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Your association might offer some basic resources to help members advance their careers. But it might be time to take your career center, a valuable member benefit, up a notch.

Findings from the 2023 Association Trends Study by Community Brands show that job opportunities and help with career advancement both make it into the list of top important benefits to members. Help with career advancement increased significantly in importance from the 2022 study.

So, how can you provide your association’s members with more of the career help they’re seeking? Here are five highly effective approaches to this member benefit:

1. Help members find job opportunities in your industry.

At a minimum, your association should offer an online job board. A modern online job board allows your members to easily search and apply for relevant, personalized job opportunities. It includes the ability for members to sign up to have jobs matched to their preferences and qualifications and sent directly to their email inboxes whenever those jobs are posted.


2. Provide career growth resources.

Go beyond job postings to provide a wide range of career resources that help your members land the jobs they’re seeking and develop their careers. Adding these types of resources turns your online job board into a true online career center, leading to member recruitment and retention.

Here are some highly valuable career resources to offer:

  • Career advice content – Offer articles and other content to guide job seekers in their searches and their career journeys.
  • Coaching – Connect members with career coaches who can offer help with career direction, job search strategies, résumé building, interviewing, and more.
  • Career data – Give members career data for your industry or profession to help them make more informed career decisions. This can include information about job outlooks, qualifications, education, certification requirements, and expected salary.
  • Online planning tool – Provide an online tool that helps members map out their career goals and see step-by-step plans to reach those goals.
  • Mentoring – Connect members who are early in their careers with more experienced mentors who can provide them with inspiration and guidance in their careers.

3. Connect students and new grads with internships.

Take your online career center even further by adding an “internship board”. Like an online job board, an online internship board allows students and new graduates to search and apply for internships as a launching point for their careers.

4. Bring job-seeking members and employers face-to-face.

Hosting career fairs at your meetings and events is another effective way to provide your members with career advancement help and increase engagement. Career fairs provide a space for members and industry employers to meet and interact. Members find value in career fairs because they can easily and conveniently research and connect with multiple employers that interest them. They can also make new connections and broaden their professional network while discovering new job opportunities from employers that are actively hiring.

5. Deliver an additional career development resource.

Expand your career development resource offerings by giving members a recruitment guide. This guide can showcase employer background information, job opportunities, and industry and career articles. Digital versions of the guide can also include videos and links to employer websites and other information. These guides can contain different information than typical job postings and advertisements on your job board, with information about things like company culture and benefits. They can also help you to highlight and promote your online career center.

Discover more association industry trends, insights, and tips for giving members more of the benefits they seek.

Read the 2023 Association Trends Study: Redefining the Association Experience.

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