Yoga Resume Writing
Find a great job doing what you love!
In order to become a professional yoga teacher, you must learn and develop business skills that will make you an asset (not just an employee) at a studio. The first step: writing a killer resume and cover letter.
But first, lets debunk some yoga myths.
- Myth #1. If you train with famous teachers, studios will want to hire you.
- Myth #2. If you have an amazing yoga practice, studios will want to hire you.
- Myth #3. If you have more credentials than anyone on the planet, studios will want to hire you.
The Real WorldThe main thing employers look for is professionalism, not perfect poses or years of experience. Professional teachers are so rare, its easy to stand out. Some important things to remember about the real yoga business world:
- Yoga studios are very volatile businesses
- There are only three to four ‘peak hours’ each day
- Every class is extremely important because there are not that many classes
- Every new hire becomes a face of the company, so it’s a big decision every time
- Research the studio like crazy
- Take as many classes as possible at the studio
- Look for opportunities at the studio (not problems), where you can be helpful
- Know the schedule, the teachers, the class types, etc.
- Forget about yourself and think about what you can do for the studio
- Be genuinely interested in the studio, the studio owner, and the success of the business first and foremost
2) The Yoga Resume
- One page, keep it simple
- Teaching experience (most important)
- Training (second most important)
- All other work experience
- Formal education and miscellaneous information
3) The Cover Letter
- Never write ‘To Whom it May Concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Ma’am’
- Write directly to the person in charge of hiring
- One page maximum
- Make it 80% about the studio, compliment the owner or manager, and tell him or her why you think you could be a great addition to the team
- If at all possible, make a ‘no risk’ offer, where you demonstrate your value with no obligation or money required on their part
Remember, studio owners want: great classes, reliability, community builders, positive and supportive people, independent people, and no complainers nor surprises.
Questions & Answers
Q: What training looks best on a yoga teacher resume?
A: Teachers often think that having a list of 12 different certificates will impress potential employers. It’s not impressive, it simply makes it difficult to determine what you’re actually trained and skill in. It’s OK to list your education, but leave out stuff that you don’t use or that you aren’t an expert in. Unfortunately, the international standards for yoga teachers are so low that even a teacher who has undergone 1,000 hours of training still might not be able to lead a basic class. So list your education, but focus on demonstrating your actual skills.
Q: What are the different certifications and what do they mean?
A: Yoga is still largely unregulated, which means a teaching certificate from an adult yoga camp where participants sing songs, eat lentils, and stretch could look the same as a hardcore anatomy and physiology course that demands a very high level of academics. Currently, there are no regulatory bodies for yoga, only registration organizations such as Yoga Alliance, American Counsel on Exercise, and various regional organizations. It’s a very good sign if a school is registered with these organizations. They require a basic level of organization and professionalism. That being said, you should never join a course because of their registration with a member organization. Join a course based on what it offers.
Q: What qualities and skills are employers looking for?
A: The most important skill is your ability to lead a great class. What is a great class? It has a beginning, middle, and end. You have a presence and an energy in the room that is very palpable. You speak clearly and with authority. You use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (touch) cues in your instruction. And most importantly, students come back.
Employers are also looking for responsible, professional, and mature teachers. They need people whom they can count on and who really want to be part of a team.
Q: What if I don’t have any previous teaching experience?
A: If you have graduated from a school and do not yet have teaching experience, you need to get some right away. Organize a class with friends and family, post a free or donation-based class on Meetup.com, teach a charity event, do whatever. It is not fair to ask your first employer to fund your practice classes; you need to figure that out on your own and tell them what you’ve done to prepare ahead of your first day on the job. This shows you can take initiative.
Q: What if I can’t find the name of the person in charge of hiring for my cover letter?
A: You can. Call the studio and ask, “Can I ask who the studio manager or owner is?” If they question why you’re asking, simply explain you want to send them your CV/resume and want to address it to the right person. Ninety-five percent of the time, they will tell you.
Q: How can I find opportunities to teach in existing facilities, such as fitness and health centers?
A: Rule number one is to be a student at the place you want to teach. Say hello and be friendly with the teachers and staff. After you’ve taken some classes, tell them in-person you love their facility and if they ever need help or a substitute teacher, you’d love to be considered. Keep going to class, make yourself useful, and you’ll find work easily.