How Your Job Search is like Marketing an Association

Recently, I attended a seminar at the Association Forum of Chicagoland, “60 Marketing Ideas in 60 Minutes.” The idea was to learn new methods (often free or low cost) to market an association, but I was struck by how many could be used when searching for a job.

It makes sense—you’re goal is to get your name and unique value proposition in front of as many decision makers / potential members as possible, in the hopes that they’ll hire you / join your association. The result is different, but much of the process is still the same. Below are some tips I picked up that you can try out when looking for your next association job:

1) DEVELOP A SOCIAL NETWORKING PLAN: Come up with a strategy for exactly where, what, and when you’ll post. You’ll be more likely to reach your target market, and also avoid wasting time by haphazardly posting to multiple sites. To make this strategy even more effective, consider using social media tools or

2) MAKE YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS POP: Keywords and great copy are a must, but consider adding something extra. Including YouTube videos (for example, of you delivering a presentation) to your online profile or website can increase the odds of yours being viewed over someone else’s.

3) SHARE TIPS: When marketing an association, it may be presented as training – sharing information to educate the public on topics related to the organization’s mission. It’s a little more like networking when “selling” yourself to a prospective employer, but the process is similar. Share industry tips to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert, but also as part of the give-and-take that is networking. When you share, others are more likely to remember you and also send leads your way.

These are just a few of the many ways marketing an association can be compared to promoting yourself in the job search. Look back on other campaigns you’ve been involved in, and see what else you can repurpose when looking for your next position.


About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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