Every industry has at least one professional association (sometimes more) created by thought leaders to further the profession. Many of them are national or international organizations with local, or even virtual, chapters.
I belong to three associations that are primary sources of information to stay current in my work as a writer and coach. The email forums are invaluable for exchanging ideas and information among members. Through them, I have had ongoing conversations with some of my peers for 16 years now!
- PARW: Professional Association of Resume Writers
- NRWA: National Resume Writers Association
- Career Directors International
Here are three reasons why joining a professional association is useful:
1) They put together conferences and conventions
Usually with keynote speakers, breakout groups, and social events for general networking. Some meetings will be national or international with an annual event, while local chapters have monthly meetings.
2) They establish certifications
You can earn through significant study to reach a benchmark of knowledge. I have earned four certifications through two organizations:
- CPRW: Certified Professional Resume Writer
- CEIP: Certified Employment Interview Professional
- CPCC: Certified Professional Career Coach
- OJSRM: Certified Professional – Online Job Search and Reputation Management.
3) They have membership directories
People can find someone with a specific area of expertise, such as resume writing or interview coaching.
So, how do you find a relevant professional association? Just do a simple Google search (or use another search engine) for the profession that interests you. You will usually find more than one. They will look something like:
- Professional Association of xxxxxxxxx
Here is a tip: Most associations have tiered pricing for annual fees for companies, individuals, and students. This can make it more affordable to you, no matter the stage of your career.
If an organization has a local chapter that interests you, contact the President or outreach member and ask to be a guest at a meeting before deciding whether to join. The answer will always be yes!
If you need help with your resume or career growth, contact me today to schedule a call! There is NO CHARGE for an initial consultation.