I am a newly certified personal trainer, what are my chances of getting hired, with out having experience working in a gym?
I have experience instructing dance class: I used to teach hip hop and African dancing and currently I conduct circuit training with a total of 5-7 women in at my friends house. Other than that I have never taught in a gym or have experience training one with in one. I am planning on moving out to California and I want to know , what to do and say as I apply for health clubs!
I can't tell what type of certification you have, but let's assume you have one that is nationally recognized and NCCA accredited. Depending on the location and the gym you are applying at, you shouldn't have any problems getting hired. if what you have to offer and teach is something that a specific gym is looking for, then getting hired should be a matter of them liking you and vice versa. I have met many trainers throughout the years who got hired by gyms and had no previous experience. Sometimes luck and also being at the right place at the right time can make all the difference. Personality can be a factor especially if you are applying to teach a group class. So to answer your question I would have to say that your chances are pretty good. Good luck.
As someone who moved from one market to another I will add that that can be challenging. The part about having a nationally recognized and NCCA accredited certification is especially helpful here as you are going into territory where I am guessing you do not have tons of connections. And from what I have seen quite a lot of work opportunities come from people mentioning things, even in passing, or connecting people they know with each other.
A few things you can do to start to build a new network: visit gyms and health clubs and try classes, get to know the teachers, make use of social media.... is there a local facebook group of fitness pros you could get on for example, also make use of old fashioned face to face interactions.... is there some sort of newcomers group you could join where you will be living, don't join social groups just to meet people you want to use to professionally further yourself, but do be social. The wider your circle of people the more you will know about the social dynamics around you.
If there are volunteer opportunities (for example our neighborhood elementary school has a huge 4 k run every spring, our local Y has lots of events, there is a huge yogathon not far from me, I have a friend who helps run a spring obstacle course run that brings in thousands of people..... there are always tons of them) pick a few and do them. Do them because the cause matters to you, but remember that forging ties and building community are really important.
having a certification with ACE is great. This certification is accepted just about everywhere.
Many clubs have quite a high trainer turnover, and I would not be too concerned about finding a job. What you may find difficult is finding a job that pays anything worthy of being called 'pay'. Even with rather little experience in a health club setting, many gyms are used to hire novice trainers. While it may not be the job of your dreams initially, it will give you some experience in this environment.
I would use this forum here, though, to create a web presence by completing your profile so that you can present yourself to the world in your chosen profession.
The others have given you some great ideas already. I would like to add that as you meet new people and make connections, try to find a mentor. It always helps to have someone with experience that can teach you and guide you in this business. You also may be able to shadow someone while they are training both to learn, and to get yourself known in the area. Some places may let you do a few free sessions so that is a thought as well.
Good luck to you!