Blog: New Year, New Job: top tips

Elena Clowes, operations manager of ILEA UK, offers some career advice for budding event professionals.

ILEA's Elena Clowes offers some career advice
ILEA's Elena Clowes offers some career advice

It’s official, 2016 is actually over and it’s time to focus on 2017. Over the next few months you might be getting ready to go into placement, graduate or begin preparing for your next move in the industry. So as a belated Christmas gift from me to you, here are some of my top tips to hopefully help you to bag your next role in this exciting sector…

Search Engine Optimisation

Make sure to search in the right places, a search engine (or generic job site) search of ‘Event Jobs’ might yield very few results so be sure to look in other areas that events often fall under. EG PR or Marketing. You may have to scour the job descriptions too as the events part of the role is not always evident from the job title. Sites like Milk Round, Event Magazine and Guardian Jobs are great starting points for an event job hunt.

Don’t Narrow your Options

In the same way that you need to widen your search terms, you also need to be willing to try jobs that you might not think fit with what seems normal for an event job. You will be able to work on events through a variety of paths; for example sales at a venue, marketing at a corporate company, managing a catering team or working with AV equipment. Again, using industry press and blogs to learn more about the leaders in all these fields and more is a great way to educate yourself and point you in the direction of some useful contacts.

Look IRL

Social media searching IS great. Use your social profiles you help you search, but don’t forget to show your face in real life. Get to networking events, build connections and relationships offline. Look for the next events/meetings industry networking event and see if you can get involved. Although you’re a student and you might not think you have anything to add to a room of professionals, think of what you could provide them with. An intern for a week, a specialist in Snapchat for events, an extra pair of hands on site?  Use Vista Print or similar and get a bargain deal on business cards to help tell your story: ‘Elena Clowes – looking for my next role in the Events Industry’… going the extra mile will mean you stand out from others and make you more memorable.

Don’t Be Complacent

While event related degrees are some of the most exciting and diverse university courses out there – do not be tempted to rely on your degree to take you places in the industry. Even if you are hitting firsts in all your modules, make sure you get experience alongside your degree to show your future employers that you really are interested in the events sector. Be this a year out on placement or a part time job. Have a part time job already that is not directly related to events? Ask if there are any events going on within the company that you can assist on, maybe volunteer at local events in any spare time, or even better (and maybe more convenient) – join a society on campus that can give you some experience in the area.

Of course, this is not a definitive list of job hunting tips, amend and add to this list as it suits you. But I hope it acts as a starting point if you are not sure where to start with your 2017 job search. Have a great year, and good luck!

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