Ever sat through a required class and been completely bored? Maybe you’d already learned the material elsewhere but were enrolled as part of a job onboarding process. Maybe you were renewing a certification and the curriculum ― or visuals ― hadn’t changed at all in 10 years. You’d rather cut off your arm than have to endure another hour of information that neither excites nor is useful to you, but if you want that job or certification, you must stay.
Online boredom doesn’t work the same way, however. If visitors to your website aren’t impressed with the information your association offers, they’re out ― and might not return. The same goes for your online career center. Your association may have assembled an extensive lineup of resources, but if you haven’t customized such resources to the different “ages and stages” of your members, you’re not providing as useful of a member benefit as you could. And that’s probably showing in your website engagement metrics.
It’s best practice to customize content for the different career stages and accompanying needs of your members, which in turn creates more reasons for them to use your online career center. The added value they could receive from access to a career portal that offers online courses, message boards, articles and videos that address their professional needs at every step of their career journey could make a big difference between a casual member who fails to renew when membership becomes inconvenient, and a dedicated association advocate who stays involved year after year.
We recommend starting to customize career content by employment level by studying your member demographics: At what level of your profession do members mostly operate? What are the most common job titles? Do your member profiles show consistent patterns of moving up through specific ranks?
If you have incomplete data about your members’ jobs and their professional aspirations, ask them: What resources do they need to break into industry employment? In what type of position do they want to be working in 5 or 10 years? How can your association help them level up?
Surveying your members for answers to these questions is the way to go. But for a quick start to your career resource customization efforts, we’ve put together a list of suggested career resources by employment level. Use these ideas as a starting point for your association’s unique mix of career resources and tell us about your most popular resources in the comments below.
There are several facets to looking for a new job. Help your members understand the process and what may be required of them with articles aimed at those beginning, or in the middle of, their job search.
- Where to Look for Jobs in Your Industry
- How to Find Out About Upper Management Jobs Before the Public Does
- How to Interview for a Job by Video
- How to Succeed through Multiple Interview Rounds
- How to Write a Resignation Letter
- Common Job Search Challenges by Employment Level
- What to Do When an Essay is Required
Some extroverts love networking; other introverts approach it with anxiety (or avoid it altogether!). Offer tips to help everyone navigate business connections with articles about effective networking:
- How to Work a Room for Beginners
- Finding Unique Networking Opportunities for the Veteran Professional
- Networking for Introverts
- How to Become a Pro at Making Conversation
- Networking Ideas for Busy C-level Executives
- How to Get on a Board of Directors
It can be difficult to keep up with the many rules for the content and formatting of a professional resume. Offer articles such as these to help members polish theirs:
- How to Write a Student Resume
- How to Write a Mid-Level Manager Resume
- How to Write a Resume When Looking to Be Promoted
- Write the Resume that Will Get You into the C-Suite
- Adding Volunteer Work to Your Resume in a Meaningful Way
- Resume Writing for Those Who Took a Break from the Workforce
Most professionals can use some help making a good impression. Offer topics such as these to help them succeed at job interviewing:
- Why You Might Want to Invest in an Interview Coach
- What to Wear to an Interview When on a Budget
- How to Handle Concerns about Your Work History
- Nonverbal Communication is 60% of All Communication: How to Send the Right Message
Articles explaining the benefits of mentoring relationships and how to make the most of them:
- Benefits of Engaging with a Professional Mentor/Mentee
- How to Make the Time for a Mentoring Relationship
- What to Do When a Mentoring Relationship Isn’t Working Out
- Common Goals for Young Professionals Seeking a Mentor
- Mentoring Boundaries
- How to Stay Motivated to Complete a Mentoring Program
Article ideas to help members transitioning from entry level to new management or upper management positions:
- I’m Moving into Management. What Do I Need to Know?
- “Buddy to Boss” Best Practices / Workplace Conflict Management
- Business Accounting 101
- Navigating the C-Suite
- How to Create a Business Plan
If your association has been searching for an organic way to improve your members’ use of your online career center, customizing its content is one of the most authentic ways to do so. Adding content customized to employment level and professional development goals may take some time, but that’s okay. It’s better to make a thorough plan and spend time developing quality articles, videos, infographics or audio-based content in partnership with internal and external experts than to throw low-quality content together in a rush. Members will come back to quality content that truly serves their professional needs time and again.
Test out a few initial articles and let the response to those inform your larger career center editorial plan. Be sure to promote each article far and wide. Great content isn’t much use if no one knows about it! Invite members, especially seasoned members, to contribute. Consider hiring freelancers to fill in any content gaps so that your online career center has a well-rounded portfolio of appropriate topics.
Customize your content and watch your career center metrics improve and engagement grow!