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Many job seekers question exactly what they should put on their resume and what is better left off. While you want to avoid adding excess information that does not benefit your credibility or qualifications, make sure that you do include things that are relevant. Memberships to professional organizations may not seem like much, but they can actually tell an employer a lot about you, especially if you are actively involved. In addition, these memberships can help you to better position yourself in the job market and enhance your job search.

Shows Commitment and Interest in the Field. Practically every industry has multiple professional organizations that support work in the field. By becoming a member, you are showing that you take pride in what you do and want to connect with others in similar lines of work. You gain access to valuable information about the latest developments and trends. Including relevant memberships on your resume demonstrates that you are making an effort to stay connected and get involved.

If you hold any positions on a board or committee, make sure to list them along with the years. This can demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to supporting your profession. It also shows time management, team work, leadership, and planning skills. If space allows, list any major projects or accomplishments that you achieved that are relevant to the work you are seeking.

Maintains Up-to-Date Knowledge and Skills. Professional organizations are a wonderful resource. Not only do many of these organizations produce journals and newsletters to keep members informed of current happenings and developments, they also host seminars, conferences, workshops, and other events. If you take advantage of these courses, list them on your resume to show additional training and certifications. You can show that you are current on the latest skills and policies as it relates to your field. This can be beneficial if you are currently unemployed to show that you are actively pursuing your education and staying current on industry happenings.

Provides Networking Opportunities. Associating yourself with other professionals in your field can bring about valuable connections and networking opportunities. It can allow you to get a better feel for the types of jobs available and find out about job openings when they first arise. Membership can also give you connections to others at various companies you may be applying at. Building a positive reputation and capitalizing on your skills can give you an edge among other applicants who may not be as involved in the industry.

While not every membership may warrant space on your resume, those in which you are actively involved and are relevant to your career should certainly be considered. You want to have a well-rounded resume that shows you are versatile and make the most of opportunities available. Membership in professional organizations not only benefits your own knowledge and access to resources and networking opportunities, but also increases potential employers’ access to you.