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Professional and trade associations can almost always use more help. If you're willing to volunteer for association focused on your industry or profession, it could be a good way to meet some high-profile people who can open doors for you. If you're not sure which associations are relevant for you, check ASAE web site:
VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES RELEVANT TO SPECIFIC PROFESSIONS
If you don't think you would be right for a position on a non-profit board or in a role volunteering for your professional or trade association, there are other ways you can volunteer and still get networking benefits. In fact, there are some non-profit organizations you can volunteer with that may be a very good fit for your background and provide a high likelihood that you will meet someone who can open some doors for you. Here are some suggestions:
Real Estate and Construction Careers: Habitat for Humanity and other housing organizations
Sports and Entertainment: Make-A-Wish Foundation
Media, Government Agencies and Legal Professions: Political Campaigns. In today's era of highly litigious political campaigns, lawyers make up a big portion of a political campaign's volunteer staff. This also provides a good opportunity for legal assistants and paralegals to spend time with successful attorneys. Media and advertising are also a big part of political campaigns.
Legal Professions: Legal Assistance centers - such as those for non-English speaking people
Human Resources: Job training and career resource centers
Media/Communications: Media organizations such as those that focus on bringing awareness to certain issues
The Idealist.org web site provides an extensive directory of non-profit organizations and also lists specific volunteering opportunities.
Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.