In this video on memberships and affiliations, Stacey Gordon discusses the importance of choosing the right organizations to list on your resume, how that can affect your job search and how to find organizations to join if you are not currently a member of one. Learn more about how to display your memberships to rock your resume.
- If before this point you have never joined an organization or volunteered your time, you might want to get started. Being part of an organization shows that you are well-rounded and usually that you can, or have a desire to, get along well with others. At least, that's what we get told in high school, right? When we applied to college, it was drummed into us that extra curricular activities were in demand. Well, employers are no different. They do want to see that you occupy your time with things other than work.
I address memberships and affiliations separately from volunteer experience because they are different and many times people confuse the two. So, let me give you an example from my own life. I'm a member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, and this means I signed up online and paid my dues. I might attend an event they are hosting every now than then, and if that was the sole basis of my involvement, I would list the organization under memberships or affiliations.
Why would I do this? Placing this information on my resume shows a few things to a future employer. First, it shows that I have initiative. I took the time to locate an organization that is related to my industry. And second, it shows that I'm interested in furthering my expertise and knowledge in the HR industry. An industry-based organization usually provides you with an opportunity to continue learning in your field, and the assumption is that I'm taking my own free time to keep up with industry updates, and that demonstrates ambition.
Third, being a member of an organization usually means you have the opportunity to network with other professionals in that field, which broadens your network. Not every type of membership needs to be, or even should be listed. There are times when you don't want to list an affiliation because you think it might prevent you from getting the job. Memberships and organizations which provide information about your race, religion, marital status, or any other information that an employer cannot legally ask don't need to be avoided completely, but should be included only if they're relevant to the job for which you are applying.
This does require some thought and can include memberships and organizations which don't make the case you have an interest in the job to which you've applied. An example of this, which isn't immediately obvious, is including your membership in an executive level organization when you're applying for a more junior-level position. Sometimes that might indicate to a recruiter that you might not stay in the role for very long because you have much higher aspirations. Refraining from listing purely social, religious, or political organizations is a good idea unless you are attempting to work within an organization that would value such an association.
If there's a doubt, leave it out. Great categories of organizations to list are ones that are industry-based. CPA societies, marketing societies, banking associations, engineering groups. You get the gist. Not sure if there's a group for you? Try an Internet search using your industry as a key word. You'll be surprised at what you find.
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Explain how to present your experience on a resume.
- Identify where spell check will not catch mistakes.
- Recognize the proper way to present your dates of employment in your professional experience section.
- Recall when you will need a traditional resume in the entertainment business.
- Explain what you could do to fill in the void on your resume when you have been unemployed for over six months.
- Name the benefits of sending a handwritten thank-you note following an interview.
- Identify some things you can do to help you identify and eliminate red flags before applying for a job.