Companies and individuals expect a lot out of an event planner. The buck stops at your feet, as you’ll be expected to take responsibility for nearly everything that happens. That’s why your resume needs to clearly communicate that you’re detail oriented, organized, confident, and capable.
Spelling mistakes, confusing structure, or even the wrong tone on an event planner resume can make a fatally bad first impression. On the other hand, getting all of those details just right means your event planner resume will be ready to get you hired at better gigs for higher pay. In other words, it’s absolutely worth taking the time to get your resume just right.
Luckily, this guide has all the information you need to do just that.
What you’ll learn from this guide:
- What a great event planner resume should look like
- How to ensure your resume makes it past ATS
- What you can do to appeal to recruiters
- The best formatting for an event planner resume
- How to list your education
- Which skills to include and how to give them more weight
- How to highlight your achievements
- Whether to include an objective or summary and how to write either
- What to do if you have little or no experience
- How to make your resume stand out
- The importance of using a resume builder
Event planner or coordinator resume template examples
Imagine asking someone to plan a major event like a conference who’s never attended one. You’re probably shuddering at the thought. After all, you need to be familiar with how events are experienced and what they’re like to be truly effective at planning them.
However, many people do the equivalent when creating a resume. Instead of looking at examples, they simply write what they think is best. Perhaps they’re basing this on what they remember resumes being like decades ago.
This is a recipe for mediocrity. Resumes have evolved and your event planner resume needs to show that you’ve evolved with them. From clean modern design to better writing and structure, look at these expertly curated event planner resume examples to get an initial idea for what yours should look like. Be sure to take notes about which elements you’d like to incorporate.
How to write an event planner resume that will get you noticed
Just like with an event, your resume can have something big and flashy but the real marker of quality is in all the small details. In fact, an event planner's resume shouldn't focus on being big or loud as this might worry a potential client or company that you won’t be flexible about their needs.
The better approach is to focus on crafting a resume that’s greater than the sum of its parts by nailing all the details. Don’t worry though, we’ll go over all of them. But the place to start, just like with event planning itself, is understanding the audience. You may assume that audience is a recruiter or client, but you’d only be half right.
Why you need to begin by thinking about ATS
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It’s an AI-driven algorithm that scans large numbers of resumes to determine whether they should be immediately rejected or reviewed by a recruiter. While an individual client hiring an event planner isn’t going to use ATS, an enormous number of larger companies do. So unless you’ll only be using your resume for individuals and never companies, you need to be ATS-ready.
But what do you need to do to get past ATS? There are three simple steps:
- Ensure your resume is in the right file format. This is the easiest rule to follow. ATS are generally designed to work with .pdf, .doc, and .docx files. Any resume you submit should be in one of those formats.
- Ensure that file is ATS-compatible. Rule 1 aside, some files are easier to read for ATS than others. The way the data is structured within the file has a huge impact on whether an ATS can easily understand it or will simply reject your resume immediately. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean you need to go out and get a degree in computer science, you just need to use a resume builder which automatically generates ATS-friendly files (more on that later).
- Use keywords to your advantage. Here’s where the real art of writing for ATS comes into play. While each of the dozens of ATS software examples out there works slightly differently, they generally are given a set of keywords and requirements, then asked to filter out resumes that don’t have them. However, ATS aren’t perfect and they can easily misunderstand information in your resume. That’s why the key is to study the job description to determine which keywords and experiences they’re looking for before including them on your resume as closely to how they were originally written as possible. In essence, you’re making it as easy as possible for an ATS to see that you meet its requirements.
How to appeal to a recruiter or client
As an event planner or coordinator, you’ve already had plenty of practice in appealing to a client. This is a time to use those skills. If you’re applying for a position at a company, the recruiter or hiring manager who reads your resume is your client. Your resume needs to be tailored to appeal to them and not simply to show yourself off the way you want.
Begin by putting yourself in their shoes. What can you do to make their job easy, to make it as easy as possible for them to select you? By including keywords from the job description you’ve already taken the first step as the recruiter will be looking for these same requirements. But beyond that, you need to consider how the design of your resume can make it easier to read. After all, that recruiter might be looking at dozens or more resumes in a day, so if yours is easy on the eyes, they will appreciate that.
It’s also about how you structure the information, which brings us to formatting.
How should an event planner resume be formatted
The simple rule of resume formatting is that the most important information should go at the top. For example, if the job requires 5 years experience, don’t make the recruiter read through half the resume before they see that you meet that requirement. That critical information should be right at the top.
The same goes for your experience. Your work history should be in reverse chronological order, so your most recent jobs and projects go at the top. A recruiter should be able to get a feel for you as a candidate with just a quick glance, not be forced to dig through to find the information they need to evaluate you.
How long should your resume be?
Imagine planning a ceremony, should it be as long as possible so the participants can put in as many speeches as possible? The participants might enjoy that, but the audience will likely get bored and even annoyed. In this case, you are the participant and the recruiter is the audience. Writing a 3 page resume may make you feel good because you can go into plenty of detail about your event planning experience, but the recruiter will likely be exhausted and annoyed by it.
All that is to say, your resume should be as short as possible, while also including all the valuable information it can. An effective way to cut it down is to evaluate each sentence and section, asking yourself whether it adds value to the overall resume. If it isn’t making your resume better, it’s making your resume worse and should be cut.
What should event planners / coordinators put on a resume?
While the sections and information you choose should always be tailored to the specific event planning job you’re applying for, these are the main sections you should consider including:
- Resume objective or summary
- Work experience
- Licenses and Certifications
- Hard skills
- Soft Skills
How to list your education in an event planner’s resume
The first question you should ask is whether your education is relevant. If you obtained a BA in biology 20 years ago, there’s no need to include that. However, if you’re a recent graduate or your degree is related to event management or planning, then you should include it.
But how much detail is necessary? In most cases, adding additional information about specific classes or activities isn’t needed. However if those elements are directly related to event planning then you can include them. Here are two examples to illustrate that:
BA in English
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
-Took courses in medieval English literature
-Thesis focused on medieval English identity in The Canterbury Tales
-Captain of the university softball team
The problem here is that valuable space is wasted on details that have nothing to do with your ability to plan or coordinate events. That space should be spent on more valuable information.
Master of Management in Hospitality
Cornell University SC Johnson School of Business
-Planned 3 student Galas at the University Hotel
-Interned with the head event coordinator at the Overlook Hotel
This example has a degree directly related to event management and only mentions further details that are relevant. If this candidate was involved in other unrelated extracurricular activities, they don’t need to be mentioned.
How should your skills be included on an event planner resume?
Including the right skills is essential for getting past ATS and clearly demonstrating your strengths as an event planner. For example, the person hiring you needs to know whether you’re better at managing small details or managing teams you can delegate to. Above all, they need to see the skills they’ve told you are important in the job description reflected on your resume.
But just as important as which skills you have is the confidence the reader has in those skills. Anyone can simply state that they’re detail oriented, but a resume which gives a concrete example to demonstrate that skill will be far more impactful. Let’s look at two examples to see what that looks like in practice:
Again, while stating that you have this skill is better than nothing, there’s no information to indicate how good you are at budget management.
-Organized a 400 person wedding 7.5% under the initial budget.
With just a few words, this example gives a completely different impression than the previous one. A reader is more likely to think “wow, this person can clearly manage a budget well.”
Which hard skills are best to include
- Event coordination
- Budget management
- Event management software like Bitrix24 or Ticket Tailor
- Database software and management
- Catering management
- Project management
- Logistics and service ordering
Which soft skills are best to include
- Attention to detail
- Problem solving
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
How to use certifications to back up your critical skills
Besides including examples, certifications are one of the best ways to back up your skills. Beyond that, obtaining certifications also tells potential clients or employers that you care enough to go above and beyond the basics, a critical trait for any great event planner.
To include a certification, simply list it followed by the name of the certifying organization and the year you obtained it. If you’ve renewed it, mention when that was done as well.
Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP), International Live Events Association, 2017
Which certifications should you consider including?
- Certified Meetings Professional (CMP)
- Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)
- Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE)
- Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP)
- Global Travel Professional (GTP)
- Digital Event Strategist (DES)
- Certification in Meeting Management (CMM)
- Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM)
- Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM)
- Certified Event Planning Specialist (CEPS)
- Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP)
How to highlight your most important achievements
Chances are you’ve planned some events outside of your career in event planning, so how do you include those kinds of experiences on your resume? That’s where a dedicated achievements section is ideal. Things you’ve achieved in your formal work should be left in your work history.
Like with your skills, the key to making your achievements more impactful is specificity.
Headed negotiations for the Medieval History Society of California’s annual meeting.
While this example isn’t terrible because the experience is relevant, a read would have many questions. When was this, how big was the meeting, what was the budget, how did the negotiations go, what kinds of things did you negotiate for, etc.? While you don’t need to answer all of these, being specific will dramatically change how your achievements are perceived.
Headed contractor negotiations for the 2016 Medieval History Society of California’s annual meeting to provide promotional materials, a venue, food, presentation equipment, etc. for 2,500 participants. Achieved an 18% reduction in costs relative to the previous year.
This version of the example leaves a far better impression, making this person sound extremely competent and detail-oriented.
What are the differences between resume objective and summary? Where do I use which?
Remember we talked about the importance of putting the most valuable information on your resume at the top? A resume objective or summary is the most effective way to do just that. They offer a flexible section where you can include information that doesn’t fit neatly anywhere else on your resume. For example, if you’re changing careers, you can include why you chose to do this.
Including an objective or summary first puts you more in control of the narrative of your resume by ensuring the reader sees specific contextual information first. But what’s the difference between the two?
A resume objective is only about a sentence and should focus on concisely explaining who you are and what you aim to achieve. A summary, on the other hand, can be a bit longer and is better if you have more information that you want to explain in this section and you don’t have a cover letter you can use for that purpose.
How to write a resume objective
A resume objective should be short and sweet. You need to get a lot of information into just a few words.
Emily is a talented event coordinator with the experience needed to ensure your events are a success.
This example gets some things right, but ultimately doesn’t do what a good resume objective should. It’s correctly written in the third person, but including your name isn’t necessary as it’s already at the top of your resume. This example fails the “add value” test. It doesn’t really tell the reader anything important.
CMP Certified event coordinator with 5 years experience in political fundraising looking to apply skills to coordinating annual meetings for ALPA.
This example immediately tells the reader that this person is certified, what kind of experience they have, and that they tailored their resume for this specific job. In other words, the most critical information from the whole resume is instantly communicated so the reader has a sense of the candidate.
How to write a resume summary
The important thing to note about a resume summary is that just because it can be longer doesn’t mean it should be. You have to value the time of the person reading your resume. They will greatly appreciate it if you do.
After many years working in hotel management I’ve decided that I would like to shift my career to focus more on event management because I’ve found I enjoy it much more. Although I’ve only assisted in some event planning and management in the past, I’m eager to learn and grow my skills.
There are a few critical mistakes in this resume summary. The first is that it’s written in the first person which, in addition to the overall tone, makes it sound rather unprofessional and unconfident. It also leaves out details like how long they’ve worked in hotel management and what kind of work they did assisting in event planning and management. Let’s see a better version for comparison:
Seasoned hotel management professional with 8 years experience looking to change careers to focus on event management. Hoping to leverage experience assisting in running conferences, weddings, and other events at the Marriott to assist KPMG in running more effective digital and in-person events.
This version contains useful details about the kind of experience the candidate has, why they’re switching careers, and how they will use their past experience in a new role. It also specifically mentions the employer, making it clear they took the time to customize this resume.
How to write an event planner / coordinator resume with little to no experience
Fortunately, you can gain a lot of relevant experience for being an excellent event planner or coordinator without ever having formally worked as one. You can focus on experiences when you’ve had to organize or manage events or projects in the past. Absent that kind of experience, try emphasizing relevant skills like attention to detail, being calm under pressure, and being extremely organized. Lastly, you can try and obtain a certification as this will make it much easier to get hired without much experience and is far faster as well as cheaper than a degree.
How to make your resume stand out
If you want your resume to stand out for the right reasons, get all those small details right. Have a trusted friend or colleague review your resume to help find areas to improve or mistakes you may have missed. By nailing every small detail in your resume instead of simply proclaiming yourself the best event manager around, you’ll be showing your abilities with actions instead of words.
That said, great design is another easy way to make your resume stand out from the standard boring resumes most recruiters see all day. Getting that design requires using a quality resume builder.
How Resumebuild.com’s resume builder tool makes it easy
A great event planner or coordinator has to know how to delegate. When you’re creating your resume, the best place to do that is with a resume builder. By using a tool like Resumebuild.com to ensure you have clean, modern design and an ATS-optimized file format, you can spend more time focusing on the content that will get you hired.
Browse through event planner resume templates for inspiration, create and save multiple versions of your resume for different jobs, and be confident that you’ve got a team of resume experts behind you to ensure you’re successful. After all, planning events takes enough time, so save it where you can and trust the experts.
- Anticipate customer needs, showing empathy and providing suggestions when appropriate to exceed their expectations.
- Provide premier customer service to become the sixth best-selling wedding cake team in the entire company.
- Answer inbound or make outbound calls and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
- Use computers for database or inventory management and word processing.
- Create, maintain, and enter information into databases within set time constraints.
- Complete forms and customer orders in accordance with company procedures, being sure to stay updated on what those procedures are.
- Schedule and confirm marketing appointments for new clients as appropriate.
- Maintain efficient and timely communication with team members throughout the day.
- Satisfy daily goals regarding sales, attendance, etc.
- Assist in general area cleaning and organization.
- Problem-solve to meet unique customer needs and work with management as appropriate to create unique processes to facilitate them.
- Offered options to client for event location.
- Corresponded with clients to answer questions and resolve issues.
- Arranged equipment, transportation, and other day-of-event needs.
- Coordinated with participating vendors during event planning.
- Performed face-to-face meetings to finalize contract for services and event details.
- Conferred with event staff at event site to coordinate details.
- Supervised helpers and co-workers.
- Designed and maintained spreadsheets documenting vendor, facility and guest information.
- Recommended money-saving strategies for events.
- Assessed events planning services and related costs.
- Hosted attendees during annual events.
- Event planning, design and production within time limits
- Working with clients to identify their needs and ensure customer satisfaction
- Organizing facilities and details such as decor, catering, entertainment, transportation, location, invitee list, special guests, equipment, promotional material etc.
- Hosted a statewide Youth Summit at Blackstone Academy on April 12th, 2018