Going to the gym can be a daunting experience for the inexperienced, and it can be challenging to know where to start. How do you use the gym equipment? Or how can you maximize the results of your efforts? Luckily, most gyms have personal trainers, which are there to resolve all of the above.
Experienced gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts also use personal trainers to get motivated and reach their fitness goals, and the personal trainer industry has exploded in the last decade!
If you are a personal trainer who has been working in the business for a while, you might have noticed that it is slightly more challenging to get a job now compared to a few years ago?
Don’t worry – you are not the problem, and it is a direct result of more people becoming certified personal trainers today. The competition could (indirectly) be what is stopping you from getting a job, but in reality, it is probably your resume.
A personal trainer’s resume needs to be expressive, confident, and assertive, and we are here to help you write a personal trainer resume that stands out. Stay tuned for top-notch tips and a full resume sample to boost your resume and get you that dream job.
Resume objective for personal trainers
Applying for a job as a personal trainer is all about showing off your personality, expertise, and desire to help people reach their fitness goals.
Gym-goers pay for personal trainers to aid them on their road to success, and a hiring manager will be looking for someone who can motivate a client to keep coming back and keep paying their gym membership fee.
It is not enough to know how to work all the gym equipment and how to put together exercise plans, and you also need to be a likable person who is optimistic and friendly, and who has that confidence that makes the client feel confident and motivated, too.
How do you transfer this to a piece of paper, and how can you use your resume to show who you are? The answer is the resume objective. The objective should set the tone for the rest of the resume, and it is your chance to show what kind of personal trainer they would get.
Passionate fitness instructor with 4+ years of experience seeking a new challenge! Certified personal trainer and nutritionist – dedicated to helping each client reach and exceed their individual fitness goals by providing customized exercise plans to keep training fun and engaging.
Resume skills for personal trainers
A good personal trainer needs to be patient, know how to explain routines and procedures, respect the human body and its abilities, and be able to adapt their practices to their client. Being a natural leader is always a plus, as the job revolves around giving assertive instructions, and dedication is crucial.
In this section, you will be adding all skills that you think could impress a hiring manager, without straying too far from the field of personal training. You should have already hinted at some of these in your resume objective, and while repetition is fine, you could always try using synonyms for diversity.
Try to show off your enthusiasm and passion for health and fitness in the skill section, using strong words like ‘Dedicated,’ ‘Passionate” and ‘Reliable,’ and mention a few hard skills like CPR and First-aid training or educational background in a relevant field.
Dedicated | 4+ years of experience | Background in nutrition | Passionate about health | Leadership skills | Friendly | Organized | Customer-oriented | Knowledge of human anatomy | Sales focused | Reliable
Personal trainer work experience
Compelling personal trainer resumes are dynamic and carefully structured, where each section fulfills a purpose. When you list work experience, try to imagine what a hiring manager would find interesting. The easiest way is to adapt to the job post of your choosing.
Look back at the skill section you just wrote – where did you acquire these skills? The work experience section should reinforce your skills, where you get a chance to prove your documented personal trainer expertise and experience.
Any type of gym and sports-related work experience will help catch the recruiter’s interest and make sure you describe your responsibilities and what you achieved.
If you choose to include non-related work experience, try to extract something from each position that could apply to a job as a personal trainer. Perhaps you worked with something that gave you leadership skills or a job that involved a lot of customer contact?
Writing a substantial work experience section is about knowing how to use your past experiences to your advantage. You can also include internships and volunteer work.
Sample Work Experience
The Fitness Factory, Charlotte, NC
Personal Trainer, 2018 – 2020
Guided clients towards their health goals at a busy city gym. Developed exercise routines based on capacity, and provided customized meal plans for those wanting to optimize the results of their workouts. Also responsible for clean-up and closing the facility at night.
- Built a strong client base with a 94% returning customer rate.
- Ranked in first place for having the most client bookings in one year.
- Appeared in promotional material as the lead personal trainer of the gym.
- Was requested frequently by new clients as a result of recommendations.
Denver Health & Fitness, Denver, NC
Personal Trainer, 2017 – 2018
Demonstrated and suggested exercise routines to clients differing in age and fitness level. Monitored progress and made adjustments to the routines depending on the results. Participated in local health programs and lead workouts for groups of up to 30 people.
- Developed routines for senior citizens and initiated a fruitful collaboration with residents at a nearby nursing home.
- Helped the gym create a stronger online and social media presence, to reach a larger client group through marketing.
- Suggested free sample classes for new clients and the option to pay per week instead of per month, which resulted in a 67% increase in subscriptions.
- Implemented an efficient cleanup routine that was both faster and more effective.
Anytime Fitness, Raleigh, NC
Gym host, 2013 – 2017
Kept records of incoming and outgoing customers, registered new gym memberships, handled payments, answered questions, and assisted those in need. Acted as a friendly face who greeted everyone walking through the door.
- Took part in implementing a new digital system for registered customers, which led to better organization and improved customer service.
- Held a demonstration in a public park to market the gym, and was promoted as a direct result.
- Restructured the placement of gym equipment to offer a more secluded area for those clients who preferred privacy.
- Won a local award for ‘Best Personal Trainer’.
Personal trainer education
It is not a legal requirement for a personal trainer to have any formal education (not even a certificate). Still, an individual employer is likely to have a specific preference, and the majority prefer some form of educational background.
In this section, we will list full educational programs, such as university education or equivalent. You can list education unrelated to personal training. It can be of interest to the hiring manager to establish a timeline for what you have been up to throughout your adult life.
Higher education also shows dedication, discipline, time-management, and commitment, all of which are essential skills for a personal trainer. Listing a High School diploma or a GED certificate is perfectly fine if you don’t have a university degree.
University of Tampa, Tampa, FL
Master of Science in Exercise and Nutrition Science, 2017 – 2019
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science, 2013 – 2017
- Dietetics and nutrition management
As we have already covered, there is no legal obligation for a personal trainer to have taken courses or obtained certifications in the United States. Still, it is undoubtedly helpful when applying for a job.
If you ever took classes to certify yourself as a personal trainer, these would go here. Many personal trainers also choose to specialize in a particular field, such as providing personal training advice to seniors, professional athletes, new moms that want to get in shape, or those struggling with weight problems.
Any such courses are great for embellishing your resume when applying for a personal trainer job! It highlights your dedication to training and exercise and makes you seem more knowledgeable and professional.
- NCSF Course in Personal Training
- Moving with Arthritis (ACE Fitness)
- Nutrition Coaching: Changing Habits, Not Diets (ACE Fitness)
- Nutrition Masterclass: Build Your Perfect Diet & Meal Plan (Udemy)
Highlight any course or class that led to certification in this section. There are several prestigious certifications to obtain as a personal trainer, such as those listed in this example. Any field-related accreditation, however, will get you closer to landing a dream position.
Also, as a certified personal trainer, you are likely eligible for higher and more competitive pay than those who lack credentials. Many employers are more than willing to pay extra for someone who – on paper – can offer the company clients high-quality assistance.
If you are good at what you do, clients will keep coming back, and if clients continue to pay their monthly gym membership – the gym makes money. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Another certification that is great to have is in First-Aid and CPR, due to the risk of injury when exercising.
- First-Aid and CPR Certified
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- ACSM Personal Trainer Certification
- ISSA Personal Trainer Certificate
- IFPA-Certified Sports Nutritionist
Complete personal trainer resume sample
Here is an example of an actual personal trainer job post. We have gone over all the basics, and it is now time to take what we have learned and put it to the test, by composing a resume adapted to this specific job post.
The job post above starts by describing your typical personal trainer position – someone who can help customers reach the fitness goals they have set up for themselves. Additionally, they hope to hire someone who is comfortable selling and qualified to lead group fitness practices like Pilates.
Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor
Certified personal trainer, yoga- and swimming instructor with a passion for physical exercise, strong customer relationships, and personalized exercise plans. Outgoing and friendly, background in sales, and always eager to learn.
Certified personal trainer | Certified yoga instructor | 5+ years of experience | Sales experience | Customer-oriented | Dedicated | Passionate | Driven | Swim Instructor Certified | Team player
Planet Fitness, Lakeland, FL
Personal trainer, 2017 – 2020
Assisted customers when using the gym equipment, promoted safety through proper instructions and developed personalized workout routines – always together with the client. Monitored client progress and adjusted routines accordingly.
- Participated in an initiative to promote physical exercise and healthy living among Florida High School students.
- Offered online consultations and personal training routines for those who were unable to come into the gym.
- Invited a senior citizen nursing home to come in for a free class in how to stay active as you age, which was featured in the local newspaper.
Evolution Yoga, Coconut Creek, FL
Yoga instructor, 2015 – 2017
Held yoga classes for both children and adults while focusing on making everyone feel included and able. Also offered private pregnancy yoga classes for expecting mothers and participated in free (promotional) outdoor yoga events.
- Held free yoga classes in parks around town, which led to a 37% increase in monthly memberships.
- Started a blog to keep communication with clients and prospective clients active, and received good feedback.
- Adjusted the program to fit a group of individuals with physical disabilities, who went onto recommending the yoga studio with the community.
- Obtained certifications and additional training throughout the employment period, to make sure clients were offered the best possible guidance.
Urban Lane Telemarketing, Garden Grove, CA
Telemarketer, 2012 – 2015
Worked as a telemarketer and sold health care products over the phone to individuals across the United States. Explained the function of the products offered and helped customers find the right products for their lifestyles and needs.
- Number one in sales for five consecutive months.
- Helped rewrite the telemarketer scripts, which escalated sales and overall success rates.
- Broke the company’s daily record of sales twice.
- Suggested a new strategy to reach potential clients that were actually interested.
- Personal Trainer Certification (San Diego Mesa College)
- Ayurveda Yoga Teaching Certification (NAMA recognized)
- Swim Instructor Certification (Red Cross)
- ISSA certified
- NASM CPT
- First-Aid and CPR
Stanton University, Garden Grove, CA
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, 2010 – 2014
Sullivan University, Louisville, KY
Associate of Science in Marketing and Sales Management, 2010 – 2012
- ISSA Personal Trainer Course
- Body Basics & Essentials of a Healthy Diet (Shaw Academy)
- Somatic Psychology of Yoga (Himalayan Institute)
- Kids Yoga Teacher Training Certificate Course (Udemy)
A personal trainer is there to motivate the client and help him/her reach pre-set fitness goals. It is all about listening to your client and creating realistic workout plans based on the individual’s needs and physical abilities.
To get hired for a job, you need to prove yourself in the early stages, as your resume is the first impression a potential employer will ever have of you. Personality is essential in a personal trainer resume, and so is demonstrating leadership skills and a passion for training.
Some employers care more about education and certifications than others, but everyone wants a personal trainer who will make clients want to come back repeatedly. Be the person in your resume that your clients see when they meet you at the gym.
- Pay special attention to the resume objective, as this is the first glimpse recruiters will get of you as a personal trainer. Show enthusiasm and passion for the trade.
- Experience is more important than education, and there is no legal requirement for personal trainers to be licensed or have an educational background in personal training (in the United States).
- Don’t just send out a generic resume, and instead try to adapt it to a specific job post. Remember that you are selling the service and the gym you work for every time you walk the floor, so it never hurts to highlight past sales experience.
Tips from Experts
“There is a big difference between what you want to accomplish as a personal trainer and what the hiring manager wants to accomplish for their business. All they want to know is: Can I rely on this person? Will this person sell and is this person competent?” – Jonathan Hertilus, Owner of BFF Boot Camp
“Whatever corporate gym you are trying to get into, you probably have about a 7 or 10-second span to get into the front door. Your resume is what gets you into that door.” – Chris Hitchko, Owner of Show Up Fitness
Not everyone has the personality, leadership skills, and knowledge it takes to be an great personal trainer, but for those who do – it can be an incredibly rewarding profession! You get to see the fruit of your hard work reflected in your clients’ bodies, and every success story is an attribute to your ability to lead, aid, and direct.
If you have been struggling to find work lately, the reason has most likely been your resume rather than you as a personal trainer, so use this guide to spice up your CV so that you can start getting the jobs you deserve.
Personal trainers are incredibly in-demand right now, so what are you waiting for?