NASW introduces new professional development benefits

Virtual career fair, SmartBrief e-newsletter are two of association’s newest offerings

NASW members will have access to more job opportunities and resources to help them in their careers, thanks to a SmartBrief e-newsletter distribution and a virtual career fair, where social workers can talk to potential employers, find out about open positions and submit their resumes for immediate consideration.

NASW is working with SmartBrief — an online publisher of targeted business news and information, by industry — to send a free daily e-newsletter to members via email.

Members will receive an email notification this month with information on where to go online to sign up for the e-newsletter, said Richard Loomis, manager of NASW’s conference and event planning.

“The e-newsletter content will be directed to the professional social work community, and will include news articles and information on social work points of interest collected from a wide variety of sources, including NASW,” Loomis said. “Our goal is to engage our members and provide them with the resources to help them in their field, whether they work at the local, state or federal level, or within public agencies.”

Loomis said NASW wants its members to be aware of what’s going on in the world that may apply to them professionally, and to have that information presented in a manner that is efficient, easy to access, and saves them time.

“This will be a significant service to members, providing them with informational sources and points of contact they may not otherwise have time to research on their own,” he said. “The e-newsletter is a way for NASW to provide members with up-to-date, current information that can have an impact on their profession.”

NASW members seeking a job change or new employment could benefit from the NASW virtual career fair, which will take place online May 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. ET. Similar to an in-person job fair, members will be able to chat online with potential employers about opportunities and submit their resumes.

The virtual career fair is beneficial to both employers and job seekers, said Raffaele Vitelli, director of NASW’s Professional and Workforce Development.

“Employers can gain valuable information about the career-fair participants, and job seekers can chat to several employers within the same time frame on a one-on-one basis, just like an interview,” Vitelli said.

After entering the “lobby” of the virtual career fair site, a list of employers — or exhibitors — will be displayed, Vitelli said. Job seekers can then sign up for online interview chats with the employers of their choice, with each interview lasting about seven to eight minutes in length.

Online prompts will let participants know when they are next in the queue for each employer they have signed up to talk with.

If someone is in the middle of an online interview with one employer, they will have the ability to manage their queue presence if they are next in line for another interview, he added.

“Everyone who attends will have access to online tools that will make the virtual career fair a very efficient process on both sides,” Vitelli said.

NASW members will also have the opportunity to participate in a career development webinar at the end of May, hosted by NASW member Carol Nesslein Doelling. She will discuss helpful resources from her book “Social Work Career Development: A Handbook for Job Hunting and Career Planning.”

The webinar is open to NASW members only. Participation in the virtual career fair is free for NASW members and nonmembers.