Career development: it's something almost every member is looking for in an association. So, what types of career tools and services should your association be offering?
When it comes to your membership- especially members from a younger generation -- you want to provide them career tools that will advance them in their respective professions. Providing career tools will help members learn, keep them engaged, and encourage them to come back in the future.
If you're looking to add more career tools to your association's member benefits, here's what to consider.
1. Resume Services
Remember writing your first resume? Chances are, it wasn't the best.
You don't want your members to feel lost when it comes to drafting a successful resume. Point them in the right direction with a resume service. Offering a resume service is a great way to get young professionals engaged with your association's benefits. It's also a way to demonstrate value to new members who might have just joined your association.
A resume service does not have to take up all of your association's time and resources. There are many no-cost, time effective ways you can offer this service.
One way is to have someone on your association's team help. If you have a team member that's skilled in reading and writing, have them proofread and edit your member's resumes. Or, just leave constructive comments in place of editing to save even more time.
Another way to offer a resume service is to have members further along in their career development work with young professionals. This way, young members get to network while having their resumes critiqued.
Your members look to your association for professional knowledge in its industry. Offer it to them in the form of a resume service.
2. Mentoring Programs
If you've ever felt "stuck" in your career path and desired to move up, you know how frustrating it can be. You don't want your members to struggle in their career advancement.
Offering mentoring programs to your members is a great way to help them with their career growth. Your younger members can learn a lot from other members who have been in their respective careers for years. Utilize that knowledge by hosting opportunities for career mentoring.
Pair young professional members with your association's team members or even other members who are established in their career field. One way to do this is to have members swap contact information.
You can also promote mentoring in the form of phone calls or emails. For example, if you have a member looking for career advice, create a weekly schedule with them. You can set up a time to call them and talk about their concerns.
A mentoring program is a career tool that doubles as a member engagement strategy.
3. Networking Events
We all know the old saying: "it's not about what you know, it's about who you know." While it's a cliché that doesn't necessarily ring true, there is some value in it.
Being able to talk with professionals well into their career is something not many young professionals get to do on their own. That's why it's a great career opportunity for your association to offer.
While mentoring and networking seem similar, they're very different and equally valuable opportunities. While a mentor helps with career advice, a chance to network can sometimes lead to other career offers.
Your association most likely offers networking opportunities already. Think about it, when members come together for annual events and conferences, they have the chance to get to know other professionals in the industry.
Make sure your members get a chance to get acquainted at your next event. A great way to do this is to block off a specific time for networking. Host a networking hour during lunch or in between speakers.
You can also open up networking online through community forums or comment threads.
Next time you post something on social media, invite your members to discuss their thoughts and opinions in the comments. Don't forget to respond to their ideas -- it helps encourage engagement on future social media content.
You have career services within your association's membership. Allow your members to use each other as a career building opportunity.
4. Job Board Software
An online job board is a career tool that can also bring in some serious revenue for your association.
What does a job board do for members? Well, it's a platform to keep job postings exclusively for your members to choose from. This is an opportunity for members to seek out higher, better positions in their career, ultimately enhancing their career development.
With the right job board, your members will be able to search from a variety of jobs in their specific field. They'll also be able to set up job alerts and be matched to jobs that suit their experience level.
There's even the bonus of generating revenue. If your association has a job board, it can be displayed as an incentive for potential buyers. You can also charge employers a fee to post job listings on your board.
Choose the right job board software for your association and invite job seekers and employers to utilize this career tool.
You want your association to stand above the rest for its career tools and services. With the right career benefits, recruiting and retaining members can be an easy task.
Try incorporating these career tools into your association's benefit plans. Let your members know you care about their career success.
Audra Hopkins is a blogger and inbound marketing specialist for Web Scribble located in Troy, New York. Web Scribble was founded in 2002 to provide the best job board software for associations, publishers, and niche sites. Their flagship job board platform has helped hundreds of associations increase member engagement and non-dues revenue. Web Scribble provides helpful resources in the form of blog posts, ebooks, and free guides. Read more of Web Scribble's content on their blog.
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