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Resume Surgeon > Resume Surgeon Advice > Industry Spotlight > Industry Spotlight: Working as a Personal Trainer

The health and fitness industry continues to grow as thousands of people apply for jobs every year.

Leanne Stone is a Personal Trainer from the UK and in this exclusive interview with Resume Surgeon she tells us how she got into the industry and shares some resume tips.

What Made You Want to Become a Personal Trainer?

I’ve always enjoyed sports and played lots of team games at school. I like the way that sport or fitness training can improve the way people feel about themselves and help them to overcome other problems they may have in their lives by building their confidence. It’s also a great reliever of stress and tension and I think everyone should be physically active on a regular basis.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Personal Trainer?

To work as a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer you need to gain an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Fitness Instructing – you can do this by training at a college or through an independent company. I took the latter route on a fast track qualification course which was the fastest way for me to become qualified. Once you’re qualified you then need to join The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) as any employer will require you to have a current registration with this organisation.

Tell Us About a Typical Day at Work

A typical day would most likely involve training existing clients to meet their goals by setting them targets to hit in each session, this also goes hand-in-hand with regular assessments of the client’s performance to ensure they’re getting what they want out of their training sessions. With new clients part of the job would be to partake in a consultation to ascertain what they want to achieve from their gym work – they may want to train for a specific sport such as cycling or climbing or they may simply want to improve their overall fitness levels – whatever their goals I would design a training programme to ensure that they could achieve them.

What’s The Best Part of the Job?

I would say the best part of the job is sharing the experience with clients when they make the achievements they were aiming for, especially when they have doubted themselves. There’s a great level of job satisfaction in helping people to reach goals they never thought they would make.

What’s The Hardest Part of the Job?

Dealing with the frustration of clients in denial! Unfortunately you do sometimes have to work with people who are frustrated they’re not hitting their targets whilst telling you they are keeping up with their out of session fitness routines when you know full well they aren’t! It’s very difficult to help people if they can’t be honest with themselves yet you have to stay as professional and supportive as possible.

What Three Personality Traits Do You Need to Succeed as a Personal Trainer?

You’re dealing with people every day so I think being personable is a major one. It also helps to be enthusiastic which helps you to motivate your clients even when the going gets tough. I think you also need to be understanding so that you can sympathise with people’s thoughts and see what drives them.

What Job Search Tips Can You Share?

A great place to start would be to hand your CV into every local fitness centre or leisure centre regardless of whether they are advertising for staff vacancies or not. The reality is that staff turnover is quite high in the fitness industry and many gyms don’t get the chance to advertise every post available so it pays to be there first and to act with some initiative.

Can You Share Some Resume Tips?

I think if you’re looking to work as a Personal Trainer you need your CV to come across as fairly casual and friendly, obviously keep it professional but it’s not an industry for suits and ties and employers will be looking for that hint of personality in a CV which is what you’ll need to be successful in an employment position. The hobbies section is also important – if you illustrate you have a keen interest in certain sports or fitness work outside of your job it shows you are dedicated to the industry in your free time and it may also prove valuable to have inherent knowledge of specific sports.

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