Video can promote the gym room star

By Deirdre May, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers (Limerick)

Deirdre May
Deirdre May, LIMERICK CITY Tel:  086 890 8400

Q: I’ve some part-time work as a gym instructor in a busy gym. I’m getting on well with the members I’m instructing, and I’d really like to get some more hours. I was thinking about putting together some videos of me in action – showing how to do various exercises, stretches, and the likes. I lost a lot of weight myself a few years ago – that led me to gym instruction as a career, in fact – so I was also thinking about talking on a few videos about that too. What do you think? Would it help me to get more hours where I am or even get me noticed elsewhere? PP (email).

A: I think you already know the answer to your question.

In a word, yes.

I will enter some caveats in a moment, but, taken on its merits, it is an excellent idea, and the kind of approach we regularly recommend to our own clients.

I’ve previously used the phrase ‘show me, don’t tell me’ in this column. A picture paints a thousand words: and, apart from showcasing your particular skills, it transmits an altogether deeper, arguably more important message – namely that you are very keen to advance your career.

Some videos like that would be an invaluable adjunct to your CV. They will set you apart from many others chasing the same positions – and I say that while being conscious of the fact that there are some instructors out there already using video as a promotional tool.

A few words of advice, if I may:

  • The videos don’t need to have the production values of Cinema Paradiso: The Special Edition, but they should be shot so that the viewer can see and hear everything without difficulty – so avoid echoes, dark rooms, or obscured shots;
  • Keep them short and focused – let each video deal with one topic. Attention spans are falling. Online searches are focused, so meet the needs of the searchers;
  • Be careful about claiming expertise in the area of weight loss – there is nothing wrong with giving your own experiences, but don’t presume that what worked for you amounts to water-tight advice for the populace at large. Weight loss is an emotive topic and you could get negative reaction if you extrapolate your personal experience into some sort of global truth;
  • Link your YouTube channel wherever you can – on your email auto-signature, on your social media accounts, and on any posters you are doing up for your own classes on your own time;
  • Perhaps most importantly of all, link it on your CV and cover letter. Make sure the right people see the channel at the right time;
  • Let all your friends and family know about the channel and get them to re-tweet, re-post, re-pin, recycle, regurgitate and re anything else they can manage;
  • Before coming over all Leonardo diCaprio or Cameron Diaz, check out what others are doing. I’m not advocating plagiarism, but if you run the rule over other offerings you will see what works, what doesn’t work, what has been done to death and – hopefully – what openings exist where you can carve out a niche for yourself.

Sli Nua Careers ( have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Their services include CV preparation, interview training and career direction. For more details, visit

Deirdre May is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Limerick.

Make a booking HERE for CV Preparation, Interview Training and Mock Interviews.

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