Put your best foot forward: resume writing for cosmetology school graduates

As a salon manager I have had the joy of reviewing literally thousands of resumes over the years.  I know it sounds crazy, but I absolutely love reading resumes.  I enjoy gushing over the beautifully presented and well crafted ones and I cry inside whenever I glaze over a poorly organized mess.  I can honestly say that I will only read 1 in 10 resumes all the way through and probably 1 in 30 are  what I consider to be well done.  The vast majority of resumes contain spelling and grammar errors, formatting issues, are too long, too short, overly detailed, not industry specific, the list goes on and on.  A good salon will receive 40 or more applications so it is critical to make yours stand out.  

  1. Choose your fonts wisely-Don't ever use an overly swirly or artsy font for the body of your resume.  There are other areas of your application package where you can use creative fonts, but the body should be easy to read and creative fonts can sometimes give you trouble.  Your name and some of your contact information can be in a larger font size, but the body of your resume should be in 12-14 point font.  If you have to use a size 10 font to cram everything onto your resume, you're including way too much.
  2. Sum it up- Your actual resume shouldn't be more than one page.  Managers and recruiters don't have the time nor do they care to read overly detailed resumes that describe every single task you've ever accomplished.  It's too much.  
  3. Contact information should be bold and clear- Make sure your name is listed in bold right at the top of the resume.  I've seen beautiful resumes where the applicants name is in color and the rest of the resume is in standard black or where the name is in a different font and that can look beautiful.  Be sure to include your first and last name, phone number, mailing address and email address.
  4. Social Media is key-Include the information for your Instagram, Facebook and website if you have a professional web image.  As a side note, a strong web presence is critical for building a clientele today.  Stay tuned for a future post on building your web presence.
  5. Keep it professional-If you haven't already done so, make a professional email address for yourself.  When I get a resume and the email address is "dropitlikeitshot@yahoo.com" I discredit you.  Email addresses are free so take the time to make a simple, professional address.  
  6. Keep your experience relevant-You should list at most the last 3 jobs you've had and possibly two or three bullet points detailing your responsibilities at each.  The experiences you list should be relevant to the job you are applying for.  If you worked at Starbucks and you're applying for a job as a esthetician, instead of listing that you make great espressos, include that you offer great customer service and were successful at up-selling food items since those are skills that are relevant for the job you want.
  7. Proofread more than once-The worst thing is when I receive a resume littered with spelling and grammatical errors.  Use spell check as a first line of defense and make sure to ask a close friend or family member to review your resume for you just to be sure you didn't miss anything
  8. Formatting is everything-A well laid out resume can make the difference between grabbing the hiring managers attention and ending up in the reject pile.  Microsoft Word has templates available that are a great place to start, but don't be afraid to customize a little bit too.  If you are feeling ambitious or have photoshop skills, use Google to search for resume formats and get inspired! Don't hesitate to give your resume some flavor and let your personality shine a little.
  9. Skip the photos-Don't include a picture of yourself on your resume.  It always seems out of place and a good employer isn't just hiring you based on your looks so it is completely unnecessary.  

Having a well done resume is just the beginning.  Be sure to stay tuned to the Put your best food forward series for details on your application presentation and improving your social media presence.

Ready for the next step?  Click here to start preparing the next piece of your application package.