The Value of Professional Organizations in Your Job Search

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In just about any industry or profession, there are usually numerous trade organizations and professional groups. Although the benefits of such organizations are many, it’s usually just a relatively small core of people who really use these institutions to their fullest. And that’s a shame. They offer huge advantages for your job search.
Here are some reasons why any serious job seeker should be involved in professional organizations before, during, and after their job search.

Almost any trade organization offers tremendous opportunities to learn about the profession and meet the people who comprise it. Best of all, the people actively involved in professional organizations are generally the most committed, high-profile members of any industry — exactly the people you want to be networking with during your job search. The very best way to meet these key members is to join committees and volunteer for projects. Not only do such opportunities allow you to meet people, they enable you to show them your serious work ethic and top-notch skills too.

A Statement of Commitment
Just by signing up and paying the dues you make a statement that you’re committed enough to your profession to seek out this organization and make what is typically a pretty significant financial investment. Of course you shouldn’t just join and do nothing with the membership. But even if for some reason that’s all you can do, it still looks better on your resume and helps your job search more than not being a member.

A Platform for Publicizing Yourself
Perhaps the biggest job search benefit of being involved in organizations is that you get almost unlimited opportunities to publicize yourself within the profession. Write articles for the newsletter. Offer to speak at meetings and events, even for free if necessary. Such activities position you as a leader in your field, a deep, committed pro who has unique ideas and the confidence to champion them. And believe me, others will notice. Once they do, rewards and opportunities will start to stream your way.

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