This post was provided by Victoria See, Marketing Manager with MultiView, and offers a compelling story about how association membership has worked for her. Thanks so much for sharing Victoria!
My association membership got me my job.
You can really stop reading there. That’s the story. My association membership got me my job. Without my association membership, I would not have been hired four years ago by a fantastic company that saw my potential and pushed me to it and even beyond it. Without my association membership, I don’t know where I’d be, but I wouldn’t be succeeding like I am now.
I’ll paint you a picture. It’s 2009. August. The Great Recession had never been greater—or worse, if you’re a recently graduated 22-year-old with nothing but internships under her belt. I was desperate. My internship had ended without an offer because they just didn’t have the money. I was living with my parents. I was sending out resumes and posting my portfolio, doing everything I could think of to find a job.
And then, one day, like magic, I got a phone call. MultiView wanted to know if I could come in for an interview. MultiView? I hadn’t heard of them. If I’d sent in a resume there, I was pretty sure I’d recognize the company name, at least. I was drawing a total blank.
Cut to two days later. I interviewed—and I was hired on the spot. I finally found the courage to ask just how I’d gotten in the door in the first place; and that’s what I found out: my new boss had found me on the AIGA member website.
Yup. As a student member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, I had posted my resume, clips of my work and a link to my website as part of my profile. “Looking for a new designer,” said boss who had perused local profiles. He found my profile and had HR bring me in for an interview. Without that membership, I never would have had this job.
Maybe not all stories are as direct as mine. Maybe a prospective employer sees an association on a resume and is herself a member. Maybe her company partners with that association. An association membership connotes a seriousness about that profession that little else can.
Associations also provide unique networking opportunities that can help you get a foot in the door. Even most nationwide associations will have local chapters that meet once a month—a monthly meeting of professionals in your industry that you can rub elbows with, collect business cards from and meet with for professional advice. Even if the people you meet don’t hire you outright, they can point you in the right direction or pass on the tips they’ve picked up along in their careers that have gotten them to where they are now.
What’s your association story?