Job Seeker Blog
Importance of Professional Organizations...In School and OutCampusCareerCenter.comWant to do something great for your future job hunt and your career? Consider joining a professional organization--or the student chapter of a professional association! There is a professional organization for almost any career field you can mention and you can join at any time, while in school, or once you graduate.
You can check with your career center for on-campus and local chapters of professional associations or use the directory called National Trade & Professional Associations (published by Columbia Books). Many career services offices and campus libraries have this resource. And of course, use technology! Information is all over the web.
There are some excellent reasons for joining one in your chosen field.
Professional associations publish journals and/or newsletters (which often are a benefit of membership) are helpful to:
With your membership, you will often have access to member information. Contacting someone in your field about possible employment as a fellow member of the association may open a door.
Professional organizations often have some means for sharing job listings. This could be a "classified" section in the journal or newsletter, a section on a web site, or a separate publication available to members only.
As a member, you will be eligible to attend the group's conferences. Whether at the state, regional, or national level, professional conferences offer excellent opportunities to:
- Keep you up-to-date on issues and developments in your field. If you are interviewing, this can be invaluable information!
- Show you who the "movers and shakers" are in your field.
- Tell you out about companies--or individuals--with whom you would like to work.
- Offer information about upcoming conferences and professional development opportunities.
Professional membership is an excellent addition to your resume! It shows you are involved and dedicated to your particular field. EVERYTHING counts when it comes to getting a job! And this type of involvement cannot be more important.
Local chapters of organizations often sponsor career related programs, maintain alumni networks, and provide other valuable advantages.
Many professional associations have substantially reduced membership fees for students who are still in college. Fees can get a little pricey if you wait until after you graduate.
Do your future a favor. Seek out and join the professional association in your area of career interest. You can't go wrong! Even if you change careers or interests, you can include this information in your resumes and interviews--involvement is the key!
- Build your network of professionals in the field.
- Learn the latest developments in your field.
- Take professional courses and seminars.