Explain specifically what you can contribute to the bottom line of the organization, whether it’s through contract negotiations, streamlining operations, creating more efficient forms and systems, or sponsorship sales. Tell them you negotiated a contract that saved your organization $45,000, or you reduced attrition by $10,000, or you increased attendance by 25 percent. Have you saved money by renegotiating the contract with the printer? Put it up top on your resume. Those are the things that will make your resume stand out from the other 499 on the potential hirer’s desk.

And it’s not just attendance or meeting revenue you bring in, or the amount of money you spent in a particular city. It’s also about the products and services you spin out of the meetings, such as educational CD-ROMs or audiotapes post-conference.

Having a strong resume and cover letter is important, as is doing some research on the organization before sending it in. It’s better to take some time to research and put together a thoughtful resume and cover letter than it is to be the first to get a generic version in.

Sources: Steven Williams, PhD, director of industry and market research, American Society of Association Executives; Sheryl Sookman, CMP, principal, The MeetingConnection, Novato, Calif.; Jim Zaniello, recruiter, Association Strategies, Arlington, Va.; Barbara Dunlavey, CMP, director of meetings and exhibits, American School Food Service Association, Alexandria, Va.; Dawn Penfold, The Meeting Candidate Network Inc., New York.