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Key Skills to Add to Your Personal Training Resume in 2022

A client stretches outdoors with their personal trainer.

There’s no denying how challenging working as a fitness professional, especially being a certified personal trainer, can be.

It’s a physically and mentally draining career and one that comes with significant challenges, even if it’s highly rewarding at the end of the day.

However, if you’re looking to progress professionally and see any type of significant growth in your career, you will need to invest in new skills and expertise to advance. There are certain in-demand skills that can definitely set you apart in the market, strengthening your position against competitors in the same line of work. These skills include the following that you can either obtain certifications in or enhance through training:

Communication and counseling

Communication skills are a prerequisite of working as a personal trainer, and you will need to develop and enhance yours to be more effective in order to truly succeed in this line of work. There are several ways you can enhance your communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, and focus on being clearer, more specific, and effective in your approach.

You need to be able to connect with your clients and ask them questions that are specific, extract the right information you need, and communicate instructions, advice, and recommendations that they can apply more effectively.

Poor communication, especially for someone with a personal fitness trainer certification, can lead to a lack of client satisfaction, ineffective results, and more conflicts as they struggle to understand you.

Instructions and exercises are only part of this equation because you will need to check in with them via text or email. You need to know how to be professional yet welcoming, follow up effectively, and ensure they understand you.

If you struggle with communication, you can definitely work on it, and be sure to add it to your resume as a strong suit. Gyms want to hire trainers who are communicative and good at counseling clients, understanding their struggles and points of view, and motivating them to adhere to their fitness program.

A person holds a bowl of healthy greens to eat for a meal.

Nutrition and dietary knowledge

You can’t work in the fitness industry without some type of nutritional knowledge and dietary insights. However, it’s also important to know that personal trainers can not provide dietary advice and recommendations to their clients without being qualified for them. You don’t need to be a registered dietitian or professional nutritionist; you can provide general guidelines for them to follow.

To dispense real, individualized advice, you should have a certification in nutrition. You can obtain a supplementary certification that enables you to legally devise meal plans and provide advice to your clients, and it will definitely strengthen your resume, making you more sought-after.

Empathy and emotional intelligence

You should list down empathy and emotional intelligence as skills on your personal trainer resume, specifically too. As the industry evolves and becomes more client-centric, and standards of practice change, professional fitness trainers must develop a more empathetic attitude toward them. You need to understand where they’re coming from and figure out ways to help them more effectively, rather than using shame, anger, fear, and negative emotions to push your clients. Instead, practice more empathy and emotional intelligence and, thus, build a stronger working relationship with them. List this as a specific soft skill on your resume and have examples of how you applied empathy and used emotional intelligence in your work as a trainer.

A trainer motivates their client, offering her his hand to get up.

Fitness specializations and niches

Alongside working on communication and emotional intelligence, you should also invest in further training and fitness instructor certifications that give you specialized skills. Many skills are in-demand for personal trainers, including senior and elderly training, pregnancy and post-natal fitness training, youth and childhood fitness, athletic and sports conditioning, massage therapy, physical therapy, and more.

You will have a serious competitive edge by specializing in different niches and listing them on your resume. You can even train as a lifestyle wellness coach offering a wide variety of holistic services, a fitness manager with administrative capabilities, or other high-paying specializations on your resume. Fitness and personal training are far from static, and you can make serious progress in your career if you focus on trends and skills that will boost your market value.

A client with a prosthetic limb works out with a physical therapist.

Business and management skills

Speaking of management capabilities, one of the biggest resume boosters for personal trainers is the presence of business and management skills. Businesses are looking to bring on highly-qualified, experienced, and multi-talented individuals who can contribute to their facility in more ways than one.

Having a knack for business, organization, and management can put you in the running for more advanced positions such as managers and planners. If you’ve obtained any certification or qualification in fitness-related business or management services, be sure to link to the authorizing body for greater credibility.

If you’re not sure about investing in business development or skills while working as a fitness trainer, peruse our blog on business and personal training for more insights, and be sure to mention these skills on your resume to improve your chances.

As the fitness industry continues to grow and evolve, you must too. You need to invest in resume-building skills and activities, including new certifications, advanced training, and developing specializations that put you a cut above the rest.

You can register for our personal training certifications and training sessions in areas of fitness and health, including nutrition, senior fitness training, sports conditioning, pregnancy, post-natal fitness specialization, and much more. You can take a look at our expansive range of fitness trainer programs, courses, and certifications here and get started on your journey as a fitness professional today.


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