As public relations and communications students we understand the importance of building our professional networks and making connections. Joining a professional organization is a great way to do this. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is an organization that can help us connect and learn from others in the communications profession.
The IABC has been around for over 40 years offering career guidance.
So why should you join?
The IABC local chapters offer resources including articles written by professionals in the field, student workshops, professional development sessions, and networking opportunities.
1. Resources, resources, resources
When you join the IABC you gain access to extensive resources, including thousands of articles, books, podcasts, videos and peer-reviewed research. The IABC also publishes the CW (Communication World) Magazine that puts forward interesting reads.
These resources can be helpful for your courses and career.
2. Workshops and professional development
The IABC holds workshops for students and professionals. This is a great time to receive valuable information from established communicators.
For example, on Tuesday, Feb. 4 the IABC hosted a workshop titled Stand Out with LinkedIn: A Workshop for students. Chantal Brine, Youth Employment Program Lead for Venor Search Group, and Lindsay Cross, Brand and Integrated Marketing Specialist at Mount Saint Vincent University hosted the workshop.
The workshop focused on personal branding and how to use LinkedIn as a social networking tool that conveys your personal brand and professional experience while attracting the attention of recruiters and future employers.
During the workshop Cross made a comparison of professionals and resumes to pancakes: When you have a stack of pancakes, the top one is full of syrup and it’s delicious. As you keep eating, you get fuller and the pancakes become more predictable and less appealing”.
Cross said the same can be true for a resume. As employers look through resumes, some things become typical and boring as you go through more and more. Therefore, it’s important to have aspects that make you stand out from the bunch.
3. Networking with like-minded individuals
Professional organizations allow you to meet and share information with others in your field. The IABC hosts socials, as well as workshops where attendees can meet these like-minded individuals. For students or someone just starting out, getting advice and mentorship from others who were once in your position is incredibly valuable.
Not only can the tools mentioned above help you in your career, but being a member of the IABC gives you access to job listings in the business communications field, many of which are exclusive to IABC members.
The IABC also offers professional accreditation CMP (Communication Management Professional). Certification is intended to support communicators throughout their careers.
Whether you’re a student, corporate leader, or retired from the communications profession, the IABC has something for you.
For more information about the IABC, its local chapters, and membership information visit their website: www.IABC.com