If you want to get a job as a personal trainer, the process might feel a bit daunting. How do you find the perfect role? What should you include on your resume? How do you pass the interview? So, we put together this handy guide to walk you through every step (with CV sample too).
In this article – learn how to get a job as a personal trainer job, from finding the perfect role to acing the application and interview.
Finding a Personal Trainer Job
Let’s start with the search – how do you find the perfect PT role? In this section, you’ll learn how to get clear on what you’re looking for, the different types of job available, and where to find them.
What to look for in a PT role
Once you’ve got your PT certification, it might feel like you should take any job you can. People may tell you that ‘everyone starts at the bottom’ and ‘you have to pay your dues’. But this doesn’t mean you should go for the first PT job you see.
Even if you’re desperate to get started and begin earning money, it’s worth spending a few minutes thinking about what you want. This is also the case if you’re an experienced PT looking for a new role.
Not all personal trainer jobs are the same so having a think to start with can save time down the line. You don’t want to put all that effort into applying and interviewing for a job that you end up hating…
So, have a little think about…
- Hours – Do you want part-time or full-time? Shifts that work around other commitments? Are you willing to accept a zero-hours contract?
- Salary – What’s a typical personal trainer salary in your area? Do your skills or experience mean you can ask for more?
- Perks – Which benefits matter to you – do you want a generous pension, free gym membership, or professional development courses paid for?
- Location – Think beyond your local area, would you like to find a PT job abroad? Or what about an online gig where you train clients using a phone and laptop?
Types of PT job
It’s also important to know that not every job advertised as ‘personal trainer’ actually lives up to the title. Many gyms promote fitness instructing and strength coaching jobs under this role even though they’re quite different.
Here’s a quick summary of the different types of fitness job so you know which to apply for…
- Personal trainer – involves delivering custom programmes to clients via one-to-one or small group sessions (can be salaried or rent space in a gym).
- Gym instructor – inducting new starters, showing people how to use equipment correctly, writing fitness programmes, cleaning equipment.
- Strength and conditioning coach – works with athletes or sports teams to improve their performance through fitness training.
- PT manager – responsible for the PT team achieving sales targets along with training clients.
- Gym manager – responsible for successful running of the entire gym including front of house, gym floor, personal training, changing rooms, operations, finance and HR.
- PT director – sometimes known as a fitness director, this role involves developing and rolling out fitness concepts, either in one gym or across multiple sites.
Of course, every company is different and some will structure their job roles differently. But this gives you an idea of what the role (or others in the industry) will entail.
Finding personal training jobs
Once you have a good idea what you’re looking for, it’s time to start the search! Here are the best websites for finding a new fitness or PT role…
- Check jobs sites like Indeed, Monster, Reed, LinkedIn, and Leisure Opportunities (but be aware of sneaky ads from training companies selling their courses rather than real jobs).
- Go to the brand’s websites directly and search their careers section e.g. Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, and Virgin Active.
- Check Glassdoor for reviews of companies before applying – it might help you avoid ones that aren’t great places to work.
Top tip – Make your certification company earn their money! Many will line up interviews for you so take full advantage if that’s something they offer.
Applying for PT Roles
Once you’ve found a trainer job you’re interested in, the next hurdle is applying. In this section we’ll explore what recruiters and HR managers are looking for, along with how to prepare your resume.
What are recruiters looking for in a personal trainer?
Each gym will have their own brand and values that influence what they look for in team members. But there are certain skills and qualities that typically apply across the board. If you can demonstrate these, then you’ll have a good shot and securing a PT role.
- Customer-service oriented – looking after clients is a priority for every fitness brand so this is crucial.
- Knowledgeable – you’ll also need to know what you’re talking about when it comes to fitness and programming, a PT certification will usually demonstrate this.
- Goal-driven – as a PT you’ll be given sales and revenue targets to hit each month so you’ll need to show you’re motivated to achieve them (sales skills are also an advantage).
For a more detailed rundown, check out our article on 10 qualities of a great personal trainer.
Preparing a killer resume
Now you’ve found a role, it’s time to prepare an awesome CV that shows off your unique skills and abilities. We’ve actually created a ready-made personal trainer resume template that you can use that covers the crucial elements. Or you can make you’re own by covering these sections…
- Employment history – include where you worked, for how long, and what your responsibilities were (client assessment, programme design, sales and marketing responsibilities, etc.)
- Education – details of your certifications and any professional development courses you’ve taken, along with qualifications from school.
- Personal interests – add a bit of personality with a couple of sentences on your personal interests (particularly those related to fitness and training).
If you’re a newly qualified trainer and don’t yet have experience, then don’t worry. You’ll just need to demonstrate how any other jobs or experience you have will help you as a personal trainer.
If you’ve waited tables, then you’re customer service skills will hold you in good stead. If you’ve worked in retail, then mention the sales skills you developed and a track record of hitting targets. Everyone has transferable skills, you just need to make it clear in your application what they are.
You might also like… How To Build a Successful PT Career Through Professional Development.
Passing the Personal Trainer Interview
The final step in securing a personal trainer role is usually an interview. These are typically conducted by the fitness manager to ensure you’re a good fit for the team.
Interview questions & prep
The interviewer will ask you questions to check your CV is accurate and get a more rounded understanding of you as a person. They won’t be trying to trip you up – they’ll be hoping you’re the right candidate just as much as you are. After all, they want to find someone to take on the work asap!
So, how should you prep for a personal training interview? What are they likely to ask you? Well it’s worth thinking about your answers to the following questions…
- Why do you want the job?
- What attracted you about the role or company?
- What skills or qualities will you bring to it?
- What experience do you have?
- Can you provide an example of when you delivered excellent service?
Jot down some answers to these questions in advance, that way you’ll be prepared if they come up. Do some research into the brand as well so you know what products or services they offer, and what type of company (values, ethos) they are. Head over to the ‘about us’ section of their website and research them on social media.
By following these tips, you’ll be in the strongest possible position to land your dream PT role. Knowing what you’re looking for in a job, where to find it, and how to nail the application process means you’re in a great position. Preparing a professional CV and putting in the research will mean you’re already ahead of most other applicants. Good luck!