-to methods to ensure you work within the allotted budget?
- How have you handled last-minute changes in the past?
- How comfortable are you with setting up and facilitating virtual/hybrid events?
- How do you measure the success of your projects?
- How willing are you to take initiative, offer ideas and take on new responsibilities?
How to Create the Perfect Event Planner Resume Header and Get Noticed
Let’s start with the small box on top of your resume. Many think it’s there to provide your basic information should the recruiter want to contact you.
Take Gabe, for example. He’s applying for a corporate event planner’s position. Gabe has submitted a resume with the following header:
Unfortunately, the hiring manager will take one glance at Gabe’s resume header and toss it aside.
Well, the main reason is that it’s generic. It seems as if Gabe is applying for several job openings with the same resume. Plus, it won’t pass the company’s ATS (Applicant Tracking System) screening process.
There isn’t enough information about what type of event planner Gabe is. Or any other relevant positions he’s held in the past for that matter.
Also, Corporations receive hundreds of resumes a day. Recruiters simply don’t have the bandwidth to review or call each applicant.
Gabe should provide an email at the very least.
Let’s see a revised version of his resume:
Now, hiring managers not only know that Gabe is an event coordinator, but also a marketing manager. This tidbit gives hints to what extra skills Gabe might have.
Note that alongside his email, Gabe has included a link to his online portfolio.
How is a portfolio different from a resume?
Add a Show-Stopping Digital Event Planner Portfolio to Your Resume
Your resume holds all the relevant information recruiters and potential employers seek.
In contrast, the event planner portfolio is where you exhibit your talent. It usually contains photos of past events, testimonials, and mood boards.
Here’s the catch. If your resume makes the right impression, your digital portfolio will be the icing on the cake.
It will provide the visual confirmation of everything listed on your resume. Not to mention, testimonials give valuable feedback on how well you organize events.
You get bonus points if any of your mood boards strike a chord with your potential employer.
Just as you would present a curated portfolio of your work to your client, you can do the same for hiring managers.
If you don't have a digital portfolio yet, share your Pinterest and Instagram mood boards. Some event planning companies want to review if the candidate's style matches theirs.
But if you do have one, display previous events you have done and are applicable to the job posting.
Which is the Best Fit for Your Event Planner Resume - Summary or Objective?
Generally, if you’re a college grad, or you’ve decided it’s time to switch careers, then use the resume objective. It won’t be as specific compared to that of a senior event planner.
You can still prove relevant industry experience and get away with a bit of fancy wording.
2 Event Planner Resume Objective Examples
Steer clear from resume objectives like the following:
Doesn’t sound right, does it? That’s because:
- The applicant has used first-person statements
- The first sentence is hard to read due to overstuffing. On account of this, the resume might not pass the ATS process
- No relevant education or experience is mentioned, apart from the CWEP certificate
If you aren’t specific on how you will be beneficial to your future employer, you risk not getting an interview.
Still not sure what to include without coming off as fake?
You’ve done a summer gig at a fancy restaurant? Then you have catering and customer service experience.
You've done web design on the side, while working as a digital marketing specialist?
Not only do you know how to attract your audience, but you also know how to cater to their needs.
Use this to your advantage:
2 event planner resume summary examples
How about the resume summary? Think of it as your chance to feature your biggest and most relevant accomplishments. Of course, you should back your claims with numbers.
As we mentioned, hiring managers are searching for someone who can guarantee results.
Here is a sample of how not to frame your summary:
How is this summary wrong?
- The introduction is very heavy on resume key phrases
- The applicant is vague about the years of experience
- Lack of certificates or association memberships, despite the 7+ years in the business
- Information about the outcome of the organized events is missing. Were they big company events? How many participants were there? What happened afterwards?
Let’s see how it can be bettered:
- Displays the outcome of his work as an event planner
- Tailored to a very specific industry niche and job description
- Shows passion about cancer research
- No fluff words
- Evidence of further training and certification
Notice how there is no character description?
You don’t need to paint yourself as “passionate” or having “good communication skills”.
There are other ways to show you have these qualities without stating them on your resume.
Obviously you’ve done something right to raise over $5 million for a good cause.
Get straight to the point.
How to Construct Your Event Planner Resume’s Experience Section
The variety of tasks you have performed in the past can really set apart the more senior event planners.
Еntry-level professionals are in charge of logistics, lodging and registration. They deal with tasks directly related to event attendees.
Specialists have more in-depth business knowledge and experience in contract negotiations and accounting.
Regardless of your level of expertise, emphasize the diversity of your past duties.
Equally, volunteering gigs are also a welcome supplement to your resume.
This is usually the only way to get more experience for those who don’t have much of it or have worked only in-house. It also shows initiative to expand your current knowledge base.
Last but not least, make sure you reference any event production software you have used in the past.
Keep in mind, understanding how virtual events work has become essential in the last year and a half.
Event planner resume experience examples
With that said, avoid listing your previous employment as if it’s your grocery list:
Why is that wrong? It looks boring. A hiring manager won’t be impressed by a to-do list.
Instead, focus on how you performed and what made you a valuable asset to your previous employers.
Let’s try this again.
Do you see the difference? It instantly grabs the recruiter’s attention. Why? Because you can see the outcome of this applicant’s work performance.
Not only has the waiting-in-line time been reduced by 20%, but 3 new services have been developed as a result. This means happy attendees and more profit for the employer.
No wonder the job candidate won the Employee of the Year award. Twice.
Which essential skills are hiring managers looking for?
Event planning requires you to wear many hats. You have to work well with people, but also be tech-savvy enough to do your job properly.
That’s why your event planner resume should have a good mix of soft and hard skills. The latter also includes technical mastery of various pieces of software.
Here is how you can do this.
How to describe soft skills on your event planner resume
If you haven’t yet had the chance to flaunt some of your abilities, list them in this section. Don't forget to provide a brief example to support your claims.
This is another chance to pique the interest of hiring managers. It also provides them with talking points for the interview.
It’s important to note that the skills should reference each other. They tell a well-rounded and believable story.
Yes, it’s difficult to quantitatively rate soft skills. But you can always count on customer feedback and references from past employers.
Remember, numbers tell a story even better. Though these are soft skills, try to add any measurable result to each skill.
Otherwise, the recruiter may think you’ve cherry-picked skills from a keyword list. Result? Your resume will be tossed in the trash.
Top 20 essential soft skills for event planners
- Time Management
- Attention to detail
- Organizational skills
- Ability to work under pressure
- Problem-solving skills
- Verbal and written communication
- Financial responsibility
- Staff management skills
- Project management
- PR and marketing
- Business administration
- Monitoring and analytical skills
How to show off your hard and tech skills on your resume
Be careful when listing your technical skills. Prepare to have some of them assessed during the face-to-face interview.
For example, imagine wanting to host events in different countries. Your language skills may be put to the test as part of your duties will be negotiating with foreign vendors.
Hard / Technical Skills List for Event Planners
- Venue selection
- Law and regulation knowledge
- Digital Marketing
- Social media platforms
- Language skills
- Social Tables
- Honey Book
- Planning Pod
- Adobe Suite
- G Suite
Is an education section mandatory for an event planner resume?
No, but it’s preferable. Specifically, if you want to do big corporate or government gigs. This also covers conventions for a particularly heavy-regulated industry.
For those who choose to follow this path, there are two options. The first one is a two-year Associate’s Degree, and it's the most common course format.
The second one is a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Event Planning. This one is taught at select schools around the world.
But both degrees cover everything from event management to negotiations and bid evaluations.
If you don’t want to go down the full-time education route, you can still learn on the job.
Many employers favor proactive candidates because they have volunteering experience and seek opportunities to diversify their skill set.
So, instead of doing a full-time course, you can get any of the certificates listed in the next section.
How important is the certificates section of your event planner resume?
Top 13 event planner certificates for your resume
- International Live Events Association CSEP Certification
- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Certification
- National Association for Catering and Events (CPCE) Certification
- Global Business Travel Association (GTP) Certification
- Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) Certification
- Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification
- Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM)
- American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM)
- Wedding & Event Planner (CWEP) Certification
- Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM)
- Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM)
- Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP)
- Certified Event Planning Specialist (CEPS) Certification
As you can see, there are many ways to hone your event planning skills. Having any of these certificates guarantees you are familiar with industry best practices.
Because the standards and requirements for acquiring them are peer-reviewed.
Given the shift towards virtual and hybrid meetings, new types of certificates emerge. Such as the Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification.
Hence, it’s never too late to brush up on old skills or boast new ones on your resume.
If you want to learn more about how to frame the certificate section, read our guide on How to List Certifications on a Resume.
What other sections can you include in your resume
There are countless ways to frame your resume. It all depends on your experience and the type of events you aim to organize.
In addition to a link to your digital event planner portfolio, you can also add:
- Association memberships
- Volunteer work
- Client testimonials
- News publications and mentions of your work
- LinkedIn profile
- Hobbies and interests
- Language skills
If you don't have much space on your resume - leave only the Association Memberships section.
Taking part in local chapters of event planning associations shows:
- involvement with local business experts
- good networking abilities
- the type of events you're interested in organizing or being a part of
Key takeaways or what you always need to keep in mind
- Display a diverse range of event planning abilities to show your level of expertise
- Don’t forget that your skills are assessed by the scope and budget of previous projects
- Avoid detailing your experience as a grocery list, focus on results
- Remember, you can always add relevant experience, even if you have worked as a florist
- Make sure you add the applicable certifications and association memberships
- Create a digital event planner portfolio and supplement your resume with client feedback
- Prepare separate event planner resumes tailored to the particular job position