Professional and Personal Affiliations section of a Resume


 Professional and personal affiliations can offer the prospective employer insight into important personal characteristics, such as dedication to your profession or a strong desire to learn and develop professionally. Involvement in a professional organization indicates that you are up-to-date with current industry trends.

Additionally, participation in industry and trade associations can offer you the opportunity to gain a variety of skills, such as team-building, leadership, problem solving, and management that potential employers find valuable.

Include all professional affiliations related to your job target and personal affiliations that demonstrate characteristics important to the job you are applying for.

Insider Tip:  When listing affiliations, use the organization’s full name followed by the appropriate acronym in parentheses:

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

This helps maximize your search results based the appropriate keywords managers use to locate qualified candidates when publishing your resume on the Internet or forwarding electronically to hiring managers.

Determining What Information to Include

If you have a list of Affiliations within your career field, you can consider listing only the names of the organizations

However, you may also consider listing the months and years of your membership, the name of the association, your title within the organization, and its location. You may want to include any additional information that will add to your qualifications.

·        If you held a leadership position within the organization, list your title and briefly summarize your duties.

·        You might also consider listing any important committees on which you served.

·        List any honors or awards you’ve received within the organization.

·        If you belong to an organization that may be unfamiliar to a prospective employer, describe the nature of the organization including its charter and any community related service it provides.

Questions & Answers – Professional Affiliations

Should I include organizations if I’m no longer an active member?

If you are not an active member, you should still consider listing your affiliation if it is relevant to your job target. You may list the dates of your membership or affiliation along with the organization.

What if my affiliations are religiously, politically, or ethnically specific?

Ask yourself this question, “Is this information guaranteed to create a positive impression?”  Political, religious or ethnic issues should usually be avoided during the hiring process. If you are confident that listing an organization of this nature will highlight a positive quality and not run the risk of alienating you with a prospective employer, you might consider including this information in your resume.  For non-career specific organizations, you could also put this information in a Volunteer or Personal section.

I’m involved in a community organization. Should I put this in my resume?

Many employers prefer candidates who demonstrate a commitment and focus to their career. If your membership in the organization demonstrates a quality desired by your prospective employer, or is directly relevant to your career objective, then include this information.

What if I belong to a professional organization not specific to my career?

Unless your membership within the organization demonstrates a quality desired by your prospective employer, or is relevant to your career objective, consider eliminating this information in your resume.

Sample Examples of Personal Affiliations in a Resume


Member, Leadership Development Program, 2001-2002

Member, Professional Women’s Network

Treasurer, Hill County Lions Club

Member, Society for Marketing Professionals (SMP)


California Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, 1998-2002 (Executive Committee)

City Council Board of Directors, 1994-1999 (Chairman, 1999)

San Francisco Bay Area Bar Association

California State Bar Association


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – AICPA

Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants – CSCPA

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  7. I’m a student member of a couple of organizations, although I have 20 plus years of work experience, is it okay to list Professional Organizations while a student member?

    • If you have 20+ years of work experience under your belt, then your experiences as a student are negligible. Not only will listing them be a waste of space, but they will also be an eyesore for potential employers. They are looking at the twists and turns your career has taken the last 20 years. Anything beyond that is history.

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