Writing a winning resume can be a daunting task, especially if you’re changing careers or industries. While aimed at those making the jump into the fitness industry, the following details are no less relevant for established professionals who want to best represent themselves.
When you’re competing for roles with seasoned professionals, you need to ensure your CV stands out.
It’s time to look at your education, experience and achievements in a different light and determine what’s most important to the fitness role you’re applying for.
How do you know what’s most important?
Speak with people who are working in the industry already—ideally those currently employing people for the role you’re going for—to learn which of your skills are transferable and most prized. Also look at a range of ads for the same job type, and identify the common elements in each. With a well-crafted CV, one that showcases the details employers are looking for, your application is much more likely to get more than a passing glance.
So what makes a ‘non-industry experienced’ resume stand out?
- Make sure your new career objective is clear.
If you want to change careers, it’s best to have your desired job goal well defined. This will make it easier to determine the experience and qualifications you should highlight in your new resume. NOTE: If you’d like to be taken seriously, never say in your application that you’re ‘happy for any role’. All employers want to put the best people in the right positions. The least you can do is let them know what the right position is for you!
- Focus on skills, experience and qualifications most relevant to the new role.
Employers want to see previous experience that relates to the role on offer. When it’s industry specific, it’s easy to draw the connection. For non-industry-specific experience, you need to make the links more obvious. Highlight the skills used in different roles that are suited to the advertised role. For example, any previous customer service or sales experience is going to be well received for pretty much any role in the industry. Management experience is also largely universal but would require reference to the achievement of KPIs for yourself and your team.
- Present experience in terms the prospective employer will understand.
Your previous roles might have had their own terminology. When translating your experience and past successes into terms that resonate with your new target audience, be sure to speak in a language they understand. Look for terms in job ads that you can use directly. Remember that things that may have impressed in your last industry may not be as obvious to anyone in the fitness industry.
- Keep your resume concise.
Even if you have more than ten years of experience in a variety of different positions, your resume should still be no more than two pages. Avoid the laundry list of skills and experience. Carefully select the accomplishments and responsibilities that will support your current career objectives.
- Quantify your contributions and achievements.
Vague claims of being ‘customer focused’ or ‘passionate about fitness’ or ‘a good team player’ are thick on the ground. What’s needed is more quantifiable data. What EXACTLY did you contribute in your last job? HOW did your input contribute to the betterment of the business? Even in roles where you simply had to follow a system, you’ll be able to quantify your contribution (E.g. units made, people served, etc.). Whatever it is, include numbers, awards or any other recognisable achievements rather than generalities.
- If including non-work related skills and activities, do so at the end.
Including non-work-related experience and skills is a nice way to demonstrate your wider experience and interests, but if it’s too high up on your CV, it can become a distraction from the information that matters. By including it in brief and at the end of your CV, it demonstrates your respect for the role by keeping less relevant details out of the way.
By following the points above, you’ll be well placed to get an interview for your desired role. I wish you every success.
Dennis Hosking is the founder and Managing Director of HealthyPeople.com.au, a recruiting service for Australia’s fitness industry. Launched in 2005, HealthyPeople is the first and only service to promote fitness candidates to employers. HealthyPeople also advertises more than 150 opportunities a month, boasts a database of more than 65,000 industry professionals and works with more than 800 fitness employers.