How To Showcase Your Professional Membership On LinkedIn
Please note – if you came to this article because you were wondering whether or not you should consider paying for a Premium Membership of LinkedIn, I do recommend LinkedIn Premium Membership IF (and only if), you have fully updated your LinkedIn Profile, you are clear on your purpose and you understand the benefits of Premium Membership.
In most cases, membership of a professional association requires formal study, experience and a lot of form filling and official verification!
So if you go to all that trouble to become a member of a professional association, why not work out some good ways to gain a return on your investment!
Your annual premium will help keep you well informed, maintain your professional reputation and expand your network in the industry. After all, there is no such thing as ‘job security’ any more, so developing and maintaining a network is vital for financial security. After all, your ‘network’ is your ‘net-worth.’
Over the years, I have been involved in a variety of professional associations and I truly value showcasing my associations on my website and on LinkedIn.
Let’s start with some general personal branding principles first.
1. Everyday habits
1.1 Include your post nominal letters whenever you write your name.
i.e. Sue Ellson BBus MPC CDAA ASA WV SPN
1.2 Consider adding the professional association logo on any written or digital material that is related to you.
1.3 Find places to include the link to the professional association website whenever it is appropriate.
1.4 Think of ways that you can contribute to the overall profession discussion through the association in other online or offline publications and include the professional association information next to your name.
i.e. Mention your membership status when posting online, in your guest speaker biography, in your event presentations etc
1.5 Keep your details up to date and current with your professional association so that they can help keep you informed about opportunities of interest.
i.e. Update your professional development activities, keep your email and mailing address current etc.
1.6 Find ways to be involved regularly and on an ad hoc basis when something relevant appears – it is a good idea to plan your own Professional Membership Strategy.
i.e. Here on LinkedIn, you may decide to write a blog once a month, like/comment/share other people’s content once a week and acknowledge professional member special achievements as they occur.
2. LinkedIn Profile Suggestions
As LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, showcasing your professional membership on LinkedIn is a great way to tell anyone, anywhere, that you are part of the association that represents your profession.
Remember that associations can only represent members adequately if members join and support the profession.
But the good news is that there are many ways that you can update your LinkedIn Profile to showcase your professional memberships! This helps you and the association…
2.1 Include your post nominal letters wherever you write your name. This could be in the last name box if you feel strongly about it, but normally, you would include it in your ‘Summary’ and ‘Advice for Contacting’ sections.
2.2 Add a link to your professional association in your Contact Information Section in the Website Details. Simply choose ‘Other’ and write ‘XYZ Association Member 143184’ and then include the link to either the main website http://www.xyz.org or your member profile page http://www.xyz.org?member=143184
2.3 Add the professional member logo as an ‘image’ to your ‘Summary’ section. You may also like to include a short title ‘XYZ Association Member 143184’ and in the Description Box, mention ‘The XYZ Association (XYZ) is the national association representing xyz professionals and advocate for development in the xyz industry. http://www.xyz.org. To add real pizazz to this section, find an XYZ Association Video Online (like YouTube) and add the ‘Introduction’ or ‘Member Information’ video link.
2.4 If you are an official or volunteer for the professional association, include the details in your ‘Experience’ section and add this role as another ‘job’ that you complete. You could also put this information in your ‘Volunteer Experience & Causes’ sections (or in both sections if you are using complex skills even if the position is unpaid).
2.5 In the ‘Organizations You Support’ section, if you start typing ‘XYZ Association’ and the XYZ Association has a Company Profile on LinkedIn (recommended), it will come up as a choice and you can add it to your profile.
2.6 In the ‘Organizations’ section, you can also write something like ‘Member of XYZ Association 2010 – present’
2.7 In the ‘Skills and Expertise’ section, you may like to add some of the keyword categories related to your profession i.e. ‘Human Resources’ and ‘People Management’ etc. This will emphasise the areas of your expertise and highlight the current market terms for your industry (for example, ‘Human Resources’ may be the ‘old’ term and ‘People Management’ could be the ‘new’ term even though the association is still called the ‘Australian Human Resources Institute.’
2.8 In the ‘Certifications’ section, you can add your professional membership level as a Certification i.e. ‘Professional Member – MAHRI’ and quote your Membership Number as your License Number. Remember that your professional membership status may require regular ongoing professional development to be maintained. Again, if your professional association has a Company Profile on LinkedIn, when you start typing the professional association name, it will automatically populate this field and put the logo on your profile.
2.9 In the ‘Courses’ section, if you have completed any XYZ Association courses, you can add these details in this section or alternatively, you can add them in the ‘Education’ section. In some respects, the ‘Education’ section is better because it provides more details about what you have studied.
2.10 In the ‘Publications’ and/or ‘Projects’ section, outline details of what you have produced that relies on your professional association membership or utilises your professional knowledge.
Remember that although this takes time, it is extremely valuable to complete ALL of these sections because completed LinkedIn profiles are 11 times more likely to be viewed.
This will help you maintain your professional reputation, be helpful if you are looking for your next role and vital if you are being sought after as a speaker, award recipient or project contributor.
You may be interested in learning a lot more about LinkedIn via my book ‘120 Ways To Achieve Your Purpose With LinkedIn‘ published on 23 February 2016
3. LinkedIn Activity Suggestions
Having a fabulous LinkedIn Profile is only one part of developing your online presence on LinkedIn. With only 1% of social media users currently contributing to discussions, providing information and sharing resources, you can easily stand out as a mover and shaker in your profession if you consider the following options.
3.1 Clicking the Notification Bell on the profile of all of your professional connections on LinkedIn. This way you can see their best content in your news feed.
3.2 Follow the Professional Association LinkedIn Company Page. Simply visit their page and start following so that you can be kept informed.
3.3 Join some relevant Professional Association LinkedIn Groups (or Sub-Groups) and get involved – start by ‘listening’ to the conversations, then ease yourself in by providing answers and sharing information and eventually, consider starting useful discussions for group members.
3.4 Invite other people you meet at professional association conferences, events and forums to connect with you on LinkedIn.
3.5 Write a blog post on a professional association topic on your profile and again, mention that you are a professional association member in the credits.
3.6 Keep some statistics – how many professional association connections you have today, then in three months time, six months time etc. Remember that job security is fleeting but a good network can be invaluable.
3.7 Offer to contribute to other professional association publications (magazine, forum, blog etc) and then showcase the article you had published through your news feed, publications or projects on your LinkedIn profile.
3.8 Share updates from other professional association members and include the ‘XYZ Association’ name in your update (so that it links back) or the professional association Twitter handle @xyzassociation so that the social media team can share if appropriate – consider also sending it out as a Tweet at the same time.
3.9 As the LinkedIn Platform grows and changes, come up with your own ideas on how to showcase your professional membership online. The more people who hear about your professional association, the more your industry will be valued in the wider community.
3.10 Consider some of the other viral options on LinkedIn. Quality Posts, Articles and Newsletters can all mention your professional membership details.
Whenever you comment on something, if you include your professional association post nominal or the professional association name, the professional association will become more well known.
The potential to promote your professional association membership via LinkedIn Activity is amazing. It has the ability to make your contribution seem more worthwhile. You may even like to encourage other professionals in your industry to become a member of your professional association so that they can also enjoy the benefits of membership.
4. Other Social Media Platforms and Online Locations
Whilst your association may have a good quality presence on LinkedIn, there is no reason for you not to consider showcasing your professional association membership on other social media platforms or other websites, forums and apps.
Here is a list of some locations you may or may not have considered including your:
• post nominal
• professional association membership logo
• professional association website link
• your other professional association activity
4.1 business card
4.2 email signature
4.3 job applications
4.4 job advertisements
4.5 resume or CV
4.6 business proposals
4.7 reports (inhouse or external)
4.8 publications (including books, ebooks, newsletters etc)
4.9 presentations (slideshows, handouts etc)
4.10 award mominations
4.11 personal website (yourname.com)
4.12 business website (yourbusiness.com)
4.13 your cover image on your social media profiles
4.14 description on your social media profile
4.15 your own book!
4.16 anything else where you can put text or an image and it is relevant!
Whilst initially adding your professional association membership details to these locations may be time consuming, think how much you will improve your:
• industry recognition
• professional recognition
• business relationships
It may also inspire you to aim for a higher professional association certification or be involved in the association through:
• special interest groups
• publications (online and offline)
• social media
• the board
Most professional associations exist to serve and promote members and I sincerely hope that these guidelines will enable you to showcase your professional association membership both online and offline.
Other LinkedIn Articles of interest (Right click to open in a new tab)
- LinkedIn for Women (but really for everyone)
- How to find a job or work using LinkedIn
- Why You Should Create a Good LinkedIn Profile
- How to Write a LinkedIn Profile Summary for your Purpose
- LinkedIn Profile Updates Cheat Sheet
- Multiple Job Strategies That Will Work
- What to do for your career whilst you are at home
- What to do your business whilst you are at home
- Tips for finding remote work or working from home jobs
- Networking – Free and Paid Online and Offline – What really works?
- How to help someone with their career when they won’t listen to your advice
- Can unemployment be good for you?
- Tough Love for the Unemployed under 30
- Tough Love for the Unemployed 30-50
- Tough Love for the Unemployed over 50
- LinkedIn Frequently Asked Questions
Enjoy the rest of your day!
#professionalmembership #linkedin #linkedinprofile #sueellson
First Published: 1 July 2016
Last Update: 11 October 2022