I started as a volunteer at a highly regarded local Wellness Center. Since I was a certified trainer, I soon was offered a job.
It is important that you only associate yourself with well known and well-regarded organizations to pad your resume. You will learn there and will even be able to used them as a reference.
Remember to include all types of experience that relates to the job you seek. When I first put together my resume, I had been a youth sports coach, but hadn’t done any one on one training. However, I had been in the military and that resulted in learning a lot about training and motivation for physical assessments and other duties on the job. The point I wanted to convey with that experience is that I can train someone to do something they have never done before and be successful. Those skills are pretty universal.
In the mean time, see if you can volunteer (as long as you have insurance) as a trainer at a nearby college gym or help out someone in the field you’re interested if they are willing to document what you do, speak for your skills and help you improve.
Never lie! (or “stretch” the truth about what you’ve done or not done). Everybody has to start somewhere. If you’re honest, and clearly express your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, then I don’t see you having any difficulties.
Consider avenues/facilities where your expertise will be valued (it may not be paid yet, but you never know:):
-local rec centres (offer to teach (or co-teach) a class)
-local media (position yourself as a trained health/fitness professional, ’cause you are!)
-clubs or gyms where you can walk the floor and be available to answer member questions
-heck, apply for an actual job! you never know what opportunities are out there and who you might meet (it may turn out to be your mentor!).
There are other things that you can include on your resume besides work experience. Have you ever been on a team? Can you highlight your strengths? Are you an excellent communicator? Have you demonstrated leadership qualities in other areas of your life that will transfer well into the wellness and fitness industry. Do you have a solid understanding of the science related to personal training that you desire to use to inspire other to lead active lifestyles. Do you have a genuine desire to work and learn in the industry? Are you able to express what industry guidelines you refer to as far as designing exercise prescription is concerned. Express that on your resume particularly your objective.
Fitness professionals are dynamic, energetic individuals who love what they do. Make sure this is well-conveyed in the cover letter of your resume as well as your resume.
I wish you all the best in your search for employment.