What Should Be on Your Personal Trainer Resume?

What Should Be on Your Personal Trainer Resume

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

The Experience section of your resume is crucial for demonstrating how your skills and expertise align with the position you’re applying for. When it comes to careers in personal training, especially if you’ve specialized in young adult coaching, here is what you should focus on to effectively showcase your skills and experiences:

1. Detail Your Roles and Responsibilities

When listing your professional experience, it’s crucial to detail more than just your job title and employment duration. You should also provide a breakdown of your specific duties and accomplishments in each role. For instance, if you’ve worked as a personal trainer for young adults, describe the nature of your coaching. This could include creating personalized fitness programs, fostering motivational techniques, and monitoring progress. Mention how you achieved this through frequent assessments. This approach paints a fuller picture of your capabilities and accomplishments.

2. Highlight Specialized Experience

If you’ve had the opportunity to work with specialized groups, like young adults, make this stand out in your resume. Explain how you tailored your approaches to meet the unique needs of this demographic. Detail any specific successes, such as helping clients achieve their fitness goals, improving their mental health through exercise, or developing group fitness classes that promoted team-building and resilience.

3. Include Duration of Employment

Mention how long you’ve dedicated yourself to each role. Longevity in a position can demonstrate commitment, reliability, and the ability to adapt and grow within a role. If you’ve had multiple positions in the fitness and coaching field, showing a timeline of your career can help the hiring manager understand your journey, your growing expertise, and your dedication to this industry.

4. Incorporate Volunteer and Informal Experience

If you’re transitioning into personal training or young adult coaching without much formal work experience in the field, don’t overlook volunteer roles, internships, or even informal experiences such as organizing community fitness events. These experiences, when described effectively, can illustrate your passion, initiative, and hands-on knowledge. For instance, you could mention organizing weekend fitness boot camps for local community members or offering free coaching sessions to high school athletes. Highlight how these experiences have prepared you for a more formal role in personal training.

5. Connect Past Non-Related Work Experience

For those pivoting to personal training from a different career path, listing unrelated past work experiences is worthwhile. Initially, this might seem irrelevant. However, you can draw connections between the skills you gained in previous roles and how they apply to personal training. For example, if you worked in customer service, highlight your communication skills. Emphasize your ability to solve problems quickly and how you can handle client feedback—essential traits for a personal trainer. Discuss any management or organizational roles to underscore your leadership skills. This will also show your capacity to manage and grow a client base.


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!


Crafting a Standout Personal Trainer Resume: Key Notes to Include”


Your personal trainer resume is your gateway to showcasing your skills and expertise in the fitness industry. To make a lasting impression on potential employers, consider incorporating these important notes into your resume:

  1. Client Success Stories: Include brief but impactful anecdotes or testimonials from clients you’ve worked with. Highlighting success stories demonstrates your effectiveness as a personal trainer and your ability to achieve tangible results.
  2. Technology Integration: If you incorporate technology into your training sessions, mention it on your resume. Whether it’s fitness apps, wearable devices, or online coaching, showcasing your tech-savvy approach can set you apart.
  3. Continued Education and Workshops: Demonstrate your commitment to staying current in the field by highlighting any workshops, seminars, or continued education you’ve undertaken. This reflects your dedication to providing clients with the latest and most effective fitness strategies.
  4. Client Assessment and Goal Setting: Outline your approach to client assessment and goal setting. Emphasize your ability to create personalized fitness plans based on individual needs, demonstrating your capacity to tailor workouts for optimal results.
  5. Communication and Motivational Skills: Highlight your interpersonal skills, emphasizing effective communication and motivation. Your ability to connect with clients on a personal level is a crucial aspect of successful personal training.
  6. Team Collaboration: If you’ve collaborated with other fitness professionals, nutritionists, or healthcare practitioners, mention these collaborative experiences. Teamwork is valuable in the fitness industry, and showcasing your ability to work harmoniously with others can strengthen your candidacy.

Remember, your resume is a reflection of your unique strengths and contributions as a personal trainer. Tailoring it to emphasize these important notes will significantly enhance your chances of standing out in a competitive job market.


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.

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