You know belonging to an association can add tremendously to your personal and professional network. But what does that line on your resume say to a potential employer?
1) Extracurricular growth
Belonging to an association, even if it’s one based on hobbies and interests and not a professional group, shows that you are interested in personal development. In fact, membership in a hobbies/interest association could even be preferable because it’s less likely a corporation picked up the tab. This means that you’re not likely to fight company-mandated trainings and personnel development.
If you have a leadership position within your organization, it says that you are a committed planner who works for other’s best interests as well as your own. It also means that you probably go above and beyond regularly and commit your own time when necessary. How could that NOT look good to a potential employer? I want that guy on my team right now!
Associations exchange valuable knowledge, networking and growth for time. If you’re active with your association, it shows a commitment of time and money. Bonus points for regularly attending meetings, events, and signing up to volunteer.
People who are active and involved in associations make a lot of professional connections, and you never know which of those will be great for a new company. Your pal in a bird watching association might be a restaurant manager and offer a deep discount for an event space, or be the chair on a company that your new boss is looking to collaborate with. The bottom line is that connections are good as long as you’re not in the mafia.
Here’s the part of the show where I tell you to update your resume right now with your associations and if you have space, mention specific events you’ve planned or helped with. Updating LinkedIn isn’t a bad idea either!