Creating Professional Affiliations on Resume

Resume Affiliations can be boiled down to two basic flavors: career and civic.

  • Career category has to do with organizations dedicated to a profession, industry, or functional specialty.
  • Civic category covers community, nonprofit, and for-fun groups.

Volunteerism can fall under either category, depending on whether you are a mentor to business professionals or a role model for youth. Employers will regard this kind of service favorably: It not only benefits your chosen charitable cause, but also is great for business public relations.

Affiliations on Resume

If numerous affiliations resume elevate you to “overachiever” status, consider splitting them into a career-related category and a community-related category for greater readability and impact. If you have only one organization to include, make sure it carries weight, or don’t include it.

Affiliation Terms

Choose one of following terms if you’ll be using an Affiliations category:

  • Activities
  • Affiliations
  • Associations
  • Charitable Commitments
  • Civic Involvement
  • Community Activities
  • Community Involvement
  • Community Organizations
  • Community Service
  • Industry Affiliations
  • Leadership
  • Memberships
  • Mentorship
  • Organizations
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Professional Associations
  • Professional Memberships
  • Public Service
  • Trade Organizations
  • Volunteerism

Affiliations resume examples

In most cases, a simple inventory of your community or professional resume affiliations, presented in order of importance, will suffice. When your involvement included election to an office or other leadership position, mention the title either before or after the organization. Remember to preface the title with “past” in cases when you held an office but are no longer in that office:

AFFILIATIONS

Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development
American Association of School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
California Reading Association
California Math Council—Curriculum Development Committee
Central Valley Language Arts Council—Past President
Twin Cities Rotary Club

Abbreviated Affiliations resume examples

As a space saver, you can present the information in paragraph form with each organization separated by a semicolon. This presentation will buy you an extra two lines, three if you eliminate the subcommittees and leadership positions and abbreviate the word “association” throughout. However, note that Abbreviations can be risky when your resume will be scanned.

It is not necessary to include the date you joined each organization. The following example is a traditional one-item-per-line list format.

AFFILIATIONS

Assoc. of Supervision & Curriculum Development; American Assoc. of School Administrators; Assoc. of California School Administrators; California Reading Assoc.; California Math Council; Central Valley Language Arts Council; Twin Cities Rotary Club

Distinguish between past and present affiliations

If you are no longer a member of some organizations but want to include them for impact, add the words “Past and Present” after the Affiliations category heading; then place the more dated affiliations at the bottom of the list.

Doing so makes it unclear which Affiliations resume are current and which are past, but many candidates have used this strategy to weave in older affiliations that supported their candidacy. In this example we can see how to Susan use this technique to include her former involvement in the arts that was relevant to her target position as Executive Director of an arts foundation.

AFFILIATIONS (Past and Present)

Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development
American Association of School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
California Math Council—Curriculum Development Committee
Central Valley Language Arts Council—Past President
Twin Cities Rotary Club
Twin Cities Art Educators’ Network—Founding Member, Past President
Arts for At-Risk Youth—Founding Member, Past Director

The past-and-present technique illustrated in this example is helpful also when you’ve moved from one city to another and were very involved in local organizations in your former city but haven’t had time to get as involved in your new area.

Distinguish Professional and Community Affiliations

When you need to present an extensive listing of professional and civic involvement, give each category a subheading and present the items in either a list format or, if you’re short on space, a paragraph format.

To help set off the subheadings, I used a hanging indent, text after the first line is indented 0.3 inches. This word-processing function is found under the Format, Paragraph command in Microsoft Word.

AFFILIATIONS

Professional: Assoc. of Supervision & Curriculum Development; American Assoc. of School Administrators; Assoc. of California School Administrators; California Reading Assoc.; California Math Council; Central Valley Language Arts Council

Community: Twin Cities Art Educators’ Network Founding Member, Past President; Arts for At-Risk Youth—Founding Member, Past Director; Volunteer League of Milpitas; Twin Cities Women’s Network; Twin Cities Rotary Club

Professional and Community Affiliations in List Format

This same information presented in list format is cleaner and easier to read. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend taking up this much vertical space for affiliations on a one-page resume. Go with this format only if your resume is two pages long.

AFFILIATIONS

Professional Associations
Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development
American Association of School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
California Reading Association
California Math Council
Central Valley Language Arts Council

Community Involvement
Twin Cities Art Educators’ Network—Founding Member, Past President
Arts for At-Risk Youth—Founding Member, Past Director
Volunteer League of Milpitas
Twin Cities Women’s Network
Twin Cities Rotary Club