Exercise Physiologists Cover Letter Samples
Exercise physiology is a vital part of the health sciences discipline and exercise physiologists play an integral role in the medical field. Patients recovering from major operations and surgery, individuals going through withdrawal from alcohol, tobacco, or substance abuse, and athletes who have been injured and need physical therapy, are just some people that benefit from the education and experience of exercise physiologists. Rehabilitation is an often-forgotten part of the process of recovery—but for exercise physiologists, it’s the most critical stage of care. Exercise physiologists strive to make sure their patients are at their physical best for whatever life throws at them.
In this article, we’ll explore the job profile of an exercise physiologist—what their educational backgrounds look like, their responsibilities, their average salaries, and the job outlook for the next few years. Then, to get job seekers started on their job hunt, we’ll share some important resume tips and guidelines, as well as some helpful information on cover letters. This information will be complemented by an easy-to-follow cover letter template to help get you started.
What Is an Exercise Physiologist?
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of exercise physiologists can vary depending on where they are in their careers. Primarily, exercise physiologists develop programs that test stress, fitness, strength, and endurance for patients at rehabilitation, medical, and fitness centers. Outside of that, responsibilities can include training interns and other staff, administrative and investigative work, developing nutrition programs, and performing physical exams. Exercise physiologists can work for a wide-ranging spectrum of clients—from patients recovering from alcohol abuse and those seeking stress relief and management, to athletes looking for specialized training.
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for those who are interested in becoming an exercise physiologist. Degrees in exercise physiology, kinesiology, health psychology, exercise science, health science, and related programs are necessary for anyone wanting to enter this field. Moreover, advanced degrees can increase marketability and will aid in netting jobs with higher salaries and more complex responsibilities. Typical courses in these degree programs include human anatomy, psychology, nutrition science, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and others.
What’s Popular Now
As with other health and medical professions, there are several certifications that an exercise physiologist will need before being able to enter the workforce. For instance, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has several certificates available for exercise physiologist graduates. These credentials include the Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), the Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP), and other specialty certifications. Research which certification may be right for you.
What’s the Job Outlook for Exercise Physiologists?
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, in 2016 there were approximately 15,100 exercise physiologist jobs; between 2016-2026 the field is expected to grow by 13% which is faster than average for other careers. However, don’t rely too much on those statistics for job security. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also states that because this field is specialized and smaller than average, though it will grow over the next decade. It is expected that competition for these jobs will be very high.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook lists the average salary of an exercise physiologist as $49,090 for 2017. The top 10% of exercise physiologists made more than $78,410 and the bottom 10% made less than $34,250. The wide range in these numbers comes from the fact that salaries can radically change depending on the employer. While state, local, and private hospitals, doctor’s offices, and physical therapist’s offices pay a similar salary—ranging from low to high 40’s—exercise physiologists that work for the government were making as much as $71,600 in May 2017.
How to Write an Effective Exercise Physiologist Resume and Cover Letter
Because the job of an exercise physiologist is highly clinical and relies largely on complex problem-solving and communication skills, job seekers need to highlight their clinical experience, certifications, and leadership/management roles. As an exercise physiologist, your clients can range from recovering addicts to those undergoing rehabilitation during and after chronic health issues, and high-performing athletes. Applicants must be able to show evidence of competent public engagement, as well as the ability to prioritize, analyze, and interpret data relating to human biology, anatomy, and fitness. Make sure things like CPR certification, experience in doing fitness assessments, and memberships with bodies like the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are spelled out.
Generally, it’s important that your resume is clear of grammatical errors. Be sure to double and triple check for spelling errors, typos, run-on sentences, and too much repetition. It should be easy to read and flow naturally. Sections should be organized and highlight the most relevant and interesting skills and experiences that make you a good fit for the position. Make sure your contact information is correct. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a great resume but an incorrect phone number or email and missing a call for an interview. Finally, use action words like “negotiated”, “facilitated”, “administered”, to break up duties—you’ll have many of them in common with other candidates, so always look for ways to stand out.
Cover Letter Samples
A cover letter usually signals several things to potential employers. First, it contextualizes your resume—it should explain why your skills, education, and training have made you the ideal candidate for the position. Second, it provides an effective writing sample to the hiring manager. Whether or not the position calls for significant writing, employers want employees who are good communicators. Employers use cover letters as a screening tool; a good cover letter puts your resume into the running.
Below you’ll find a sample cover letter to use as a template for your job search. First, you’ll find a description of what each paragraph should contain, and below it, in italics, a practical example. This template is just that, a framework in which you can place your own style and skills in a way that best represents you. Use the example below as a guideline, not a rigid standard.
Jan E. Smith
Breathe Deep Therapy Center
1234 Stress Road
New Town, State US 01234
Dear Ms. Smith,
This first paragraph should contain a brief introduction to who you are, followed by what position you’re applying for. Then you can succinctly provide your educational and career background that recommends you to the position.
I am answering your request for applications for the position of Exercise Physiologist with the Breathe Deep Therapy Center. I graduated 8 years ago with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University and 4 years ago with a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Central Michigan University. Bringing 8 years of experience creating and managing fitness programs, I believe that I am an ideal match for your office’s position.
In this paragraph (and in a possible subsequent third one as well), you should, in more detail, speak to the skills that you have obtained that make you a fit for the job. Talk about stand out experiences, awards, or recognition in the field that more specifically make you the ideal candidate. Go into interesting and relevant parts of your background that aren’t necessarily on your resume (or things that are only briefly mentioned).
I am a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) and a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP) by the American College of Sports Medicine, and I make certain to stay up to date with the most current and relevant training need to keep my certifications. Largely, my clinical experience has had me working with patients dealing with stress-related injuries and health issues, as well as those recovering from chronic diseases. This experience, I believe, aligns fantastically with the work being done at Breathe Deep Therapy Center.
I have also been fortunate to work with a number of athletes—planning, managing, and analyzing their exercise and nutrition programs. Motivating and encouraging athletes who have needed rehabilitation services following injuries has been one of the most satisfying of my accomplishments while working as an exercise physiologist. Building relationships with clients and patients are why I’m motivated to do the work that I do and this sense of purpose is what I will bring to your office.
Close with a paragraph that reiterates your interest in the position and the hope (not the expectation) that you will be able to communicate soon with an interview.
I am available for contact at the email address listed above and you can reach me during normal business hours at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for considering my candidacy and I hope to speak with you soon.
Those looking to enter the field of exercise physiology should be prepared for some extensive training outside of their four-year degrees. Clinical experience and multiple certifications (which you’ll have to keep current) are required in order to be competitive against other candidates. If you’re looking for a higher salary, seek out positions with government-funded rehabilitation centers or offices, but be mindful that these positions will be highly competitive. But if you follow these tips, we’re sure you’ll stand out from the rest.