Best Practices for the Cosmetology Job Hunt!
After a few months into cosmetology school, it’s common for students to start to get antsy for their future career. Many times, if you don’t break apart the task, it can seem daunting, overwhelming and insurmountable to find a job when you feel like the a little fish in the big sea. However, dream big my friends. We broke apart the steps to make it simple for students to start the ground work to that dream job.
If you are looking for a service job at a salon or spa, knowing the business is the first step. Different businesses use words like artists, talent and stylists to define the employees that work there. Knowing their language is key to communicating on the prospective employer’s level. We suggest our students spend time researching by physically dropping into the salon or spa on a weekend and a weekday to determine the work ethics of the staff and see how their future could transpire into something beautiful beyond the attire that is enforced (uniforms, specific dress code, etc.)!
Our next suggestion is investing and receiving a service. A service allows a student to experience what the guest experience is like and understand the level of service expectations for a person working there. This a great way to make a connection with the service provider and the receptionist, while additionally gaining real insight into the business that could be a potential employer.
Connecting at the right time and on their time.
Emailing and dropping off a resume is a great way to chat with a salon or spa director. The goal from connecting with a hiring manager or salon owner is by expressing interest. They won’t know your interested until you reach out. Multiple formats of communication is key in the busy world many managers lead. Paper copies of a resume and a digital email is key to getting in front. Don’t be shy to follow up with a phone call a week later. It shows your interest and it may be the reminder they need to set up a time to meet.
You are a great fit for their business, but they may not know it yet.
Confidence is key. Gain insight on the business by requesting a meeting to learn more about their operations and what makes it tick. You are interviewing them, but allow them to ask questions as they become curious about your goals. Time is money and it is important for you to know how valuable their time is that they choose to spend with you. Sometimes a gesture of offering to meet them for a cup of coffee (**almost everyone** drinks coffee in this industry – but it’s not a requirement!) with a time limit of 20 to 30 minutes allows a person to find the value in sharing information and learning about you.
No shoes, no shirt, no interview.
Notice what the employees are wearing in the salon when you visit during the hunting phase. Even if the employees wear jeans, never wear them to the interview. Show respect to the business by dressing up with a trendy outfit, polished hair, well-manicured nails and a big smile!
Practicals, contracts and the FIRST day at your dream job.
Most salon and spas require a practical for their interview process. This is a great way to show off your skills – both technical and personality. Our student kits include an amazing rolling traveling case that is well-equipped for all the tools you need to travel with for a practical. This traveling case is a great way to show your professional side with organized compartments needed to be successful, calm and collected during what can be a nerve-wracking time for some. Tossing all your practical tools in a bag can leave items in a tangled mess and derail you for a smooth practical visit.
If you are the right fit, the position is yours! New hire paperwork is important to know that many salons have contracts that observe non-competes. It is important to respect these contracts and understand what you are signing that makes sense for the business you are working for. Our most important advice: always read the contract.
After you have signed onto your new job, let the first day leave you excited and nervous. You are about to begin an amazing career as a cosmetologist. This industry is packed full of opportunities. There is creativity, structure and growth abounding. May your passions find the best of you as you perfect the art of the conversation, service skills that allow for a variety of guest experiences… leaving you with a happy heart.
To all our wonderful grads…we are so proud of you. Each of you have come a long way and it was an amazing journey to watch you grow and launch your careers in this industry! xx Michelle
For more tips on how to land your dream job, check out this article by Harvard Business School.
Written by Michelle, Academy Director at The Atelier Academy of Beauty.
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