Friday, October 16, 2015

Join Today! The Power of Professional Associations

You perfected resume and cover letter writing.  Now, you aim to apply to positions online.  As covered in my last entry, you now understand the difference between the general pile of applications and the “referral” pile.  You must now work to get from point A to point B.  How do you get referred?

In addition to meeting new people at career fairs, you might want to consider meeting people at other types of events and meetings.  For example, professional associations, either at the local, state, regional, or national level, often times host recurring meetings, events, and annual conferences.  Think of professional associations as groups of people who work in specific industries and aim to stay connected with others and continually learn.  Just about every industry will offer a professional association.  Simply Google “______________ professional association” and see what pops up.  You may also want to add location keywords, such as “Long Island,” “New York,” or “Northeast” to get started. 

If you are a current student, take advantage and join a professional association or two that seems interesting and active.  More often than not, professional associations offer discounted student membership rates.  Yes, professional associations may charge membership dues.  However, think about this: if you are not willing to invest in yourself, who will?

Keep in mind that joining a professional association will not guarantee you a job or internship.  However, if you become involved, attend events, and meet people, chances are your likelihood of moving from point A to point B will increase.  Join today! 

Stefano Verdesoto,
External Relations Assistant Director

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