You’ve recently completed your 200-hour yoga teacher training and now you’re ready to apply for your first job as an instructor. Before approaching any future employer, you’re going to want to do what any job-seeker does: craft a resume that demonstrates your skills and helps you come across knowledgeable—and more importantly, as a good candidate.
Don’t let the fact that you have little teaching experience stop you. Everything that you’ve done as a student has shaped you as a teacher—which means you probably have more knowledge than you think! And while your resume may not focus on your teaching experience, you should highlight your dedication to your practice. Jenny Aurthur has been a yoga instructor and a teacher trainer in New York City for more than 20 years. She recommends writing your resume in a way that shows “you’re a legitimate student, as well as an aspiring teacher.”
Here, we break down the sections of a solid yoga resume to help you get your foot in the door and get that first gig.
What to include in your yoga teacher resume
Your name, phone number, email address, and website (if you have one) should be at the top of your resume. The number one rule of resume creation: Do not make it difficult for a potential employer to figure out how to contact you!
Mission statement or professional summary
This is the hook that will interest a potential employer into reading the rest of your resume.
Write a few sentences (no more than 4–5) about your skills, qualifications, and any experience you might have that would be relevant to a teaching position. This is your chance to brag about your accomplishments and share an insight into your love for yoga. The tone should be casual, but authentic.
Education & certifications
Add your 200-hour YTT here, along with any additional certifications you might have from workshops or trainings. Keep this updated: Any time you take any workshop or consistently take classes with a single teacher, list it.
If you have any related degrees—for example, a fitness certification or a degree in education—list those here, too. If your certification is unrelated to yoga, you still may want to include it—completing your degree is an accomplishment no matter what the field and potential employers may appreciate your dedication.
If you’ve studied with a world-renowned teacher, include that in the education section. If you’re enrolled in a 300-hour YTT or a specialization course, such as yoga nidra or prenatal yoga, include that in this section with your anticipated date of completion.
If you have zero yoga teaching experience, Aurthur suggests including your current or most recent non-yoga job, but don’t go beyond that. “Do not list your five most recent jobs,” she emphasizes. Create a bulleted list of the responsibilities of the job and don’t worry about using complete sentences—keep these short and to the point.
Include anything teaching-related that you’ve ever done, says Aurthur. “Even if it was a writing course three years ago, it shows you have experience teaching and leading others.”
This should be a simple bulleted list of any other skills or specialties that might be relevant to the position that you haven’t included in other sections. For example, perhaps you’ve led workshops or presentations at your current job or are a self-proclaimed anatomy expert. Think of more non-tangible skills like creativity, patience, problem-solving, etc.
Volunteer experience (optional)
Volunteer experience—for example, helping out at a local yoga festival or conference, or teaching a kids yoga class without pay—can show that you’ve at least gotten your feet wet.
If you had a positive experience with your yoga teacher training instructors, ask if you can add them to your reference list. Another possibility is any teachers you’ve studied under or practiced with for a significant amount of time.
Other resume tips
1. Keep it short
In most cases, limit your resume to one page. That shouldn’t be too difficult since you won’t have much work experience to share, but that might mean getting creative with your formatting. Some templates put the summary and skills on a column on the left side while others just put it in one list. Microsoft Word has dozens of resume templates you can start with.
2. Don’t forget about social media
Jen Bell, co-founder and teacher trainer at Peace Through Strength Yoga Academy, tells her students that social media can be valuable in demonstrating your knowledge and value to a potential employer. While having thousands of followers can help show that you have already built a community, it’s more about having a place where people can see your talents and expertise as a yoga teacher. If you have a social media platform with yoga content, include it with your contact information.
3. Find a mentor
Consider asking someone to be your mentor as that relationship illustrates a dedication to the learning experience.
4. Start local
When you’re looking for your first teaching job, the studio where you practice regularly may be your best bet. Jessy Nicholson, owner of The Sankalpa Collective in Denver, Colorado, says “a huge thing for me is that the person is part of the community as a student so people can see your practice.” If you’re consistently in a class and other students already know you, it’s easier to build a following. Another perk to continuing to be a student is that you can learn from other teachers’ cueing and get new ideas, Nicholson explains.