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One of the most important things that you can do to increase your success as a yoga teacher is to learn how to market yourself as a brand. An employer is looking for the whole package, so you want to be able to present yourself in such a way that by the time they read the last line of your email, they know without a doubt that you are the right person for the job.
Perfect your package
To do this takes a little extra time and effort, and you need to go above and beyond when it comes to your application. A potential employer is most likely to ask for:
• A brief ‘cover letter’ in the email
• A resume (CV)
• Several photographs
• Links to social media
Craft the cover letter
It’s best to keep your ‘cover letter’ short and sweet; the employer is likely to be sifting through many emails, so don’t waste their time with your life story. Instead, three short paragraphs should do. Always address your email directly to the employer, and choose an appropriate subject title.
Briefly explain your yoga style, teaching experience, and a little bit of info that shows off your personality. Also, word things in a way which shows how you can make a difference. For example, how will you benefit their retreat? How will your teaching improve the experience of everyone attending your classes?
Tailor your email to the specific job in question. For example, if a surf school is hiring a yoga teacher then you could let them know that you enjoy surfing, or that you can design classes that help surfers to relax their shoulders or improve their balance.
Triple check your spelling and grammar. Have a grammar-loving friend give the email a once over, and then use a free tool such as Grammarly to make sure that your email is free from errors.
Pick photos that pop
Carefully follow the rules for the photo submissions. If they have asked for two photos then please don’t send over 7, and make sure that you keep the photos yoga-related. Photos can be of your teaching, as well as your asana practice. While a scorpion pincha will grab their attention, a simple seated lotus can also work well if it shows your warmth and smile.
You don't need to have a professional photo shoot but do make sure that the photos are pretty high quality. Try and insert your photos into your email (rather than include them as an attachment) so the employer is able to view them without having to click on a link.
Create a yoga resume
The resume is an area which is often overlooked by yogis, so creating an impressive one will boost your chances of getting picked. Ditch the dull black and white resumes and use a free online editor such as Canva to quickly create one that pops. Canva has ready-to-go templates which you can use as a framework for your resume.It’s a wise idea to include:
• Training: List your YTT and additional courses/workshops
• Experience: Classes, retreats, festivals, private lessons
• Additional: Related achievements, press
• Contact: Website, social media, email, phone
Sort your social media
Having yoga-related social media accounts will also increase your chances of landing a job. An active account can display your teaching style, personality, and personal practice. If you have a decent following that can be a plus too, as employers know that you will help to increase their online presence. You can make a content creation schedule, and use a service such as Later to schedule your posts in advance to save time.
Score yourself out of ten for your resume, cover letter, photos and social media accounts. What can you do to improve the scores for each area? Keep working until you can happily mark yourself in the 8s or 9s for each one. Once you have all of these things down, you will have a framework which makes it really easy to apply to yoga jobs.
Throw in some secret sauce
There is no denying that competition is pretty fierce for yoga jobs; a friend told me a certain position in a 5-star resort in the Maldives received over 200 applicants! So here are a few things that you can offer or include to make sure you stand out:
• Complete specialist trainings: SUP Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Prenatal Yoga e.t.c.
• Offer additional modalities which tie in with yoga: massage, reiki, life coaching, nutrition.
• Provide marketing skills: Photography, writing, web design, social media, SEO.
• Include a testimonial from a past student or employer.
• A video of you teaching yoga.
• A YouTube channel.
• Media clippings.
Find job openings
There are two main ways to find work: Through third party yoga job listing sites, or by emailing retreat centers and yoga schools directly.
From experience, the first option is the best way to go. Choose a paid membership site and you will have access to high-quality jobs, as employers know they are posting to members who are serious about yoga, as opposed to thousands of untrained yogis who happen to come across the post. Yoga Travel Jobs is an excellent resource for finding yoga jobs around the world, and one that I have used to land some of my favorite teaching jobs in tropical hotspots.
If you want to email directly, then Google is your friend. Use it to locate yoga studios, and the names of owners or the recruitment team and then craft your email wisely. Note, this option has a much lower success rate as you don't know if they're actively hiring, but it is worth a shot.
Keep a spreadsheet and note down all the jobs that you applied to and on what date. Try not to pester the employer, they will have your contact details and let you know if they like you.
Work on your skype skills
If an employer is interested, the chances are that they will ask to set-up a video interview, typically via Skype, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Make sure that you take into consideration the time difference when planning the call.
Write down the answers to main questions that you think they may have and then write your own questions to ask at the end. Put some effort into your appearance here, and set up good natural lighting. Smile, be confident and be yourself, and you’ll go a long way!
Incorporate the above tips into your yoga job application, and you could soon be saluting the sun and sipping on coconuts in some far away place. Good luck and namaste.