How I got immediate value from joining a SHRM chapter

local shrm chapterNote: this post is not encouraging anyone to spam a group of people. It’s only a recount of my own experience. If you spam your local HR pros, you could get booted from the SHRM chapter. Fair warning!

Back in the spring of 2009, I started looking for my first HR job. While I graduated college a year earlier than that, I had to work for my employer for a year since they paid for my final semester of college. I knew that it was time to step out of the small pond and jump into the world of HR with both feet. At that time, I was working with Andrew at Jobacle as a staff writer. In a fortunate coincidence, I had interviewed JT O’Donnell for a story on the Jobacle blog, and after a brief mention that I was job searching, we began to work together. JT is a great career coach, and her company, CAREEREALISM, is the place to go if you’re a job seeker looking for help.

Within a week, an entry level HR position with a local nonprofit opened up. I went for it. I wrote a cover letter, attached my resume, and sent it to their in-house recruiter. The only problem is that I knew that everyone else who applied for the job would do that exact same thing. I had to make it better.

How I used my local SHRM chapter membership to get a job

I had only been a NASHRM member for a little while, but I had seen the member directory before. On a hunch, I searched the database for the employer’s name. I got a hit! Two HR professionals at the company were NASHRM members. I did some background research and saw that one of them was a friend of a friend, so I made sure to ask for a personal recommendation, too. Using the information in the database, I sent a custom cover letter to both of them. I think it helped because:

  • I was able to address it to them personally
  • I mentioned my membership in NASHRM and showed that I was dedicated to making a career of HR
  • With the information I found in Google about both of them, I was able to target their interests

Shortly thereafter, I receivd a call. Two interviews later and I was on the payroll. And the rest, my friends, is history. If I hadn’t been able to use the NASHRM database to connect with the hiring manager, I can’t say that I wouldn’t have got the job, but it certainly didn’t hurt! Has your local chapter helped  you with anything similar? Have you met someone who could help you find a job locally? I’d love to hear about it.

You may also enjoy…

How I got immediate value from joining a SHRM chapter is a post from: UpstartHR

Link to original post

Ben Eubanks is the Principal Analyst at Lighthouse, developing research and insights for today’s talent leaders and vendor partners. Ben works with vendors from areas across the HCM spectrum, delivering high-quality research, assets, and advisory to support demand generation, sales enablement, customer success, and more. Prior to joining Lighthouse, Ben worked as a research analyst for Brandon Hall Group, focusing on learning, talent acquisition, and talent management. During his tenure, he published more than 100 pieces of research and delivered presentations to executives from some of the largest and most respected organizations in the world. He also has hands-on experience working as an HR executive, leading both strategic and tactical talent practices. He has worked in nonprofit, government contracting, and startup environments. In addition, he runs, a website serving HR and talent leaders that has reached more than 600,000 readers since its inception.


Leave a Reply