Being a member of professional organizations/affiliations can improve your career and life, offering giant networks, career training, continuing education, discounts on insurance, gym memberships, attorney services and more.

Having the “right” professional affiliations/organizations listed on your resume can also help you with landing a job. Susan P. Joyce from Job-Hunt.org writes that connections are the “best and fastest way to get hired.” Quality professional associations include:

  • Professional and Industry Associations
  • Company, Military and Government “Alumni” Associations
  • College and Universities Alumni Association

How to Choose a Professional Affiliation/Organization That Will Help Your Career and Resume

Because of the thousands of professional affiliations/organizations available, choosing one or a few can be a difficult task. Start by looking at what the affiliation/organization is offering. Here are a few questions to help with the decision-making process:

  • Can it help you get to where you want to go in your career?
  • How much is the membership fee?
  • Does it have conferences, seminars, online education and other learning opportunities?
  • Does it offer useful networking opportunities?
  • Does it have extra benefits, such as better rates on health/home/life insurance, discounts on gym memberships, reduced attorney service fees or discounts for extending learning?
  • Are they local, national or global? A mix is good when choosing organizations.

These are just a few of the questions you can use for helping to pick your memberships in professional affiliations/organizations.

Can Some Professional Affiliations/Organizations Hurt Your Chances of Being Hired?

Yes. While many professional affiliations/organizations can help you gain employment, including some types on your resume can hurt your chances of even being considered for a job. Unless you are sure that mentioning associations, including race, gender, ethnic, religion or political group can help you, you probably should not mention belonging to them. Unfortunately, this gives the employer details about you that can bias him or her, so it is best left off your resume.

While you shouldn’t mention these details on your resume, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still use these organizations for education and helping with your career advancement plans.

What Benefits Do Professional Organizations/Affiliations Offer?

Being active in a professional affiliate/organization demonstrates a willingness to participate and work in a group, which can help your job search chances. Active membership can help in career training and keeping current with trends and developments in your field. In addition, professional affiliations/organizations offer many benefits on the professional level, including:

  • Professional development for gaining knowledge and training in your career field. Seminars, events and staying current in new trends.
  • Networking with like-minded professionals and companies, peers.
  • Leadership and speaking opportunities for establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
  • Collaboration and support. You can share or collaborate with our professional in your field or even outside your company.

72 Professional Organization Examples by Industry

Accounting, Finance and Insurance

1. American Bankers Association

2. American Finance Association

3. American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)

4. Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB)

5. Independent Agents & Brokers of America (IABA)

6. Insurance Accounting and Systems Association (IASA): The IASA works to educate members of the insurance sector, as well as representatives of the finance industry about current trends, industry standards and rules and regulations. ISAS provides a platform for professional members and companies to collaborate and network. Check out more about ISAS here.

7. International Federations of Accountants (IFAC): The IFAC works to help develop global high-quality accounting industry standards, promotes the adoption of those standards and works for public interest interests. Members work towards the goal of ensuring a strong, sustainable finance economy. If that interests you, check out the IFAC here.

8. The Institute of Financial Operations (IFO): The IFO serves a community of over 70,000 professionals in the financial operations industry. Professionals gain a global voice, support to become leaders in their industry and help to educate the community on how financial operations work. If this sounds like you, check out the IFO here.

9. Mortgage Bankers Association

Consumer Services

10. Association for Customer Care Professionalss (SOCAP)

11. Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA): The CSPA brings together household and institutional brands together for collaborating on future products. They work with governments, non-government organizations, retailers, regulators and more to advance the science, research and policies of retail brands. If you want to join the CSPA, find out more here.

12. International Customer Service Association

13. National Customer Service Association (NCSA)

14. Professional Retail Store Maintenance (PRSM): PRSM connects retail store maintenance professionals for collaborating and setting new business standards. It also helps members to connect with other retail branches for the purpose of expanding retail careers and education. Find out more about PRSM here.

Education

15. Association of American Educators (AAE)

16. Association for Career and Technical Education Research (ACTE): ACTE is a US based education association for continuing the advancement of professionals through education and training. Joining ACTE provides not only education, but a large network of like minded people for connection and collaboration. Check out the ACTE here.

17. Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI): Working towards improving childhood education, the ACEI promotes an environment for education professionals worldwide. It helps to educate, engage and explore opportunities for improving childhood education, while protecting the rights of educators. Find out how you can join.

18. Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE): The ACHE provides a platform for education professionals to network, advance their leadership skills and connect with other members in the US and Canada. ACHE is also a mentor and grant platform for both students and educators. Join the ACHE program here.

19. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

20. National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

21. National Education Association (NEA)

Healthcare

22. Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP)

23. American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)

24. American Medical Association (AMA)

25. Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)

26. Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA): HFMA members receive continued training in current and future healthcare trends, discounts for education, certification programs, networking and career advancement help. HFMA provides a network of professionals to help with the daily pressures of being in the healthcare industry. If you want to know more about HFMA, click here.

27. International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS): IAHSS is a network for healthcare professionals in the security and safety sector. They work to help develop and implement security and safety programs within local healthcare businesses, while designing new guidelines for the industry and providing education and networking for its members. Learn more about IAHSS here.

28. National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)

Human Resources (HR)

29. American Payroll Association (APA)

30. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP): The IAAP connects international HR peers for continuing education, professional development, certification and networking. When you join, you gain access to a huge international community. Find out more here.

31. National Human Resources Association (NHRA): The NHRA joins HR professionals for developmental education and encourages leadership of its members in local communities. The NHRA provides partnerships, career services, training, networking and more. If you would like to know more, click here.

32. Professionals in Human Resource Association (PIHRA)

33. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Information Technology

34. Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)

35. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society

36. Information Systems Security Association (ISSA): ISSA is a community of cybersecurity professionals working together to help protect critical information. They also work hard to advance information technology growth by networking cybersecurity professionals together for collaboration. Find out more about ISSA on their website.

37. Network Professional Association (NPA)

38. Software Development Forum (SDF)

39. World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA): WITSA is a global trade and education committee that facilitates global trade and growth in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Find out more about WITSA on their website.

Leisure and Hospitality

40. American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)

41. International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA): The IFSEA works with professionals in the food service and hospitality business, from kitchen staff to management. It helps its members enhance their careers through mentoring, community service, hands-on education and more. If you are interested in finding out more about the IFSEA, click here.

42. International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH-RA): The IH-RA is an industry “watchdog,” working to help protect the hotel and restaurant industry worldwide from overreaching regulations. It also helps members stay informed, provides representation and monitors issues within the industry.  If you would like to know more about the IH-RA, look here.

43. Institute of Hospitality

Marketing

44. American Marketing Association (AMA): The AMA works with professionals and companies in the advertising and branding areas of marketing to help provide training, seminars, conferences and education on marketing. Find out more on how the AMA can help you advance your career, your company or your community here.

45. Business Marketing Association (BMA)

46. Internet Marketing Association (IMA)

47. Marketing Science Institute (MSI): MSI works with professional business and academic members, helping to advance the marketing science and technology industry. Members enjoy networking, access to training, conferences and building relationships for collaboration. If you want to be part of the MSI, find out more here.

48. Society for Marketing Professionals

Media, Publishing and Telecommunications

49. Association of American Publishers: The Association of American Publishers brings publishers together for stronger influence in the constantly changing world of American publishing. They work to keep high quality material for readers, invest in authors and help make connections between authors and readers. If you are a publisher looking for a professional network, this might be the right place for you.

50. Communications Media Management Association (CMMA)

51. International Association for Media and Communications (IAMCR)

52. Media Communications Association International (MCA-1): MCA-1 is a group of professionals who network keeping up with the current and fast changing trends of the media world. The group provides training, connections, leadership skills and works to influence the world of media.

53. National Communication Association (NatCom)

54. Society of Technical Communication (STC)

55. Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA): The TIA joins telecommunication professionals for collaboration and influence on telecommunication rules, regulations and standards. They also help professionals network, learn and set new trends in the telecommunications. Find out more about what being a part of the TIA can do for you here.

Real Estate

56. International Real Estate Institute (IREI): IREI includes members of the real estate community in over 100 nations. Their objective is to provide a network for real estate professionals, nationally and internationally, while providing up-to-date real estate information. Find out more about IREI here.

57. Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

58. National Association of Realtors (NAR)

59. National Real Estate Investors Association (REIA): REIA provides discounted benefits, such as real estate investing insurance, landlord resources, property maintenance resources, printing and supply discounts, real estate sign printing and travel discounts to real estate investors. They also work to educate the community on what real estate investors do. If you want to sign up for the benefits of REIA, please click here.

Sciences

60. Association of Science (ASTC)

61. National Institutes of Environment Health Sciences (NIEHS)

62. National Society of Professional Engineers

63. Project Management Institute (PMI)

Transportation

64. American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

65. American Society of Transportation and Logistics (APICS)

66. Association for Transportation Professionals (ATLP)

67. International Transportation Safety Association (ITSA): ITSA is an international organization that works to promote transportation safety. They investigate transportation accidents, in the attempts to help find safer ways to transport people and goods around the world through sharing of beneficial information and research around the world. If you would like to find a place with the ITSA, click here.

68. Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI): T&DI connects transportation engineering with urban planning and development. They provide members with conferences, advanced training, networking, leadership skills and networking with individuals, companies and communities. If you want to help influence transportation within your community check out how to become a T&DI member.

Utilities

69. National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC): The NARUC represents the energy commissions of the US. It works to help provide education and set regulation for the use of public utilities. The NARUC also protects the public’s interest in maintaining utilities and keeping prices down. To find out more about the NARUC, click here.

69. Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG): The UVIG is a group that provides a forum for advancing the use of wind and solar technology around the world. The group provides connections for other like-minded members, education for communities on the good of wind and solar power, and career advancement for professionals. If you want to know more about UVIG, click here.

In Summary

Including professional organization examples on your resume will make you a greater candidate than someone who is not affiliated with any organizations. But remember, being active in these organizations is what counts the most. Which professional affiliations will you include on your resume?