Lots of valid suggestions already, which I won’t repeat. However, I want to stress that time and money are very big investments for an individual to make. In my last job, I managed to convince the company to part-fund TestBash - but I think that was only really because it was one of the cheapest conferences at the time and someone else had just got funding for an event, so there was perhaps a little pressure to balance that out. I still had to pay for the rest myself.
Every other conference, meet up or event I attended, I used my own money and holiday time. I’m lucky that I had that option, but others genuinely don’t. So I’d ask hiring managers not to assume that any lack of participation in these areas indicates lack of personal interest or investment.
This is one reason why I encourage every tester I meet at events, conferences, etc. to go on Twitter to get involved in the testing community and tester chat. If you’re not already browsing Twitter for news and gossip, you’re probably doing that on Facebook. Because it’s a more casual source of information and learning, I think it’s easier to bring into your routine as a habit (although I personally take breaks) and I think it’s invaluable for “meeting” great testers who can really help you learn and develop.
It can also help you raise your profile in the testing community. If an interviewer follows you on Twitter, they probably know what you’re about, or at least think you’re “one to watch”. Better yet, hiring managers might approach you because of what they’ve seen from you on Twitter. All-round great tool.