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Put your best foot forward:Beyond the resume

I often find hairstylists who don't have a resume at all yet.  That is okay! You'll get a fresh start on a blank canvas.  If you are asking yourself "what should be included on a hairstylist's resume" or "what are salons looking for on your resume" you've come to the right place.

This is the second stop on the Put your best foot forward journey.  If you haven't already read my guide for building a resume click here to start at step one.  It is important to have your resume looking picture perfect before you move on to this step.  The design of your resume will set the tone for the rest of the presentation.

I always get a lot of questions about what should and shouldn't be included in a resume.  I think the resume itself is intended to be just a listing of your job experience.  I often see applicants trying to cram a lot of information onto the resume which ends up being 4,000 words in 10pt font or a 4 page resume.  Both are bad.  

There is a place for everything else that you want to show off to your potential employer and it is in your presentation folder.  In the next piece I will discuss assembling the folder itself, but for now let's focus on the contents.

  1. Cover Letter-It is very important to have a well thought out cover letter.  This is where you can express to your employer exactly who you are and why you are the best applicant for this position.  You can include why you chose to go to beauty school, what you love about the industry, what will make you a good employee and what you hope to provide for your clients.  You should always include the name of hiring manager on your cover letter as well.  The letter should never say "dear hiring manager" or "to whom it may concern".  Instead, do a little research and address your letter specifically to the salon's owner or manager.
  2. References-I love to see a reference sheet included, but I don't like seeing the references on the actual resume.  Create a separate sheet and list all of the current contact information on there.  Type the word "references" clearly at the top in the same color and font that you used to type your name on your resume. The sheet should include the references name, phone number, email address and your relationship to them.
  3. Detailed industry experience-I have recently seen applicants detailing their volunteer or paid experience working fashion shows, weddings, etc and I love that!  These are great to list however they don't belong on the actual resume.  Create a separate sheet called "Professional Experience" list that at the top of the page in the same color and font that you used to type your name on your resume.  List the dates and include a brief description of the experience.  All of this should fit on just one page too.  If you have too much experience to fit on one page, just pick and choose your most relevant experiences.  A hiring manager isn't going to read through the details of every fashion show you ever did hair for.
  4. Letters of recommendation-If you've received letters from teachers or happy clients you can include those in your presentation too.  Be sure to make or print multiple copies and never give the original to a potential employer.
  5. Complete job application-Most potential employers will have an application available for download on the website and if they don't they'll certainly be able to email you a copy.  Include a copy of the completed application in your presentation. Complete the application all the way! Even if you are including a reference page, if the application asks for references, take the time and write them on the application.  Don't try and rush through the application.  Fill everything out completely as neatly as possible.
  6. Portfolio-You should always include examples of your work somewhere in your application.  I have seen every type of portfolio under the sun and you really do have a ton of presentation options.  You can choose any of these options, but be sure not to just include loose photos or photos printed on a few sheets of paper.  Also I've seen a lot of portfolios from beauty school graduates that include photos of real clients and doll heads too! If you are still in school, please start taking photos of all of your work so you have plenty of work to showcase.
  • Website featuring your work
  • Instagram link
  • Facebook link
  • CD with photos
  • Booklet of photos professionally bound by companies like Shutterfly

That is really all that should be included in the presentation.  When you've gathered all of this information you are ready to create your presentation.  Click here to find out how to pull it all together.