Whether you’re an established fitness pro looking to switch gyms, or a newly qualified trainer looking for your first role in personal training, learning how to nail your CV is essential.
And in this ultimate guide, we have you covered.
Although there is no definitive way to write a personal trainer CV, and we’d never try and pitch this guide as the catch-all solution to getting your dream job, what we can offer you are some of the best tried and tested secrets to help with structure and content that employers expect to see when reviewing your CV…
In this guide then, we will show you, step-by-step, how to structure your personal trainer CV, and how to guarantee that your next boss will take note when your CV lands on their desk.
We will dissect sample CV’s, which you can edit to suit your experience, and provide all the tools and guidance you could possibly need when starting out from scratch.
Let’s jump right in…
Presentation is key: How to format your experience on the page
Your personal trainer CV’s presentation is the first thing a recruiter will see when hiring for a role.
The way your CV looks and how it has been structured will not only decide if a recruiter will read it, but whether they can make sense of your experience.
In fact, many recruiters admit that if a CV is poorly laid out, they won’t even give it a second glance. Think about it…
As a candidate, your primary focus should be making a good first impression with a future employer. A poorly laid out CV, whether it’s a personal trainer CV or even a CV for a weekend job, tells the employer that you are at best, a little lazy, and at worst, disorganised.
Be aware that presentation says a lot about you as a person.
Fonts & Formatting: The 12 steps to presenting your personal trainer CV
And if you needed further proof of the importance of presentation, take a look at what the experts had to say:
Caroline Cafferty, Operations Director at justteachers
“You may love Comic Sans 16 and think you’ll stand out but your future employers won’t. It is recommended to use Times New Roman for hard copies and Arial for electronic copies. Use the same font throughout your CV and only use black.”
“You would also do well to provide a brief summary of specific responsibilities, and highlight achievements and any extra responsibility you were given and extra-curricular activities you undertook.”
What to include in your personal trainer CV
So, you’ve got a recruiter to sit down and read your personal trainer CV.
But now you need to know what to include to get them excited about giving you a call.
This isn’t as hard as it sounds, and with just a few easy tweaks you could be well on the way to landing your dream job in the fitness industry.
Step One: Contact Information
Your personal information, such as your full name, contact number and email address should be clear, and easily visible at the top of your CV. It is also a good idea to place your full name in bold typeface.
Pro Tip: To really draw attention and make a recruiter read your gym instructing or personal trainer CV, place your qualified status for the job you are applying for underneath the contact information in bold.
10 Kings Road, Bootle, Liverpool, Merseyside, L20 8AH
Step Two: Personal Statement
A personal summary should be a sales pitch to your prospective recruiter, demonstrating how you meet the requirements of the role and showing your transferrable skills that will help you excel in the job to which you are applying.
Think of your personal statement as the section of your CV where you can really express yourself. With that in mind, here are some of our industry tips:
- Keep to a couple of paragraphs in length and keep your points concise.
- When highlighting skills, you should always use examples from past employment to justify your claims. Anyone can say they are hardworking, but can they prove it? We recommend the Point Evidence Explain formula, which you can read about in our industry guide to personal trainer covering letters.
- Your personal statement should be full of enthusiasm, passion and should show off your personality. You have a voice, and so should your writing!
- Your fitness personal statement should be tailored for the role to which you are applying. Soft skills will be transferrable, but you need to show that you’ve read the job description, and that you’ve specifically highlighted which of your skills suit you to the offered role.
Check out this example of a job advert from Sports Direct to see an idea of some of the skills you might want to include:
If the personal trainer job description does not give much away, research core skills needed to be a personal trainer. There are plenty of good quality articles and literature available on this topic, not least our ultimate guide to becoming a personal trainer.
Personal Trainer Personal Statement example:
Still stuck with your personal statement?
No need to worry, check out our template personal statement which you can adjust to your own experience:
“I believe I would be a great fit for the role of personal trainer within [INSERT COMPANY NAME] as my experience meets and surpasses the requirements outlined within the job description. I am a hardworking, conscientious individual with a proven ability for working as part of a team. I have demonstrated this throughout my last term of employment, twice receiving nominations from my peers for employee of the month, over a 12-month period.
I possess great time management skills, organisation and I am very reliable, which I have proven through my 99% attendance last year and getting a 9.2/10 on my customer satisfaction reports. These skills, coupled with my passion for fitness and helping others, are vital for a career in personal training and would help me excel at the role.”
Nailing these first few aspects of your CV are crucial with regards to getting noticed.
And don’t just take out word for it, check out what the industry experts had to say about standing out amongst the crowd!
Sue Andrews – Business and HR Consultant for KIS Finance
“Accompany your CV with a strong covering letter. This is your opportunity to explain why you want the job and to convey genuine interest in the organisation and the role. Be convincing but honest as experienced employers will sniff out any insincerity immediately.
Accuracy is key. Make sure you check and check again to ensure there are no typos or grammatical mistakes in your CV. This really turns recruiters off, who will view you as either someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail or who has poor literacy skills, neither of which will help your chances of success.
Step Three: Work Experience
Your work experience is the meat of your personal trainer CV.
Of course, because this is the densest area in terms of content, your organisation and presentation has to be perfect.
If you fail to pay attention to structure, your content won’t translate, and you will miss opportunities you could have otherwise competed for.
By following the easy-to-execute steps below, you’ll be well on your way to securing your next interview!
Check out our example section for work experience if you need some more direction getting started with your personal trainer CV:
Work Experience example:
June 2014 – July 2017 Sales Manager
NOT REAL LTD
I was tasked with leading and motivating a team of five sales staff to hit monthly targets, KPI’s, while also being required to create innovative marketing campaigns. To ensure all staff were compliant against regulatory body standards, while delivering an excellent customer experience, evidenced through customer satisfaction reports, which we as a team finished top of the company on two occasions.
- Exceeded company standard call targets of 80 dial outs per day, 15 appointments and 3 sales
- Trained and re-trained my team using workshops I developed in order to consistently meet ever-changing regulatory compliance checks.
- Increased client retention through generating new sales processes to ensure clients reported honestly on our services and were followed up with effectively.
- Created new ways to add value during the sales process to increase upselling and higher average yield sales.
Step Four: Education
The education segment of your personal trainer CV follows the same sort of pattern as the employment section.
Education, for many roles, is a necessity. As such, this section needs to be clear and concise, but can be edited depending on the role you are applying for.
For example, some roles will ask for specific GCSE’s and A Levels, while some may only ask for a pass in English and Maths. So, for the former you will have to list all of your qualifications, while the latter you can simply state that you match the job requirements, leaving more room for employment details.
In addition to the tips below then, your best course of action is to fine tune your CV for each role.
Personal Trainer CV: Education example:
NOT REAL SECONDARY SCHOOL
Sept 2009 – June 2014
Maths – X English Language – X
Science Double Award – X English Literature – X
History – X Geography – X
French – X Graphics – X
Religious Studies – X Physical Education – X
This is exactly the same logic as your education section: be concise, include most relevant information, and make sure the employer knows you are adequately qualified.
Industry Licenses / Qualifications Example:
Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym) – 2018
Active IQ Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training – 2018
[INSERT GOVERNING BODY] Award in First Aid at Work Level 2 – 2018 (Expires March 2020)
Active IQ Level 3 Certificate in Exercise Referral – 2018
REPS CPD in Kettlebells
REPS CPD in Suspension Training (pending)
REPS CPD in Spin (pending)
Fully Insured via REPS (Expires February 2019)
VTCT Business Management – June 2015
VTCT Sales Analysis Course – November 2015
Full Clean Driving License
Step Six: Achievements
Identifying the right achievements can be tricky.
We’re all proud of something, but coming first in your Year 6 egg and spoon race may not necessarily be what a recruiter is looking for from a future employee…
Achievements definitely have their place on a personal trainer CV though, so you need to
find the sweet spot between what matters to you, and what reflects positively on you as a
So, how do you identify your achievements?
How to find the best career achievements, step-by-step
Remember, achievements are personalised to you and what you deem to be an achievement
will be different from another candidate. Your achievements then, help define you as a
Don’t be scared to be proud!
As well as being important on a personal level, achievements are one of the first areas a lot of recruiters go to find out more about prospective candidates.
And it makes sense…
Why wouldn’t a recruiter want to see what you have accomplished in your career up to now, and what impact you have made with previous employers?
It is therefore key to make sure that your achievements are readily available in your personal trainer CV, and that they are clearly visible:
Example template for achievements section:
- My customer service led me to being nominated for Team Member of the month at XXXX, as voted by customers in January 2015.
- I created a new sales process that helped XXXX hit and exceed targets for 12 months consecutively from May 2010 through to May 2011, with an average monthly percentage of 126%.
- I helped and contributed towards JD Gym Wrexham becoming the highest performing club for customer retention in the UK (out of a possible 40 clubs), for three months consecutively
- Supported and guided a new member of staff at XXXX to meet all operational standards within just 3 months of them becoming employed.
- Through hard work and practice I was nominated as the most improved badminton player for my local sports team at my club’s annual award (2016)
- I organised and orchestrated a successful climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with three of my friends in aid of local charities.
Step Seven: Hobbies and interests on your personal trainer CV
There is no real right or wrong answer with how hobbies and interests should be laid out.
And, in truth, they are a little bit contentious with employers, with some top firms arguing
that they deserve no place on a professional CV, never mind their own dedicated section.
However, for a social job like personal training, there is no better way to express your
personality than through showing a recruiter you maintain hobbies, extracurricular pursuits,
and interests that you are passionate about.
What’s more, if you have gaps in your employment history or patches in academic areas,
hobbies and interests can play a vital role in showing personal development, reflecting on
your commitment to honing skills in a concentrated environment that isn’t work.
Should you decide that your hobbies are relevant, as with all things in your personal trainer
CV, you should consider the following formatting tips:
Hobbies and interests example:
- Triathlon – I am a competitive sprint triathlete and qualified in the UK Nationals within my age group (Over 40s) just last year.
- Memberships – I am an active gym member of Virgin Active, which I attend three times per week. I also use their swimming pool for my triathlon training.
Additionally, I am a member at Beacon Cycling Club and Beauport running club.
- I have a passion for clock making, something I inherited from my father. A lot of my spare time is dedicated to designing and repairing clocks and selling them at auction.
- I run a successful wellbeing blog, on which I publish articles at a frequency of two times per week on topics ranging from mental wellbeing through to dietary tips and tricks.
Other examples you could include:
- Tech hobbies
- Play an instrument
- Learning a new language
- Photography / Art
- Social hobbies
Step Eight: References
When it comes to the referencing section try and give some actual points of references that prospective employers can directly contact, but do not place their information there without their consent.
If you are unsure whether, for example, a past employer or college lecturer would be a
referee for you then you can simply state “Available on request” or “Available on demand”.
And if you’re currently looking for a change in career and think you might be cut out for the fitness industry, get in touch via our enrolment team at [email protected], give us a call at 0800 002 9599, or download our free personal trainer career prospectus via the link below.