Job Application: Mensa Membership

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 - candidate, curriculum vitae, CV Help, CV Tips, CV Writing, Job Application

Job Application: Mensa Membership

Where's George?

William, a software writer, asks: Is it a good idea to include Mensa membership on my CV? I know that you have answered this question in a previous post, but the type of work is Software Testing which is a job that is greatly enhanced by intellect, ie: a piece of software is given to me and I have to think about different scenarios in which to test, therefore the more I can think of the better. It can be very very methodical but also abstract ideas are also helpful. I don’t have a degree, which could be seen as just as meaningless as there are plenty of people today with degrees. So, if applying for a role such as this, would it be beneficial to put on my CV that I am a member of Mensa?

In answer:
As always, the answer is: depends!

You should be proud of your Mensa membership, but as you no doubt know – from asking this question – it has a bit of a positive/negative “Marmite-like” effect with some others.

Personally, unless I knew that other Mensa members were already part of that company/organisations team, I would exclude it.

Certification Qualification

A degree is a timed commitment to study something, and hence its outcome is certification that you can apply yourself and get a result. That is why it is liked by industry, much as though some degrees are aimless in subject, and there remain large question marks over the quality of modern degrees. Mensa membership says you have certain mental ability, but that doesn’t imply you have an ability to sustain that level for a duration, or create a business orientated result: just that you have a highly efficient brain.


The way I would use Mensa membership in seeking employment, would be to network around your local group seeking introductions to employers of existing Mensa members. You could also locate Mensa members who are located in target employers by using business social networks like LinkedIn. Both these ways you know that the employer will look positively on your Mensa membership, and further that as you are introduced as a trusted friend, you stand a better chance of employment.

You should be positive about your Mensa membership, but don’t – much like if you had an Oxbridge degree – lead on it. Business is mainly interested in consistent outcome results, not certificates.

Good Luck!


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