You have the credentials to be a personal trainer, and now you’re at a point where you’re ready to put yourself out there. If your goal is to become an on-staff personal trainer at a gym or other facility, it’s important to put together a resume that speaks to your unique skills set. Here’s what should be on your personal trainer resume:
Introduction: Tell a Little About Yourself
Traditionally, this area of a resume is called an objective, but you could also use this space to include a small bio paragraph. If you want this to be an objective, then you’ll take this time to talk about the kind of job you’re looking for. It’s wise to adjust your objective to match the specific job description for the position you’re applying for.
Skills: Show What You Can Do
In a conventional format, skills are listed as bullets or in a simple list. Because you’re providing context in other areas of your resume, the skills section needs no further explanation. However tempting it may be to list every skill you have, big or small, it’s not best practice to let your resume drag on for more than one page.
We suggest sticking to no more than 10 skills, listed in two columns, so you’re not taking up too much room and overshadowing your experience or education sections. Here’s an example of what you might list in the skills portion of your resume:
- Private Training
- Group Fitness
- Young Adult Coaching
- Autism Fitness
- Rehabilitation Training
- Limited Mobility Coaching
Experience: Show What You’ve Done
This is the part of your resume where you’ll showcase your skills in action. In which jobs did you implement young adult coaching? How long did you work with that specialized group? If you’re new to personal training, then you would include volunteer training time in this section, but also list your past work experience. Although the job description of your past employment won’t pertain to your future career as a personal trainer, it will show the hiring manager why you don’t have prior experience in this industry.
Education: How Do You Know What You Know?
The education section is your time to show how your skills have evolved over time. It’s also your chance to show job responsibilities that mirror what you would do as a trainer, even if you haven’t filled a role call “personal trainer” before. For example, if you worked as a customer service representative, you could say one of your responsibilities was asking the customer questions to get to the route of their problem. In your cover letter, you could explicitly state how this skill will help you as a personal trainer: you know how to talk to your client to get to the heart of their fitness concerns and goals.
Traditionally, resumes show experience in reverse chronological order…
If your personal training experience occurred a while in the past, you might organize your resume according to most-to-least relevant experience. Just be sure to state that somewhere, more than likely your cover letter.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to the listed job description for the position you’re apply for. If they’re looking for a particular type of experience and you have it, be sure to make specific mention of that in your experience section. You don’t want to necessarily say, “I have what you’re looking for” (although that could be an interesting and provocative approach). You could instead phrase your responsibilities in the same way the hiring manager did in the job description so there attention will be called to this section.
Specialization: Set Yourself Apart
Something that can truly make your resume stand out is a specialization certification. Beneath the “Education” section of your resume, you can list all the certifications you have in personal training and make special note of your specializations. You may also mention your specialization or special experience in your skills and even in your experience.
A specialization that can really make you stand out among your competition is one in special needs. You’ll also expand your clientele reach by showing people with disabilities or parents of people with disabilities that you’re sensitive to their unique fitness requirements. Sign up for our all-online, eight-hour special needs fitness certification course today!
Bonus: What to Include in Your Cover Letter
We’ve made a few mentions here and there about what you should include in your cover letter, but here’s everything in one place, plus a few bonus tips: You want to make sure to draw attention to areas on your resume that call back to parts of the job description. If you have adjacent experience to the job you’re applying for, call attention to that and explain how those skills could be applied to this position. (For example, describe how your customer service skills and organization could help you in this new role.)
You also want to use this time to fill in all the blanks in your resume. If you have a year or so where you don’t list employment, you should explain that. Of course, state clearly the reasons that you’re qualified for the job. If your personal training certification is what qualifies you, then state that plainly. If there were any other skills that wouldn’t fit on your one-page resume, you can list a few more here.
Your cover letter is also your chance to share a little bit of your personality. Note: a “little” bit. You still want to be professional, so don’t use emojis, acronyms or slang. But you can come across a little funny or warm or firm, if that’s how you want to present yourself. Think about how you want to come across in the interview. Your cover letter is where you can act out that fantasy because nothing can interrupt you. Be yourself and get a call back. Good luck!
Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.