Join a Job Club and Get Hired Faster

Job clubs are one of the most effective methods for speeding up your job search. You can take advantage of the camaraderie and feedback by teaming up with other job seekers.

Since the unemployment rate rose in recent years, these types of clubs have been multiplying all across the country. Find out how to join a job club or even start one of your own.

Benefits of a Job Club:Join a Job Club and Get Hired Faster

  1. Enjoy moral support. In addition to the financial hardships of unemployment, there’s now a growing awareness about the emotional toll. Spending time with those who understand your struggles can feel validating. You may even want to get together for free activities while the rest of your friends are at the office.
     
  2. Exchange feedback. People who are currently in the market for a new job have valuable insights on the process. Critique each other’s resumes and discuss your career objectives.
     
  3. Discover more leads. Spreading the word about possible opportunities is one of the top reasons why people join job clubs. Be generous about passing along openings that other group members may be qualified for or interested in. They’ll likely return the favor.
     
  4. Access expertise. Many job clubs invite outside speakers to address a range of topics from how to dress for an interview to preparing your taxes while you’re in between jobs. Your fellow members may also have specialized knowledge of human resources issues and the industries you want to work in.
     
  5. Strengthen your job hunting skills. Take advantage of opportunities to rehearse interviews and brush up on your telephone skills. This can be especially helpful if you have limited experience looking for work.
     
  6. Structure your time. Some people function better on a set schedule. You may want to attend one or more job clubs so you’ll have appointments to look forward to.
     

Tips for Operating a Job Club:

  1. Pick a venue. You may be able to rotate between private homes if you all know each other. For larger groups, some good choices are libraries, churches, and hotels.
     
  2. Decide on fees. Many groups are free, but you may want to consider charging if you need to cover expenses. Calculate your costs, including rent and advertising.
     
  3. Define your scope. Some groups narrow their membership to specific age ranges and professions. Others are open to the general public. A minimum of 8 members usually provides enough interaction. If you’re in a larger group, consider breaking up into smaller discussion units so people can make closer connections.
     
  4. Choose a leader. Rotating tasks like facilitating the meeting or creating the agenda gives everyone a chance to participate. If you’d rather engage an expert facilitator, ask around for recommendations about job coaches and other human resources professionals. Ask your most promising candidates if they’d be willing to volunteer their services.
  5. Prepare an agenda. Most meetings run more smoothly with a written agenda. Keep the schedule interesting and diverse with speakers, discussion groups, and popular topics.
     
  6. Draft ground rules. You may want to set limits on discussing the hardships of unemployment to keep things upbeat and use your time together constructively. Encourage members to contact each other outside of meetings when they need more empathy.
     
  7. Hand out homework. The most important work will probably take place between meetings. Ensure everyone has a specific and realistic assignment. It could be sending out 3 job applications or adding 2 new people to one’s professional network.
     

Looking for a job is hard work. Make the job search experience faster and more pleasant with a collaborative approach. Your job club members can help you find your next position and build a stronger network along the way.

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