Joining a professional organization for human resources can potentially further your career after graduation. Through such organizations you meet other professionals engaged in your field, network, acquire support, learning tools and leadership skills, and you stay abreast of developments pertinent to your long term professional health. The following are five great professional organizations for human resources that you should consider.

1. The National Human Resources Association

Established in 1951, the NHRA focuses primarily on the individual career development of its members, and career services form the bulk of its membership benefits. Members enjoy early access to national HR job postings. Members also have access to information and registration for national educational meetings and social-professional dates, such as conventions, retreats, national HR galas, conferences and charity events.

The NHRA also has local affiliates in New York, California and Missouri. Online membership enrollment exists for individuals, students, corporations and service providers, or non-HR practitioners. Fees vary by local affiliates and membership type. NHRA is active on social media.

2. Any Local Human Resources Association

In addition to the national level, it’s also advisable to join a local human resources professional organization, such as the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association. Local professional organizations for human resources are a wonderful way to meet fellow HR professionals in your neck of the woods, find out about jobs, build contacts and community.

CAHRA offers certification prep classes, job resources and scholarship information for HR majors. Its website also contains info about monthly meetings, socials, conferences and job fairs.

3. International Public Management Association for Human Resources

Founded in 1906, IPMA-HR represents the interests of HR professionals at all levels, with special certificate programs for professionals new to HR or to public sector HR work. The organization is also an industry hub, featuring HR industry news, development opportunities, education, jobs and resources, such as benchmarking reports and best practices.

IPMA-HR has a central governing body, but members govern at the local level in more than 40 chapters throughout four U.S. regions. Members of this particular human resources professional organization value its precise dedication to human resources professionals entering or at work in the public sector, which has its unique challenges.

4. Society for Human Resources Management

Founded in 1948, SHRM is the largest international professional association for human resources, with hundreds of thousands of members in roughly 56 countries. SHRM’s membership body brings global perspective to complex human resources challenges, which members benefit from as they partake of the organization’s unrivaled networking opportunities, certifications, educational tools, development, and local and global events.

SHRM has affiliates by country and regions within countries, such as the Professionals in Human Resources Association, the largest affiliate chapter in the world, with 17 locations serving several California counties. PIHRA supports its members and the entire local HR industry with learning, community-building activities and advocacy.

5. International Association of Administrative Professionals

The IAAP is a nonprofit organization that shares the skills, knowledge and insights necessary to prepare human resources professionals for the demands of ever-changing business environments and job advancement. IAAP achieves this aim through education via specialized online and offline training programs, certification, advocacy, and networking events.

The association hosts conferences and a leadership academy where HR professionals connect, meet industry leaders, swap notes and acquire new learning objectives and skills to build on. Founded in 1942, in Kansas, the IAAP has branches throughout the lower 48 states and in Alaska.

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Get your foot in the door before graduation, or intensify and refine your current career game plan by joining a professional organization for human resources. Begin with the organizations mentioned above. Membership is the first step to establishing a professional foundation and a support system to sustain you through future career endeavors in human resources.