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Does it worth to add IEEE membership to my CV? It seems every body can pay a fee and become an IEEE member.

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Many CVs have a section for professional society memberships. Mere membership doesn't necessarily convey a significant distinction, but it does say which groups you have chosen to invest in affiliating with and which judge you to qualify.

For the IEEE in particular, it actually does have fairly strict membership qualifications. Most people cannot qualify for IEEE membership, but pretty much any practitioner of the field can, because that is what it is designed to select for. Thus, putting an IEEE membership in your professional society memberships section of your CV is entirely appropriate.

  • This comment has nothing to do with whether it's good to put membership on your CV. But does IEEE really check if an applicant is qualified for regular membership? Maybe they do for student membership (because of the discount on the membership fee), and I know applications/selection of IEEE Fellows and whatnot are very strictly regulated. But I don't remember they checked if I actually got my degree in one of those qualified fields or if I had experience long enough when I joined as a regular IEEE member. – Yuichiro Fujiwara Dec 11 '14 at 14:55
  • @YuichiroFujiwara I have no idea what actual validation systems they have in their process. For the most case, it would be easy enough for them to check with one's institution, but I don't know if they do it generally, or spot-check, or bother at all. The bar is low enough, however, that I doubt that it would be worth it for many people to falsify... – jakebeal Dec 11 '14 at 15:20
  • Yeah, I agree. It's hardly worth it to falsify qualifications, and I tend to doubt they have a strict validation mechanism. But I think this implies that the fact that I am a member of a certain academic society in itself adds pretty much nothing to my CV. What actually tells something about me is perhaps the fact that for me it's worth some nontrivial money to be an IEEE member; I may be benefitting from conference fee discounts, want the fields IEEE covers to grow, etc., which in turn may look good to the eye of people who are looking to hire an engineer, scientist, etc. in a given field. – Yuichiro Fujiwara Dec 11 '14 at 15:54
  • I can be a guinea pig for this project. I qualify but never bothered getting membership. Maybe we'll start next year so I don't have to pay for a half year of membership for the 22 days left in this month. – Compass Dec 11 '14 at 18:21
  • @Compass Not sure what your test will show, if they do something like spot-verify of verify via Google... – jakebeal Dec 11 '14 at 18:23
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I do/would not. The IEEE membership is a paid for membership, which academics, like myself, often buy simply for the benefit of obtaining reduced conference fees. I am sure that there are more legitimate uses of it, but in most cases, it's for attending conferences or registering with a journal. Unless you are an IEEE fellow or one of their other distinctions, all it requires is an academic email address and 25$/year to join, so I would not list it.

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I do put my academic affiliations at the very, very end of my CV. It is not there to prove my worth in any way, but rather to show which academic associations I affiliate most closely with and where I have been active in contributing to.

You could also get that through looking at the Conference Presentations portion of my cv, but I've presented at conferences where I'm not a member.

This is particularly important in interdisciplinary fields where it's not clear which conference / disciplinary borders one occupies.

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