If you’re looking to get the best fitness jobs, follow these resume tips for personal trainers. A resume isn’t just about creating a log of your work and education history. Instead, you should consider it as a piece of marketing material. It’s your chance to sell yourself before you even step foot in for a resume. Therefore, you need to be compelling, concise, and relevant. And, of course, truthful. At Lionel University, we’re committed to providing the best in class exercise science degrees. But we’re also focused on making sure our students are fully prepared to land their dream job as they start out as fitness professionals. 


Here, we’ll provide general tips to write a great resume for potential employers of all types. Then, we’ll discuss how to write a great personal trainer resume. Then, we’ll break down additional things you can be doing as a resume builder.

General Resume Writing Tips

Regardless of the type of job you’re trying to get, there are key things every job candidate should stick to when working on their resume. Follow these tips to get you started.

Make The Resume Unique For The Job

You shouldn’t just shoot off the same resume to every job opening. Instead, follow the tips below and modify your resume each time before you send it. Nothing is worse than reading a resume that’s not in line with what your hiring manager is looking for. 

Know Your Audience

This seems straightforward enough. However, it’s often overlooked. Start by considering what your future employer wants from the job. This means taking a hard look at the job description and developing in your mind what they’d want to see. Then, think about who is going to be reading your resume and who the hiring manager is. Sometimes these are two different people. In larger organizations, a recruiter or human resource specialist might vett and filter the resumes before sending them onto the hiring manager. If this is the case, they’re likely sifting through more resumes than they’d like to. In this case, be concise. And, make sure everything you include is related to the job description (since they likely wrote it or reviewed it). You want to make it an easy decision for them to pass it onto the next decision maker. 


If it’s a smaller fitness studio or gym chain, your resume will likely go straight to the hiring manager. This is usually the fitness manager or fitness director. In these cases, this person is also likely to be a fitness subject matter expert. This means, you’ll want to appeal to their pain points. Therefore, do your research, the next resume writing tip.

Do Your Research

Finding and landing the job you want takes work. Do your research on any company before you submit your resume and certainly before you go into an interview. You should know the company size, mission, and values. Look into their background and what their story is. Further, be on the lookout for any pain points you might be able to solve for. If possible, talk to someone who has worked there or has held a similar job,

Keep It Short

A long resume is one of the biggest mistakes people can make. The best resume is usually only one page. It’s also bulleted. So, try to avoid lengthy sentences. Instead, look for ways to cut down what you’re trying to get across in fewer words. Look for all information that isn’t pertinent. If you’re in your 30s, don’t bother including where you went to high school. If you’ve had three jobs since you worked in valet, don’t include it (unless of course it demonstrates a key skills the employer is looking for).

Be Relevant

Don’t include anything on your resume that isn’t relevant to the job. If you aren’t going to be writing content or spending excessive time on a computer, it doesn’t matter how fast you can type or how proficient you are with powerpoint. Make sure each piece of education, experience, and skill is directly relevant to the job and why they should hire you.

Make It Easy To Read

Similar to keeping it short and knowing your audience, make your resume an easy read. A potential employer should be able to look at your resume quickly and know what you’re about. Use bullets and vary use of bold, italicized, and header fonts. Use clean fonts like Calibiri or Arial. Avoid stylistic fonts like Times New Roman or anything with personality. These types of fonts make a resume hard to read.


Grammar and spelling errors show an employer you’re sloppy or lack attention to detail. This is especially the case in the personal training industry. And, it’s the last thing you want to convey on your resume. If writing isn’t your strong suit. Find someone who can help. Get someone to proofread your resume and give you feedback.


Resume Tips Specific To Personal Training Jobs

  • Include work samples. Ideally this is fitness client testimonials with before and after photos. This helps future employers know you’re good at helping clients and keeping them motivated. If you’re a newly certified personal trainer, you might not have client testimonials. This is okay. Instead, provide a sample exercise program based on a fictitious client. Of course, make sure you’re showing it’s fictitious. 
  • List education in order of relevance. If you have a master’s degree in geology, this is less important than the type of certification and number of specializations you hold. Therefore, if you have more than one certification (like what you get in your Lionel programs), list these first. But, if you have an exercise science degree, list this first. A fitness related degree is one of the most important things on your resume. It shows you know the information and it shows you have dedication to complete this type of program. Further, employers have a hard time finding candidates with more than just a personal training certification. So, this gives you an edge.
  • Include work experience related to what a trainer does. A personal trainer helps clients achieve their fitness goals. They do this through fitness programs, but also from the interactions they have with clients during training sessions. This includes motivation, accountability, leadership, great communication, and persuasion (sales). Especially if you’re just starting out as a trainer, think back to any skill you acquired that relates to future client interactions. 
  • Include your skill strengths. Consider the role of a personal trainer and what it takes to design and deliver the best fitness programs. Then, think about what your fitness strengths are and make bullet points. For example, if you excel at providing a comprehensive fitness assessment, note it. If you know you’re better helping clients of any fitness level achieve massive weight loss goals, list it. Or maybe you’re creative at developing an exercise program with minimal fitness equipment, put it in. Just make sure it’s relevant to the workplace where you’re trying to get a personal training job.
  • Include a fitness career objective. Regardless of where you’re trying to get a personal trainer job, one thing is common. Gym owners and managers want to have trainers that are in the fitness industry for the long haul. Personal trainer turnover in the fitness industry is high. And, gym members develop strong relationships with the fitness experts at their fitness facility. Because the personal trainer turnover is far faster than the average member turnover, hiring managers want to know you’ll be around. What better way to demonstrate that than by explaining your fitness career objective? Even if your goal is to start your own business, describe that you want to refine your craft and establish your niche. Let your future employer know that fitness is your future.
  • Follow good personal training resume examples. Use these example resumes that are specific to the different personal training job options available to you. Even in fitness, one job to the next is different. By following an example, you have a set structure that you know will work. 

Be An Ongoing Resume Builder

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or seasoned personal fitness trainer, you should be an ongoing resume builder. Follow these tips to make sure you are always working on your resume.

  • If you don’t have any clients yet, connect with friends and family who will let you train them for free in exchange for a testimonial or letter of reference.
  • Consider becoming a group fitness instructor. This is an additional certification that is appealing to gym owners. It shows you can connect to more than one department in a healthy club. As a fitness instructor, you’re marketing your services every time you teach to a group. This helps make you more valuable to the facility in which you work.
  • Get more specializations. This demonstrates your commitment to continuing education. It also shows hiring managers that you’re credible and a fitness expert able to work with clients of any level. Nutrition coaching is becoming a more and more common service that the role of a personal trainer provides. 
  • Get before and after info for everyone. Even if you’re working with a client that doesn’t want to lose any weight. Document all fitness assessment information. For example, a functional fitness client might just be looking to increase range of motion and improve balance. This is perfectly fine. Use assessments that can show progress from one month to the next.


To summarize, the best thing you can do when writing a personal trainer resume is to think of  it like a marketing piece of content. For any marketing strategy, you have to first know your audience. If you keep this in mind, you’ll find your resume make it to the top of the pile. 

By “knowing your audience” this includes wanting to make them feel special. Modify each resume to better fit the location and job which you’ll be working. It also means, no one wants to read an autobiography to determine if you’re the right personal trainer fit for them. Keep it concise, to the point, and relevant to what they’re looking for. 

Remember, one of the key things you can and should do on your resume is to highlight all relevant experience and education. You’ll want your future employer to trust you with their member’s fitness journey. Therefore, prioritize your education to make it an easier decision for them to bring you on board.

The obesity epidemic in America reason enough alone for the personal training demand. With all the personal training career opportunities out there, you want to get the best fitness job possible. With a strong resume, you’ll be able to have options.

Regardless of the job you’re looking for, you’ll need (at minimum) a personal training certification. Most successful personal trainers also have a college degree. At Lionel University, you can get both in the same program. This means, you don’t have to invest additional money on expensive certifications. Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, at Lionel you earn multiple certifications and specializations along the way. This means you can start working on getting that dream job before graduation day.


And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility. Check out our programs and contact Lionel today!