The Most Important Physical Strength And Dexterity Skills (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Mar. 17, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

When pondering the requirements for a new job, most applicants consider the background knowledge and experience that will be required for hire. While employees need a wealth of technical know-how when it comes to their careers, many jobs also have physical strength requirements in place.

Candidates who aren’t able to demonstrate these levels of physical strength and dexterity to an employer are likely to be passed over for a physically demanding position.

What Are Physical Strength and Dexterity Skills?

There’s a distinct difference between physical strength and dexterity skills in the workplace. Physical strength refers to a candidate’s fitness level and ability to complete physically challenging tasks.

Some common physical strength tasks in a professional environment include:

  • Lifting and carrying heavy objects

  • Standing on feet continuously for hours at a time

  • Eye-hand coordination

  • Endurance during long shift hours

  • Coordination and agility while performing duties

Alternatively, an applicant’s dexterity is described as their capacity to use tools of their trade effectively and correctly. The tools you use differ depending on the industry you’re involved in, and it isn’t a skill that applies to life outside work, like physical fitness.

What Jobs Require Physical Strength and Dexterity Skills?

Many jobs require their applicants to have the physical strength and dexterity skills, in addition to basic knowledge for completing the job adequately. Positions that demand physical capabilities and familiarity with tools of the trade often ask for these qualities because the job deals with these skills daily.

The candidate they hire to fill a spot will need to lift heavy boxes for half their shift or perform activities with swift coordination.

Below are a few jobs that heavily rely on an employee’s physical strength and dexterity skills:

  • Trade jobs (plumber, auto mechanic, electrician)

  • Performing arts (dance, acting, theatre)

  • Health-based positions (yoga teacher, fitness trainer, nutritionist)

  • Medical careers (licensed practical nurse, physician, surgeon)

How to Mention Physical Strength and Dexterity Skills on a Resume

Since having physical strength and dexterity skills can be so crucial to attaining a position in your field of choice, you’re probably wondering how you can most effectively mention these abilities on your resume. There are a few ways that you can go about listing physical attributes on a resume to capture a hiring manager and receive a call for an interview.

Below are a few tips to get you started on creating an amazing resume that accounts for physical capabilities:

  1. Look back at the job posting for physical requirements. One smart strategy for listing physical strength and dexterity skills on a resume is to look back at the original posting for the job you’re applying for.

    A company’s human resources team often includes the most necessary skills for a position in the posting to make sure that they’re only hearing from applicants who fit the mold. After reading through the job’s physical requirements once more, pick out the qualities that apply to your fitness level and dexterity skills to include.

    Listing skills that were directly asked for in the job posting helps your resume get past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

  2. Use your former experience to explain physical skills. If you’ve worked in physically demanding positions before, you probably have a history that speaks to your fitness and dexterity skills. Think back to your former jobs and what daily physical tasks you took part in.

    Try to be as specific as possible when listing these duties. For example, state that you “carried boxes of 30+ pounds” instead of saying you lifted heavy boxes.

  3. Mention any physical fitness activities you do in the interests section. Another way to cleverly push your physical fitness skills into the forefront of your resume is by including an interests section.

    If you’re the type of person who uses your free time to improve your fitness by going to the gym, or participating in a team sport during the weekends, make mention of it. Not only does this highlight your fitness and dexterity capabilities, but it also demonstrates your soft skills in other areas.

Example Resume Mentioning Physical Strength and Dexterity

48 Blatt Road

New York, NY 38485

(344)-338-4585

MarkEvans@HealthSpot.com

Mark Evans


An encouraging and dedicated certified fitness personal trainer with 12+ years of experience and a strong history of client motivation and meeting weight loss goals.

SKILLS

  • Group and Individual Fitness Instruction

  • Nutrition Knowledge

  • Weight Training

  • Sales

  • Strength and Conditioning Experience

  • Creativity

  • Leadership

  • Dedication

EXPERIENCE

Health Spot Gym, New York, NY— Personal Trainer

September 2016- PRESENT

  • Independently building up a client base of around 30 people at a time

  • Discussing with clients to understand their fitness goals and health history to create a comprehensive and manageable exercise and diet plan

  • Guiding clients through workouts safely by spotting them, demonstrating complex exercises, and proving motivation

  • Assessing client progress over time and providing detailed quarterly health reports

  • 2018 winner of Health Spot Gym’s “Most Effective Personal Trainer” Award

Fitness Pals, Brooklyn, NY — Personal Trainer

March 2010 – September 2016

  • Handling 15+ clients at a time

  • Conducting an initial interview to determine the client’s physical strength priorities and goals

  • Formulated simple daily exercise routines for clients to do at the gym and home

  • Helping clients with their weight training by lifting and holding bars up to 100 pounds

  • Assisting in one-on-one fitness sessions and larger group fitness classes

  • Monitoring clients health and progress over time to make modifications when needed

  • Promoted to personal trainer after one year as an intern

EDUCATION

Brooklyn Community College, Brooklyn, NY — Associate’s in Nutrition

September 2008 – January 2010

Interests & Hobbies

  • Adult Basketball Team

  • Running

  • Weightlifting

  • Sewing

AWARDS

2018: Health Spot Gym’s ‘Most Effective Personal Trainer Award’

Interview Questions About Physical Strength & Dexterity

When you’re in line to potentially get a job that has demanding physical or dexterity-related requirements, prepare to receive a couple of questions to measure your abilities in this area. Even if you’ve covered this information on your resume, an interviewer will bring it up to clarify the details and ensure that you can handle the challenges of the position.

Take into consideration the following common interview questions about physical strength and dexterity.

  1. This position will require you to stand on your feet for eight hours at a time. Do you think you’d be able to do this on a full-time schedule? Perhaps the most straightforward way of assessing physical strength, this question asks the applicant to reflect on their capabilities and determine if they’d be able to complete the job requirements. The question might also vary depending on the types of tasks that will be required of you.

    When answering this question, be honest with the hiring manager. Claiming to be physically fit enough to fulfill all the job’s tasks without having the strength to back it up creates a stressful situation for you and the employer.

  2. What activities do you enjoy in your spare time? While this inquisition doesn’t directly ask about your physical strength or dexterity, it opens the door to discuss these qualities more.

    When you’re hoping to highlight your fitness abilities in an interview, use this question to talk about the physical activities that you enjoy in your spare time. This shows the interviewer that you’re fit enough to stand on your feet or lift heavy items.

  3. Are you familiar and experienced with the tools of the job? When you’re interviewing for a job that makes use of specialized tools, the hiring manager will probably ask this question to evaluate your familiarity and dexterity.

    Mention the tools that you have experience using on the job, and if your skills are lacking explain that you’re up for additional training in these areas.

4 Tips for Improving Your Physical Strength and Dexterity

Getting your physical fitness in check helps land a job in particular fields, but it also enriches your life in general. If you’re thinking about ways that you can improve your physical strength and dexterity, review the tips below:

  1. Start running in the morning. Most people groan at the idea of adding an extra activity to their morning routine. However, running in the early hours before you get your day started is an excellent way to stay in shape and keep your mind sharp.

    Additionally, running in the morning improves your physical strength without requiring a lot of equipment.

    Just grab a pair of running shoes and get going.

  2. Lift weights. When preparing for positions that require you to lift heavy items daily, try lifting weights in your free time. Starting small and slowly increasing the weight amount that you take on. Before you know it you’ll be lifting 80+ pounds like it’s nothing and you’ll be well-prepared for any tasks at a physically demanding job.

  3. Consider your diet. A person’s physical strength and dexterity are affected by the foods that they’re putting into their body. After all, food is fuel. If you’re constantly piling fast food burgers down your throat and chugging soda then you can’t expect your body to carry you very far.

    Don’t neglect your diet when you’re looking for ways to improve your physical fitness.

  4. Find a workout buddy. Having a person to lean on when you’re in the process of getting in shape makes the endeavor much easier. They act as someone to hold you accountable when you don’t feel like working out and keep you motivated when you’re exhausted.

    Beginning a workout routine with a friend, family, or even co-worker is a great way to upgrade your physical fitness.

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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