Making Affiliations and Activities Count

By: Pat Kendall

Your involvement in academic and/or trade associations can help to reinforce your candidacy, as many employers view such memberships as indicators of your commitment and professionalism. In fact, the names of organizations are typically used as criteria in keyword searches, so be sure to include them — along with any related training or certification programs sponsored by the organization.


In addition to adding valuable keywords to your resume, affiliations promote the image you want to project. For example, membership in the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, provides three keyword benefits: The name of the organization, the acronym (NSHMBA), and the word Hispanic.


Leadership positions (and their attendant titles) carry even more clout. Specific titles — such as president, public relations chair, or marketing committee member–are not only beneficial from a keyword standpoint, but may even “outweigh” the titles in your paid experience.


For the human reader, such titles suggest that you have certain capabilities and potential (e.g., leadership ability, service-orientation, and other “wanted” traits).


Leveraging these leadership positions is especially important if you’re attempting to qualify for a higher-level job and need to build a case for your candidacy. The fact that others trust you to perform at this level verifies that you have what it takes to do the job.


About the Author: Pat Kendall is a nationally certified resume writer and e-resume expert with 20+ years of experience. Pat is the author of two books on electronic resumes / online job search and contributor to The Complete Job Search Guide for Latinos. For more information, visit


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