Separate Yourself From the Pack:
Tips for Future HPE Professionals

You’re about to graduate or perhaps you’re already knee high into your job hunting journey. Just like anything you go after in life, it takes preparation, dedication and tenacity. How can you stand out from a crowd of applicants to land your first job? SHAPE America president Judy LoBianco shares 10 tips.


Be a life-long learner. Make it a point to attend a professional conference, workshop or convention. Discuss some of the different trends and big ideas you learned during your interview.


Get certified! Being a certified health and physical education teacher will make you a reputable candidate for teaching health and physical education and give you the confidence to do your job the best you can!  Diversify your expertise by earning additional certifications. Some to consider for our professions are First Aid/CPR/AED, driver’s education and water safety.

Serve in a leadership role with children. Whether you volunteer as a camp counselor, sport coach or work part time at a kids’ gym, the experience will highlight your passion for working with students.

Clean up your social media profiles. More than likely, employers will look on social media to see what you’ve been up to. Try “Googling” yourself to see what pops up and delete any postings, photos or videos that are questionable.

Make the most out of your student teaching experiences. Whether your mentor is effective or not, it’s all up to what you say and do with kids during that experience. Share stories related to what you are teaching and give insight to your teaching methods.

Join your professional association. This shows employers that you are interested in the profession beyond your degree.  Learn about SHAPE America’s student-member benefits .

Go above and beyond! Engage in activities during student teaching that indicate that you’ve done more than what the job called for. Consider starting a 100 mile or another before- or -after physical activity club, be a recess volunteer, field day coordinator or family fun night organizer.  The key is to make an impact during your student teaching experience.

Connect and network. Staying connected with others in our profession is easier than ever these days thanks to social media. Consider joining one of the many health and physical education Voxer groups, follow and like SHAPE America on Facebook and Twitter for free resources, relevant articles and to ensure you’re in the know.  P.S. As a SHAPE America member, you have access to mySHAPE America – it’s the only online community solely dedicated to the profession!

Immerse yourself into the professions. Attend webinars and listen to podcasts to stay on top of the latest trends (which make for great talking points in job interviews).

Get involved in SHAPE America. Be a part of our professions’ national commitment to empower kids to lead active, healthy lives. Think about how you will do your part in working toward this commitment, as a health/physical education professional.