I was going over a student resume, and noticed that he had once belonged to a professional organization, but had let the membership lapse. We talked about this and took a look at the website for the organization. We found lots of resources that he could use, including a job board, a mentoring program, scholarships and lots of other information about the journalism business.
This morning he wrote to tell me that he had re-enrolled in the group and was immediately invited to a networking event this spring. By the time he graduates in two years, he'll have a network ready to help him find a job.
So this is one step that can really pay off. Join a professional organization while you're a student. The sooner the better. Get onto their blogs and Facebook pages. Link in with them. Go to their conferences and events. This is how you build your network.
Check out organizations like:
- The Society of Professional Journalists
- The Online News Association
- Investigative Reporters and Editors,
- The National Association of Hispanic Journalists,
- The National Association of Black Journalists,
- New York Women in Communications,
- New Media Women Entrepreneurs
Or take a look at this exhaustive list of organizations put together by the folks at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.
You're bound to find at least one organization that would be happy to have you as a member.