Are you a college student or graduate school student or recent college or grad school grad? Odds are you’re not a member of a professional association. Have you given any thought to joining one? You might think those organizations are just for people who are already working or are further along in their careers. Convention Nation suggests you think again. There are many benefits to joining a professional association now, while you are still in school or recently graduated, whether you already have a job in the field you want to work in or not. And whatever that field is, there is no doubt a professional association for you to consider joining.
There are professional associations for every career field you can think of. Here are 5 great reasons to join one now:
- Career Knowledge
Internship and Job Opportunities
Some associations offer internship opportunities for students. Many provide “members only” job listings. Some offer placement services to help members find positions in the industry. Association membership allows you to access resources such as these that provide you with greater exposure to the job market.
Imagine attending a meeting with a large group of people who all work in the field you want to work in. That’s what association membership is all about. Groups of people from the same profession gathering together for networking events, seminars, conferences, and more. The networking opportunities are practically endless when you join a professional association.
Strengthen Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Membership in a professional association shows prospective employers that you are dedicated to your field of study and to your professional growth. It shows you’ve taken the initiative to acquire knowledge outside of your studies and develop professional contacts. It will help you stand out to prospective employers as someone who has made an early investment in your career.
Reduced Student Fees
Association membership fees are often greatly reduced for students. Why not take advantage of much cheaper membership while you are still in college or grad school? It’s an investment in your future that could pay huge dividends for you.
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, now is the time to create one. It’s not just for people who are already employed. It’s a very important tool to help you find employment. After all, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Everyone uses it. To find jobs, to find job candidates, to build a professional network, to recommend colleagues, and much more. Think of it as your professional brand in the world. It’s the place to find and be found…to find jobs and internships and to be found by over 90% of companies who use it to recruit new hires.
Having a LinkedIn profile is the first step in your future career. Everything you need to know to create a great profile as a student can be found here. Joining an association and publicizing your membership on your LinkedIn profile is a great next step. It will go a long way in helping you build a professional network!