Give your resume a work out!

Photo by The U.S. Army

One of Saturday’s projects was to interview and write a resume for a young man I’ve known since he was in the 6th grade. He’s looking for an internship in cardiac rehabilitation as part of his Masters Degree program in Clinical Exercise Physiology.

We discussed how an academic showcase could demonstrate some of his projects and let the reader understand the value he brings to an internship. He gave me permission to share information from his resume and our session. Below is one section from the new resume we wrote together:

Community Fitness Program Case Study

Challenge: Create an exercise and nutrition counseling program for an adult female, age 53, morbidly obese, with goals to enhance mobility, increase self confidence, and improve activities of daily living (ADLs).

Action: Conducted American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) testing, including Risk Factor Assessment measuring items such as hypertension, body mass index (BMI), lipids, and blood sugar. Patient tested positive for 5 out of 8 risk factors. Administered Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) to determine ability to physically participate. Created strength and aerobic training programs and mentored patient on a daily basis about emotional reasons for life choices.

Results: Client lost 112 pounds to-date, gained tremendous self-confidence, and improved ADLs, such as rising independently from the floor, stair climbing, and ease of completing basic housekeeping tasks. Client’s health improved dramatically, with lowered triglyceride levels, reduced blood sugar levels to below pre-diabetic, and decreased blood pressure to healthy levels. ACSM Risk Factor Assessment improved to 1 out of 8.

Show your passion for your work!

As he talked about his project and his client, you could see how proud he was of her progress.

Like many young people, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he started college. His direction was clear after his own father suffered a major heart attack about 5 years ago. He shares the impact of his father’s life changes in his cover letter.

I encouraged him to keep most of his original cover letter because it clearly speaks to his passion: “It was soon after this time when I realized how much it would mean to be able to help others just like my father to live happier, less restrictive lives.”

My young client gave me a few pointers, reminding me that though my 3 mile walk has value, studies have shown that if we infuse our day with intermittent exercise, sometimes as easy as 5 to 10 minutes of simple exercises several times daily, we will start to see progress. In his case study, the initial goal of his fitness client was to gain mobility and then the next goal was to reduce her risk factors.

The goal of a resume is to illustrate why you would be a great candidate. My young client proved to me how his passion as a clinical exercise physiologist will make life changes for many other people. Does your resume show your value?


  1. Bridget Haymond on November 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Our passion often arises out of our personal experiences. This is a great example of how this young man’s passion ties in his with his purpose!

    Thanks for sharing this great story Julie!

    • Julie Walraven on November 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Bridget! I was hoping this would touch someone… Yesterday’s post got so much attention but I think a young man who found his career calling because of his personal experience and desire to help others not suffer the same fate as his dad is a story that needs reading.

  2. Joel Woldt on December 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Julie, this is so cool, you are just an amazing resume writer and person as well!

    • Julie Walraven on December 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      🙂 Glad you liked it, Joel! You’re pretty special yourself!

  3. Shahrzad Arasteh | Career Consulting Services on January 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Julie,

    Reading your post is making me smile. It’s wonderful to read about your client’s passion for his work and the lives he touches, and to sense his level of knowledge and expertise. As they come across so strongly in your post, I can only imagine how they come to life through the resume you created together! Bonus: The fact that you’ve included his fitness tip so all of us can benefit from reading it, too!

    • Julie Walraven on January 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      Not only that, Joel is now my clinical exercise physiologist. I hired him to coach me to get healthier.

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