As an association, you exist to connect your members: With each other, with members of the community, and with potential employers! In fact, many members cite professional development and networking as a top reason for joining in the first place.
There are a number of benefits you can offer that will prepare members for a successful job pursuit:
1. Resume evaluation and interview practice
Putting together a compelling resume (and cover letter too, for that matter) can be tricky: Bring a couple of experts in for an evening of evaluation and editing. You want to help your members get off on the right foot with potential employers!
Take it a step further by including interview practice. Let’s be real - some people just aren’t great at interviews. But often, all those people need is a little coaching on how to calm their nerves, be themselves, and answer some commonly asked interview questions.
2. Networking events
I’m sure you host plenty of events with the purpose of connecting your members, but how often is the focus on connecting members to hiring employers? Here are a few creative networking event styles:
- Speed dating: Employers sit at a long table and chat with members for about 5-10 minutes each. Then, each member shifts down to a new employer - and repeat! This type of event could help members make connections and find their next perfect gig.
- Career fair: Employers can set up a table with recruitment materials while members browse and chat with representatives. This is a great benefit for your employer members, too! (And non-members: Charge for a table to generate non-dues revenue!)
- Panels: Host a lunch & learn panel with prominent employers from your community. Organize them by role, industry niche, career level, etc. Start by having a moderator ask questions, then open it up for Q&A from the hopeful members!
By partnering the right members, a mentorship can accomplish a number of things: Prepare a young professional for entering the industry, guide members who may feel stuck in their career, help bolster the mentee’s confidence, and - of course - lead to introductions for potential employment! (Among other things.)
You’ll want to start gathering interest early before starting a mentorship program to make sure you have an equal number of mentors and mentees. A speed dating type event like we talked about may be a good way to match them!
4. Job board
If your association doesn’t have a job board on its website - get one, stat! This is an easy way to connect members with potential employers and engage the members who are employers, too.
Bonus? A job board is a benefit to you. For one thing, it’s sure to drive website traffic. What’s more is, you can charge members and non-members alike for the opportunity to post their jobs and generate additional non-dues revenue! Or, you might consider offering free job posting as a member benefit. There are lots of ways to make a job board work for your needs!
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