Out of network?
If you aren't working your connections, you're making a big mistake. Luckily, plenty of professional networking orgs can help you press the flesh.
Show us a person who got a job by virtue of his or her résumé alone, and we’ll show you the person who passed that résumé along. Because no matter what field you’re in, getting a new job is usually—screw that, always—about who you know. That, of course, means you’ve got to meet people in your field. Start by joining a professional organization that will help you swap business cards and job tips. Search for Chicago organizations at the American Society of Association Executives & the Center for Association Leadership’s website. Here is a sampling of some of the best:
Young Professionals of Chicago
With events that are as social as they are beneficial (a cocktail party one night, a seminar on becoming a social entrepreneur the next), this org helps budding businessmen and women, um, get down to business.
Professional Women’s Club of Chicago
By eliminating the distraction commonly known as “men,” the ladies in this organization are free to network without interruption at monthly luncheons.
Chicago Headline Club
This chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists claims to be the nation’s biggest. Membership gets journalists access to lunches with editors, a mentoring program, training opportunities and—perhaps most crucial—its JobFile, which it touts as “the Midwest’s most current and comprehensive source of journalism job listings.”
American Institute of Graphic Arts Chicago
A club for graphic designers is bound to get a little nerdy, which means there’s just as much passionate idea exchanging as there is résumé passing.
The Chicago Bar Association
The bar is such a staple in the law community that outsiders may be surprised to hear membership is voluntary. The Chicago chapter is particularly strong, sponsoring more than 120 seminars a year, publishing legal journals and running a program for young lawyers.