When I was out of work, I had to choose between various bills. I'm glad I chose to continue my SME membership
Dearborn, MI (Vocus) August 7, 2009
Economists and job seekers alike are bracing for this month's national jobs outlook due out on Friday. Will the report show some signs of hope or will it continue to point to double-digit unemployment? Will the national average of 10 percent take a comfortable dive or will job seekers continue to experience needle-in-a-haystack odds of finding new opportunities?
As millions of job seekers turn to the best known online job boards, they are finding that their applications are becoming forever lost in cyberspace never again to be seen by a human eye. Instead, computers are scanning for keywords and making the "decision" about who gets called for that all-important interview and who doesn't. Job applicants may even run into scams which use the allure of gainful employment to secure confidential personal information.
Tim Welbaum can commiserate. After Welbaum was laid off from his previous position at a small manufacturer, he tried the usual search methods.
"I did everything you're supposed to do when looking for a new job. And it can be a frustrating experience if you start too broadly. Your best bet is to start with your network or even build one by joining an association," said Welbaum.
It was only after he turned to his membership in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and its online Jobs Connection that he was able to secure four leads and eventually a new position.
"One company flew me to France for an interview. The other two offers unfortunately tanked with the stock market crash. Still, I was lucky to find my current position."
Welbaum is currently a member and industry relations manager covering eastern Canada for SME.
So how can a frustrated job applicant cast a wider net? Go fishing in a smaller pond with trade and professional associations.
There are more than 86,000 associations across the country and each of them has a common goal that is usually centered around a cause, industry or profession. For instance, while the well-known AARP does not have a job board for seniors, it does frequently feature employers that are "age friendly." On the other hand, the American Society of Association Executives has its own online Career Headquarters, which serves as a clearinghouse for jobs within associations.
The Public Relations Society of America and the Society of Human Resource Management also have job boards featuring hundreds of positions looking for applicants with specific skills. And in the case of SME, there are nearly 1,000 jobs available on Jobs Connection.
"There are available opportunities throughout the country on SME Jobs Connection for anyone with diverse manufacturing engineering, lean and operations experience," said Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director & general manager of SME. "Our site averages about three resume postings per job, so this is your chance to be a big fish."
But to learn about or actually apply for these jobs on many association Web sites, membership is often essential and dues can range from the nominal to upwards of a few hundred dollars.
"When I was out of work, I had to choose between various bills. I'm glad I chose to continue my SME membership," said Welbaum.
Tomlinson concurs, "Looking for work can be a full-time job and if you were to figure in what you're worth on an hourly basis, you've already spent what it costs to join. It might be the best investment you'll ever make in your career."
For more information about joining SME, visit http://www.sme.org/join.
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The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, and oil and gas. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
Lori Ann Dick, APR
Senior PR Representative
communications (at) sme (dot) org