Your dream professional wedding planner role has appeared right in front of you and your strongest CV yet is a must! So how do you ensure your application will make you a strong contender for a position you’re passionate about?
#1 Follow the instructions – including the deadline!
Firstly, read, don’t write! Pay close attention to the application process and respond to specific requests. So, if you’re asked to include a photo, a cover letter or examples from your portfolio, then make sure you do it!
If there is a very good reason why you don’t have whatever is being asked for, then explain this in the cover letter – don’t just ignore the request and think no-one will notice!
Then, when it’s time to submit everything, make sure your application is made appropriately ahead of any given deadline, never right at the last minute or late. After all, effective time management is an absolute must when wedding planning and you need to be demonstrating your efficiency even at the CV stage of an application.
#2 Research the company
Always research the company you’re applying to and personalise the application towards their ethos and services.
Remember to state why you like the company and mention any previous involvement you’ve had with them (in a way which sounds positive on all sides, such as when volunteering with them). If you can place this towards the top of the application letter or CV then so much the better – don’t make it the last thing you say because you can never guarantee your application will be read that far!
#3 Highlight any relevant experience
The key phrase here is relevant experience, so if you’re new to wedding planning and just have ‘informal’ experience such as planning your own, a relative’s or a friend’s wedding, then it’s still absolutely fine to include it – it’s relevant after all.
Moreover, whatever forms your experience so far (informal or professional) will be the basis of information, experience and knowledge you’ll be judged on when the company you’re applying to start short-listing, so it’s important that they know exactly how your experience has been gained.
Do also highlight any variety or special aspects of your experience, such as planning a wedding at a specific type of venue, or an outdoor wedding. If you can, make the explicit match between that experience and the type of role being applied for.
#4 And the ‘hidden’ relevant experience!
Speaking of experience, and particularly if your direct wedding experience is a little thin, ensure you include details of other real-world and previous role experiences and show how these are relevant to the wedding planner role.
For instance, an existing role in catering and hospitality means you’ll have a great working knowledge of service provision and how to deliver results when it comes to the hospitality of the reception; if you’ve previously been a teacher then you’ll know all about communication and the importance of teamwork, so don’t be afraid to include it even if it doesn’t seem directly relevant to weddings.
#5 Demonstrate your knowledge and experience in alternative ways
Whether they have been requested or not, include links to any online wedding portfolio you’ve created, such as your website, social media blog dedicated to weddings or Pinterest portfolio.
If you have any of these, do double-check any photos or videos and if they don’t show quite what you need, then change them for something better. For example, ensure that photos showcase your flair for creativity and coordination, rather than merely showing how many people were there through images of the backs of wedding guests. Checking that your portfolio is perfect also demonstrates subliminal endorsement of that other necessary skill for a wedding planner – attention to detail!
Ideally, the link you include will be to a platform where feedback is also available so that your application is automatically strengthened by evidence of clients’ (or friends’) satisfaction with your planning expertise.
#6 Highlight any accredited qualifications
Don’t skimp when it comes to your qualifications and if you have any event industry accredited qualifications, such as CIM accreditation, make sure these are immediately noticeable (psst… we do have a Wedding Planner online masterclass on offer).
#7 Gather the latest wedding information – and use it!
Whilst you’re in that period of drafting and tweaking your CV, gather additional information on what’s new, developing or even resurfacing in wedding trends. You can do this by reading industry magazines, blogs written by top industry names and service providers and by attending wedding fairs.
It’s useful to then slip into your CV or covering letter a few examples of how your experience fits in with what you find, demonstrating that your knowledge of the wedding industry is wide, vibrant and up to date.
#8 Check spelling and grammar
Written communication, particularly emailing, is a large part of event planning, so ensure that there are no errors at all if you want your application to be taken seriously – including formatting, spelling, and typos. This checking also extends to any accompanying email and covering letters you’ll be sending.
Oh, and remember the double-check on your wedding blog or social media page as that’s your public-facing profile – if it’s perfect it’ll help reassure the company that you could be the perfect public-face for them too!
#9 Keep volunteering and networking to improve your chances
Even if you’re very busy, take the time to create a volunteering opportunity around the time of the application period. The easy way to do this is to contact local wedding planners and offer your services for a wedding they’re organising, or speak to wedding planners and service providers when you’re researching at wedding fairs.
Whether this means you end up actually planning or just helping the caterers to serve the wedding meal, or giving out orders of service, it still means you’ll have plenty of fresh experience to draw on when it comes to selling yourself at interview – and it’s also something very current on the CV!
Volunteering also helps you create a pool of professional referees which may be useful in strengthening your application, but do remember to ask first before using any professional colleagues for a reference.
Finally, having a good network of contacts is vital for wedding planners and volunteering is a great way to get that started! Keeping that going means your CV won’t only be glowing with what you can bring to the role, but also strengthened by the network of contacts you’d be bringing with you!