There is a professional association for just about any profession. Professional associations are one of the best ways to find a job. That’s because recruiters target these associations to find qualified applicants. Associations provide recruiters with a great resource to network with a lot of like-kind professionals who have the skills needed to fill their jobs. You’ll often find many recruiters will attend local chapter meetings. In addition, many companies will post their jobs on association job boards.
Following are some ways you can go about finding an association to join:
- Ask other professionals in your profession.
- Conduct a google search for an association for your profession.
- Go to the library and search in the Encyclopedia of Associations. This is an on-line directory that you can get free access to through the library. The directory lists over 20,000 professional associations.
- Conduct a search on LinkedIn for other professionals with your same job title and see what professional groups they belong to.
Here’s a list of ideas how to best use an association to find a job:
- Find out if there is a local chapter in your area and attend a meeting. At the meeting be sure to announce that you’re looking for a job. Be sure to take resumes with you. Companies will often send their employees to these meetings for the specific purpose of recruiting. Now is not the time to be shy.
- If the association has a job board on their local chapter site, be sure to check for jobs that might be posted. If the national chapter has a job board and a resume database, be sure to get your resume in the database. Click here for a list of some of the Professional Associations that have job boards.
- If the association has an annual meeting check to see if the conference will have a vendor section. Many of the larger professional organizations even sponsor a career fair along with their conference. Many companies sign up to attend these career fairs. Even if there isn’t a career fair, still attend. This is a great place to network to find out what companies are hiring.
- Connect with recruiters from staffing agencies and request that the agency represent you. Staffing agencies have a good pulse on what’s happening in your field and they have an ‘in’ at many companies. If you have great skills some of the agencies will be able to get your resume directly in front of the hiring manager.
Sometimes there might be multiple associations that could work for you. Attend local chapter meetings to see which one would be the most beneficial to join. Don’t hesitate to join more than one. The more you join, the more you increase your chance of becoming employed.
Keep in mind, the more people you network with the bigger your network becomes. I’ve found over the years that professionals really like helping one another find a job. And don’t forget, once you land that next job be sure to help someone else on their journey to employment.