My trainer recommended to me that I should apply at a big lesson barn where she used to work as an instructor. Hoping to get some tips as to what I should put on my resume and in my cover letter for this kind of position.
Just saw this and have some resume experience so I'll offer a couple tips. Good luck to you!
Firstly, clean up your Objective a bit. I actually don't like Objective sections at all unless it's obviously needed for a large company in which HR needs to quickly identify the position being sought. In this case I would simply write "Riding Instructor and horse Trainer" centered under your name and contact, (or) write the same after "Objective:", or eliminate it.
I like a succinct "Summary of Qualifications" at the top. Always focus acutely on the skills you have the the hiring party would want. Your dreams have nothing to do with it. You can mention it's your dream job in the interview - maybe - but not on your resume. You should include trainers, particularly those of local importance and anyone who's a big deal. Big Name clinics you've attended are also useful information and can be threaded into this section - succinctly.
Everywhere you use the word "assist" change it. Say something more specific and which implies a level of skill and responsibility. Action verbs. Ones that are related to what you want to do. Saying you assisted people tack up doesn't tell me anything. Were you just a crappy groom? A therapy school volunteer assisting the disabled? Or teaching horsemanship. Here are some verbs and phrases for you: instructed, trained, responsible for, managed, supervised, provided, oversaw operations of.
Watch verb conjugation. Present tense for present job (ie "Teach beginning and intermediate students on the flat and over fences focusing on equitation, horsemanship and preparation for successful competition on the local H/J circuit." So you currently "Assist" (or better yet "Train" or "School") and from Oct-Jan you "Managed". Past tense.
At your age and level of experience you should emphasize specific personal achievements and your skill with beginners in general. Can you offer a solid foundation for someone pursuing any English discipline? Do you ride Western? Did you do Pony Club? Are you fun to learn from and be around? Do you communicate clearly and effectively? Do you have experience with children and keep them safe and confident? Meanwhile, did/do you compete? In which arenas and at what level?
Anywhere adding specific, especially numerical information would not make you look bad, share it. For example: "Managed a stable of 10 school horses..." "Rode and trained as many as 8 lesson and client horses 4 days per week. Successfully addressed training issues of both young, green horses and A circuit campaigners while respectfully balancing the needs of head trainer and clients."
Nix the phrase "various other tasks."
Generally speaking, each individual action or responsibility gets a separate bullet.
- Schooled da poneez.
- Applied first aid and routine medical care.
- And various other tasks n stuff. ()
Watch out for typos - you have "Working will young children" and it should be "working with young children" - look for stuff like that.
I like what HillNDale had to say, very good advice.
A good idea might be to download a template from Microsoft Word, or just do a google search on it - they lay everything out very nicely and all you have to do is replace what they have written with YOUR qualifications.
Resumes aren't a good place to write sentences about why you're qualified - shorten it to something like:
• Provided daily training rides, hacking and schooling horses, jump schooling horses, warming-up and cooling-down
• Managed feeding grain and supplements
• Instructed beginner lessons
• Lunged and groomed "x" number of horses daily/weekly/etc
• Administered first-aid
something like that looks a lot cleaner and the prospective employer can just scan down a list of things you have experience in, rather than having to read through a paragraph full of things. It just flows better.
Also you have nearly the same thing for both Lodestar and Legacy - make sure you differentiate enough between the two so they don't think that you just copied/pasted - be original and if you did something at one place you didn't at the other, make sure it's at the top of the list!
For your education, if you got good grades, were a straight A student, got on the dean's list in college, etc, make sure you play it up! Employers look at stuff like that too to see if you are a good learner.
Don't talk about your dream in the objective - just write something along the lines of "to obtain a job as a working student (or paid position or whatever your objective is) at XXXXXXXXX Stables". Definitely don't talk about where you are currently working in the objective, they will be able to see for themselves where you currently work since you already have it there.
my two cents. Take it or leave it.
I'm currently looking for a good instructor, and if someone handed me a resume like this I probably wouldn't give it a second glance. You're absolutely doing the right thing getting help with it, becuase the more horse people look at it and give concrete opinions, the better chance you have of getting the job of your dreams! Good luck!!
Thanks for the help and suggestions. I will look over my resume and make those changes and go from there. I just threw it together real quick and was planning on working on it over the weekend, but just wanted a little feedback before I go any further. I also only included my horse related experience and my current boss/trainer told me to put those on there ust because it is good work experience. Thanks again!
You know it's a little rough and the first two posters gave you a lot of info so I'll try not to repeat that.
If you can, just get rid of the objective all together. Put it in the cover letter or e-mail instead.
Can you "fill out" your resume a little with relevant experience? Have you held any jobs outside of horses? Did you win anything in high school? Have you taken any relevant courses in college?
Do you have have any recognizable riding accomplishments of your own? Clincs, shows, awards, etc.?
Try to get more detailed about everything. Like a previously poster said, numerical values are great, specific awards or shows, etc. Paint someone a picture of who you are and what makes you unique.
Right now your resume says to me "Worked as a basic assistant trainer at two barns." So what? So has everyone else looking for a teaching job. Make yourself stand out!
Oh, and personally, I dislike references on a resume. Make a separate sheet for them (look up the format online) and include a minimum of 3 (and up to 5). They don't all have to be horse related. Past employers, teachers, pastors, volunteer coordinators, etc. all qualify.
Finally (and I'd love to get the opinion of other people on this), consider having your trainer write you a letter of recommendation and include that. I was applying for jobs for 6 months with nothing. Last month I started including a letter or recommendation from a previous employer with all of my applications and I got 4 interviews within 2 weeks. I'm not sure if that's why, but I know my references can often sell me better than I can.
Agree with the above poster- cut the references off the resume and add any accomplishments or distinguishing skills. What competition experience do you have? Any awards or distinctions?
Bullet your skills, for sure. I would try to make things a little more concise (I don't think training rides and jump schooling need to be separate, for example- schooled on the flat and over fences, maybe, or a similar wording) and making the wording a bit more professional (getting along with all people = successful client relations, etc).
I would watch your wording all around- instead of "working towards" your degree, simply state "A.A. in ______ anticipated (Spring/Fall and Year)". Make it understandable at a glance with few words and lots of concrete info.
Finally, be careful with spelling and grammar! "Assisting student's" should be students, etc. Lots of people are turned off by little errors like that.
Best of luck to you in job seeking! You have received some very good advice here =)
I know you said it printed out differently, but I would prefer a centered name and contact information. I would also keep all of the text the same color. Distinguish the subject headings by bolding or underlining.
Give a title to your job positions. An assistant trainer is different than a working student so you should distinguish this.
A resume should be 1 page. You can make the margins wider, eliminate some of the spacing, and make the bulleted descriptive text 11 pt Times New Roman (no smaller).
Others have already mentioned that job descriptions should have concise bullet points that don't necessarily have to be complete sentences. I would recommend 2-4 bullet points max. And be sure to give concrete numbers such as, "Managed school barn consisting of X number of horses and X number of riders". A second bullet point would be, "Tasks included but were not limited to task A, task B, task C,..."
Unlike others, I actually like an objective. It reminds employers of your skill, shows organization, and concretely defines your strengths that they would otherwise have to deduct from the types of employment you have had. However, yours isn't a strong one. Objectives don't have to contain complete sentences and I would omit anything about your dreams. An objective is also called a "Professional Summary". Include any strengths you have and any specific technology you are proficient in or certifications you have. I copied what mine says below (it isn't horse related).
"Determination, time-management, leadership, and analytical perspective will advance the success of any research team. Seeking to gain experience in ecological, biological, and environmental research within aquatic systems. Proficient in ArcGIS."
Keep the objective concise and no more than three sentences. Here is an idea for yours...
"Seeking profesesional experience in training both rider and equine in a variety of disciplines. My passion, organization, and leadership will add to a positive work environment. Proficient in..."
Keep in mind I wrote that in like a minute and half . Ultimately it is your objective and I do not know you personally enough to make it as strong as it could be.
If you choose to include an objective section you should omit the "skills" section. Replace this with two sections: "Competitive Accomplishments" and "Academic Awards and Leadership" (not necessarily those exact titles but you get the idea).
In the first section include any major classes you have won, finals you have qualified for, clinic you have attended, specific trainers you have done catch rides for, etc. The bullet points should be concrete examples of your accomplishments as a rider. Don't summarize and say "I am good at working with green horses" or something along those lines. Employers want concrete evidence of such a claim. You can even name specific horses you have trained and the age you started working with them and what specific skills you taught them.
Finally, show that you are involved outside of horses. This presents the employer that you have good time management skills. Academic accomplishments are important to list, as well as any clubs you are involved in. Emphasize any leadership positions you have held.
References is up to you. If you find your resume is not a full page you should include them. If you are struggling to fit it all to one page then don't. You can say "References available upon request" or "References included in an additional page" or something in your objective.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
I like all of the suggestions already given. I would add a cover letter for the particular job you are doing. For instance, I too am applying for an instructor position and have a teaching philosophy as my cover letter. Once I get home and am off my iPhone, I'll pm you my teaching philosophy and my version of my résumé. One of my friends in business school helped me with mine and since I've updated it I've gotten a lot more interest.