Resumes & Cover Letters

57 Professional Associations To Boost Your Resume

March 10, 2021

Hiring managers are often impressed by job applicants who prove a dedication to their industry or field. An effective way to do this is by listing professional associations on your resume. Professional associations can show hiring managers how committed you are to learn more about their field. It's also a great way to collaborate with other professionals to gain advice and insight into your field or industry.

In this article, we learn what a professional association is, which professional associations you can list based on your field and how to list them on your resume.

Related: Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

What is a professional association?

A professional association is an organization with members who work in or share an interest in a specific job field or industry. Members of professional associations will often meet regularly to discuss upcoming news in their field or will host events for other members to meet and network. Many well-known and established professional associations are nationally recognized with their local organizations available in numerous cities. Members can join these local organizations and attend events to meet other professionals in their field.

Professional associations may also host events that are informative and provide members resources to help them learn more about their field to advance in their career. Some associations may accept members still enrolled in college hoping to gain more knowledge about their field or industry. There are some professional associations that require a membership fee, while others may be free to join.

Why are professional associations important?

Adding a professional association to your resume may impress a hiring manager, especially if you are entering your job search with limited work experience. Below are reasons why joining a professional association can benefit you and look impressive on your resume:

  • Networking and collaboration opportunities: Joining a professional association allows you to attend events and meet others in your field. You can meet leaders in the industry who can offer you advice during your job search. There may also be members who have connections to companies that are hiring and may arrange a job interview for you.

  • Demonstrates your industry knowledge: When a hiring manager notices a professional association listed on your resume, they may realize that you're committed to the industry or field you're pursuing. This may motivate them to hire you, as they may expect you'll bring this industry knowledge and commitment to their company.

  • Opportunity to learn more about your field: While you meet with members of your association, you can learn more about your field and what a career in this field entails. This can especially be helpful if you're still enrolled in college courses and want to learn more about the field before you apply for jobs. Meeting with association members can help you gain insight into what your future may look like if you pursue a career in this field.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land a Job

List of professional associations

There are professional associations offered for numerous majors and career fields. Here are some common associations you can list on your resume, according to their field of study:

Accounting associations

There are many accounting associations available to employees with varied years of experience. Joining an accounting association provides a strong networking opportunity ranging from annual fees to free memberships. Some accounting associations will offer mentorships, internship opportunities or valuable training to help you advance in your career. Common accounting associations are listed below:

  • American Accounting Association
  • American Association of Finance and Accounting
  • National Association of Professional Accountants

Architecture associations

To boost your resume and meet other architecture professionals, you can join a professional architecture association. The architecture associations below will help provide you with the knowledgeable connections needed to become an educated and skilled architecture professional. Here are a few architecture associations you can consider joining:

  • American Design Drafting Association
  • Association of Architecture Organizations
  • Association of Licensed Architects

Arts associations

Since there is a range of art professions, many associations are available that cater to each art specialty. You can find arts associations for performing arts employees, watercolor artists, modern artists and more. Below are popular arts associations you can join:

  • Association of Performing Arts Professionals
  • College Art Association
  • Professional Association of Visual Artists

Business and economics associations

Joining a business and economics association can prove to employers that you are dedicated to expanding your skills and knowledge of upcoming trends. The following associations can also showcase your impressive networking skills as you gain new connections through each association you join:

  • American Management Association
  • Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals
  • National Association for Business Economics

Communications and media associations

To gain advice regarding the specific type of media career you want to pursue, you can join a communications and media association. Since there is a variety of media and communications careers available, you can narrow down the career you would like to pursue by joining the associations listed below:

  • Communications Media Management Association
  • National Communication Association
  • Telecommunications Industry Association

Construction associations

Whether you want to serve as a contractor or lead a team of professionals in a construction management role, you can gain valuable insight on these careers by joining an association. These kinds of associations will also educate you on your rights as a labor worker and can help you gain valuable connections who may choose to collaborate with you on projects in the future. Here are some construction-related associations that you might want to consider:

  • Construction Management Association of America
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Institute of Building Sciences

Counseling associations

Whether you're hoping to counsel children in a school setting or if you're hoping to help adults struggling through difficult times, you can join an organization with members who can offer professional guidance in a range of counseling fields. You can meet other counselors with similar challenges and experiences within the profession by joining the following associations:

  • American Counseling Association
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling

Criminal justice associations

Since criminal justice can be a competitive career to join, professional associations can be a beneficial addition on your resume to help you stand out among other applicants. You can also meet professionals with many years of experience in the career willing to provide helpful career advice. These associations include:

  • American Society of Criminology
  • National Association of Chiefs of Police
  • National Criminal Justice Association

Customer service associations

As you work in customer service, you may want to share your experience and knowledge with others in this profession. You can provide this advice to others by joining a customer service association. These association types can range from selling products to working with customers over the phone to assist them with any problems. Some common associations include:

  • Consumer Specialty Products Association
  • International Customer Service Association
  • National Customer Service Association

Dental associations

Professional dental associations can help you gain more skills and knowledge to find new cures for various dental diseases. The associations vary between dental practice owners and dental hygienists. Here are some dental associations to join:

  • American Association of Dental Office Management
  • American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • National Dental Association

Education associations

To gain more insight into a certain curriculum or teaching strategy, many educators will join associations. There are many associations available for a variety of roles from teachers to principals to superintendents. Here are a few:

  • Association of American Educators
  • National Association of Special Education Teachers
  • School Superintendents Association

Engineering associations

Many students starting their career in engineering may join to learn more about the specialty engineering subject they studied in school. By joining these associations listed below, engineers can meet professionals within their respective field and gain connections to help them pursue potential job opportunities:

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Association of Energy Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers

Environmental associations

Joining an environmental association can help you discover more ways to improve the environment, which can help you advance in your career. Professionals working within environmental roles can provide training and resources to gain a better understanding of caring for the environment. Potential environmental associations you can join are:

  • Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
  • National Association of Environmental Professionals
  • National Environment, Safety and Health Training Association

Finance associations

Since finance positions often require a strong industry knowledge, many employees may benefit from joining finance associations to build their knowledge. Featuring this on your resume may showcase your dedication to industry knowledge which may cause you to stand out among other applicants. You can join the following finance organizations:

  • American Finance Association
  • Association of Finance Professionals
  • Financial Planning Association

Health associations

You can learn more about various job titles and their responsibilities by joining professional health associations. You'll find employees with many years of experience willing to share their knowledge regarding current research, helpful resources and possible connections to help you advance in your career. Here are a few associations you can look into joining:

  • American Association for Healthcare Administrative Management
  • American Association for Physician Leadership
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Human resources associations

A position in human resources involves strong attention to the various needs of employees and collaboration with different workplace departments. Featuring one of the following human resources associations on your resume can enhance your commitment to collaborating with others:

  • Employee Assistance Professionals Organization
  • National Human Resources Association
  • Professionals in Human Resources Association

Information technology associations

There are many IT professionals who join associations to keep up with the constantly changing trends in technology You can learn more about the skills or certifications that are in demand by joining one of these associations:

  • Association of Computer Engineers and Technicians
  • Association of Information Technology Professionals
  • Technology Services Industry Association

Sales associations

Obtaining a sales position often requires building relationships and connections. By joining one of the associations featured below, it can show your dedication to building your networking and relationship-building skills:

  • National Association of Sales Professionals
  • Sales Management Association
  • Strategic Account Management Association

Writing associations

Gaining the support of other writers can help you learn more about how to thrive with a writing career. There are many associations available in a variety of genres and subjects. You can join an association according to the subject you write for. Some common writing associations are:

  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs
  • National Association of Science Writers
  • Society of American Travel Writers

How to list professional associations on your resume

When listing professional associations on your resume, you can create a separate section for this list. You can feature professional associations near your education, volunteer work or achievements sections. Here is an example of listing professional associations on a marketing director's resume:

Professional Associations

American Marketing Association – active member

Association of Network Marketing Professionals – active member

Legal Marketing Association – former member

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