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  3. How can affiliations on your resume add great value?
How can affiliations on your resume add great value?

How can affiliations on your resume add great value?

Artwork by: Anastasia Kraynyuk

  • What are resume affiliations?
  • Why is the affiliation section on your resume important?
  • Where do you place affiliations on your resume?
  • 1. Professional affiliations section
  • 2. Professional summary
  • 3. Education
  • Key takeaways

Affiliations may seem like a minor thing that you don’t really need to highlight on your resume, but they can be that little extra element that catches a hiring manager's attention. Show your value and stand out more in a competitive job market by effectively adding affiliations to your resume.

In today’s competitive job market, you need every advantage possible. Making sure you have an effective and ATS-optimized resume is a great place to start. But, how can you make your resume stand out from the crowd? By including an affiliations section on your resume. 

Done the right way, the affiliations section can significantly increase your value by showcasing leadership qualities, technical skills, and commitment to social responsibility. 

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What are affiliations on a resume?

  • Why are affiliations important?

  • Where do you place affiliations on a resume?

What are resume affiliations?

Affiliations on a resume are organized groups, clubs, or associations you are or were part of. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, including affiliations on your resume that are closely related to your career field can promote you as an ideal candidate. 

Professional affiliations on your resume include membership of professional organizations, board memberships, volunteer organizations, academic clubs, and community organizations. 

Expert Tip

According to CEO of Founders Kristi DePaul, affiliations are key: “I would take a hard look at what you’ve done, whether it’s internships, volunteer work. There are a lot of ways that you can position yourself as somebody who has more experience than you really think.”

Why is the affiliation section on your resume important?

The use of affiliations on your resume is important because it will highlight your dedication to your field of work. When you join a group, an association, or a club, you show a potential employer your commitment to expanding your work experience, enhancing your skills, and enriching others with your industry knowledge.

Affiliations are also a great way to show your leadership skills, your ability to work in a team environment, and that you are a well-rounded person. Your affiliation section will stand out if it aligns with the company mission or any of the social responsibility programs the company is connected with.

  • Detail relevant and recent affiliations even if you’re no longer associated as they are still valuable, but do consider omitting any over five years old.
  • Highlight leadership affiliations to show your potential to a hiring manager, even if you’re not targeting a management role.
  • Include any irrelevant affiliations as these won’t interest the hiring manager. Ensure any affiliations are relevant to your target role and career path.
  • Add religious or political affiliations, unless the role you are applying for directly relates to these types.

Where do you place affiliations on your resume?

There are options when placing affiliations on your resume and each will depend on your level of experience and the specific jobs you are targeting.

Here are three examples:

1. Professional affiliations section

If you have several professional affiliations and want to attract attention, the best option is to create standalone affiliations sections on your resume. This would typically follow your education section and you can either have this as one section or break this information down into two sections, such as certifications and professional affiliations.

Here’s an example:


Certifications Certificate of Investor Relations | Chartered Accountant - U.S. Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Terrorist Financing

Professional Affiliations Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Treasurer, Northwest Regional Business Association Volunteer, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF)

2. Professional summary

If you have a standout affiliation or two that will likely impress a recruiter, then place it front and central. Your professional summary is the first thing a hiring manager will see, so including this in your opening summary is a great idea. 

Here’s an example:


Accomplished, driven leader with proven success in the delivery of complex, multi-million-dollar construction projects, including residential and mixed-use developments. Act as Vice President for Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) SoCal Chapter and Board Member for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

3. Education

If your affiliations directly relate to your academic studies or you only have one or two affiliations, then you can include this information in your education section. 

You can label this section as Education & Credentials and detail affiliations as follows:


Education & Credentials

Master of Business Administration (MBA)  New York University (NYU), New York, NY (Funded Scholarship)

Bachelor of Arts, Economics Columbia University, New York, NY

Certifications:  Lean Six Sigma White Belt, 2021 

Affiliations:  Member, NYU Finance Society  Volunteer, AARP Foundation Tax Aide

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Key takeaways

  1. Memberships and affiliations can enhance your resume and enable you to stand out in the candidate pool if they’re directly relevant to the job opening or your target career.

  2. Avoid including any irrelevant affiliations as this will dilute your application for a specific job opening and won’t be of interest to a hiring manager.

  3. The best options for highlighting your affiliations on your resume are in a standalone affiliations section, professional summary, or the education section.

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