What to Do When You Inherit a Career Center: First Steps

By Shanna Mertel • September 16, 2020

Career centersYou’ve just inherited the responsibilities associated with maintaining your association’s online career center. Now what? Your career center is a core association benefit offered to your members and, by extension, industry job seekers. But it can become so much more than a member benefit if promoted, nurtured and curated in a strategic way. This guide will help you get comfortable with your new career center tasks and show you how to develop your association’s online career center into the No. 1 career resource for your industry.

In this first part of our “What to Do” series, we will review how to take over responsibilities and direction for association online career centers. We guide you through what an online career center is and how it can enhance the career paths of members and other industry professionals.

Why have a career center?

  • Cultivate engagement and relationships: Connecting the right people with the right jobs helps cultivate member loyalty, trust and advocacy. When your association’s online career center helps them reach the next stage in their career, members become more active and engaged, while ready to spread positive news about your association. An association career center platform increases the value of your membership for members and employers.
  • Attract more members: Drive traffic to your main website, nurture prospects, and further prove the value of your membership. Career centers are often the No. 2 most-trafficked section of an association’s website and can be a jumping-off point for other areas of your website, such as online learning or community groups.
  • Convert postings into profit: Generate non-dues revenue from paid job postings and featured advertising while building brand value for your association. More non-dues revenue means more to invest in your members’ professional goals. Boost sales with industry-specific, data-driven marketing campaigns that provide purposeful touchpoints for your brand and advertisers.

How does it work?


Employers create an account on your career center and can add multiple internal users to their company account/profile. Employer users are able to purchase and post job openings on the career center, as well as proactively search the resume database for potential candidates.

Job Seekers

Job seekers create an account on your career center with a full profile about themselves and their professional background. They can upload a resume and other professional documents to round it out. Job seekers can elect to have their profile/resume as private, confidential or public in the resume database. Your association should encourage everyone to make their profile and resume public, however, so job seekers can receive more exposure to potential employers, and so employers have a more robust talent pool to review. The best online communities operate on as much transparency and full participation as possible.

Customer Service Resources

You’re not in this alone! Your online career center platform provider will field a team of customer service representatives available via phone and email for all employers and job seekers who experience an obstacle or want to know how to get more out of their profile. They are available to guide you and your staff through facilitating all the potential uses of your online career center.

Those are the basics of why an online career center is a useful addition to your association’s website and who contributes to them. Reference our online career center glossary to get to know your career center.

About The Author

Shanna Mertel is a director of client experience for the SaaS group at Naylor Association Solutions. Email her at [email protected].