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The coming of a new year usually brings about a reflection of the past, as well as new hopes and goals set for the future. Your association serves as a guide to your members, ushering them into a new period of growth in their profession or industry.   

As we head into a new year, how can you reconnect your members with their careers? 

A recent Community Brands study shows that career advancement benefits – including training, certification/credentials, and networking – are important and/or increasing in importance to members of professional membership associations. The same study shows that these benefits are especially valued by members who are early in their careers. 

member priorities by career stage

Here are three tips and some powerful resources to help you elevate career advancement opportunities for your members: 

Invest in your training and certification program 

Add new offerings – such as personalized learning paths, virtual events, live webinars, and webcasts – to stay relevant with your members and keep them engaged. 

Leverage technology that makes it easier for members to consume content; offer a variety of learning formats; and deliver content through a well-organized, customized, on-demand library. 

Track and grant education credits for in-person and online learning. Use this data to recommend other relevant courses to members.  

Go beyond technical skills training to include “soft” skills, such as communication and presentation skills, which can help members excel in the workplace.  

Ask members about their professional goals and use their feedback to inform the educational opportunities you provide. 

Give your online career center more attention 

Providing educational opportunities, occupation outlooks, salary benchmarks, unemployment data, “day in the life” videos, and more can be an extremely valuable part of your association’s engagement strategy. Here are some examples of career resources you can add to your online career center to give members the support and knowledge they’re seeking: 

Career path mapping – Give your members a clear roadmap to reach their professional goals. For example, with Career Journey® by Community Brands, give your members an online tool to map out their career path based on the job they want. This tool tells them the skills, learning, and job titles they need to reach their goals. 

career pathing tool

Résumé review – Offer free résumé critique through your career center. 

Job seeker articles, tips, and recommendations – Offer content including articles, résumé writing tips, interview techniques, job search ideas, and tips on social networking. 

Career coaches – Connect members with certified career coaches to help with job search strategies, interview tips, and résumé writing. 

Networking – Integrate social media with your career center to allow job seekers who view a job in your job board to see any LinkedIn connections they have with who works at the company. This is a useful technological integration that can help open doors to new opportunities. 

Industry career insight – Provide insights for job seekers looking to learn more about their current and future career stages with additional content for qualifications, education, and certification requirements, expected salary, etc. This allows you to become the go-to place for career resources for your industry. 

Keep networking alive 

Offer an online member community. Be part of your members’ daily social networking habits by providing an online member community where members can find industry information, network with your organization and other members, and share ideas. Look for technology that supports a modern experience, with tools to keep members engaged. 

Plan networking events. Whether they’re in-person or virtual, offer networking events throughout the year. These can be happy hours, lunches, discussion groups, career fairs, or any other type of event focused on connecting members with each other, thought leaders in your industry, hiring managers, and your organization’s staff. 

Don’t forget your annual conference. Your annual conference is a great opportunity for members to connect with each other as well as professionals in your industry. Set aside specific times in your conference schedule for networking activities. 

The turnover to a new year is the perfect time to help your members recharge and reconnect with their careers. It’s also a great time for your association to prepare for an even brighter future. YM Careers, trusted by 3 times more associations than any other job board provider, can help you build towards that future. 

YM Careers joins association leaders throughout the year at events such as Holiday Showcase, hosted by Association Forum in Chicago. For more than 30 years, Holiday Showcase has been the place for the association community to celebrate achievements, network with colleagues and friends, and build for the future. Exceptional programming, networking, and a sold-out exhibit hall will re-energize and strengthen you and your team—which means exceptional value for your organization. 

Join us at Holiday Showcase Dec. 13-14, 2021!

Connect with us at booth #520

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